UK House of Commons hosts Indian Independence day celebration

Keir Starmer, leader of the opposition party, thanked British Indian community for their contribution to Britain

In a first-of-its-kind event, the UK Parliament complex recently hosted a celebration to mark India’s 76th Independence Day. The event was organised by the All Party Parliamentary Group on India (trade and investment) and the All Party Parliamentary Group for Foreign Affairs.

The event began with a roundtable titled India and the Indo-Pacific: Opportunities and Challenges. High Commissioners of India, Bangladesh, Australia, Canada, and Nepal, among others, participated in the same. The points discussed at the roundtable included the relationship between India’s domestic and foreign policy, and the importance of upholding the rules-based order and freedom of navigation to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific, among others.

A special reception was held to mark 76 years of Indian Independence. Delivering the keynote speech, leader of the opposition Keir Starmer said, “I believe India and the UK could provide solutions to the problems of tomorrow when we come together as a united force. Looking at the contribution the British Indian community makes to Britain, we celebrate it in all its glory,” he said.

The Indian ambassador to the UK, Vikram Doraiswami in his address highlighted the role of the diaspora in binding the two countries.  "You have essentially been a model community here. Your success has been a source of pride for both countries but it's also been a source of inspiration for what can be done through hard work, through family values, through the enabling environment of the system that has essentially allowed you to give off your best."

Nigel Huddleston, the Minister of State at the Department for Business and Trade also delivered a speech at the reception. “It was a privilege to celebrate India's Independence Day and the remarkable journey the country has been on since 1947 at a reception in the @HouseofCommons last night. Delighted to be strengthening our relationship as we progress with negotiations on a free trade deal,” Huddleston tweeted.

The reception was also attended by MP Karan Bilimoria, Baroness Sandy Verma and other prominent Indians in the UK.

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