British PM hosts Diwali reception at Downing Street
Posted at: Oct 25, 2016,
British Prime Minister Theresa May with the Indian entrepreneurs lighting lamps at a Diwali reception in her official residence 10 Downing Street in London on Monday. PTI
London, October 25
British Prime Minister Theresa May hosted a reception at Downing Street to celebrate Diwali and welcomed more than 150 key figures from across the Hindu, Sikh and Jain communities.
Dinesh Patnaik, Acting Indian High Commissioner, and Jitendra Patel, Trustee of Neasden Temple, were joined by the Prime Minister in the traditional lamp lighting ceremony on Monday evening.
May was also joined by Secretary of State for International Development Priti Patel, Secretary of State for Local Government and Communities Sajid Javid, Lord Jitesh Gadhia and Foreign Office Minister Alok Sharma, a press statement from the British High Commission said on Tuesday.
The Prime Minister said: "For me, one of the most remarkable things about this festival is the sheer scale of its reach and the universal appeal of its message.
"Look at India -- over a billion people, speaking hundreds of different languages, following various different faiths -- united by this festival of light."
"When we analyse the true meaning of Diwali, its relevance extends beyond India, beyond the Indian diaspora and even beyond the Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists who, in different ways, mark the festival. Its messages apply to every single one of us -- whatever our background, whatever our faith." She praised the contribution of the British Indian community.
"The achievements of our British Indian communities -- one and a half million people -- demonstrate just how much a country can achieve when talent is unleashed and people of all backgrounds are able to fulfil their potential -- that's what is important.
"Our political system becomes more representative and more effective -- and I am so proud to have Priti Patel in the Cabinet; Alok Sharma in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office; MPs like Shailesh Vara and Rishi Sunak in the Commons; and peers like Jitesh Gadhia, Dolar Popat, Sandip Verma and Ranbir Suri in the Lords."
Referring to her upcoming visit to India, May said: "And, next month when I go to India -- it will be my first bilateral outside of the European Union and I'm going from Delhi to Bangalore -- a true celebration of relations between our countries and our shared ambitions for the future." — IANS
THERESA MAY PRAISES BRITISH-INDIANS IN DIWALI MESSAGE
TIP NEWS - Oct 28, 2016
LONDON (TIP): Hailing the contribution of British-Indians, Prime Minister Theresa May has said she would highlight their success during her first official visit to India next month.
May praised British-Indians in her message at the annual Diwali celebrations in the House of Commons on Wednesday.
“In Britain’s Indian communities, we can see the good that can be done when people’s talents are unleashed. I think of all those running their own businesses, taking risks and working hard so that they can provide for their families and take on staff,” May said in her message, read out by Bob Blackman, the parliamentary host of the annual Diwali event organised by the Hindu Forum of Britain (HFB).
She said that she would be highlighting this success when she visits India next month on the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“I will be so proud to highlight the achievements of British-Indians next month when I make my first official visit to India as Prime Minister at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” May said.
The event organised on the House of Commons Terrace Pavilion overlooking the river Thames began with the reciting of mantras and was attended by leading Indian-origin parliamentarians including Lord Swraj Paul, Lord Dolar Popat, Lord Jitesh Gadhia and Shailesh Vara.
“I am incredibly proud, as a British-Indian and a British Hindu to see this event go from strength to strength. It is a celebration for all of us from all backgrounds,” said Priti Patel, the UK’s International Development Minister and the senior-most Indian-origin minister in May’s Cabinet
The event this time coincided with a Jammu and Kashmir delegation’s visit led by Maharaja Kumar Ajatshatru Singh, the grandson of the Maharaja Hari Singh who signed the accession treaty for J&K to become a part of India on October 26, 1947.
Blackman declared that October 26 would now be marked as J&K Day every year in the UK Parliament.