October 26, 2016: Diwali has now become a popular festival due to the presence of Indians all across the globe. Also, the fireworks and the rangoli have attracted the attention of people from various countries. Diwali marks the beginning of a new era and a renewal of commitment to the family values.
Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May, lit a traditional lamp on her first Diwali event at 10, Downing street. She said,” I want us to be proud of what Diwali means to our nation, after all, it was here in Downing street that Prime Minister Modi chose to start the last Hindu New year.”
Britain’s PM will be visiting India next month in November. It will be her first bilateral outside of the European Union. She said,” I’m going from Delhi to Bangalore. The visit will mark a celebration of relations between our countries and our shared ambitions for the future.”
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The Diwali event hosted by Theresa May was attended by India’s acting high commissioner, Dinesh Patnaik, and other British Indian officials.
Lauding the Indian community of Britain, May said to HT,” When we analyze 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 everyone – whatever our background, whatever our faith.”
“Now I have to say I haven’t read all 24,000 verses of the epic poem about Lord Rama’s return to Ayodhya. But I do know the story of his homecoming from the many celebrations I have attended in my own constituency over the years,” she added.
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“The values he embodied are values which we can all heed. Values of charity, sacrifice and responsibilities: to paraphrase Mahatma Gandhi: losing ourselves in the service of others,” she said.
According to the HT report, Britain’s political system has many British Indian representatives including Sandip Verma, Jitesh Gandhia, Dolar Popat and Ranbir Suri in the House of Lords and Shailesh Vara, Rishi Sunak, Priti Patel and Alok Sharma in the House of Commons.
May announced that she would be leading a trade delegation to India from Nov 6 to 8, as her government seeks new relationships after Britain leaves the European Union.
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Some say Leicester hosts the largest Diwali celebration outside of India. This year the event is expecting more than 100,000 people. Every year, the Golden Mile in Belgrave is decorated with Diwali lights.
– Prepared by Diksha Arya of NewsGram. Twitter: @diksha_arya53