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Diwali is an important part of UK’s National Life, says Britain’s PM Theresa May

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May had lit a traditional lamp on her first Diwali event at 10, Downing street

Picture o diyas. Wikimedia

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

Next Story

British Parliament Turns Down Alternatives to PM May’s Twice Rejected Deal for Leaving EU

The House of Commons took over Brexit from Prime Minister Theresa May, who had failed to secure approval of a deal

british parliament
Tellers announce the results of the vote on Brexit alternatives in Parliament in London, March 27, 2019. in this screen grab taken from video. VOA

Britain’s Parliament on Wednesday turned down multiple alternatives to the government’s twice-rejected deal for leaving the European Union, leaving the future of Brexit more uncertain than ever.

The House of Commons took over Brexit from Prime Minister Theresa May, who had failed to secure approval of a deal.

Lawmakers began debate Wednesday with 16 separate plans. Negotiators reduced that number to eight, which were brought to votes. All were rejected.

british parliament
Speaker of the House John Bercow announces the results of the vote on Brexit options in Parliament in London, March 27, 2019, in this screen grab taken from video. VOA

Among the alternatives turned down was one that would have kept Britain in a customs union with the EU, and one that would have put the question of leaving the EU to another referendum.

The EU has given Britain until April 12 to let members know what it plans to do, or it will leave the EU with no exit plan in place, which could lead to economic chaos.

 Stephen Barclay, Britain’s Brexit secretary, said the fact that eight different proposals failed was another sign that May’s plan “was the best option.”

May said Wednesday that she would step down as prime minister “earlier than I intended” if lawmakers adopted the plan she negotiated with the EU.

british parliament
Britain’s Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union Stephen Barclay speaks after the results of the vote on Brexit options in Parliament in London, March 27, 2019, in this screen grab taken from video. VOA

“I know there is a desire for a new approach and new leadership in the second phase of the Brexit negotiations, and I won’t stand in the way of that,” she said.

May has said she will consider support for other plans as “indicative votes,” but has refused to say whether she will adhere to the result.

Vote led to turmoil

Britons voted nearly three years ago to leave the EU. But as last week’s scheduled departure date grew near, so did turmoil over terms of the deal May negotiated with EU leaders.

british parliament
Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street, ahead of votes on Brexit options, in London, March 27, 2019. VOA

The contention over May’s plan centers on trade and the border crossing between EU member Ireland and British-controlled Northern Ireland, which local residents routinely cross daily without stopping.

May hopes to put her plan up for another vote, despite the decisive earlier losses.


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Pro-Brexit members of her Conservative Party had called for her resignation, but until Wednesday she had resisted.

“It is my sense of responsibility and duty that has meant I have kept working to ensure Brexit is delivered,” she said.

Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn contended May was “unable to compromise and unable to reunite the country.” He said May must “either listen and change course or go.” (VOA)