For the very first time and to everyone’s surprise, Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India presented himself in rock-star panache at the well-known Wembley Stadium in London on Friday, 12th November during his ongoing visit to United Kingdom. Coming out of his traditional Kurta style appearance, the Indian PM Modi received one of the most memorable and warm welcomes at the Wembley Stadium in London.
Wembley Stadium has been host to greatest of musicians and sports persons witnesses the charismatic personality of Modi. It is said that the entire 60,000 audience was taken over by the Modi’s presence.
Earlier, the Indian PM presented gifts and discussed student visa problems, during his informal interaction with the Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron. He presented his British counterpart David Cameron specially hand-crafted bookends made of wood, marble and silver.
The centerpiece of each of these bookends contained a silver bell, symbolizing inner wisdom and tidings, which has a verse from the Bhagavad Gita etched in Sanskrit, along with its English meaning alongside the rim. “Each pair of bookends has a silver bell which symbolises inner wisdom and is engraved with a Sanskrit verse from the Bhagavad Gita along with its English rendering”, said an official statement. These verses (15 and 16), were taken from Chapter 13 of the Bhagavad Gita.
In addition, in view of Prime Minister Cameron’s fondness for Robert Graves’ work on ‘World War I Goodbye to All That’, the Prime Minister also presented to him David Omissi’s ‘Indian Voices of the Great War’. Also for the First Lady, the Prime Minister presented Aranmula metal mirror, a unique GI protected handicraft from Kerala, and some pashmina stoles.
In the meeting with British counterpart David Cameron, the Indian PM expressed concern over a sharp decline in the number of Indian students coming to study in the UK and problems faced by them while applying for visas. "The Prime Minister raised the issue [of student visas] very strongly. The Prime Minister said that Indian student numbers in the UK has fallen by 50% in the last three years," a Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson said.
During the bilateral talks, the civil nuclear deal was signed between the two countries. A new fast-track mechanism for UK investments in India was also launched.
The India-UK CEO Forum was also revived, announcing that India will issue a Railways rupee bond in London to raise money for the Indian railways. Both countries also pledged to fight forces of terrorism. Later, the PM Modi also spoke to a group of invited Members of Parliament, and received a standing ovation. Addressing the British House of Commons, PM Modi said, “India does not wish to be lectured or patronised; it wants to be treated with respect”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also emphasized the potential of business tie between two countries and invited British investors for investing in India. In the investor meet, he called for 'Stake in India', pointing out that Indian economy is policy driven making it an easy place to conduct business. Reminding the British entrepreneurs about the open policies of India regarding the foreign investment, PM Modi said the immense effort put there has started bearing fruits with IMF and World Bank projecting a growth of 7.5% this fiscal year. The ranking of India in terms of easy policies for business, India has moved 12 positions up in the ranking. He said this in the UK investors meet at Old Library in Guildhall, London.
Mr. Modi’s movement in UK could not escape opposition by different fringe groups, however, the ecstatic welcome received from the Indian origin community, especially at the Wembley stadium and other places suggested that while the Modi regime might have its critics, its admirers are several! Modi left to Turkey to attend the G-20 Summit.