Narendra Modi UK visit 2015: Pics of electric atmosphere at Wembley Stadium for 'UKWelcomesModi' community reception
Watch the recording of the 4-hour 'UKWelcomesModi' Community Reception in Wembley Stadium here:
See pictures from the UKWelcomesModi Community Reception at Wembley here:
Indian PM Narendra Modi and UK PM David Cameron arrived on stage side-by-side to huge cheers from the crowd. Modi dressed in traditional Indian kurta in Ivory colour with a brown shawl. Cameron spoke about the magnificient contributions of the UK Indian community in Britain and assured Modi that Britain will help it achieve its infrastructural and digital goals. Cameron concluded with 'Namaste Wembley' and 'Kemcho Wembley' and even said: 'Ache din zaroor aayenge'.
Modi, in his hour-and-a-half long speech, wished UK Indians Happy Diwali, praised Cameron, announced rupee bonds in the UK and emphasized the deeper ties between the two countries. he also spoke passionately about India's bright future, its youngsters and his government's initiatives around toilets in all Indian schools for girls and electricity across all villages. He also announced direct London-Ahmedabad flights to huge cheering from the Gujarati community present in Wembley.
As part of the preparations, a giant stage was set up at the heart of Wembley Stadium for the unofficial community reception for the Indian PM by 60,000+ Indian diaspora in the UK. Some of the artists that performed at the reception went to invite UK PM David Cameron to attend the community reception.
The organisers published a list of Dos and Don'ts and rules for the ticket holders and the attendees (such as 'No ID- No Entry'; no re-entry; tickets are non-transferrable etc.). Buses branded Modi Express transported Indian diaspora from Leicester, Manchester, Birmingham and beyond to Wembley for the Welcome Reception. The event, manned by 2,000 volunteers and planned for 112 days, closed with uber-grand fireworks at 6.30pm.
Coinciding with UK Indians' Diwali 2015 celebrations, the family-oriented community reception featured Bollywood song and dance, best homegrown British Indian talent, and a landmark speech delivered in the UK for the first time by Narendra Modi as India's PM. The welcome reception closed with a grand finale at Wembley stadium featuring the biggest fireworks display ever seen in Britain according to the organisers - Europe India Forum, a not-for-profit body that promotes India-Europe relations organized by the communities for the European Indian community.
"UKWelcomesModi" event brought together UK Indians to celebrate two great nations with one glorious future," the organisers say on the website. Over 300 UK Indian organisations including community associations, Dhruv Arts and Indian centres had signed up for the Modi reception initiative. The event is one of the biggest highlights of 2015 for the 1.6 million UK Indians living in Britain.
Modi UK visit: Day 1 - November 12th, 2015 - Key Highlights in Pictures
Modi arrived in London in his special Air India carrier on Nov 12th and met UK Indian community, UK PM David Cameron and paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi statue in his maiden visit to Britain as PM.
Modi arrived in the UK a day after Diwali day, after meeting the Indian Jawans at the border. As he left for his journey, he said: "Leaving for UK. I am hopeful this visit will strengthen economic ties between India and UK & bring more investment to India."
Modi also gifted Samantha Cameron an Aranmula metal mirror, a unique GI protected handicraft from Kerala, and some pashmina stoles. He gifted Her Majesty with a Tanchoi stole during his visit to the Buckingham Palace and lunch banquet there.
On Thursday, thousands of people form the UK Indian community gathered around London city waving Indian national flags to welcome Modi.
"We are very proud of the Indian diaspora in UK. Their role in strengthening India-UK ties is immense," Modi said while addressing the press in the UK for the first time in London as PM.
UK PM David Cameron posted a welcome video featuring second-generation UK Indians and the Indian Diaspora in the UK extending a warm welcome to the Indian PM:
The Reception themed, ‘Two Great Nations, One Glorious Future’ will kick off with a specially produced cultural show featuring some of the very best British Indian artists.
Other Key Highlights in Modi's UK Visit:
- Modi met with Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace in London before heading to Wembley Stadium for the Community Reception.
- The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge - Prince William and Catherine Middleton are scheduled to visit India in Spring 2016.
- A year long-programme to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Indian independence and UK cultural ties has been announced by Cameron. Called "The Year of Culture 2017", the initiative will see British Library digitise 200,000 pages of their South Asian archives.
- Madame Tussauds in New Delhi! As part of the cultural collaboration, London's iconic Madam Tussauds – whose Bollywood figures are some of the most popular in London – will launch its first Indian venture in New Delhi in 2017 as parent group Merlin is set to invest £50m in India over ten years, rolling out other UK favourites – such as SEA LIFE aquariums and LEGOLAND Discovery Centres – across Indian cities.
- Cameron-Modi Vision Statement: "Ours is a natural partnership for progress and prosperity. The UK is the largest G20 investor in India, while India invests more in the UK than the rest of the EU combined. Now, the unique character of our relationship, the momentum of our economies, the culture of innovation in our societies, the global network of our businesses, and the opportunities and challenges of our changing world lead us to set a high ambition for our relationship. We look to the future on the strengths of who we are today as nations - modern, diverse, dynamic and key global players."
- The UK is already a big hit with Indian tourists. Last year saw a record breaking 400,000 visits to the UK from India and in the first half of 2015 Indian tourists spent £199 million during their stays.
- Just days ahead of his UK visit, Modi posted on his official Facebook page that "London has a very strong link with India’s freedom struggle. Many of our leaders lived, worked or studied in London. One such great leader was Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. It is a matter of immense joy and pride that I will visit the place where Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar lived during his stay in London."
- Ahead of the event, a "Hello-Namaste, India Meets London-Land" welcome song sung by Kanika Kapoor as part of UKWelcomesModi event was released:
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