Prime Minister Cameron of the UK headed a 60,000 crowd of Britons as the UK welcomes Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his three-day visit to the country.
As the United Kingdom “rolls out the red carpet” to welcome India’s rock star Prime Minister, his visit was received differently by different groups of people, some by protests while others by admiration.
Some Indian have criticized India’s PM for spending more time out of the country as he had already visited 28 countries before the UK visit. This visit of PM Modi to the UK is considered the first visit of an Indian Primi Minister, since 2006 of which the many of UKs Indian community are very excited about. According to the visit organizers, this is a big event that the British government and Britons have looked forward to as they gathered to in the UK welcome event at Wembley Stadium on Friday night.
While Modi got a 60,000 strong warm welcome, he was also greeted by protests from his critics and antagonists outside Downing Street. Protesters blamed Modi for the 2002 Gujarat violence, which killed at 900 people accusing his “action as inhuman and against international law”, to the point of being branded as “butcher of Gujarat by a Twitter user Sabena Siddiqi.
This unwelcoming outlook is not new to the Indian PM. Modi was even banned to enter the UK since 2002 and was only lifted in October 2012 because of his failure to prevent anti-Muslim uprisings. Also, in 2005, he was not granted a US visa because of his record of “severe violations of religious freedom”.
But it is busy “business as usual” for the Indian PM as he goes about his three-day visit, addressing the UK Parliament was top of his itinerary. Then he had an important meeting with London’s business leaders. On top of these, he had to pay homage to India’s great PM Gandhi at the Parliament Square and spend a special night sleepover at UK PM Cameron’s country house. His visit was made complete with a courtesy call and lunch with the Queen at Buckingham Palace.
The visit was a mixed of warm welcome and protests. But it ended with a rekindling of a special relationship between two great nations, a strong relationship of mutual contribution and partnership in the past, the present and towards the future.