Was it worth sitting in a chilly Wembley Stadium for well over 4 hours waiting to get a glimpse of the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the UK in over a decade? Absolutely! The whole event was a true spectacle showcasing and celebrating the best of our vibrant culture! The performances were truly outstanding by dancers and musicians alike from classical to contemporary, with some fellow members of NHSF Imperial not being able to help themselves but join in with Kanika Kapoor and Jay Sean singing! The atmosphere was unlike anything I have experienced and you could truly feel sense of unity between us all as the British Indian community cheering on the performers and giving Modi the welcome of a rock star, chanting his name as he made his way onto the stage for his speech. Witnessing such an event reaffirms my pride in being part of such a united community with such a rich culture and being able to call myself a British Indian.
Aaran Patel, Culture Officer
2nd Year Intercalated Medical Student
The event was an amalgamation of British and Indian culture, conveyed through the various performing arts. It was a reminder of how much British Indians have “spiced things up” here in the UK. Seeing Modiji together with our Prime Minister, David Cameron at Wembley Stadium was, undoubtedly, a proud moment for me and the other 59,999 people who attended the grand reception. The fact that at one point in his life Modiji was a “chai-walla” (tea-seller) and has now worked his way up to become the Prime Minister of the largest and greatest democracy on Earth, is truly admirable. Watching him being cheered by the pumped-up crowed and then being captivated by his unyielding speech, really made me realise that when you strive to work hard and do your best, then the sky really is the limit! His speech gave a sense of comfort that he has taken up extensive undertakings to proliferate India’s success, as well as strengthening ties between India, Britain and the British Indians.
Anisha Devani, President,
2nd Year BSc Business & Management Student
Friday, 13th of November 2015 it was truly an event to remember as the Indian Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, received a huge welcome by the British Asian Community at Wembley Stadium. Supporters came from all over the country, waving Indian flags and chanting “Modi” throughout the event, which included performances from Indian and British performers, and a grand finale featuring a fireworks display that organisers claimed to be the UK’s biggest! The theme of the event was the meeting of two great nations putting their colonial history behind them and harmonising for a better future for both India and the UK. Modiji gave his empowering speech mainly in Hindi, aside from a short opening welcome in English, which was warmly accepted and cheered by the ever-multiplying crowd of people. It was a truly unique and memorable event that we both thoroughly enjoyed –even though it was bitterly cold!
Hina Sharma, President, 2nd Year Dentistry Student
Tanya Datta, Performing Arts Coordinator, 2nd Year Law Student
The entire event was filled with exhilarating performances, representing Indian and aspects of the Hindu culture. Prime Minister Cameron spoke about us as British Indians and the impact we have on both countries. This was followed Prime Minister Modi’s most fascinating speech, which covered various important topics in relation to both countries, through humour and words of wisdom. He talked about changes and improvements that would have an impact on Indians and those of the diaspora too, reinforcing the long-term benefits to both countries. The evening ended with a breath-taking fireworks display full of colour and light, celebrating the unity between our two nations. As a volunteer at the event, the experience truly demonstrated the extent of the work and efforts that contribute to such a large-scale event. But witnessing the jubilant crowd of 60,000 passionate people, was indeed a reflection of proud British Indians; being a part of that was certainly a rare opportunity.
Anisha Ruparelia, Events & Charity Coordinator
1st Year BSc Psychology with Business Law Student
Being in the presence of both the Prime Ministers that represent my identity as a British Indian was an overwhelmingly splendid experience. The thrilling atmosphere of 60,000 patriotic spectators in one place highlighted our respect towards Modiji and the armour-plated, natural bond between us –the British Indian Diaspora and the Republic of India. Having an opportunity to welcome Modiji and listening to his enthralling speech was the perfect opportunity to grab some inspiration; it was an experience I will never forget. The wise words from our Prime Minister David Cameron about the societal impact and contribution that British Indians have, and are making, gave a feeling of pride, encouragement and most importantly, a sense of belonging. I enjoyed every second of the event. The firework display at the end of Modiji’s speech was a commemoration of two great nations with one glorious future.
Deepa Dabasia, President
Final Year BA Primary Education Student
From the moment I left Wembley Park Underground Station, I was spellbound. There was a sudden sense of belonging. I felt like I was amongst my own, for a cause that was my own. It was as if Wembley resided on Indian soil. The excitement of seeing my childhood hero, Jay Sean, took a backseat from that moment on. This event was about something much more. This was the personification of the genuine desire, devotion and dream that one man has for our nations. After endless chanting, when Modiji finally did step on that stage, he put everything into words. His vision for a more united world, with a more united India provided an idea that each and every one of us wanted to hear. The event was a true smash-hit and the atmosphere was nothing like I have or will experience for a very long time!
Sagar Ghelani, President,
Second Year BSc Maths and Economics Student
North & Central London Community Liaison
As a British Hindu with connections to India, this event has truly been a successful occasion that celebrates the bond between two great democracies. I am sure that this is a great stride in developing collaborations to boost economic ties and trade. I have no doubt that it will bring people closer than ever before.
I have been involved in the registration process for community organisations in the North & Central London region for the past 4 months and it has been a fantastic experience. Partner organisations were extremely supportive in engaging their members to register for this event. The aim was to ensure that we had the maximum representation from organisation members and that we equipped them with the relevant information about the event.
Narendra Modi is a true inspiration to the youth of today. As mentioned “a country which has the power of youth cannot be stopped”. He has proven this by adapting his approaches to today’s modern world with the focus on a digital India. This has been an historic visit for Prime Minster Modi and provides a great opportunity for both nations to stimulate a mutual relationship with many great things to come.
NHSF (UK) National Sewa Team