London: A number of human rights and Muslim groups in Britain will hold a protest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 12, the day he is expected to arrive here for his maiden visit to the country.
The demonstrators will meet outside 10 Downing Street, the British Prime Minister’s office, on November 12 afternoon and walk up to Parliament Square to gather outside the House of Commons.
The protest against Modi’s three-day visit has been called by UK-based NGO Awaaz Network, which includes groups like Dalit Solidarity Network, Indian Muslim Federation, Indian Workers Association, Muslim Parliament, Oxford South Asia Forum, South Asia Solidarity Group, Southall Black Sisters, Voice of Dalit International and Women Against Fundamentalism.
“The human rights issues are very serious and are not going to go away, no matter what happened in the Indian elections,” said Suresh Grover, director of the Monitoring Group, one of the groups behind the protest.
“The UK government is looking at economic policies only from a trade perspective. Many of Modi’s policies like ‘Make in India’ in fact have an exploitative impact on Indians,” a spokesperson of South Asia Solidarity said.
Meanwhile, preparations for an “Olympic-style” welcome for Modi are gathering pace as part of the Europe India Forum’s (EIF) ‘UK Welcomes Modi’ campaign.
Over 70,000 people are expected to turn up at the invitation-only event at the iconic Wembley Stadium in London on November 13.
“It is important to present a united front. This will be the first welcome for an Indian Prime Minister in Britain in nearly 10 years. He has a clear and dynamic vision for India’s place in the world,” Indian High Commissioner to the UK Ranjan Mathai said yesterday at a gathering of nearly 450 UK-based community organisations joining in as “welcome partners” for the Modi’s visit.
The gala reception titled “Two Great Nations. One Glorious Future.” – will kick off with a cultural show featuring well-known British-Indian artists.
The highlight, however, will be Modi’s keynote address to the Indian diaspora followed by what has been described as one of the largest fireworks displays in the UK to mark the festival of Diwali.
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