• Friday, December 01, 2023


Diaspora delight as Modi meets Indians in Glasgow

Narendra Modi during the event

By: Pramod Thomas

INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi on Monday (1) interacted with members of the diaspora in Scotland who gathered in Glasgow to honour him and also unveil a bust of him.

Modi, who arrived in the Scottish city last Sunday (31) night to cheers from a group of diaspora delegates, met members of the Indian community before he left for the opening ceremony of the COP26 climate summit.

Scotland-based Dr Nadey Hakim presented the prime minister with a  sculpture, which was formally unveiled during the interaction. Modi provided his spectacles to be placed on the bust.

“I have done a sculpture of the prime minister. As you can see, he is quite a popular gentleman. Everyone likes him. I really liked his features and I decided to do it and I have to say I am very thrilled by his reaction,” Hakim said afterward.

When somebody asked where the Indian leader’s glasses were, he improvised at the last minute and “took off his (Modi’s) own glasses and put them on, which I thought was a good move.”

“He was happy, I believe. I hope everybody from India and elsewhere would like the features and hopefully find that this is complementary to what the prime minister looks like,” Hakim said.

He said Modi “automatically, immediately made me feel at ease to speak to him like a brother really”.

The prime minister met about 45 Indian diaspora delegates from Glasgow and Edinburgh, including prominent doctors, academics and business people.

Modi also spoke to the Indian winner of Prince William’s Earthshot Prize, Delhi-based recycling firm Takachar founder Vidyut Mohan; as well as a 14-year-old finalist from Tamil Nadu, Vinisha Umashankar, who came up with the idea for a solar-powered ironing cart.

Pam Gosai, who met Modi, said, “I am the first Indian Sikh lady in the Scottish parliament. It is fantastic to see the prime minister here in Glasgow at COP26 among all the world leaders.

“I think the prime minister is absolutely right when he says ‘one world one initiative’ and that is why today all the leaders are coming together to make sure we all come together and coming from a Sikh background we have Ek Omkar, which means there is one god,” she said.

Manjulika Singh is a yoga teacher and president of the Scottish Indian cultural Festival Committee Chair Ethnic minority Forum (SCIFC). She said she wanted to thank Modi for the popularity of yoga across the world.

“He is an amazing Indian leader, who has really put India on the top which we all appreciate,” she said.

Dr Vipin spoke of his delight as he met the Indian leader. “I am speaking not only on behalf of the Indian diaspora in Scotland, but on behalf of the diaspora all over. Even though we do not live in India, we have hopes, aspirations and dreams for the country. In Modi, we see a leader who will take us there. We were just delighted to meet him. He met all of us individually, and it was a great feeling.

Eastern Eye

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