Ruchi Ghanashyam (Twitter)


India’s relations with the UK will continue to grow even after Britain’s planned exit from the European Union in March, Indian High Commissioner Ruchi Ghanashyam has assured London, amidst the political turmoil here over Brexit.

The Indian envoy said this during her first visit to the Midlands on January 18 to 19, the Indian consulate in Birmingham said in a statement on Tuesday.

Ghanashyam is the first woman career diplomat to be appointed as India’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. She is also the second woman to be appointed since Vijayalakshmi Pandit, who had served as India’s High Commissioner to the UK from 1954-1961.

During her visit, the High Commissioner held a series of meetings, and met a number of dignitaries including parliamentarians, councillors of Indian origin, leaders of faith organisations and members of the Indian diaspora.

Consul General of Birmingham Dr. Aman Puri expressed the hope that the keen interest taken by the new High Commissioner in strengthening the political ties between India and the UK would result in stronger bond between the two countries.

In her address to the gathering, the High Commissioner thanked the Parliamentarians for their continued support in implementing some of the Government of India’s initiatives, which are in alignment with the British policies, and serves the interest of British-Indian communities.

She added that India is keen to maintain and further strengthen trade and economic linkages between the two countries.

She re-affirmed continued support of the Indian Government post-Brexit, the consulate said in the statement.

The UK is due to leave the 28-member European Union on 29 March, 2019. However, the government of prime minister Theresa May is facing massive resistance from her own Conservative Party MPs as well as the opposition Labour Party over her Brexit deal.

Prime minister May last month survived a no-confidence vote on her leadership within the Conservative Party as well as a floor test in the House of Commons last week over her Brexit deal.

The Indian envoy also visited the Gandhi Peace Centre in Tividale.

The High Commissioner paid tribute and garlanded the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the recently inaugurated Gandhi Peace Centre which features a permanent exhibition on Gandhiji’s life and his messages, being displayed via interactive exhibits, photo clips and rare photographs.

In address to the Indian diaspora, the High Commissioner hailed the role played by the Indian community in strengthening people-to-people bond between India and the UK.

She encouraged members of the Indian diaspora, especially the younger generation to visit India, and see for themselves the progress and development happening in the fastest growing large economy of the world, the release said.