Modi's UK Visit In 2003 Was Neither 'Warm' Nor 'Welcoming'

19/11/2015 12:08 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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Prime Minister Modi delivers his speech Prime Minister of India visits UK Parliament Image: House of Lords 2015 / Photography by Roger Harris This image is subject to parliamentary copyright. www.parliament.uk

Satyabrata Pal, India's ex Deputy High Commissioner and based in London in 2002, challenges Modi's recent assertion in the UK that he was "warmly received" by the British in the aftermath of the Gujarat riots.

In a recapitulation of the events of 2002 for The Wire, Pal notes " The British government’s reaction was neither warm nor respectful; it was deeply upset, for a number of reasons. With its Muslim population already embittered over Iraq and the Islamophobia unleashed by the War on Terror, the last thing it wanted was a visitor who would alienate them even more and drive a wedge between its immigrant communities."

Modi went ahead with his visit, facilitated by a community of Gujarati Hindu businessmen, and the consternation in the UK government was raised manifold after it emerged that there were plans afoot by certain groups to put Modi under 'citizen's arrest.'

Siddharth Varadarajan, Founding Editor of The Wire, noted that the article had disappeared from people's social-media timelines. However, last checked, it seemed to be working fine.

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