Hundreds of people were flocking to Wembley Park on 12th November.
Roads near Wembley were blocked, due to heavy traffic, and Wembley stadium was lit with the happy faces of the audience. The man who has conquered the hearts of millions of Non Resident Indians stormed England with his charm and charisma. Wembley stadium was packed with British Indians, Indian students and the press.
The man is none other than Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The tricolour of the Indian flag could be seen everywhere. The crowd held Indian flags, wore the hats of the Indian flag and adorned tricoloured clothes. One of India’s most popular Prime Minister had landed in England. While his numerous admirers provided him a red carpet welcome, his critics wanted to dialogue with him.
As stated on the Indian Prime Minister’s website, http://www.narendramodi.in, the purpose of Modi’s visit was to sign a 9 billion pound deal with U.K. firms. Modi hopes to collaborate on issues like climate change, defence, nuclear power and finance.
It is interesting to note that Modi has attracted a crowd of over 60,000 people, who just wanted to catch a glimpse of the dynamic orator. The Indian and British flag appeared on the screen, as the Indian Prime Minister shook hands with his British counterpart, the crowd applauded for Modi to speak.
He fumbled at the beginning of his speech, but nobody paid heed to his linguistic skills. It appeared as though a spell had been cast on everyone. The question “Did you celebrate Diwali?”, received an overwhelming response of enthusiasm.
Modi’s arrived at a time when Indians were celebrating the festival of ‘Diwali’, making his visit even more special to the Indians.
“Whenever Modi speaks, he owns his audience. Most Indian Prime Ministers speak in English, but Modi proudly speaks in Hindi, promoting our language. I think that’s splendid.”says Sriram, a software engineer and Indian expat.
“Modi is popular, because he simply connects with me. His powerful tone has me feeling patriotic.”says Tarini Kulkarni, an Indian expat.
It was not the dance or music performances that had the crowd ecstatic, but it was Modi’s speech which everyone was waiting for. The cold, lack of parking space nor the frosty winds deterred the Indians from visiting Wembley.
Modi stressed on the importance of building a strong relationship with the U.K., and how he planned to eradicate poverty from India. Talking about India’s amazing youth force which would potentially rule the world, Modi signed off, promising that India will help build your dreams into a concrete fortress.
Chants of Modi’s name and ‘Hail the Indian Motherland’could be heard all over the stadium, as took his leave.
Living up to his expectations, Modi had left the crowd in a patriotic frenzy.
Photos : Sanjana Raman