For all the noise and cheers that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi received at the Wembley Stadium in UK, it was his British counterpart David Cameron who won the hearts.
Sharing the stage with his wife dressed up in an Indian saree to a wildly cheering crowd shouting ‘Modi Modi’ Cameron spoke from his heart when he said “ One day an Indian will be the Prime Minister of Britain.”
Cameron, who has endeared himself to the people of his country by travelling and standing in the Tube (the original metro) because he could not get a seat, was not being diplomatic when he made this statement standing alongside Modi.
He was referring to the growing contribution of Indians living in Britain who have made it their home for decades. It is a reality that Indian doctors,engineers and IT professionals have made themselves indispensable to Britain over the years.
And now industrialists from India have not only started collaborating but taking over British companies and running them profitably to contribute to their economy.
It is this growing realization of interdependence on each other in the global scenario that prompted Modi lunch with Queen Elisabeth, along with the various MoUs that are being signed between the two countries during his three-day visit to the country that ruled India for 200 years.
But marketing and diplomacy apart, saying that an Indian could one day become the Prime Minister of Britain before an Indian diaspora collected from across the country to cheer up the Indian Prime Minister, needs a big heart.
This is the second such incident in recent times that is a testimony to the invaluable contribution made by Indians globally in various fields.
The latest cabinet of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has four Indian origin Canadians who have been given very important portfolios including Defence.
And now the British Prime Minister James Cameron predicts that a day will come when an Indian-born could become the Prime Minister of the country.
The over joyed Modi- Bhakts who are going overboard with the reception that he is getting in his visits abroad should understand this is what tolerance is all about.
Tolerance and diversity is not a matter of glib talk.It does not carry conviction when the Prime Minister is telling the world in London that India represents diversity while the famous playwright Girish Karnad has to apologise after getting death threats for supporting the birth celebrations of Tipu Sultan in Karnataka.
Such double talk has no meaning when Modi continues to rant against his main opponent Sonia Gandhi for being an outsider in his recent election campaign in Bihar. Such sectarian talk may be OK for an opposition leader but does not behove a Prime Minister who spends more time abroad than in his native country, for whatever reasons.
By Amitabh Srivastava