On 28th October, Monday, the Hindujas’ hosted their annual Diwali celebration in the eminent preence of peers, MPs, industrialists, journalists, ambassadors and diplomats. A cross section of politicians were present including former Cabinet Ministers Phillip Hammond and Jeremy Hunt, Nadhim Zahawi, Minister of State at the Department for Business and former leader of the Liberal Democrats Sir Vince Cable. Others present included Lord Mayor of London, Peter Estlin and Neil Basu, Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.
Celebrating the Festival of Lights, Gopichand P Hinduja, Co-Chairman of the Hinduja Group, emphasised on the significance of Diwali in today's politics and communicating his message for peace and understanding. He said,
“My father always believed money is nothing in life. It is the friends and the relationships that is the real wealth of a human being.”
Although Non-Resident Indians for generations, the Hindujas have proactively promoted closer relations and better understanding between what they call their “mother country” India and Britain, where they are located.
Representing HM Government and the Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, remembered Mahatma Gandhi, who he described as one of his personal heroes. The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, also highlighted that there were more than half a million Hindus in London, which is more than the rest of Britain put together and in excess of the population of the same faith in other European countries.
The Hindujas’ Annual Diwali celebration dates back to when they moved their operations to London in 1979 on leaving Iran following the fall of the Shah. They initially hosted their Diwali parties at New Zealand House in London, where their offices are located amongst those who attended were the then prime minister, Margaret Thatcher.