Alpesh Patel’s Political Sketchbook: Number 10 and Diwali but More

Alpesh Patel Wednesday 22nd November 2023 06:28 EST

The light of the diyas on Downing Street is a beacon that shines far beyond these shores. It tells a story of possibility, a story that will inspire countless others across the globe.

There is immense joy and immeasurable pride in this historic moment. It's a celebration not just of a festival, but of a journey—a journey of a thousand miles that began with the humblest of steps towards progress, understanding, and mutual respect.

Here, within these walls where the weight of empire once deliberated its course, now stands a leader of Indian descent, a Hindu Prime Minister, entrusted with the helm of Britain's future. The significance of this moment transcends politics; it's a testament to the United Kingdom's enduring narrative of diversity, acceptance, and unity.

This week, the Prime Minister sought the King's presence to unveil the legislative agenda. Yet, this was no ordinary audience with the monarch.

For the last time a king presided, the sun had not set on the British Empire, an empire that held sway over India. Now, centuries later, it is a leader of Indian origin who converses with a King about the future of Britain, not as a subject, but as a foremost citizen.

The office now on this Diwali celebration resonates with the chants of Sanskrit slokas, the air carries the fragrance of prasad, and every corner is adorned with symbols of Hindu faith. Lord Ganesh, the remover of obstacles, looks on, a deity revered not just by Hindus.

As a British Hindu Indian myself, I feel a surge of pride. This is a country where my faith is celebrated, not just within the walls of temples but in the corridors of power. As I speak to British military personnel inside Number 10, I am reminded of the deep bonds between the United Kingdom and India, exemplified by joint military exercises that showcase our shared commitment to global peace and security.

This is the beauty of modern Britain—a nation that can look back at its imperial past and yet celebrate its future.

But this is not and cannot be triumphalism. We are one of the most fortunate communities in Britain. We must reach across all communities for the betterment of Britain. Jai Hind. God Save the King.

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