Bhavan's hosts Diwali Banquet

Monday 14th December 2015 13:10 EST

The Bhavan, London’s home of Indian Arts & Culture, presented its annual gala fundraiser, the prestigious Diwali Banquet on 23 November after taking a year’s break in 2014.

The event, located at The Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square attracted many prominent members of London’s Asian community, most notably Chief Guests Speaker of the House of Commons The Rt Hon John Bercow MP and The High Commissioner of India, HE Mr Ranjan Mathai.

Over 350 guests attended the beautifully decorated banquet hall and were treated to an evening of inspiring speeches about the future of Indian Arts & Culture and a display of Classical Indian dance from The Bhavan’s Kathak and Bharatanatyam dance departments. To welcome guests at the start of the evening The Bhavan’s Mridangam and Tabla teachers provided a surging entrance of enthralling Classical Indian percussion for compere DJ Sonny Ji of BBC Asian Network.

Prime Minister Modi’s visit was a topic many of the speakers addressed as his ethos espouses the furthering of India’s vast array of rich arts and culture.

During his speech The Rt Hon John Bercow MP praised The Bhavan’s “historic contribution, continuing input and future potential”. He commended as “especially compelling” the comments of the “talented and joyous” dancers on “the significance to them and their lives and their sense of place and of community represented by The Bhavan.”

Speaking as Joint Chief Guest shortly before he relinquishes his position as The High Commissioner of India, HE Mr Ranjan Mathai predicted that The Bhavan would have a central role to play in the UK-India Year of Culture in 2017. G P Hinduja Co-Chairman of the Hinduja Group said “We can be proud of the achievements of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in promoting India’s art and culture” whilst The Bhavan’s Chairman Joginder Sanger praised Dr Nandakumara and his team for making The Bhavan an outstanding and successful institution.

At the end of the evening Chairman of The Bhavan’s fundraising committee Dr Surekha Mehta proposed a vote of thanks to all involved.

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