India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Queen Elizabeth II will meet and address a massive rally at London’s Wembley Stadium in a three-day visit to Britain focused on commerce and investment starting Thursday.
The trip will probably be the first time an Indian prime minister sees Britain in almost 10 years and is likely to produce billions of dollars (euros) worth of deals, including India buying more BAE Systems Hawk trainer jets because of its armed forces.
The red carpet reception from Prime Minister David Cameron’s authorities will be a stark reversal of fortunes for Modi, who had essentially been banned from Britain until 3 years ago over anti-Muslim riots which killed over 1,000 people in 2002, when he was chief minister of Gujarat.
‘Modi Not Welcome’
Modi, a Hindu nationalist, probably will face a chain of protests during his visit, which comes at an unsettled time in India where his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lately lost a key regional election in the northern state of Bihar, amid concerns over a rise in religious intolerance in the nation.
Various groups were planning demonstration demonstrations and to what they view as his party’s aggressive Hindu nationalist agenda. Modi continues to be widely criticised in the British press over an identical dilemma.
A group calling itself “Modi Not Welcome” is organising a protest outside Downing Street during discussions with Cameron, accusing Modi of creating an “authoritarian culture” in India.
Some 46 MPs, like the leader of the opposition Labour party Jeremy Corbyn, have signed a parliamentary motion urging Cameron to raise human rights problems together with the Indian government.
Cameron’s spokeswoman said that “nothing is off the table” in the talks but stressed that a “powerful and close relationship” with India was significant.
Talks lunch with the Queen, with Cameron
As well as having lunch with the queen at Buckingham Palaceon Friday, Modi, who became India’s prime minister using a landslide victory will hold discussions with Cameron at Downing Street Thursday and his country residence, Chequers.
He can become the first Indian prime minister to address both Houses of Parliament.
The 65-year-old will also appear before around 60,000 of Britain’s 1.5 million-strong Indian diaspora at Wembley Stadium, alongside a free concert and a tremendous Diwali fireworks display.