The historical links between the UK and India endure to this day with both countries standing side by side as equal partners. It was not mere coincidence, but a reassertion of that bond, that saw the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon David Cameron MP, choosing India for his first international visit after the 2010 General Election. Since then, Prime Minister Cameron has visited India again – more often, in fact, than he has visited any other country in an official capacity – and he has taken with him the largest delegation that any British Prime Minister has ever taken on an overseas visit.
The UK recognises the significance of the Anglo-Indian connection and the vital geo-political importance of that relationship in the future.
Perhaps less well recognised is the role played by the British Indian community. The community is the largest ethnic minority group in the UK and its contribution to Britain and its way of life can hardly be overstated.
Britain and the British Indian community share many values. More often than not, those values are also the values of the Conservative Party.
Conservative Friends of India seeks to champion the remarkable contribution to UK life, society, education, business and politics made by the British Indian community.
British Indians are a cornerstone of British society: from shopkeepers to doctors, from lawyers to engineers, academics to military servants, politicians to businessmen, social workers and philanthropists – British Indians represent the UK in every walk of life.
The UK, it is safe to say, would be a poorer place without the contribution made by the British Indian community.
Imagine, for example, a UK without:
- more than the 600 Indian companies with investments in the UK, with a total value in excess of £9 billion – that is about 50 per cent of all of India’s investment in Europe
- Tata Industries, now the country’s biggest privately owned manufacturer, with almost 60,000 employees
- more than 40,000 Indian doctors and consultants who make up 20 per cent of the NHS’s overall total of 200,000
- Indian food, and the estimated 9,500 ‘Indian’ restaurants across the UK employing around 60,000 people and generating an estimated £3 billion of revenues per annum
- the major benefits of the philanthropic interests of so many British Indians
- cultural and sporting heroes and heroines such as Freddie Mercury, Sir Ben Kingsley, Dev Patel, Ravi Bopara, Sir Anish Kapoor, and many more
- a language bereft of hundreds of words and countless derivations including guru, chutney, pukka, verandah, bungalow, jungle, cummerbund, and even Blighty!
- and those vital day-to day necessities such as tonic water, polo, jodphurs, yoga, curry and much more
Conservative Friends of India recognises and champions the importance of India to the UK and of the equally important role played by the British Indian community across all walks of life - a community that also exemplifies what is best about Britain and being British. The Conservative Party attaches the greatest importance to the contribution which the British Indian community makes to our country and national life.