Bhangra beats ring out as India House celebrates Baisakhi in London

Bhangra beats ring out as India House celebrates Baisakhi in London

Traditional music and bhangra dance beats from Punjab rang out at India House in London this week as the High Commission of India celebrated Baisakhi with fun and fervour, attracting a large gathering of members of the Indian diaspora. 

Indian High Commissioner to the UK Vikram Doraiswami, wearing a vibrant turban in honour of the occasion, reflected upon the message of sewa (service) and righteousness that lies at the heart of the Spring festival celebrated the world over on April 13. It commemorates the foundation of the Khalsa Panth by Guru Gobind Singh – the 10th Sikh Guru – at Anandpur Sahib in Punjab, northern India, in March 1699.   

He said at the event: “There is no greater cause for a faith that is based on rationality, on proportionality, on inclusion, on service, than righteousness. And, the formation of the Khalsa is to stand up for righteousness.  

“Righteousness, not because people want to go to war, but to protect and to defend and to sustain a way of life. And that leads us directly to what the great 10th Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, gave us – which was the concept of standing up for what was just, doing the right thing. All of this is justly celebrated when we celebrate Baisakhi.”   

The event marked musical performances, including by celebrated British Punjabi singer and composer Channi Singh, and poetic and lyrical insights by Punjabi poet and scholar Talwinder Singh Dhillon and Hindi writer Tejinder Sharma. 

“Our strength lies in being united for our Mother India. I feel very strongly against the misguided people who seek to divide our community,” said Lord Rami Ranger CBE, of the British Sikh Association.  

He was joined by other British Indian parliamentarians as they addressed the community gathering and shared their views on the significance of Baisakhi, also referred to as Vaisakhi, as a festival of joy and vibrancy. 

“The spirit of service can be witnessed everywhere, whether it is in the contribution of our gurdwaras, the local business community or individuals,” said Virendra Sharma, veteran Labour MP for Ealing Southall – an iconic hub of London’s Punjabi’s community. 


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