Vice-President (VP) Jagdeep Dhankhar and wife Dr Sudeep Dhankhar represented India at the historic Coronation ceremony of King Charles III and Queen Camilla on May 6. During his short visit to the UK, the VP had not one but two intimate interactions with representatives of the Indian diaspora organised by Indian High Commissioner to the UK Vikram Doraiswami. The VP’s overarching message during both interactions was for the diaspora living bridge to act as 24/7 ambassadors of India in the UK.
Dhankhar said: “Every one of you has to be 24x7 an ambassador of Bharat… India is now the hub of manufacturing activity for the globe. I would therefore appeal to all of you, whatever manner you can contribute for the growth of the nation, for the rise in its reputation and to ensure that untenable, ill-premised, unfounded, baseless narratives do not take strides in public domain.
“No one is against honest assessment or criticism, that will always help us attain our goals. But malicious, pernicious orchestration is antithetical to good conscience. We must antidote it.”
He also reflected upon a “remarkable and enlightened interaction” with several British Indian members of the UK Parliament, including peers Lord Meghnad Desai and Lord Karan Bilimoria and MPs Virendra Sharma and Seema Malhotra.
During his interaction with Indian students based in the UK, the VP reiterated his call for the diaspora’s important role in dispelling falsehoods about India.
He said: “If you don’t approve of it, you must antidote it. A false narrative about such a vibrant democracy is antithetical to our national interest if we don’t react. And, I have no doubt, the most powerful reaction always comes from rational minds.”
His two-day visit to the UK concluded after a packed schedule of royal engagements, including a Commonwealth Heads of Government meet hosted by Commonwealth Secretary-General Baroness Patricia Scotland and a reception hosted by King Charles for world leaders at Buckingham Palace in London.
MORE LIKE THIS…
“On behalf of the people of India, I extend my warmest congratulations to the newly crowned King and Queen of the UK. May India-UK ties grow stronger in the years ahead,” he said, before departing for New Delhi.