Riding high in opinion polls, the Conservative party has promised a ‘new special relationship’ with India and support the country’s bid for a seat in the UN Security Council, if it comes to power in the May 6 elections.
In its election manifesto released by its leader David Cameron yesterday, the Tories, trying to woo voters of Indian origin, said the party would strive for closer friendship with India.
It also committed to “work towards greater stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan” and support India’s bid for a seat in the UN Security Council.
The Party leader Mr. Cameron made his first overseas visit as leader of the party to India in 2006 and has been in close touch with the Indian community, extolling the ‘Hindu way of life’
He has often addressed large gatherings of Indian spiritual leader Morari Bapu in Britain.
The manifesto says: “Our approach to foreign affairs is based on a belief in freedom, human rights and democracy.
We are sceptical about grand utopian schemes to remake the world. We will work patiently with the grain of other societies, but we will always support liberal values because they provide the foundations for stability and prosperity“.
Speaking at a recent ‘Ram Katha’ event addressed by Morari Bapu in Wembley, Mr. Cameron said the Hindus’ commitment to hard work, family values and patriotism found resonance in the “British way of life“.
Wembley has a large Hindu population, and in 2008 Britain’s state-funded Hindu school was established in the London borough.
Britain’s Hindus constitute the third largest religious group after Christianity and Islam.
Heaping praise on British Hindus, he said members of the community “don’t just contribute to our society. You shine a light on how we must live“.
Mr. Cameron said: “Hindus are the most family-orientated community in Britain. You are more likely to stay married, keep your families together and especially look after your elderly.
“While maintaining their religious and cultural traditions, British Hindus have consistently shown, through their service, their patriotism, their contribution to our society, that they are truly British too“.
Picking on research conducted by the respected Runnymede Trust titled “Connecting British Hindus”; Mr. Cameron supported the growing demand that Hindus in Britain should be called “British Hindus” or “British Indians” and not “British Asians”.
The Tory leader also stressed the importance of role models within the community.
Although there have been moves to remove barriers of race and ethnicity, more needed to be done to encourage minorities to take up careers in politics, law and the armed forces, Mr. Cameron said.
“I want to see more people from your and other minority communities playing their rightful role in helping to run our country to make it a better place for us all to live in.
“The Hindu community is a shining example of the can-do, will-do attitude we need in our country,” he said.