London: Exactly a month from Sunday, James Gordon Brown will take over as Britain's new Prime Minister and he has already pledged to accord ``very high priority'' to strengthening and deepening relations with a ``pulsating, dynamic India.''
The 56-year-old son of a Church of Scotland preacher was recently described by a leading British newspaper as a ``blank sheet of paper'' because he has not given any specific outlines of the policies he will follow at home and abroad. But his excitement about India is palpable.
The Prime Minister-designate recalls that he had been brought up on stories of India's great history, its struggles, achievements and ``essential greatness.'' An uncle in his family was a Professor of electrical engineering at IIT and introduced him to India ``from my youngest days.''
Five months ago, Mr. Brown, said to be a reluctant traveller, paid his first visit to India and has come back hugely impressed. ``I had a wonderful visit. India is, indeed, a very dynamic country which is moving ahead very fast,'' he told PTI here.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer will succeed Tony Blair on June 27.
How much importance would his Government give to Britain's ties with India? ``Undoubtedly it will be a high priority,'' Mr. Brown said recalling the ``astonishing speed of change and progress in India as it claims its rightful place in the emerging new world order.'' PTI