• Associate Sponsor

Narendra Modi in UK: The supporter at Wembley, the protester at 10, Downing

Correa sees the PM as the “harbinger of hope”, Grover is clear that Modi should be made “accountable” for his past.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | London | Updated: November 13, 2015 12:40 pm
Modi in UK, Modi not welcome, Modi not welcome in uk, modi uk visit 2015, narendra modi uk visit, pm modi uk visit, modi visit to uk, uk visit narendra modi, modi uk visit today, narendra modi wembley, Suresh Grover; Bina Korrea

Two faces of the Indian community is what Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going to encounter during his three-day visit to the UK, beginning Thursday. One, an enthusiastic supporter. Two, a committed protester. One, happy about Modi’s present. Two, disturbed about Modi’s past. Both have different visions of India’s future under Modi.

Bina Correa, 44, is an enthusiastic supporter who is head of liaison with the performers who will showcase their talent at the Wembley Stadium.

READ: Modi image on Westminster: British MP raises issue in House, NGO says it got idea from 3D hologram campaign

Suresh Grover, 61, is a social activist who is leading the efforts to protest against Modi outside 10, Downing Street, over the Gujarat riots.

Modi in UK, Modi not welcome, Modi not welcome in uk, modi uk visit 2015, narendra modi uk visit, pm modi uk visit, modi visit to uk, uk visit narendra modi, modi uk visit today, narendra modi wembley, Bina Correa sees PM Modi as ‘harbinger of hope’

Correa, who works as an analyst in London, has been working for the last three weeks to ensure that about 300 children, who are part of the 650 performers at Wembley Stadium, are well looked after.

Modi in UK, Modi not welcome, Modi not welcome in uk, modi uk visit 2015, narendra modi uk visit, pm modi uk visit, modi visit to uk, uk visit narendra modi, modi uk visit today, narendra modi wembley, PM Narendra Modi’s supporters outside 10, Downing Street in London on Thursday. (Source: Reuters)

She came to the UK when she was a two-year-old, but has relatives in Baroda. “I don’t live in India, but I have my family there. So what Modi does impacts my family. He is an influential figure whose decisions can impact them, their lives. So it’s my duty to do my bit to make Modi feel welcome here,” says Correa.

Modi in UK, Modi not welcome, Modi not welcome in uk, modi uk visit 2015, narendra modi uk visit, pm modi uk visit, modi visit to uk, uk visit narendra modi, modi uk visit today, narendra modi wembley, Suresh Grover wants PM to ‘be made accountable for his past’.

On the other side of the divide is Grover, who is the director of The Monitoring Group, which has been fighting and campaigning against racial hatred, violence and human rights violations for the last four decades in the UK. As a 16-year-old, he was stabbed by what he calls “a group of skinheads”. He too has family in India. Grover has campaigned against a host of issues — from racism in the UK, to protests against the Emergency as a young volunteer, then the 1984 riots (when he travelled to Trilokpuri), the Bhopal gas tragedy and all kinds of fundamentalism.

Modi in UK, Modi not welcome, Modi not welcome in uk, modi uk visit 2015, narendra modi uk visit, pm modi uk visit, modi visit to uk, uk visit narendra modi, modi uk visit today, narendra modi wembley, PM Narendra Modi’s protesters outside 10, Downing Street in London on Thursday. (Source: Reuters)

He recalls getting calls after the Gujarat riots in 2002, and became active in providing legal aid to three British nationals who were killed in the riots. “We cannot prevent Modi from coming to the UK, since there are bilateral relations at stake. Although that’s what we did in 2003. But what we want now is the acknowledgement of his acts of ommission and commission in the riots. That’s what we are protesting about,” he says.

Correa sees the PM as the “harbinger of hope”, Grover is clear that Modi should be made “accountable” for his past.

Correa says it’s going to be a loud welcome for Modi in Wembley Stadium, Grover wants his group’s voices to be loud enough to reach Modi’s ears.

While Correa and Grover are the two faces who represent the divided Indian community in the UK, the numbers — as it seems now — are stacked in favour of Correa. Correa estimates that about 60,000 people are expected to attend the Wembley event, Grover says his supporters are going to be in “thousands, and not in hundreds”.

Grover wraps up the conversation on a cautious note. “There are a large number of people who don’t see Modi becoming successful unless he severs his links with the RSS. Look at the lynching over beef, this is what is going to happen,” he says.

“We are not working for the money here. We want India to prosper under Modi,” says Correa.

Their worlds inhabit the same space in the UK, but Correa and Grover are worlds apart.

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App

  1. V
    Vikrant
    Nov 13, 2015 at 9:07 am
    I can understand your fear. During Congress rule i lived under fear that i would be forced to convert or maybe become a refugee. Now I dont have that fear
    (0)(0)
    Reply
    1. V
      Vikrant
      Nov 13, 2015 at 9:10 am
      Make Nehru accountable for parion. Make Indira hi accountable for emergency. Make Rajiv hi accountable for Sikh genocide and plight of Kashmiri Pandits. Make Sonia and Rahul accountable for the loot of India's resources. Make all the past and present CMs accountable for about 20000 riots since independance.
      (0)(0)
      Reply
      1. G
        GandhiSpeaks
        Nov 13, 2015 at 6:12 am
        Since Grover is in UK, he should start a protest against the British rule in India. It does not matter it has been 68 years since Independence. We need a good representative. And while he is at that, he should also protest against the Mogul Invasion in India.
        (0)(0)
        Reply
        1. D
          Dinesh
          Nov 13, 2015 at 1:42 pm
          Rick Patel up your Kilt
          (0)(0)
          Reply
          1. F
            Feardz
            Nov 13, 2015 at 6:43 pm
            Atleast muslims didn't put Osama on some official post unlike the Hindus who support Modi.
            (0)(0)
            Reply
            1. Load More Comments
            Adda