British Indian MPs pay their tributes to the Queen, adding that she loved the country and the Commonwealth
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As Members of the Parliament paid tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II during the weekend, the common theme among many British Indian members was the love that she had for India and the Commonwealth.
They also added that this sentiment was expressed by her successor King Charles III. Many shared their personal memories with the Queen in special sittings of the Houses of Parliament, ending their speeches saying “God save the King”.
Lord Jitesh Gadhia said in the House of Lords, “It was palpable how connected she felt to India and the wider subcontinent, which makes up almost 75 per cent of the 2.5 billion people across the Commonwealth.”
“These sentiments are mirrored in reverse, exemplified by the day of state mourning that has been declared by the Government of India for Sunday… As chair of the British Asian Trust, founded by His Majesty King Charles III some 15 years ago, I know that our new monarch shares the same priorities as his mother for the Commonwealth, and maintains a deep and abiding connectivity with all the countries of South Asia,” he added.
Lord Raj Loomba remembered how at a British Indian Golden Jubilee banquet in London back in 1997, King Charles III, then the Prince of Wales, quoted the Vedas and thanked India for its “civilising influence on Britain”.
He added, “I know that the Queen’s love for India and for the Commonwealth was fully shared by her eldest son, King Charles III, and that he will seek to build on that legacy.”
Baroness Usha Prashar quoted the great poet Rabindranath Tagore and said, “we should not say in grief that she is no more but say in thankfulness that she was.”
The genuineness with which Her Majesty related to the leaders of the Commonwealth, even in the face of the most extraordinary challenges, such as apartheid, speaks volumes about the success of the Commonwealth under her leadership,” she said.
Cabinet Minister and COP26 President Alok Sharma talked about the late monarch and her successor’s influence on the importance of climate action.
“Through my work over the past few years on the COP26 agenda, I have had the privilege of supporting the work of King Charles’ sustainable markets initiative. He is a great man, and he will be a great monarch, with the same instinctive understanding of his people and what matters to them as his mother,” Sharma said.
Former Home Secretary Priti Patel said, “In the years ahead, while the face on our notes, coins and stamps will of course change, Her late Majesty will always occupy a special and affectionate place in the heart of this nation. God rest her soul, and God save the King.”
His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, the spiritual head of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha and the famous Neasden Temple in London expressed his condolences to the royal family in his letter and wrote, “Her Majesty was respected and admired not only in the United Kingdom, but across the world. She was an inspirational monarch, who personified the values of service and public duty, guiding the United Kingdom and Commonwealth with dignity, courage and selfless dedication for 70 years.”
Director of the UK’s Network of Sikh Organisations, Lord Indrajit Singh, gave a speech as a tribute on behalf of the Sikh community saying that the news of the Queen’s death “marks a moment of great sorrow and reflection”.
“I recall the privilege of accompanying Her Majesty during her first visit to a gurdwara in Leicester in 2002. It was during her Golden Jubilee celebrations that she made clear that she was the sovereign for all her people, and that our different religions show that God’s love extends in equal measure to the whole of humanity,” he added.
The Queen’s state funeral is set to take place on Monday, 19 September at 11 am BST at Westminster Abbey. The country is collectively mourning her death with many paying their tributes to Her Majesty on social media.