The year 2017 will be a landmark one for the India-UK bilateral relationship as a series of events are being lined up to mark the Year of Culture, according to Britain's senior-most Indian-origin minister.
Priti Patel, UK secretary of state for international development, said the UK-India Year of Culture next year will be the perfect platform to showcase the "people-to-people" ties between the two countries.
"We are living in turbulent times and it is more important now than ever that we appreciate each other's cultures. Our two countries set the perfect example for that," said Patel, addressing the annual banquet held by Bhavan Centre, the UK branch of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, in London yesterday.
"It is no surprise that the Bhavan Centre set up its largest branch outside India in the UK, 44 years ago. It does some great work in showcasing our people-to-people ties and next year will be a landmark one as we celebrate UK-India Year of Culture," she said.
A series of events are being lined up for the 2017 UK-India Year of Culture, including a major digitisation programme of Indian archival documents held at the British Library in London as well as a tour of the 'Magna Carta' and works of Shakespeare to India.
The Bhavan Centre, which describes itself as the largest institute of Indian arts and culture outside the Indian Sub-continent hosting wide range of exhibitions, performances and classes, will be among the participating institutions.
"The aim of the centre is to spread the message of art and culture, which reflects Gandhian values of peace and non-violence," said NRI hotelier Joginder Sanger, chairman of the Bhavan Centre.
This year's annual banquet also paid homage to Bhavan Centre's former patron, Judge Mota Singh, Britain's first Sikh judge who passed away last month.
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