India has been the flavor in Britain for a long time. But with the resurgence of the Indian economy and the sedate European economy.. coupled with the growing cultural interest in things Indian (Shilpa Shetty’s appearance on “Big Brother” and the campaign for her after racist slurs notwithstanding)… Lord Curzon’s words in early 1900’s may well be true for England even now!
“While we hold on to India, we are a first-rate power. If we lose India, we will decline to a third-rate power. This is the value of India.”
The words of Lord Curzon at the turn of the 20th Century may well find a strange echo in the 21st century and as India enters its 60th year of independence.
India continues to captivate Britain, especially in the popular imagination.
So, Shilpa Shetty makes more news on Big Brother than she does in her own film industry, Bangladeshi-owned Indian restaurants have elbowed fish and chips shops off the high street, and hopes of an Ashes revival were pinned on a turbaned Sikh.
But the relations between India and Britain are grounded in a reality that goes beyond culture, curry and cricket.
India is now the third largest investor in the UK, with more than 500 Indian companies opening offices there.
More importantly, nearly 1.5 million people of Indian origin live in Britain and that more than anything else is fuelling the relationship.
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