Indians are London’s largest ethnic minority and immigrants of South Asian origin from the sub-Continent and East Africa have made a huge contribution to the British economy. This evening, the first fund-raisingl Diwali dinner put on by British United Indian Liberal Democrats (BUILD), at the Bombay Palace restaurant in Bayswater, highlighted the valuable charitable work that Indian philanthropists and NGOs do in the UK, in India and worldwide. Five separate organisations were showcased before the meal, ranging from the Loomba Foundation (which promotes the welfare and interests of widows in India and now round the globe) to a group that helps Indian elderly in this country, many of whom may live with their offspring but sometimes get left alone in houses with the central heating switched off when the breadwinners go out to work or simply feel lonely, so they relish the conviviality and both physical and metaphorical warmth in earmarked community centres. Both the pre-dinner brief presentations and the after dinner speeches were admirably compered by Mistress of Ceremonies Anuja Prashar, who has been a real driving force within BUILD. The star guest speaker was Miriam González Durántez (aka Miriam Clegg) who, as (Lord) Navnit Dholakia gallantly said, has become something of a secret weapon for the Liberal Democrats. She has both presence and authority and is truly a Liberal, as well as a fine European. She focused on the symbolic meaning of light and hope associated with Diwali. Simon Hughes MP was the after-after-dinner speaker, managing to arrive just in time for the post-speeches’ desert. He stressed how much London and Britain as a whole value the input by citizens of Indian origin and he made the interesting observation that whereas a few years ago Diwali was really only celebrated in India and among the Diaspora it has now become a firm fixture of the United Kingdom’s diverse celebratory calendar.
Posts Tagged ‘Anuja Prashar’
Posted by jonathanfryer on Thursday, 1st November, 2012
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: Anuja Prashar, Bombay Palace, BUILD, Diwali, Liberal Democrats, Loomba Foundation, Miriam Clegg, Miriam González Durántez, Navnit Dholakia, Simon Hughes | Leave a Comment »
Posted by jonathanfryer on Saturday, 4th June, 2011
Up-market restaurants whett their pampered clients’ appetites with sorbets between courses. But Beckenham Liberal Democrats, at their fund-raising dinner in the Churchill Rooms of Bromley Parish Church this evening, employed an effective alternative: a different, very short, speech from three local members before every dish. Tom Papworth, Crystal Palace Councillor and now Leader of the LibDem Group on Bromley Council (which interestingly has a LibDem Mayor and Deputy Mayor this year) kicked off strongly with a defense of the current Coalition government, saying that whatever flak our Ministers are coming under, many LibDem policies are being implemented. Tom also dreamed of a time when there could be 30 LibDem Councillors on Bromley Council — and what a difference that would make. Indeed. Second in, between the consommé and the lamb, was David Crowe, former local councillor (most recently in Clock House) and stalwart of the Beckenham Liberals/LibDems since the 1960s. He took us down memory lane, reminding us of both the highs and the lows of the past 50 years, and ended with an impassioned plea for the LibDems to remember that they are a centre-left party, essentially progressive. In sweet contrast (before the baked peaches served with Greek yoghurt and Amaretti biscuit crumble), relatively new member and live-wire Anuja Prashar drew on her own background as an Asian woman who grew up in East Africa before settling in Britain with her business-oriented family to encourage us to think centre-right, or rather, not centre or right at all, but progressive capitalist — asking us to remember that it is the BRICs these days that are setting the pace globally and that we can learn a thing or two from them. The menu, incidentally, was put together brilliantly by Bromley’s perennial LibDem chief, Steve Daniell.
Photo: Anuja Prashar with local party bastions Cllr John Canvin and Reg Baskett (President)
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: Anuja Prashar, Beckenham, Beckenham Liberal Democras, Bromley Parish Church, Clock House, Crystal Palace, David Crowe, John Canvin, Reg Baskett, Steve Daniell, Tom Papworth | 1 Comment »