Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Nick Clegg writes: Dadabhai Naoroji is one of my political heroes

The latest leg of my visit to India has taken me to Mumbai where I have been able to spend time on a Bollywood set and have dinner with Sachin Tendulkar.

However the highlight of my time here has been the opportunity to announce the institution of the Dadabhai Naoroji Awards which will be UK government awards for individuals who have made outstanding contributions to Anglo-Indian relations in the fields of commerce, culture and education. The ties between our two nations are broad and deep, and so I was very keen to be able to recognise them in this way.


Dadabhai Naoroji is one of my political heroes – he was known as The Grand Old Man of India and broke down enormous barriers by entering the British parliament (albeit by the somewhat nerve-jangling margin of three votes!) as the first Asian MP and challenging European prejudices about Indians. He was rightly admired by many in both Britain and India, including Gandhi, for the huge contribution he made to political debate in both countries.

I’m enormously proud that Dadabhai served in parliament as a Liberal MP and he is rightly honoured by our party award in his name and by being one of the new membership card options available. And I’m delighted that his contribution is also now recognised in these new government awards too.