A new compilation of essays on India-UK ties created a cross-country buzz over the last few weeks with its launch events in London and New Delhi.
“The UK's relationship with India has been predominantly transactional, but it needs to become transformational. India and the UK need to understand where the true value comes from the partnership, and how they can turn this special relationship into a global relationship, one that changes the world for the better, tackling significant issues such as security and climate change together.”
This is how Manoj Ladwa encapsulates the central theme of 'Winning Partnership: India-UK Relations Beyond Brexit', a collection edited by the India Inc. founder and CEO. The contributors to this first-of-its-kind one-stop review of where India fits into the UK's reality as a non-member of the European Union (EU) include former Indian diplomats such as Ranjan Mathai and Asoke Mukerji, UK-based commentators such as Chatham House Senior Fellow Gareth Price and economist Lord Meghnad Desai and London mayor Sadiq Khan, among a host of others who each cover a specific aspect of the bilateral relationship, from business to politics and finance to culture.
The book had its UK launch in London in June, where the Indian high commissioner to the UK, Y.K. Sinha, called for a more "constructive" approach to the bilateral relationship.
"It is not just about an FTA [free trade agreement] or cultural links. There is a lot of work to do on areas such as terrorism and achieve a congruence of views on core issues,” he said.
This was followed by another high-profile launch event hosted by the British Council in New Delhi in early July. It was preceded by a visit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who received a special copy of the book from its many contributors.
“There are many people who are sceptical about this relationship. Many Indians say the UK-India special relationship is a thing of the past, but the Prime Minister, who we presented a copy of the book, said he regards it as the relationship of the future,” said Ladwa.
The book has four key themes: