HINDUS at a Hampshire temple are celebrating the recent election of the new Indian prime minister with an evening of talks and dances today.
Children from the Vedic Society Hindu Temple in Southampton will be performing Indian dances and songs after Narendra Modi was elected as prime minister of the world’s largest democracy.
For the Hindu community in Hampshire, the recent landslide victory for Mr Modi over the National Congress Party which has been in power for decades is cause for celebration.
The Bharatiya Janata Party leader, who has been chief minister of the western state of Gujarat since 2001, is regarded as a dynamic and efficient politician who has helped to make his state an economic powerhouse.
But the nationalist figure is also accused of doing little to stop riots in 2002 when more than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed – allegations he has consistently denied.
General elections in May saw Mr Modi win a landslide victory in the Indian parliament.
Secretary of the temple in Radcliffe Road, Dhurjati Shukla said: “We feel that even in India, although the majority are a Hindu population that their voices aren’t heard.
“We hadn’t seen any changes over the years.
“Narendra Modi is someone who has dedicated his life to India so people have got this expectation that will bring in some changes which will be beneficial to all.
“We want to educate people on India’s history and how we can rebuild it.”
Called Bhaarat Swaabhiman – meaning “to the proud of India” – the evening will begin at 5pm with children from the Vedic Balvikas performing a short ceremony.
Co-organiser Dr Mamta Misra will talk about India’s recent past and where it can go in the future before her husband, Dhirendra, will recite poems about the life of Narendra Modi.
Central Indian cuisine will be served afterwards.
The lectures will be in Hindi or Gujarati but all are welcome to attend.