Former British Prime Minister and a conservative, David Cameron released his memoir today and has enough to say about India and former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Cameron is known to be one of the most pro-Indian Prime Ministers Britain has had. He visited India thrice as the serving PM of Britain during the period of 2010 to 2016.
Cameron in his book is quoted saying, “I got on well with prime minister Manmohan Singh. He was a saintly man, but he was robust on the threats India faced. On a later visit he told me that another terrorist attack like that in Mumbai in July 2011 and India would have to take military action against Pakistan”.
On the UK-India relationship, his words are, “When it came to India, I argued that we needed a modern partnership – not one tinged with colonial guilt, but alive to the possibilities of the world’s oldest democracy and the world’s largest democracy”.
Cameron wanted the India-UK relationship to be devoid of any interference based on the history of both countries, India as the colonized state and the UK our colonizer. His will to build a special and strong relationship with India won him the votes of the huge Indian diaspora community of Britain.
David Cameron was still running the British government when the UK globally condemned the current Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s led government in the context of the Gujarat riots in 2012. Though, in 2015 he welcomed Modi to Wembley Stadium, the largest gathering of the Indian diaspora in Britain.
In 2013, David Cameron became the first British Prime Minister to visit the historic symbol of the British colonization regime in India, the Jallianwalla Bagh massacre. He also gave an apology statement and recalled the event massacre as ‘a deeply shameful event in British history’.
In his book, Cameron has talked about how proud he is of the Indian community now part of the UK. He said, “Many of Britain’s most successful business leaders and cultural figures are from the Indian diaspora community and would be our greatest weapons in that endeavour. I was proud to have many of them, like Priti Patel, Shailesh Vara, Alok Shama (sic) and Paul Uppal, on the Conservative benches in the House of Commons”.
Cameron stepped down as the Prime Minister in 2016 following the referendum vote to leave the European Union (EU). His memoir comes in the current times of heightened communal conflicts inside India but stronger relationships with the nations in the world.