London: Former British premier David Cameron released his memoirs on Thursday, in which he speaks of getting on well with "saintly" former Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh, who even confided in him about the prospect of military action against Pakistan in case of another Mumbai-like terrorist attack.
'For The Record' is a chronicle of 52-year-old Cameron's personal as well as professional life, specifically covering the period between 2010 and 2016 when he was in charge at Downing Street and had close dealings with both Singh as well Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"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 (2008) in Mumbai in July 2011, and India would have to take military action against Pakistan," notes Cameron, as he recalls one of his many visits to India during his time in office.
"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. Many of Britain's most successful business leaders and cultural figures are from the Indian diaspora community and would be our greatest weapons in the endeavor," he adds.
As part of a considerable focus on the India-UK relationship in his memoirs, the 52-year-old former Conservative Party politician is all praise for the two Indian leaders and relives hugging Modi on stage during his address at Wembley Stadium in November 2015.
He recalls: "Hot on [Chinese President] Xi's heels came the new Indian PM, Narendra Modi. There were several 'moments' including the largest ever gathering of the Indian diaspora in the UK at Wembley Stadium.
"Before introducing Modi, I told the 60,000-strong crowd that I envisaged a British Indian entering No 10 Downing Street as PM one day. The roar of approval was incredible.
And as Modi and I hugged on stage I hoped that this small gesture would be a signal of the open armed eagerness with which Britain approached the world."
On a more personal note, Cameron speaks fondly of travelling around Delhi in a tuk tuk and walking through the slums of Mumbai in the pouring rain to visit a community project.
By Aditi Khanna