London hosts “India Now” for better ties with India


New Delhi : London is hosting a three-month long celebration of Indian art, cinema, cuisine, fashion and culture.

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The celebration, titled "India Now", which began July 1, is being organised by the Mayor of London's office.

"London wants to retrace its relation with India," Mark Prescott of "India Now" told IANS on telephone from Mumbai. "India is a country rich in culture and also has a growing economy. We want to show how serious we are about our relationship with India."

"We have 1,500 events during the three-month celebrations where we aim to reflect the contemporary Indian culture to update the perceptions of Londoners about India. We hope events like this will increase our collaborations with the companies, students and the education and tourism sectors."

Several events are lined during the celebrations like the release of Shah Rukh Khan starrer "Chak De India", building a floating Taj Mahal on Thames and a fashion show by the widely followed designer Manish Arora.

Londoners will also get a taste of Indian art, contemporary fusion music and savour Indian delicacies.

"India Now" has selected several cultural ambassadors from varied fields for the event such as Rahul Dravid from sports, Manish Arora from fashion, the renowned chef Atul Kochhar, music band MIDIval PunditZ and artist Bijon Das Gupta.

Upen Patel, the London born Bollywood actor, has also been selected as an ambassador as Prescott feels he "represents the mindset of several people from London who aspire for a film career in India".