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Bhavan’s annual Diwali gala was a celebration of Indian heritage and culture, bringing alive the richness of Indian art forms

Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan has been an institution – carrying forward the rich legacy of Indian art, craft and culture in London. Thereby, it comes as no surprise that their annual Diwali fundraising dinner saw the Indian diaspora come together under one roof to celebrate India’s rich heritage.

Setting the tone of the evening marketing manager of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Patrick Holden said: “Though Bhavan is just 40 years old, in reality it has a legacy which is more than 2,000 years old – through its endeavour to promote Indian art and culture in the UK.”

The event which also marked the first public appearance of the newly appointed High Commissioner of India to the UK, HE Mrs Ruchi Ghanashyam, saw a myriad of performances from Bhavan’s students.

Speaking at the event, Bhavan’s executive director Dr N M Nandakumara said: “Every form of material wealth can be taken from you, but knowledge is the highest form of wealth one can attain, which can never be stolen. Art and knowledge are the highest forms of intellect, which is why the role of Bhavans is so important in spreading Indian values.”

Also, present at the event was Lord Paul who regaled the audience with his witty speech. Acknowledging HE Mrs Ghanashyam for being the second woman High Commissioner of India to the UK, he shared how he told the first ever High Commissioner of India to the UK Vijay Lakshmi Pandit on how she should have allowed more Indians to come to the UK. And if there were more of us now we could have taken over the country.

Reflecting on the ongoing Brexit fiasco, he said: “While we all shoot ourselves in the foot, Brexit is the fine art of shooting oneself in the head.”