London, Aug 14 (IANS) British Prime Minister David Cameron congratulated India on its 67th Independence Day and praised "vibrancy of its democracy, the strength of its diversity and the power of its economy."
In an exclusive article published by Asian Lite newspaper here, Cameron said he wants to strengthen the relationship between the "world's oldest democracy and its largest."
"Our two nations have a special relationship: a long standing one between the world's oldest democracy and its largest," Cameron said. "Ours is not a friendship based just on diplomacy and protocol, but one nurtured through shared culture and experience. And as we look to the future, I want those bonds to be strengthened further still. In the tough world of today we face many daunting challenges but together we are far better to overcome them. For all we have achieved already, the best is yet to come."
The Conservative Party leader, who led the largest business delegation ever visited to India, said he is proud of Britain's close bond with India.
"I am proud of Britain's close bond with India - and I'm delighted to have this opportunity to mark Independence Day," Cameron wrote. "When I visited India earlier this year a number of things struck me: the vibrancy of its democracy, the strength of its diversity and the power of its economy. It was a trip full of memories that I will treasure forever: playing cricket in the famous Maidan in Mumbai, visiting the Golden Temple in Amritsar and - of course - meeting Bollywood hero Aamir Khan in Delhi. Above all, the trip taught me this: sixty six years on from India's independence, the relationship between our two countries has never been stronger."
He noted the contribution of Indian businesses to UK economy. "Great Indian firms like Tata Group have a huge presence in this country, while household British names like Vodafone, JCB and Serco all do business in the other direction," the prime minister wrote.. "The overall figures are also impressive. Britain is now the largest European investor in India - and Indian investment in Britain is more than half the total flowing into the whole of the European Union."
Cameron also praised the Indian community in Britain. Cameron is the first British prime minister who opened No 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the British prime minister, for Diwali celebrations.
"The British Indian community have enriched this country beyond measure," the prime minister said. "That's true from sport to the arts - from philanthropy to commerce. Aspiration, personal responsibility and respect for the rule of law are fundamental values in our country, and they run through British Indians like a stick of rock."
The Indian High Commission in London is organising an event at the Indian Gymkhana Club to celebrate Independence Day.