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World News

Indian PM visit: Trade is "overriding" human rights, says Christian campaigner

by Hannah Tooley

Ram Gidoomal from South Asian Concern was speaking as the Indian Prime Minister arrived in Britain on his first ever official visit.

* Population: 1,214,464,312 

* Hindu: 74.33% of the population

* Muslim: 14.20% of the population

* Christian: 5.84% of the population

* Most popular denominations: Independents & Protestant  

The leader of the world's biggest democracy, Narendra Modi will be meeting with David Cameron and agreeing on trade deals.

Mr Gidoomal, told Premier's News Hour that Britain has chosen money over lives: "Sadly finance and economics - as we saw recently with the Chinese premier no less - this theme follows again, and what we have here is a situation where trade, the economy and money is overriding the underlying issue of morality and basic human rights."

On Thursday 200 writers, including Ian McEwan, sent an open letter to David Cameron saying that there is a rising climate of fear in India under his leadership.

Jonathan Brady/PA

Ram Gidoomal told Premier that these trade deals will not mean anything unless human rights are improved alongside.

"What is the point of winning trade deals if in the country when you've done your trade deal violence erupts to such a level that you lose everything - is it worth it? And that's what we have to decide," he said

Mr Modi is head of the right-wing, predominantly-Hindu, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

He is due to speak at Wembley Stadium in London on Friday and around 60,000, mostly British Indians, are expected at the rally.

India became independent from the British Empire in 1947.

Jonathan Brady/PA

Listen to Premier's Antony Bushfield speak to Ram Gidoomal here:

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