Queen to visit hotspots on tour of subcontinent
Tuesday 07 October 1997
Next Thursday, for example, the Queen will drop in on a film set in Madras (now known as Chennai) and spend half an hour watching a Tamil language film being made.
This imaginative fixture was the idea of the film's director, Kamal Hasan, southern India's biggest film star, with 170 films to his credit. He thought the Queen might be interested in his ambitious new film, Marudanaayagam, because it concerns the adventures of an 18th century Indian rebel who fought against Robert Clive and the British, gained an understanding of their perfidious ways, dreamed of a free, united India, and perished at theend of a rope. Astonishingly, she was.
Or perhaps it is not so astonishing: there is a politically correct slant to a number of the stops on the tour, and honour will be paid to Mohamed Ali Jinnah (in Pakistan) and to Gandhi (inIndia, twice), both deep-dyed enemies of the Empire.
In India, all the interest in the royal visit has focused on the Queen's solo trip to Amritsar next Tuesday. Hers will be the first visit by a modern-day head of state to the Golden Temple, Sikhism's sanctum sanctorum, which may be the reason that she will be permitted to keep her stockings on.
The Golden Temple was the site of a bloody siege in 1984, the consequences of which included the murder of the prime minister, Indira Gandhi, by her Sikh bodyguards and the massacre of innocent Sikhs in Delhi. The temple and what happened there arestill hot issues in India, and in August the present Indian prime minister, Inder Kumar Gujral, advised the Queen to skip the place. However, the visit isgoing ahead.
While in Amritsar she will also visit JallianwallahBagh, the park where troops under British command massacred some 400demonstrators in 1919. Here, too, she will present a wreath, but is not expected to utter an apology, despite the many raucous demands that she doso.
Nor is she expected to bring the Ko-i-noor diamond in her handbag andgive it back. Not only is it firmly ensconced in the British crown jewels,but Mr Gujral, in another helpful intervention, intimated that India did notneed it.
- 1 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 3 Israel-Gaza conflict: The myth of Hamas’s human shields
- 5 Dutch paedophile club to fight their ban at the European Court of Human Rights
Lana Del Rey: 'I have slept with a lot of guys in the industry'
Peaches Geldof cause of death: 'Heroin addict' socialite had taken fatal dose of drug, inquest concludes
Peaches Geldof inquest: Tragic final moments of socialite's life reveal she lied to husband about failed heroin tests
Israel-Gaza conflict: The myth of Hamas’s human shields
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Was a Russian-made missile really parked in this quiet square?
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
£49000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...
£48000 - £54000 per annum + Benefits package: Progressive Recruitment: My clie...
£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: If you're pa...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Business...