Narendra Modi
Prime Minister David Cameron addresses a welcome rally for India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Wembley Stadium AFP/Getty

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was given a rock star welcome to the UK at a rally at Wembley Arena, in an "Olympic-style" ceremony celebrating the best of the two nations' cultures, and the largest ever reception staged in Britain for a foreign leader.

Modi arrived in the UK for his three-day visit on Thursday (12 November).The first Indian prime minister to visit the UK in nearly a decade, his trip included an audience with the Queen at Buckingham Palace and a stay at Chequers, hosted by David and Samantha Cameron.

Narendra Modi
Crowds of British Asians gathered in celebratory mood ahead of the Modi rally AFP/Getty

The culmination of his trip was marked by a reception at Wembley Arena as 60,000 supporters turned out for a spectacle of dance, music and culture.

While Samantha Cameron looked elegant in a sari, David Cameron showed off his Hindi greeting the crowd with a traditional welcome. Palms folded he said: " Namaste Wembley...we want them to hear you all the way in Mumbai."

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India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi (R) walks with British Prime Minister David Cameron (C) and his wife Samantha (L) in a backstage area at Wembley Stadium in London on November 13, 2015 ahead of a welcome rally for Modi AFP/Getty

Praising Modi and the close relationship between the two nations, the PM called for a permanent seat for India at the UN security council. He also said he could forsee a day when the UK would be led by a British Asian PM. Breaking into Hindi again, to the delight of the crowd he adopted Modi's election slogan 'Acche din aayenge" meaning "Good days are coming".

David Cameron
British PM David Cameron greets the 60,000 strong crowd with palms folded as he says 'Namaste' AFP/Getty

Modi then took to the stage to the sound of his name being chanted and the flashing lights from thousands of camera phones. Addressing the crowd in Hindi he described his plans to develop India into an economic superpower. He won cheers from the crowd as he pledged to make India "a country on the same level as any other". He said: "We don't just want charity from others. What we are looking for is equality."

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Narendra Modi and David Cameron hug as they celebrate ties between Indian and the UK AFP/Getty

He also pledged to turn India into "a solar energy country". He told the crowd: "India can take the lead in this regard. If the sun is so kind to us, then we can take the rest of the world along with us in this direction." To mark the 150<sup>th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's birth in 2019 he had two goals, he said: to deliver a country "clean" from corruption and with 24-hour electricity.

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The event featured traditional dance and performances from singers Kanika Kapoor and Jay Sean AFP/Getty

The lavish event featured perfomances from singers Jay Sean and Kanika Kapoor and displays of traditional dance and art, combining the colours of the British and Indian flags, symbolically fusing the two cultures and countries together. The event culminated in a dramatic firework display lighting up Wembley.

The British PM has been eager to forge closer trade partnerships between Britain and India, which is recognised as one of the world's fastest growing economies. Modi's visit has already yielded a £9 billion trade deal with India, however, while Wembley was in celebratory mood, his arrival in the UK also sparked widespread protests.

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Narendra Modi received a rock star welcome at Wembley Arena AFP/Getty

The Hindu Nationalist leader was barred from Britain for a decade until 2012, following riots in Gujarat in which 2,000 Muslims died. Modi was chief minister of Gujarat at the time and has been accused of failing to stop the riots. Nor did he express regret at the loss of life.

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Following Modi's address the crowd were treated to one of the UKs largest ever firework displays AFP/Getty

He also faces allegations of wider human rights abuses and restrictions of free speech after he banned the broadcast of a documentary highlighting India's atrocious record of sex crimes. India's Daughter followed the story of "Nirbhaya", a 23-year-old who was gang raped and murdered in New Delhi in December 2012.

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Queen Elizabeth II meets Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Buckingham Palace on the second day of his visit to the UK on November 13, 2015 AFP/Getty

The film's director Leslee Udwin was at the forefront of the protests, calling on the Indian government to overturn the ban on her documentary about the gang rape that shocked the world.

The Awaaz Network and representatives from the Sikh Lives Matter campaign were also among the protestors, who converged outside Downing Street to call on Prime Minister David Cameron to question human rights abuses under Modi's leadership.