I attended the Oxford Mela on Saturday and find I am still reflecting on what a wonderful occasion it was: so colourful, so full of joy and so many people from different communities. What a brilliant way to celebrate how much we all have in common.
In the run up to the EU referendum, I am struck by how little narrative there still appears to be on all the positive examples of how our communities are already growing so much stronger through friendship and understanding.
Many local figures like Andrew Smith MP commented on the election of our new Lord Mayor of Oxford, LibDem Councillor Altaf-Khan, who was also enjoying the Mela celebration, characterising it as "such a great show of the tolerance we extend to all in our communities, and how diversity brings strength".
Mr Virendra Sharma MP, also used the occasion to promote the need for building a global community.
Well done to the Oxford Hindu Temple Community Centre Project, not just for another great Mela, but for everything you are doing to promote community, diversity and togetherness.
I stand here after 10 years of my services as a city councillor. I deeply humbled and honoured for giving me this opportunity to be the lord mayor of our great city, Oxford. In line with our golden traditions, I will serve my position, my people, my city above all prejudices. Lets build our city, one nation, one Great Britain.