London: India-born advertising and marketing honcho Manish Tiwari has been bestowed with the prestigious ‘Freedom of the City of London’ title at the Chamberlains Court at Guildhall in recognition of his outstanding achievements.
Tiwari is the founder and chairman of Here and Now 365, an advertising and marketing agency that works with diaspora communities across the UK and Europe.
“I’m honoured to be granted the Freedom of the City of London… at the Guildhall. Thrilled to be sharing this legacy with historical figures and dignitaries — Mr (Winston) Churchill, Mrs (Margaret) Thatcher, and Mr (Jawaharlal) Nehru, contemporary statesmen like Mr John Kerry and modern legends such as Harry Kane,” Tiwari wrote in a LinkedIn post.
Touted as ‘one of the oldest surviving traditional ceremonies still in existence today’, the tradition of conferring the title is believed to have started in 1237, according to a statement.
Freedom ceremonies take place in the Chamberlain’s Court at Guildhall and are usually conducted by the Clerk of the Court or his Assistant.
Tiwari was invited to read the ‘Declaration of a Freeman’ and signed the Freeman’s Declaration Book.
He was presented the Copy of the Freedom — a parchment document with the name of the recipient along with a copy of the ‘Rules for the Conduct of Life’ which date from the mid-18th century.
“The City of London is where I got my very first clients from and I’m honoured to be a part of this glorious tradition,” Tiwari’s LinkedIn post read.
Armed with a degree in Engineering, Tiwari went to an advertising school in Ahmedabad before joining the Mumbai theatre circuit.
“What made my day was seeing a copy of Jawaharlal Nehru’s signature on the roll as an Honorary Freeman within their archives,” Tiwari added.
The term ‘Freeman’ means someone who was not the property of a feudal lord but enjoyed privileges such as the right to earn money and own land, according to a UK government website.
Town dwellers who were protected by the charter of their town or city were often free — hence the term ‘Freedom’ of the City.
“To date, all liverymen are required to be freemen of the city, and crucially it’s these liverymen who elect the Lord Mayor and the Sheriffs of the Corporation of London,” Tiwari said in his post.
Before 1996, the Freedom was only open to British or Commonwealth Citizens, but now it has been extended globally, admitting persons of any nationality either via nomination or by being presented by a Livery Company.
The legacy is shared by historical figures such as Queen Elizabeth II, Florence Nightingale, and legends like Stephen Hawking, Nelson Mandela and actor Morgan Freeman.