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Labour + Indians = ?
It is 45 years since the then Labour Government passed the Commonwealth Immigrants Act of 1968 to control the flow of East African Asians. Such was the haste to keep the Kenyan Asians out; they actually passed it in 3 days. It was also Labour that introduced the term ‘patrial’ in the Act for the first time? This in effect distinguished people who had ancestry in the UK with those who did not – in effect the Act was designed to keep non-white people out of the UK. Of course we cannot forget that whilst the Labour Party presented it, it was passed with support from the Tories also, though to his credit the young Michael Heseltine did oppose it at the time.
Why do I raise this issue? Mainly because all too often the Indian community tends to assume that Labour is pro-immigration and pro-Asian. However the evidence suggests that we do need to temper that view in light of what they actually do. For example did you know that in 1972 it was the Labour Council in Leicester that took out national adverts literally telling Ugandan Asians NOT to come to Leicester? What does this tell you about the Indian population in Leicester and their voting record over the past 45 years?
Of course we do have some more recent examples of the Labour Party seemingly saying one thing to our community, but doing something rather different in practice. For example I am sure readers will remember that it was under the watch of the then Labour Government that the UK imposed a highly unethical and unwarranted visa ban on a duly democratically elected Chief Minister of Gujarat – Shri Narendrabhai Modi. Many believe that might have been part of their plan to appease the Muslim community to secure block votes. However in taking such a stance against CM Narendrabhai Modi the Labour Party showed total disrespect to our community, and of course to the very basic principle of British justice. Since David Cameron came to power the Tory Party has at least made an effort to engage with Gujarat and Narendrabhai directly, and to my knowledge has also indicated that they would like him to visit our shores. On the other hand the Labour Party has still to declare their position on this important matter. I have personally asked Ed Miliband on several occasions to clarify his position – to date no response. So what does that tell you about our politicians who want our votes, but don’t show sufficient respect to our communities once they get those votes?
Even more recent is the disgraceful attempt by Labour and their cronies to try and amend the Equalities Act to include ‘caste’ as a form of discrimination. The Tory Party to their credit have opposed this absurd change given there is no verifiable independent evidence that shows that such a provision needs to be included in the Act at present. For once some of our Hindu organisations came together to fight this ridiculous proposal that came via Labour peers. I also read the comment (in AV of last week) by London Assembly Member Cllr Navin Shah (Labour) – unfortunately he forgot to mention that it was in fact his Labour Party that created the problem for the Hindus in the first place, and it was Labour that was spearheading the campaign both in the Lords and in the Commons. In fact just to make the point clear – 115 Tory peers voted against the amendment compared with 161 Labour peers who voted for the amendment. I would say to Navinbhai – it seems either you are betraying your community and Dharma, or your own Labour Party has betrayed you and your Dharma, can you enlighten us as to which it is and what you intend to do now?
There is a lesson in there for us to learn – that is if we as a community are bright enough to learn it. Don’t you think that when any politician or any political party play games with our community, that they should be made to pay for it dearly? It seems on this issue the Tory Party has shown a remarkable level of unity in their support for Hindus. It will be interesting to see how this plays out over time. The question we must ask is why did Labour go out of their way to create such a difficult position for the Hindu community in the first place? Surely the least we should expect from a party that has had the overwhelming support of our community for decades, is for them to protect our interest and the integrity of our Dharma? What were the Indians/Hindus affiliated with Labour doing? Have they sold their souls to politics to such an extent that even when their Dharma is under siege, they choose to turn a blind eye on the hope they get rewarded with a safe seat or an honour?
I also ask those multi-millionaires who so proudly give large donations to these political parties – what is it that you get back in return? If this had happened to the Jewish community all hell would have broken loose. Their power brokers would have made politicians pay for their contempt; a lesson once taught that would resonate with politicians for years to come. Instead the Indian, and in particular the Hindu community, show that they still remain slaves of the imperial master of yesteryears.
So what does all this mean for you? Simple, you hold the power to some 20 plus seats in the UK. If we as a community can get our act together, then we do have the power to affect change. Are we ready for this? Or are we going to remain divided and be ruled as third class citizens? The choice is yours to make.