The CEO Prem Jolly of Premia Wines (http://www.premiawines.com) had invited CB Patel, myself and a number of interesting persons to the 3rd Asian Cricket Awards that took place on 23rd September at the legendary Oval Cricket Grounds in London. Frankly I was not sure what to expect but as I entered the stadium and saw the level of planning and spread that had been put together, it became clear that these awards whilst only in their 3rd year, were destined to grow in the years to come.
I had not been to any reception at the Oval before so I was pleasantly surprised that on the 4th floor they have a fantastic terrace that was used for guest reception. The atmosphere was welcoming and of course drinks (courtesy of Premia Wines) and canapés flowed to keep the networking on target. The renowned sports journalist Mihir Bose bumped into me and whilst the chat began, CB Patel arrived with the inevitable nodes from many on the terrace of having recognised the editor-in-chief of Asian Voice. We were joined by Bob Blackman MP, Vin Vara the President of BIRA (British Independent Retailers Association) and Satish Sharma Sec Gen of the NCHT. Of course the event was attended by too many well-known personalities to list them all here.
CB Patel the editor-in-chief of Asian Voice joined Vin Vara the President of BIRA (British Independent Retailers Association) and Satish Sharma Sec Gen of the NCHT.
A bit of background. The Asian Cricket Awards is owned (Baljit Rihal and Jas Jassal) and operated by Inventive Sports. Jas on the ACA 2016, “The Asian Cricket Awards is the ideal platform to recognise and celebrate South Asian success in cricket. There are role models all over the UK with inspirational stories, from those who volunteer, to those who have made cricket their full-time career.”
Jas Jassal and Baljit Rihal – Brains behind the ACA Awards
Moving on, as the sun was setting we were led to the banqueting hall which was beautifully set up as you would expect for a function of this calibre. By the time we were seated dinner was served and let us say, everyone tucked in whilst the conversations carried on to the next level.
Suddenly the compere for the evening, Tommy Sandhu (Breakfast bloke on the BBC Asian Network, TV guy on The Travel Show and BBC1 with Sunday Morning Live) exploded on stage. He grabbed everyone’s attention with his unique style of presentation and wit. The pace was fast and yes it was even furious at times. Those in attendance will know exactly what I mean.
Over the next hour we saw the young talent coming on stage to collect their awards. Below the full list in recognition of their achievements and all our congratulations:
BEHIND THE SCENES AWARD: Winner: Amna Rafiq (Leicestershire CCC)
GRASSROOTS AWARD: Winner: Shahidul Alam Ratan (Director of Cricket at Capital Kids, London Tigers CC)
AMATEUR COACH AWARD: Winner: Shaz Khan (Oxfordshire CCC, Shrivenham CC)
CLUB CRICKET CONFERENCE INSPIRATION AWARD: Winner: Maryam Ali (community cricket coach in Yorkshire)
MEDIA AWARD: Winner: Vithushan Ehantharajah (freelance cricket writer)
POSTHUMOUS AWARD: Winner: Hamza Shabbir (Hampshire CCC, Downend CC)
PROFESSIONAL YOUNG PLAYER AWARD: Winner: Haseeb Hameed (Lancashire CCC)
WOMAN IN CRICKET AWARD: Joint winners: Nalisha Patel (Lancashire Thunder) and Shabnim Ismail (Yorkshire Diamonds)
FOUNDERS SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD: Kumar Sangakkara (former Sri Lanka captain)
PROFESSIONAL COACH AWARD: Winner: Cookie Patel (Regional Training Manager, ECB)
ASIAN CRICKET CLUB AWARD: Winner: Indian Gymkhana CC (West London)
PROFESSIONAL PLAYER AWARD: Winner: Adil Rashid (Yorkshire CCC and England)
Teenage Lancashire batsman Haseeb Hameed capped a memorable month by picking up the Young Player award. Hameed, 19, was last week called up to the England Test squad for the upcoming tour of Bangladesh. If he plays, he will become the youngest player to represent the country since Brian Close turned out against New Zealand at Old Trafford in 1949.
Winner Nalisha Patel (Lancashire Thunder) collecting award from Prem Jolly CEO Premia Wines and Bob Blackman MP.
Baljit Rihal of Inventive Sports said, “2016 has been a tremendous year for Asians in cricket, and one I believe marks a significant chapter in the progression towards greater inclusion and diversity in this country”.
The evening passed by quickly and it was time for carriages. All in all, everyone had a pleasant evening. Those who were shortlisted and those who won the awards received well-earned recognition and applause. I am sure all our youngsters will be practicing hard over the winter break so they are ready for the 2017 season. I for one can’t wait for ACA2017 and I am certain the depth of talent will bring richness to British sports. So I end by saying, well done and my heartiest congratulations to each and every winner.
23rd June will go down in British history as the day it got back its independence, and as they say, got its mojo back. I have been lucky enough to be at the centre of all of this from all sides of the political fraternity. I also witnessed the role of the media and the so called ‘economic gurus’ in wanting to highjack the Brexit referendum and dumb down the British voters. We witnessed scaremongering from all sides, much of it unreal, unsubstantiated and certainly in some cases, downright ugly attempts to lie and mislead the voters.
On Friday I was in and around the media entourage from all corners of the world that had gathered outside Westminster. What hit me was the ignorance of the media when it came to British politics, European politics and the sentiments of the British public. In almost all cases the media and their anchors regurgitated the standard tripe that had been doing the rounds for the past few months. There was no attempt to understand the British public and where they were coming from. In fact, the more I observed and listened, it became clear the vast majority of national and international media were trapped in what is known as the Westminster bubble. And that was it. They had no idea what the real British public thought and felt around the country, and therein we find the answer to why these elite of modern society got it so very wrong.
Having damned the media for their lack of understanding, and in some cases their sheer incompetence, let me share with you some perspectives that many will not even dare to tackle.
Myth Number One:
This was a left wing, right wing battle. Nothing can be further from the truth. It’s a classic template employed by devious politicians and shoddy journalists who are sometimes motivated by the liberal left wing narrative of wanting to call everyone racist who dare to challenge the status quo. The truth is of course very different. The ‘leavers’ won because they garnered support from those on the right, the centre and interestingly a sizeable proportion from the left. In fact, who would have predicted that left wing Labour supporting areas such as Luton, Birmingham and Sunderland would end up voting for the leave camp? So let us put this myth to bed and call out anyone who peddles such tripe.
Myth Number Two:
The British don’t like Immigrants. Nothing can be further from the truth. The Britain of 2016 is totally different to the Britain I found when I arrived as a child in 1968. It has moved on, it has become open, more equal, very welcoming, very tolerant and empathetic of the plight of others around the world. If you want to experience racism and inequality on a grand scale, then I would suggest you go and live in some of the other European countries. You will soon realise the contempt with which many of them see Indians or any other non-white immigrant.
So what part did immigration play in the BREXIT vote you might ask? Well the answer is that it was quite central. Yes, you read that correctly, it was quite central but not necessarily for the reasons peddled by politicians and lazy journalists. Let me explain. Controlled immigration is always a sign of good governance and management for any country. It allows for that influx of new blood, new ideas and new enthusiasm to enter the country and keep the churn momentum moving forward. However, if you lose control of your borders, lose control over numbers and allow mass immigration to take place over a relatively short period of time – you invariably put unsustainable pressure on every aspect of the life of a country. In effect you introduce stress to the very fabric of society and the glue that keeps it together begins to malfunction. This started happening to the UK under the era of PM Blair who said one thing to the British public, but in effect opened up all borders for mass EU migration into the UK. And here we are talking millions, not just a few thousand. The British public endeavoured to absorb and integrate with these massive changes to their towns, cities, neighbourhoods, schools, health service to name but a few. When such uncontrolled immigration impacts locals on a daily basis, they have a right to feel less valued by the elite who living in their ivory towers have the luxury to pontificate, but stay exempt from its impact. This undercurrent of disaffection and disassociation with the ruling classes had been brewing for years and when finally, the people were given a choice, they made their views known with unmistaken precision. This does not make them racists, or right wing or xenophobic. It makes them realists and human.
I have to commend the Rt Hon Priti Patel MP, one of the brightest stars of the Conservative Party and lest we forget, also a person from a family of migrants. She called the referendum correctly long before many others and led the ‘leavers’ campaign well with her colleagues. She also showed that as an MP from the ethnic minorities, she has a unique special touch with the grassroots. She understands the pulse of the nation and also the pulse of her own community. In the end, she was proven right and let us be clear, the ‘leavers’ won because many ‘immigrants’ already in the UK voted to leave the EU.
The myths will continue and suffice to say I might need to write a book to cover all of them. So let’s take in a few other emerging issues of interest.
The so called experts, yes the same tribe of elite intellectuals who missed the global crash of 2008, are painting a scenario of total destruction of the UK in a matter of months. Nothing can be further from the truth. The UK is the best performing economy in the whole of the EU. It’s not because of the EU it’s doing well, it’s because it is confident in its own capacity as an economic power as well as targeting quality emerging markets with whom it can enhance trade relations. For example, when PM Modi came to the UK he made it abundantly clear that India and UK are a power relationship that will not only thrive, but will expand dramatically over the coming years. With the lead from India, the rest of the Commonwealth will follow and the UK will have the EU shackles removed so it can move fast into new emerging arenas of mutual benefit. Within 24 hours of the vote, America, Canada and even Germany came out quickly to publically state that they look forward to smooth and good trading relations with the UK and would wish to move to that new paradigm as quickly as possible. Just wait and see, many other countries will follow suit over the coming months. The only thing we have to appreciate is that no country in the EU will undermine the UK since the impact to its own economy will be even greater. The EU needs the UK market more, especially given the Eurozone disasters taking place almost on a yearly basis. So is everything going to be rosy from day one? Of course not. However, like any significant change, it requires a period of consolidation during which imbalances within systems and structures need to settle down. In time, equilibrium to UK’s satisfaction will return and those same self-appointed merchants of doom will have to eat their words, again.
The EU experiment is in effect dead. The unelected bureaucrats destroyed the common sense approach of the original idea of a ‘common market’. Their vision of the United States of Europe is being rejected by the people of many of the countries that make up the EU. For example, if you were to give the people of these countries a similar referendum vote on whether they want to stay in or out of the EU, well you’ll be surprised with the results. Below I share with you what the current view is of the people in some of these countries.
So let me throw this challenge out to every leader in every country of the EU, if you are confident of the EU project, then why don’t you give your citizens the same right to a referendum as did the UK? The truth is the leaders have known for a while that what they are forcing on their populations is unwanted, and now they are desperate to avoid any further referendums. They know if they gave the people the choice, then many more countries would walk out of this disaster called the EU project.
What the UK has done is a massive favour to the whole of Europe. It will force the unelected bureaucrats to introspect and make changes to accommodate the demands of their own populations. Will they do enough to avoid the domino effect? My view is that they are so far out of touch with their own citizens, that even though they have been gifted this huge opportunity to remedy the situation, they will lose it and only delay the inevitable.
In the end, democracy in the mother of democratic parliaments won the day. PM Cameron has been a good leader of the country but on the EU he made an error of judgement. The error was basic, but in the end proved to be very costly as well. The Prime Minister had stated that he will renegotiate a deal with the EU. He went on to say that if he thought the deal was insufficient then he would advise the UK to leave. His negotiations resulted in crumbs offered by Germany and France. Instead of supporting the leave campaign, he turned logic on its end and said, remain was the way forward. From that point onwards everything he said became worthless since you cannot say before a General Election opting out of the EU was manageable, and then suddenly change that to ‘it’s going to be a disaster if we leave’, scenario. The voters saw through that, he lost and the inevitability of his resignation became a reality. Let me assure you, the Conservative Party will get its act together and the new front bench will put into action the will of the people. To do anything else will impact them significantly in GE202. Come October 2016, get ready for a very pro UK Government, full of confidence and energy, one that will enact Article 50 of the 2009 Lisbon Treaty, as well as begin a proactive strategy for international trade deals. This is now the perfect time for India and Indian companies to engage with the UK.
Whilst the self-appointed pundits do everything to undermine the UK, the UK under its new leadership will get on with governance and the British people will get on with life. I remember in 2014 when almost every media in India was predicting the destruction of India if the now PM Modi and the BJP got into power. 2 years on, India has become a giant on the global stage. It leads on the ground, on the sea and yes, even in space. The Indian public had enough of corrupt governance over decades. They made their choice even after the vilest media campaign against PM Modiji, and today the whole world has become India’s partner. I am confident that in time to come the UK will also rise to the challenge and be equally successful in everything it does. In both cases, the people booted out corrupt governance and we may well see this trend spreading to other countries very soon.
That leaves the question of the other political parties and their fate. Labour has gone into further meltdown. It will either split in two, with Jeremy Corbyn and the loony left on one side and the moderates who will either form their own interim party or might even think of joining up with the LibDems, on the other. No matter what they decide to do, the Labour Party as it stands is not fit to govern the nation. If it splits it won’t be in a position to govern. The ramifications of this are clear for all to see.
As far as UKIP is concerned, their leader Nigel Farage has stepped down. He probably does want his life back, but I suspect he has calculated that with Brexit on the cards and a Tory government putting that into action – the need for UKIP on the very right of British politics has gone. Therefore, once Brexit has legally started, I suspect many UKIP voters will conclude that they might as well now support the Tories in GE2020.
The lay of the political landscape is not all too clear. And even with a brilliant crystal ball, I know that there is every chance some of what I have said above might well change in the coming years. We are going through a phase when by the time one has finished writing a column, the ground realities could have changed. What I do know, politics the old way has been given a hammering and it will have to change. If it does not, the electorate have found their voice and they won’t be afraid to show their power at election time.
Follow me on Twitter: @kdudakia
I had a huge response to Kapil’s Khichadi of last, and overwhelmingly in support of the position I had presented with regard to the EU Referendum. Many of you however wanted to know my views on the London Mayoral elections, and as always, with me you get a straight answer. I will vote for Zac.
You also wanted me to put a bit of meat on my position on BREXIT. As a vegetarian I find that an interesting proposition! I shall however provide a glimpse of certain points that you should consider and these are set out below.
Setting the scene:
GE2015 has become a historical reference point for students of politics and social change. The Indian community ditched its long standing allegiance to the Labour Party with many either not voting for them, or crossing over to the Conservative Party. Whatever your reasons, we the community took a stand against the loony Labour left, and the Labour Party which appears increasingly to have become a mouthpiece for Pakistan.
Compare this with our Prime Minister who cleared his diary to ensure that when PM Modi visited the UK, due respect was afforded to the leader of the largest democracy in the world. Contrast this with how Labour Party and its leadership acted. Jeremy Corbyn and his stooges ignored PM Modi, even failing to turn up to events in Parliament to mark such a momentous event.
The above sets the tone for two major decisions facing the UK. One of electing the London Mayor and the other of opting in/out of the EU.
Let me give you some simple, but significant examples. India is the third largest investor in the UK. Yes, you read that correctly. For example, for every one Jaguar (made by Tata Motors in the UK) that is sold to the EU, they sell twelve around the world, of which six are sold within the Commonwealth. There is a clue there, the Commonwealth offers the largest market yet to be serviced properly by the UK. And the UK has a unique relationship which does give it an advantage compared with many global competitors.
The UK is a NET contributor to the EU amounting literally to billions. Therefore, we lose money every day we are part of it. I accept that sometimes it’s worth paying such a price if membership gives us something extraordinary, but the reality is they want our money and then they want to dictate to us. For example, only this week the French PM announced that if UK leaves the EU then there will be ramifications on border control at Calais. A threat from a member state and we thought they were our friends!
The debate will go to various extremes but the bottom line will always be very simple. Our UK borders and who controls them. Currently there are millions waiting to rush into the EU from the Middle East and North Africa. I despair for these people, but the root of their problems stems from their own dictatorial governments, their own community, their own culture, their tribal allegiances, and their own blindness to the madness of extremism which they have allowed to grow unchecked over decades in their own backyard.
Countries like Germany tend to make bold statements, ‘we can take in 1 million refugees’, but when the reality hits them and there is a backlash from their own citizens, they will try and pass their self-induced problem to everyone else in the EU. We see signs of this happening already. News emerging suggests that Turkey will be given billions to help stop the flow of refugees. The price, the EU will open its doors to Turkish citizens and to borderless travel. Yes, you are one step ahead of me and no doubt can see the utter madness that will result in total chaos.
Is the UK ready to take in potentially a million more refugees over the next few years? For your information that is similar to creating four brand new towns the size of Milton Keynes (and it has taken us 30 years to build Milton Keynes so it becomes sustainable from within).
The Labour Party under Tony Blair’s tenure opened doors to EU migration and many commentators now believe it was purely to increase the Labour voter base. Jeremy Corbyn wants to go even further threatening the very socio-cultural fabric of this country.
In my view Britain now needs to step change its relationship with the Commonwealth. PM Modi, the leader of the 21st Century, is with the UK in this regard. It’s time we engaged with the last remaining massive untapped markets of the Commonwealth. This time, we do so with a wish to ensure that all parties engaged in this process benefit equally. Gone are the days of exploitation, let us set the tone for a new paradigm that defines our relationship with these rapidly developing economies. And I am convinced India can become a natural leader with PM Modi central in this process. The EU is the past, it’s an important past, but it represents a stagnant past. India and the Commonwealth is the future, a dynamic future which has yet to be defined and fulfilled. Let’s free ourselves from the chains of the restrictive EU and harness the dynamism of these emerging Commonwealth giants. Don’t waste your vote, make it count, save London and save the UK.
Follow me on Twitter: @kdudakia
On Saturday the Prime Minister announced the date for the EU Referendum to be 23rd June 2016. This followed what can only be called one of the most demanding and exhaustive EU wide diplomatic campaign by any British PM ever. PM Cameron has proved to be a man of his word. He promised a referendum and that is exactly what we got. He promised a series of measures the EU would have to agree to before he would put his name to the ‘in’ campaign – and by any measure you have to conclude he has become the most successful British Prime Minster ever in negotiating such a dramatic deal with the EU.
So based on this one might well conclude that the ‘in’ campaign will sail through the referendum and win on the 23rd. However this omits to take into account the elephant in the room. Frankly speaking in my view it’s now become herd of elephants.
So what am I talking about?
The referendum will be won on the streets of Great Britain. It will be won by what the people think and believe in, it will have little relevance to what the politicians are saying. In fact I would doubt if even the business community can say anything that would make any sizeable impact.
Under any other circumstance the Prime Minister would have won this vote easily. However the biggest elephant in the room is the Middle Eastern and North African refugee crisis. People have seen for themselves what has happened in countries like Greece, Italy, France, Germany and even Sweden. Many of these countries were championing an EU wide open arms welcome to all the refugees. Some countries like Germany even stated that they would absorb a million refugees. This one-upmanship of EU leaders trying to outdo each another by showing how wonderful they were has now resulted in total chaos across Europe. The very people that came out in the streets of Germany to welcome the refugees are now abandoning Chancellor Merkel by the thousands on a daily basis. And this story is repeated time and again all across Europe.
Contrast this with Great Britain that basically pulled up the draw bridge and opted to filter compassion with pragmatism. This limited the numbers coming to Britain, and those who have been allowed to enter are the most needy and directly from the refugee camps in Syria and Iraq.
The Prime Minister has negotiated as good a deal as was possible with the EU. However I don’t believe this will register with the voters in the way it probably should. The mentality of mass hysteria will hit our streets and as the weeks go by and the weather gets better, we will witness another massive influx of refugees into Europe. The voters will put this right at the top of their agenda. This referendum has been high jacked by the refugee tsunami hitting the EU and increasingly one can see that it has the momentum to drown out all other arguments in this debate.
The most important decision by this country in over five decades will probably be based on people’s fears rather than rational thinking. It will be a miracle for the Prime Minister to win this vote even though he has personally delivered on his promise. If the vote is lost no doubt politicians from all sides will gun for him to go. It would be profoundly silly for the Tory party to fall into this trap. They know that the PM will step aside at the end of this Parliamentary term. If they want to win, and win big again they have to show discipline, loyalty and patience. In the end history will show the Prime Minister in much better light for not only did he deliver on the EU referendum pledge, but at the same time he has forged very strong links with the emerging giant economies of the east. In particular his focus on UK/India relations will prove to be the saviour for the country.
So where do I stand? I stand with the Prime Minster but, and this is important – I will still vote for BREXIT. In this regard I am with my friend Priti Patel. The bottom line, I cannot trust the EU to keep to their word and I suspect when the refugee crisis gets out of control, the UK will end up with little control over its borders. People on both sides of the equation are good and compassionate, so don’t let the megaphone politicians or the loony left media try and tell you otherwise. The people of Great Britain have shown their compassion time and again. We are one of the highest donors of aid anywhere in the world. That is aid by the Government, but also aid generated by people putting their hand in their own pockets. I suspect people will decide with a heavy heart to leave the EU. Border control will be the deciding issue and on that their compassion will focus on maintaining the very fabric of British society first.
The hype will continue with claim and counter claim. The more the politicians get involved, the greater the probability that BREXIT becomes a reality. My advice, wait till the last 7 days and you will see drama on a scale not seen hitherto. And watch out for what is happening over the channel, the EU will be embroiled in a nightmare of their own making, and that in the end might be the tipping point.
I commend the Prime Minister for trying so valiantly but I suspect in the end it might be just a touch short of the winning line.
Follow me on Twitter: @kdudakia
Whilst you and I, and a billion other people around the world rejoiced the historic visit of Prime Minister Shri Modiji to the UK, a more sinister and troubling underbelly of the Labour Party was exposed for all to see.
Readers will be aware that well before the general elections I had exposed Labour and its anti-Modi, anti-India and even anti-Hindu stance. At that time Jeremy Corbyn was an unknown, but I had shown to you that he was very much comfortable with the extremist in society. He was very friendly with the Pakistani mobs, the Pakistani Kashmiri Separatist and extremist organisations such as ‘Avaaz’.
Many of you heeded my observations and you took that monumental step not to vote for Labour. You made the right call and I trust you will see increasingly how right you were not to trust Labour.
So what has got me upset sufficiently that I have resurrected Kapil’s Khichadi? For me the matter has and will always be simple. If any politician or political party threatens the stability and future prospects of our community, or attempts to undermine our Dharma – then they have to be exposed. Full Stop. I know there are many very powerful people from within our community who are staunch supporters of Labour. In fact they tried everything to high-jack PM Modiji’s visit to make it a Labour event. Instead it became their biggest disaster imaginable. PM Cameron took centre stage with PM Modiji – you could see the shock and horror on the faces of the Labour slaves. This was their worst nightmare unfolding in front of their eyes. On one side PM Modi the leading political leader of our time that Labour is against, and on the other side their local nemesis, PM Cameron. Oh what a show they put on of great unity between our two great nations. That’s one in the eye to these Labour lackeys.
Their leader, Jeremy Corbyn failed to turn up to every single event in which PM Modiji was taking part or was being honoured. This includes ALL formal national events in Parliament, as well as those honouring our heroes such as Mahatma Gandhiji and our cultural heritage.
Jeremy Corbyn showed total disrespect for India, the Indian PM and every Indian in the world. In order for Jeremy to appease to his Muslim Pakistani vote bank, he undermined the future prospects of the whole of the United Kingdom. Tens of thousands of jobs are dependent on Indian companies and Indian investment into the UK. And the potential to increase this significantly over the coming decade has severely been compromised by a Party Leader who cares less about his country, less about the traditions of his country and even less about its people. This is the man who is willing to compromise the security of our nation so he can remain buddies with some of his extremist friends here in the UK as well as abroad.
I am still waiting for leading MPs of Indian origin from the Labour Party to openly and without reservation denounce their leader for his disgraceful behaviour. I will not accept any half-baked weasel words. I want to see them come out and attack this incompetent Labour leader with utter bluntness. After all it was their leader who elected to disrespect the largest democracy in the world in such an open manner.
PM Modi came to the UK with a mandate that was greater than all Prime Ministers and Presidents of the EU countries put together. A fact that Jeremy Corbyn and his ilk just could not stomach or comprehend.
The Labour Party has gone Sharia. I had warned AV readers and the nation of this several years ago. The Labour Party is now led by a group of dim wits with half-baked ideas about governance. They will readily appease the dictators and the extremists in the Middle East, South America or even some closer to home. Ludicrous as it may sound, but it seems Jeremy Corbyn wanted to capture ‘Jihadi John’ than to obliterate that excuse of a human being to kingdom come. Now it seems he is unsure whether we should allow our security forces to shoot terrorist on sight. Incredible as that might sound, but this man actually thinks we should allow mad terrorist the right to go about their business and tie the hands of our security forces at the same time. Can his madness get any worse? Do you really want to jeopardise the nation’s future to find out?
So what is the message for you the readers? For you the Indian Diaspora? Well my friends it is simple, there comes a time when we all have to make that call for truth and justice. For being on the right side of Dharma and on the right side of history. Either you can remain deluded and blind to what is unfolding in front of your eyes, or you can take note and make changes to your voting behaviour.
The Labour Party is dead. It is now in the hands of extremists who are against you. They have shown this very clearly. There is now no doubt since their behaviour during PM Modiji visit showed us what they are, a bunch of left-wing nutters indulging in their prejudices.
The London Mayoral elections will be with us soon. I hope you exercise your civic right and vote for the right person and party. Just in case there still remain a few deluded souls out there, yes Labours’ Sadiq Khan also ignored PM Modiji!
In Kapil’s Khichadi I don’t sit on the fence or try to be ‘politically correct’. Frankly I don’t have time or patience for such rubbish. It is now time for our community, our media and yes, our politicians to recognise what is happening and see the bigger picture. If we don’t get our act together, believe me there will be no future left for the generations to come. Don’t let your future generations judge you by your inaction today. It is time to recognise your duty. Your duty to the nation, your duty to your community, your duty to your dharma and yes, your duty to the legacy you leave behind.
When PM Modiji referred to PM Cameron as his brother, I understood the clear message he was giving to all of us. I get it, do you? PM Modiji’s visit will be remembered for this:
Wake up oh sons and daughters of Bharat Varsh. History demands of you, your sacrifice and service for the protection of the nation.
Follow me on Twitter: @kdudakia
Cameron Destroys Opposition
The last time we had such a major upset in any national elections was when everyone thought Neil Kinnock was going to be crowned King in 1992. I remember the hysteria at the time when in presidential style Kinnock toured the country, verging on celebrating a victory even before the first vote had been cast. Well history repeats itself but in a slightly different incarnation. Every single pollster was predicting a hung parliament with many permutations for a potential coalition government. However within minutes of the polls closing at 10 pm on 7th May, I received a special call telling me the Conservatives had won and that I might want to go to bed rather than stay awake waiting for each result to come through. I of course stayed awake since I wanted to gauge what commentators and politicians would make of this incredible news. Commentator after commentator dismissed the exit polls stating that the multiple polls in the run up could not all be wrong. There was logic to their argument except for their understanding of the human psyche. I had been saying to a lot of people that all the commentators had missed three crucial factors. First that there were many Tory voters who were shy about disclosing their allegiance. The second, that the moment before putting that cross on the ballot paper many voters will take a deep breath and say, ‘I can’t trust Labour’. And therein we have the answer to why this became one of the most thrilling elections of the modern era. There is a third reason also, one that has been missed by many in the media, that being the way in which Lynton Crosby and his team targeted specific seats and turned so many of them to blue. They blindsided Labour with extraordinary finesse. Of course the chant of ‘vote Labour and get SNP’ had an impact also.
The problem for Labour started when they elected Ed Miliband as their leader. They knew it, and so did the general public. In the years he was in charge, Labour went from one crisis to another. Every time they got close to assuring the public that they understood finances, one of the two Ed’s would put their foot in it and destroy their credibility. Forgetting to mention the deficit in one of his major speeches was not just a lapse, it was confirmation that when it came to the big issues, Ed’s radar was not working. When as leader you attempt to divide and rule by coining the phrase, ‘predator and producer’, it took Labour back to its bad old days. When you then add to this mixture the power of the Unions within Labour, it all got just too much for Joe Public.
Ed and his front bench made the biggest mistake in thinking that old Labour was still relevant to the future of this nation. Vacating the middle ground that Tony Blair high-jacked from the Tories and the Liberal Democrats was a monumental error of judgement. Labour went in this election not with a wish to win on merit, or on policies or on a vision for the country – it was on a 35% core vote strategy. And what happened to that? He barely managed to cross the 30% threshold.
Will Labour learn the lessons? There is no evidence to suggest that either they get the message, or they have anyone in their ranks like a ‘Tony Blair’ who can command not only loyalty, but also put forward a groundbreaking vision of what Labour needs to look like for the 21st Century. They face difficulties in selecting their next leader. Whilst the rules for selection have changed, in my view I am not sure they will curtail the power of the Unions. Chukha Umana comes across as a decent chap hovering around the centre ground, the very space Labour needs to command if they are to govern again. However even before he got started, he chucked in the towel and withdrew from the leadership contest. I don’t buy into the excuses he is giving and get the feeling there is a lot more to come out, watch this space.
The Labour Party is in a bad way. Until they find their soul, their purpose in the 21st Century, they may hark to the bad old days of the 70’s and Michael Foot. Should that happen then one cannot see how Labour will come back to power for at least a decade, and maybe even longer.
The Conservatives ran their narrative from 2010 onwards. They decided on the agenda for the 2015 election and whilst everyone was chasing shadows, David Cameron and Lynton Crosby remained relatively calm. They knew that when it came to putting that cross on the ballot paper people will get nervous about Labour and there should be a last minute surge to them. However as days went by the surge did not take place. Poll after poll declared a close run election. However I can disclose to you now that I was informed by a key person in the Tory ranks some two weeks before the election that they would win with a majority. Everyone had underestimated the fact that the shy Tory would emerge on the day, and that many others would change allegiance as they realise Labour was not the answer. Add to that the specific targeting of certain seats and you end up with 37%. The number the Tories had been working on right from the start.
Whilst the Tory majority is only 12, the impact of the win on Labour is not too dissimilar to what Tony Blair inflicted on the Tories in 1997. This win has ripped the heart out of Labour leaving it in total disarray. It has enhanced David Cameron’s position significantly. After all he can claim he won the election and produced the first Tory majority government since the 1990’s.
For my part I am glad about the result since a Tory government under the stewardship of David Cameron is rooted to the centre, is pro-India and pro-dharmic communities. The Tories may yet become the party of the people as long as they stay in the centre and allow the aspirations of people to be realised.
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Make it count -Vote
The time has come when each and every citizen must do their duty and ensure they take the time to consider what’s on offer and then go and cast their vote for the party of their choice. By so doing we empower our society and our democracy. The strength of our democracy rests in our interaction with due process – and that is the deal we sign up to when we wish to be part of society. So don’t forget or come up with excuses, do your duty to yourself and to your country.
We have seen an incredible week when PM Cameron has come out fighting and responding to the challenges he faces to retain his government. In what has become one of the key moments of the campaign, Cameron visited BAPS Neasden Mandir where he got one of the most stunning welcomes possible. People in the audience confirmed what became an endorsing event to celebrate a Prime Minister who had done so much for India, for PM Modiji, for Hindus in this country and in declaring that his government will seek to ensure India becomes a permanent member of the United Nations. In fact I have checked and as far as I can make out, no party in the history of British elections has ever put that as one of their manifesto commitments.
No sooner was that news coming hot off the press and I received an open letter from the National Council of Hindu Temples (NCHT) which is one of the most prominent national Hindu Temple organisations in the UK. The open letter was very articulate and you can all read it fully at the end of this blog. In essence the Secretary General, Shri Satish Sharma is asking all Dharmic communities to engage with the election process. He rightly reminds us of the words of Lord Krishna that in any civil society it is our duty to stand up for righteousness. And as such, taking part in an election is to contribute to civil society and its well being. That is our dharmic duty. The open letter reminds us of how the Labour Party imposed the caste legislation that potentially will not only be harmful to us, but may well undermine the very fabric of our community.
I am also pleased to note that the Hindu Forum of Britain (HFB) has also released an open statement which is on very similar lines to the one from the NCHT. Smt Trupti Patel (President of HFB) statement reminds us of our duty to nation by taking part in the election process. She also reminds us of important issues such as the caste legislation as well as Kashmir, and the relative positions of the various parties. HFB also concurs with the NCHT conclusions that the Conservative party has been a friend of the Hindu community during these testing times.
Dharmic communities should always take note of all parties and the impact of their policies. When any one of their policies is so specific as to undermine and damage our dharma, we must make that the centre piece of our decision making. The generations to come will not forgive anyone who allows politicians to get away with it, especially when there are matters that directly impact and affect our dharmic traditions.
When we published the very first British Hindu Manifesto in Asian Voice, we did so to put issues of substance up for public debate and scrutiny. By so doing Asian Voice through Kapil’s Khichadi became the very conduit that allowed all our national organisations to come together and launch their own Hindu manifesto. In one go organisations such as, HFB, NCHT, BBHS, HLA, CHN, BHC, SSCT, HC (North) and many more came together for the well being of the community.
We have seen the Jewish community who are very proactive and the most successful when it comes to British politics. For a community of some 450000 people it has in excess of 70 MPs in Parliament. When it comes to the Jewish issues, what we observe is how quickly they all come together and face the challenges as one. For them protecting their faith, their community and the integrity of Israel is always of the highest priority.
As Hindus we also need to learn lessons from our Jewish friends. Ours is a community of some 850000 people yet we have less than 10 MPs in Parliament. Post the 2015 elections there is a strong chance that maybe we can break the 10 MP ceiling. However should we not expect and aspire to have say 50 plus MPs over the coming decade or so? The only way we can achieve this is with our proactive engagement and in making sure that we support people from our community who will put us first, and not forget us when the going gets tough.
In India we saw PM Modiji take the positive message of Hindu values to the voters. In a country that has been split on every fault line imaginable to mankind, he succeeded in getting his message across and winning a massive majority. He proved that you can be a strong Hindu, with positive values and become instrumental in constructive politics that benefits the masses. PM Modiji is destined to visit the UK this summer. Let us as a community stand tall and proud and show him that yes, even in the UK, we as a community are making an impact that is bigger than our socio/economic footprint.
GE2015 will be with us shortly. So take it seriously. Do your research and make an informed decision.
The following articles/statements from leading Hindus and Sikh Organisation are helpful in considering relevant information before casting your vote:
And this is from the National Hindu Students Forum: http://www.nhsf.org.uk/2015/05/hindu_voice/