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A very little known fact is that well over 3 million perished during the 1943 Bengal Famine. I've posted a piece on it called Distant Thunder.

You could say that this represented India's contribution to the War Effort -apart from the thousands of Indian Army soldiers killed in the theatres of North Africa, Italy and of course in the jungles of Burma.In the years that followed a conspiracy of silence was put in place re. this event,by the British and the Indian Governments .

Post the war ,GB ,in particular, imported ,in droves ,poor illiterates from India and Pakistan to do their grunt work . On the face of it there seemed little wrong with such a policy ...except that many years later the chickens have come home to roost.The principal reason for this being that ,given their backgrounds ,most of these immigrants' core values and cultural mores -were and continue to be - deeply antithetical to those prevalent in the west. The stage is thus set for all that has ,and might well continue to happen.

The real irony is that - on the one hand you now have home grown terrorists able, because of the passports they hold ,to effortlessly criss cross the west ..while on the other ,your typical very westernised elite Indian or Pakistani wishing to visit UK has to submit ,inter alia, to absolutely humiliating medical examinations involving urine , stool and even barium meal X rays.This begs the question whether eating Western Beef -now known to be loaded with CJD- is inherently healthier than eating meat, fish and vegetables from the subcontinent

Who ,I ask ,is now 'hoist by their own petards'...well ,both -by a bizarre twist of circumstances.



The following comments are for "The British Raj and its aftermath"

i honestly don't want to appear rude but...
Get your facts right, seriously

( Posted by: bingham66 [Member] On: July 23, 2005 )

Bingham66..i too
Me please could you tell me which of the facts are incorrect.

I grant there is one statement that is rhetorical where a typo had -inadvertently - crept in . It should correctly read : " This begs the question whether, from a bureaucratic perpective ,eating Western Beef -now known to be loaded with CJD- is inherently healthier than eating meat, fish and vegetables from the subcontinent ."

I reiterate that all that i have set out here is based on fact , and has not been written lightly -with the aim of getting 'a rise' out of people who might read it.

( Posted by: RJKT [Member] On: July 23, 2005 )

British Raj
I am somewhat confused by this post in its confusing position and the lattice of facts and suggestions.

The fact that the various communities from Bangladesh, Pakistan, India and Ceylon who are the majority within the communities within the UK are celebrated for the various individual things they have brought to the country strikes me as a good thing.

Bangladesh - Cooking and food
India - Jewellery, doctors and lawyers

The rise of the British Asian is one from a difficulot road, but to be honest one celebrated. 'Curry' is now the most popular thing to eat in this country, personally I love Tikka and Korma and eat them to the point I could open my own restaurant.

The roots with regards to their cultural values in being the antithesis to Western Culture goes back a bit further. The Asian community in the UK is quite well established culturally, yes it is more difficult for the Muslims to integrate but that is a problem on both sides not just 'us whites'. The Hindu and Sikh traditions in fact have worked very well over here and are celebrated across the country.

'The chickens coming home to roost'. What an interesting phrase, as it seems to me they have, but not for us UK citizens, but for the isolationist Muslim communities that preach the most extremist versions of Islam in their Mosques across the UK. Their chickens have come home to roost, not ours. They have now discovered that within their ranks are young men who are willing to kill anyone in the name of Islam, and they are reeling in shock throughout the UK.

So I am sorry to say RJKT, but the UK is very strong in its diversity and the relationship between communities, stronger than the US, stronger than any other EU nation.

The chickens have come home to roost, but not in the way you mention, they came home to the British Muslim community who are now having to make radical reforms in their mosques.

As for Health checks on people from the sub-continent I have to say I do agree with health checks on those coming from abroad. I'm sorry but nothing will change my mind on that.

( Posted by: londongrey [Member] On: July 24, 2005 )

I should....
....also point out that my earlier reference to doctors and food etc is of course from a historical perspective, as Asian Art is flourishing in the UK aswell and the old stereotypes of the British Asian no longer ring true.

( Posted by: londongrey [Member] On: July 24, 2005 )

Proud to be British
Jaacob, Ian,

I am glad that Ian has validated my own experience in regard to race relations within the UK. I have a feeling that most of this discussion was prompted by a post in regard to the British Nationalist Party which all sensible people reject.

I totally agree with Ian that our current attitude to racial differences is ahead of the rest of the world, we do not just tolerate we celebrate difference!

The UK gets a lot of bad press, the last 'Race Riots' publicised world wide a few years ago were not Race Riots. At the time I was working in Liverpool which is a very mixewd race community. The people on the streets riotong were black and white, hand in hand...but that doesn't sell papers!

Two of my children are from a mainly muslim country's race. When I visited America a couple of years ago they were picked out for detailed examination on entry. While I was unhappy about the way they were seperated from us(which would not have happened in the UK), I was fully supportive of the fact they were chosen because of their racial looks. It is a fact of life the people causing the problems came from their cultural background and therefore to protect people it was important to scrutinise this community carefully.

The Asian, sub-continent operated a 'cast system' that left 'untouchables' even within their own race, the British had a class system, Every race in the world has discriminated!

It is time that the rest of the word started celebrating differences instead of harping on the past. And personally I think the UK is doing this and even making laws to enforce it.

We are now currently making laws to stop people, even by their words, from spreading racial hatred. On a recent comment I questioned whether I was proud to be human... but I would like to point out very,very clearly, I am proud to be British...even though I am not proud of some of the things our politicians do.


( Posted by: ivordavies [Member] On: July 24, 2005 )

Ivor , Alex.
Thank you both for having looked in and for having set out both your well considered points of view. During the short period of our interacting -via this- the two of you have struck me as being far more tolerant and open minded than most others .

Alex -I have however one point to make : if one accepts your comment "As for Health checks on people from the sub-continent I have to say I do agree with health checks on those coming from abroad. I'm sorry but nothing will change my mind on that.' -then would i be incorrect or illogical in taking your line of reasoning further in the following manner:

A number of Western backpackers visit the subcontinent. Most tend to 'rough it out' -staying in budget hotels ,which are extremely insanitary to say the least.

Given that they have been exposed to the risk of infection -often far more than the elite Indian or Pakistani-shouldn't they be similarly required to undergo medical examinations prior to re-entry.

In the recent past i have noticed another phenomenon that has never ceased to intrigue me:

There have been several instances of Westerners getting caught and convicted in non western countries for offences ranging from drug trafficking , gun running and even murder.Invariably then ,the entire weight of the establishment of their home countries is brought to bear on the hapless non western country that is ultimately forced into tamely releasing them.

Among other things ,instances like this end up making a mockery of the justice systems of most non western countries.

To my mind, two factors / axioms underpin phenomema like these : one is that Might is always Right and the other is applying Standards ,that best suit one's interest ,to the situation at hand.However in order to be able to pull this latter one off ,one needs to be able to crack the whip in the first place - i.e . Might is Right has to be the sine qua non.

Would I be justified in drawing such inferences....

On a lighter note -were you to visit the subcontinent Alex or Ivor -I have no doubt that a culinary feast would await you ..of which 'curry' would be but the tip of the ice berg..

( Posted by: RJKT [Member] On: July 24, 2005 )

Ditto Ivor...
...although I rarely show patriotism because I find it a bit vulgar (I know I know but it isn't for any politicially correct reason I just don't think we need too) I am very proud to be British, I honestly would not want to live anywhere else. The food is atrocious in other countries heh heh.

( Posted by: londongrey [Member] On: July 24, 2005 )

Alex Ivor
Were he ever to get wind of it...i have no doubt that Chirac might well bristle at your remark..assuming of course that it was aimed in that direction..


( Posted by: RJKT [Member] On: July 24, 2005 )

Penang Street Food!
When you have spent several years feasting in the 'Pearl of the Orient', at local friends houses, in restaurants and especially from the abundant Street Vendors, there is no other cuisine that could possibly reach your expectations!

My visit to France left my tastebuds wanting!


( Posted by: ivordavies [Member] On: July 24, 2005 )

Ivor , Alex.
Strange that you should say so.Though I've never been to France ,despite wanting to, the closest I came to French cuisine was on an extended visit yo Beirut in 1973. ...believe you ne all those sauces left me cold...quite sickening the way they cloy thw palate.

Given that we were on the topic of multi culturalism...ask your Asian friends what the Punjabi corruption of Blair's abd HP's names could be-they're absolitely hilarious i assure you.

Of course to a Texan like GWB , India might merely be the land from which the Injuns never came from.

I've been following a programme on Discovery where an Englishman and and Asian restauranteur set up an Indian restaurant in the South of France. I just can.t seem to get enough of that marvellous scenery and those stunning vistas.

( Posted by: RJKT [Member] On: July 24, 2005 )

A friend of mine was in Beirut, she was a dancer and got a marriage proposal of the now dead Prince Hussein of Jordan, the current Kings father!!

I have to say French food is very simple on the most part, you have to pay for through the nose for everything else. (My dads French so I shouldn't get too uppy about it heh).

The issues you raised above are a bit more complicated, back packers from this country have already had several inoculations for various things before travelling abroad, I remember travelling to South America and they said the same thing to me, but as I pointed out, they hadn't had the twenty injections for vaccines that I had to go through.

Also it is clearly pointed out by the UK Home Office that if you break a law in another country it cannot be taken for granted that we that will get you out. But in certain countries the view is taken that their crimes would be better spent in a UK prison than in another countries, where treatment of inamtes id diabolical i.e. Turkey.

( Posted by: londongrey [Member] On: July 25, 2005 )

King Hussein of Jordan ..that brings back several memories .

The first in the summer of 61 -while waiting for a train near the foothills of the Darjeeling hills ,and seeing a picture on the front page of The Statesman. It had been taken at the marriage of King Hussein to a young English girl called Toni Gardiner .

The second a few years later -when an uncle , India's most revered educationist ,visited Jordan at the invitation of their Government.He later told us that the highlight of his trip had been lavish Bedouin hospitality in tents in the middle of the desert.

I'm sure your friend ,from Beirut ,would be able to tell you how glorious the place was in those days. I spent several months there ,in training at Citibank . Toured the length and breadth of that marvellous country and of course got the merest whiff of the fleshpots of Beirut.

Imagine my surprise a few weeks back on learning that the man who had taken a month long course in Accountancy for a small group of us in August 1973 is now the Prime Minister of Lebanon.

I could go on and on about it...but run the risk of becoming tiresome .

( Posted by: RJKT [Member] On: July 25, 2005 )

There is a big difference though ...the British might take anyone's money...but they've elevated it to a fine art. Its done with such finesse and exquisite subtlety.

( Posted by: RJKT [Member] On: July 25, 2005 )


It all began with Uncle Ronnie and Aunt Maggie years ago. Became an avalanche after Aunt Maggie made mincemeat out of the miner's union.

Sometime back ,I could scarely believe what i was hearing:during a TV documentary where the Beeb was profiling a miner who had lost his job went to town proclaiming that the man ,and most others like him ,were far better off without a steady job..Goes to show that the media too have jumped on the bandwagon.

And now you have Blair and his New Empire driving the last of the nails in.

( Posted by: RJKT [Member] On: July 25, 2005 )


Continuing in much the same vein...

Despite much nudgings by -the sanctimonious though disarmingly charming- Cousin Tony and his Nouvelle Empire , some Indians in the know assure me that they have barely scratched the surface as far as outsourcing goes.

This being the case the mind boggles at how much of an El Dorado the US the UK and Europe are ,in reality.To say that the streets , the mansions and everything else throughout the West are paved with platinum might well be a gross understatement. One sees visions of millions of tables groaning under the sheer weight of the finest caviar and wines -to say nothing of truffles.

Perhaps a dramatic upsurge in the incipient jingoistic tendencies one is beginning to get 'the sense of' in the West might go a long way to stemming the tide.

Despite all the hype-motivated one suspects- large swathes of India and China remain mired in poverty of the most desperate soul searing kind.

( Posted by: RJKT [Member] On: July 28, 2005 )

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