Indians in Britain

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In 1784, the first South Asian émigré to arrive in Britain was Din Mahammad, who was born in Patna in 1759. In Britain he was later known as Dean Mahomet. He wrote The Travels, a collection of letters about Indian life, the first book in English published by an Indian.

He opened Hindostanee Coffee House, a restaurant in London’s Portman Square, in 1810, and thus was the first Indian restaurateur in Britain.

It gave the gentry of Georgian England their first taste of spicy dishes. The restaurant was described as a place “for nobility and Gentry, where they might enjoy the Hookha with real Chilm tobacco and Indian dishes of the highest perfection”.

When Din went bankrupt in 1812, he moved to Brighton where he set up the business of Indian medicated vapour and shampooing Baths and was well known as ‘Shampooing Surgeon’. He published another book, Shampooing or Benefits Resulting from the use of Indian Medical Vapour Bath in 1822. He is reputed to have introduced shampoo to England. 

Din Mahammad died in 1850. A tombstone in St. Nicholas’ churchyard in Brighton marks the last resting place of Britain’s first Indian restaurateur. It reads simply: “Sake Dean Mahomed of Patna, Hindoostan. Lord Mayor of London’s Westminster recognised the heroic culinary achievement of Din Mahammad and focussed attention on his turbulent life and times by unveiling a plaque marking the spot where his first restaurant stood – at 102 George Street, London.

Sailors from the Indian subcontinent, some of them from the region that is now Bangladesh, were recruited by the East India Company from the early 18th century – some jumped ship in the London dock – more came during the world wars. But the big boom in Bangladeshi migration – mostly from the eastern Sylhet region – came in the 1950s and early 1960s. Though natural disasters and political instability played a part, the influx was driven more by economic. Families or small villages pooled resources to send a young man to the bidesh (foreign land). Bangladeshi started work mainly textile – at first in the rag trade, later in leather and suede – and sewing machines hummed in sweatshops in London’s east side.

Since then South Asians from different walks of life have been coming to and going from Britain. It was after the Second World War that Britain started recruiting labour it desperately needed to regenerate its economy. Thousands of semi-skilled and unskilled South Asians arrived to work in the textile and steel industries. Many workers who came had never seen a city in their own country, let alone Britain. Many were illiterate even in their own language. Skilled workers and professionals, especially doctors who were needed to run National Health Service followed the earlier group in late 1950s and early 1960s, and the bulk of this exodus started to settle down in Britain. Large number of immigrants coming from the Indian sub-continent and from Britain’s other ex-colonies somewhat posed politically and socially unacceptable for a small island, the United Kingdom. The Commonwealth Immigration Act of 1962, limiting for the first time ever the free passage of Commonwealth citizens to the United Kingdom, was passed. Thereafter, various kind of legal obstacles were imposed to bring the flow of migrants to a trickle and finally a virtual halt of primary migration was imposed in 1971.

British FlagBritish FlagWhile Britain welcomed the influx of new labour, there was at the same time unease about the impact that such immigration could have on traditional concepts of Britishness. However Britishness as a form of national identity rooted in Britain and the empire was already losing its gloss after the experience of Nazism in the Second World War. In 1966 Roy Jenkins, then the home secretary in a labour government, argued for a multicultural model of immigration: “Not a flattening process of assimilation but equal opportunity accompanied by cultural diversity in an atmosphere of mutual tolerance.”

The belief that the problem of race relations in Britain circle round the question of difference of ethnic minorities has been the focal point of policy debate throughout the post-war-period, and is central to the arguments of both multiculturalists and their critics. Both though agree that Britain has become a multicultural nation because immigrants and their children have demanded that their cultural differences be recognised and respected. However while the supporters of multiculturalism advise the state to see such diversity as a public good but on the other hand the critics use their argument to make a case against immigration and, in some cases, for repatriation.

Multiculturalism has not simply entrenched the divisions created by racism, but made cross-cultural interaction more difficult by encouraging people to assert their cultural differences. And in areas where there was both a sharp division between Asian and white communities, and where both communities suffered disproportionately from unemployment and social deprivation, the two groups began to view these problems through the lens of cultural and racial differences, blaming each other for their problems. The inevitable result was the riots into which these towns descended in the spring of 2001. Cultural diversity only makes sense within a framework of common values and beliefs that enable people to treat all equally.

When the early waves of Commonwealth immigrants landed in Britain in the 1950s and 1960s, racism was instinctive, commonplace and brutal. New arrivals in white communities were routinely abused in the streets. Boarding houses infamously carried signs reading: “No blacks, no Irish, no dogs.” Black workers were barred from jobs at Euston station and Sikhs could only be hired as bus drivers if they took off their turbans.

Britain took its first step against such brazen bias and instituted a framework of legislation aimed at outlawing racial discrimination and at facilitating the integration of black communities into the society. The strategy promoted the idea of Britain as a tolerant, pluralistic nation that was determined to stamp out any trace of discriminatory practice based on racial or ethnic difference. Britain’s the Race Relations Act 1976, a landmark moment – the foundation upon which subsequent race relations laws were built – make discrimination unlawful on grounds of colour, race, nationality or ethnic or national origin in the provision of goods, facilities and services, in employment, in housing, in education and in advertising. The legislation gives complainants direct access to civil courts and, for employment complaints, to employment tribunals. It is a criminal offence to incite racial hatred under the provisions of the Public Order Act 1986.

There is no such thing as a single Asian ‘community.’ Asians are in a state of flux over how they should be described. Census figures released in February 2003 showed that Britain’s ethnic minority population rose sharply in the 10 years from 1991 to 2001. The 4.5 million people who identified themselves make up 7.6 per cent of the UK population, as compared to 5.5 per cent who did so in 1991.

The largest ethnic minority group in England and Wales is ‘Asian or Asian British’, at 4.4 per cent – of which Indians making up 2 per cent of the population, Pakistanis 1.4 per cent and Bangladeshi 0.5 per cent. The figures also showed that some ethnic minorities still tend to be clustered in specific areas – Indians make up 25 per cent of Leicester’s population, whereas more than a third of people in Tower Hamlets are Bangladeshi, and 14.5 per cent of people in Bradford are Pakistanis. 

Most of the South Asians are found in big cities like London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leicester, Leeds and Bradford. In many practical circumstances, especially when faced with the non-Asian world, South Asians see themselves as a collective entity. Internal differences based on caste, religion, region, class, ethnic group, nationality, sub-nationality and more are habitually maintained. These range from the openly hostile to implicitly discriminatory. South Asians tend to live next to each other, preferably in concert with their linguistic group, and spend their leisure at home. Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus lived, within Asian areas, cheek by jowl for much of the post-war period.

Several different languages are spoken in England, often within ethnic minority communities. Punjabi and Sylheti youth cultures, for instance, remain distinct both from each other and from non-South Asian youth cultures, though they share some characteristics. Some of this youth culture trickles back to Punjab or Sylhet, but in doing so it is decontextualised. The jokes of Sylheti stand-up comedy do not travel well from London’s East End to Sylhet. Cross-cultural allusions do not travel well in the other direction either. Punjabi is the most commonly spoken South Asian language among British Asians, followed by Urdu and then Hindi.

Researchers from the Institute of Public Policy Research, left-leaning think-tank, and Sheffield University analysed details of people living in Britain but who were born abroad. They said the study showed the increasing diversity of “rainbow Britain” while campaigners on behalf of migrants argued that it exploded the myth that immigrants were drain on the economy.

Research showed people born abroad comprised in the majority in the north-west London suburb of Wembley – a rise in the proportion of foreign-born residents from 41 per cent in 1990 to 51.9 per cent in 2001. After the arrival of the first Asian families in the 1950s and 60s, the influx grew stronger when Asians fled from Uganda in the early 1970s. Wembley is now considered a heartland for one of the most vibrant British Indian communities and is the first area in Britain where majority of the population are immigrants. The number of Hindus, who make up 39 per cent of the population, far outweighs any other religion – and there are colourful scenes in annual Holi and Diwali celebrations.

In 2011, Leicester is expected to become the first UK city with a majority non-white population. Leicester is the focus of a big social experiment that is taking place over the next two decades in several British cities. Ethnic minorities are set to become the majority due to higher birth rates and an exodus of whites to satellite towns. In Leicester, “the Asians and other communities of city play a major role in its life and leadership, giving it a unique character.” Leicester’s Belgrave Road, once full of boarded-up shops and vandalised properties now rejuvenated by its new residents into the thriving hub of “golden miles” of Asian culture, with Indian fashion boutiques, jewellery stores and businesses catering for local people. There is a new confidence within the Asians community. 

The community in each city could be classified as living in a ghetto, Dr Poulsen told the 2005 annual meeting of the Royal Geographical Society in London. He said: “It is alarming that UK cities are rising up the world rankings in terms of segregation. The idea was that people would assimilate. The danger is that the assimilation process is so slow that for many it is just not possible.” Some 13.6 per cent of the Indian community in Leicester now live in isolated communities, in which they make up more than two-thirds of the population up from 10.8 per cent in 1991. Similar enclaves in Bradford account for 13.2 per cent of the city’s Pakistani community, up from 4.3 per cent. “These ethnic concentrations will continue to increase,” according to Dr Poulsen.

For centuries London has been the most cosmopolitan city in the world and the nation’s political, financial and cultural capital rolled together into one. London, according to a government White Paper, “is one of the most competitive in Europe, a beacon of enterprise, creativity and culture.” In 1764, the Gentleman’s Magazine reckoned there were 20,000 “Negroes servant” in London alone. In the mid-19th century, the Sikh prince Duleep Singh was a member of the Carlton club, and complained about the fish knives. In 1892, the British elected the first Indian member of the Parliament.

Today it has a diverse ethnic mix. According to London Research Centre’s report in 1997, ‘Cosmopolitan London: Past, present and Future’, London has 50,000 people from Cyprus, 45,000 from Australia or New Zealand, 33,000 Americans, 32,000 Germans, 30,000 Italians, 22,000 Poles, 18,000 Japanese and 13,000 Portuguese. London’s Indian population (although nearly a quarter came here from East Africa) is around 5 per cent and a further 2.5 per cent are from Pakistan and Bangladesh. According to a report, London’s 33 boroughs have Indians in Southhall, Australians in Earl’s Court and Ealing, Arabs around Edgware Road, Japanese in Finchley, Hungarians in St. John’s Wood, Portuguese and Moroccans in Ladbroke Grove, Poles in Hammersmith and Turks are in Dalston. People come to London for the money. But money is not why they stay. Then there are many refugees, who arrive expecting to return home, but find over time, that home has come with them.

London has 7.2m, according to 2001 census, people living inside it, and nearly 20m within an hour and a half of it. More than 1.1m people now work in financial and business services – more than the population of Frankfurt, 275,000 in tourism and hospitality – of the 25m visitors each year, just over half come from overseas and the most popular attraction for American visitors, who account for 25 per cent of the total overseas tourism spend in London, is the Tower of London, and 400,000 work in the creative industries. The National Gallery and British Museum are the most popular attractions, each have around 5m visitors a year. 1.1m enter London in the morning rush hour, many using the 570 railway stations, 275 tube stations and 649 bus routes. London has six full-time symphony orchestras and 600 cinema screens and 144 swimming pools and 13 professional football clubs. London’s economy is larger than that of Denmark, Norway, Poland or Greece. Thirty nine per cent of London’s area is made up of parks and open spaces.

A fascinating snapshot of the lives of 7.2 million Londoners was revealed in June 2003 in a “mini census.” The Focus on London 2003 census highlighted the rising number of young people in the capital with a single lifestyle that would be familiar to anyone who saw the movie Notting Hill. The “mini census” showed that two-thirds of Londoners were under 44, more than one in 10 were self-employed and half of all households did not had a car. One in three households had a gross weekly income of more than £750, women outnumbered men, by 52 per cent to 48 per cent, just under a third about two million belonged to an ethnic minority and average person watched 18 hours of TV a week.

London might look the same but under the surface its workforce has changed radically – massive transformation has taken place in the structure of its economy, its class composition, its earnings and its physical landscape. That something is the shift from an “industrial” to a “post-industrial” economy: from an economy in which manufacturing industry played a major part to one where the leading sectors are finance and business services and, more recently, the creative or cultural economy including film, TV, video, publishing and the digital economy.

A third of London’s workforce 40 years ago was employed in manufacturing and about 10 per cent in finance and business services. Today, the proportions are reversed. The number of people working in manufacturing has fallen from almost 1.5 million in 1961 to 250,000 in 2001: and many of them work in the head offices of major manufacturing companies rather than in directly making things. Docklands has been transformed into an impressive office centre for financial and business services and upmarket housing.

This transformation in the industrial structure of London has been reflected in its class structure. As manufacturing has declined, so have the number and proportion of skilled and semi-skilled manual workers. Conversely, as the business service sector has grown so have the number of professional, technical and managerial jobs. Most of today’s jobs are office jobs and London is now far more middle-class than it was 30 or 40 years ago.

The transformation in the occupational structure of London (and other major cities) has been paralleled by changes in its earnings structure. The past 25 years have seen a major growth in high-paid jobs, particularly in finance. As a result, the distribution of earnings has shifted sharply upwards. According to the New Earnings Survey, in 2002 average gross annual earnings for the full-time workers on adult rates in the UK as a whole was £24,500. In Greater London it was £34,760 and in the City of London it was a remarkable £59,000.

Not surprisingly, the growth of the well-paid professional and managerial middle class has had an impact on the housing market. The size of the owner occupied sector has grown rapidly in recent decades, and prices have risen dramatically. Land Registry data show average prices in London in the second quarter of 2003 were £246,000 but they varied between £642,000 in Kensington and £142,000 in Barking.

London is the most linguistically diverse city on earth, according to Dr Philip Baker, of the University of Westminster, the author of Multilingual Capital with John Eversley, of Queen Mary and Westfield College, who identified 307 languages spoken by London’s children. There are resident communities of at least 5,000 people in London from about 60 countries. When the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development was set up, it required speakers of 38 languages. All were found in London, a modern Tower of Babel. The largest groups are from the Indian sub-continent, but the lexicon of London language runs from Abe (from the Ivory Coast and spoken by three children in Lewisham, South London) to Zulu (which has 47 speakers, many in Haringey, North London).

Each of London’s language has its own geography. The highest concentration of language groups were found in the City of London and Tower Hamlet, in East London, where over 50 per cent speak Bengali. Lewisham in South London, where 30 per cent speak English Creole, a kind of Afro-Caribbean patois, Brent in North London, where 24 per cent speak Gujarati and Punjabi has its concentration in Ealing. The author found at least 100 African languages, although some were spoken by very few.

South Asians’ culture to support each other, closeness that forces competition, the family loyalty, the inheritance of the tradition of business and above all, ironically racism against them, have helped them to succeed – thus rags to riches stories are found.  Mrs Margaret Thatcher, former Prime minister of Britain, commended Asian shopkeepers by saying, “I remember as a child how hard my parents had to work in their grocery shop.”

There are more than two million South Asians in Britain with a combined annual disposable income of £14b a year, according to a report, in 2003, by Mintel. But much of the money stays within the community. According to research by Asian Achievement in Britain, an awareness campaign set up by leading businesses, Asian, in 2001, spent four times as much in Asian fashion shops as on the high street and in department stores put together.

There are an estimated 66,250 Asian-run small businesses, with turnover below £1m. In Birmingham, there are 5,000 Asian-owned businesses. Grocery stores are the most popular, followed by service industries. In east Lancashire, 1,000 Asian businesses – about 7% of the total in the area – sell mainly food and clothing. In London, Asian own one in ten businesses, providing jobs at least 103,000 people. Wholesale and retail account for half of all Indian businesses, and more than a third of Pakistani and Bangladeshi, but “business services” – including IT – now covers 17% of Indian and 33% of Pakistani/Bangladeshi businesses.  

Gujaratis, particularly from East Africa, soon turned out to be invaluable additions to the economy, reviving corner-shops and pharmacies, and building up small businesses throughout Britain. Now there are over 300 South Asian millionaires in Britain. The Asian corner shop has passed into British folklore. But in a national survey, the Policy Studies Institute found that more parents than ever are trying to dissuade their children from taking over the family business. They simply do not want them to work the long hard hours needed to make it successful.

Back in the pre-haute cuisine days of the 1960s, restaurants were for the few. Anything more exotic than fish and chips was labelled “that foreign muck” and going to an Indian restaurant was considered adventurous. The rise of Indian food, however, has been a process of reinvention by the South Asian community. From red flock wallpaper to balti and brassieres, the Indian restaurant provides with a history of a community’s achievements. When Indian restaurants first emerged in significant numbers during the Fifties and Sixties, they were firmly set in a colonial tradition. Everything they served was “Indian” – Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan; Punjabi, Mughal and South Indian; vegetarian and non-vegetarian – everything was understood as “curry”, the term that Indians themselves would never use. A modest search may reveal that the term “curry” is derived from south Indian words – “kari” (in Tamil) or “koora” (in Telugu) – to refer to the wet dishes mixed and eaten with rice.

It was the rediscovery of Indian exoticism by Thatcher’s yuppie generation that enabled the Indian restaurants to move upmarket. It has now reinvented itself a number of times. Chicken tikka rose to fame in the “tandoori” era. Since then it has passed through the “Karahi” and “balti” and now it reached to the Soho Spice and Cinnamon Club era. “This is about re-branding the food, making it 21st century.”

It is a great injustice to Indian food, as perceived in the West, by grouping this great cuisine, with its complex and varied religious, cultural and regional influences, under one banner – curry. India may be one nation but its history, geography, culture, religion and culinary traditions vary tremendously from state to state.  Apart from north Indian and south Indian and vegetarian and non-vegetarian food there are Muslim food – spice rich touch and Hindu food – more divided approach, with its own variations and results.

Hindu cooking is essentially rooted to Hindu religion – complex an interrelated series of practices and beliefs, each seemingly with its own sacred laws. However, there is a common approach of non-violence, the belief in incarnation, the respect shown to cows and the caste system. Hindu sacred texts emphasise that a man is what he eats, what is good and how it should be prepared. In a Brahmin’s house diners are supposed to sit around courtyard, food ladle on to banana leaves and eaten with fingers and no dish should contain garlic or onions – both considered aggressive and suitable for warriors not for thinkers. Hinduism defines three separate groups of people as far eating is concerned. Thus a sattvika, a wise and pure person should eat milk, yoghurt, ghee, vegetables, rice and pulses. A rajasika, a passionate and fiery person’s food should be strong such as spices, pickles, chutneys and dal. And finally for an idle and ignorant person defined as tamasika, meat, potatoes, aubergines and tomatoes are the appropriate as food. However, moderation is a key that should give a feeling of refreshed, invigorated, excited and satisfied but never stuffed.

Muslim cooking is richly elaborated and often grand in its presentation – where meat plays a major role. Moghul emperors and most of the princes – who continued to reign over a large part of India until the British left – were Muslims. Unlike strict Brahmins or Jains, meat was an important part of their diet – not only lamb and mutton but also beef. Many influences originally came from abroad, from Persia or the Ottoman Empire. Above all, it was rich, sometimes magnificent, courtly cooking, very different from the average Hindu’s curry and rice. Among the centre of excellence for Moghul cooking, the city of Lucknow ranks high. The reason for this is simple: the power of the local nawabs of Oudh who were among the richest and most powerful satraps of the Moghul emperor in Delhi. Significantly the family came from Persia and, in the beginning their role was merely “viceregal”. With time they wrested all power from the emperor, becoming “kings” of Oudh in their own right. The nawabs were great believers in pleasure of the flesh: their tastes were carnal in both senses of the word. So it was that of all the Moghul courts, Lucknow’s had the greatest reputation for its extravagant cheer and other courts did what they could to lure cooks away from Lucknow, bringing secrets with them.

British restaurant industry, according to Restaurant Industry Gold Standard Report 2002, (RIGS), there are, it appears, 35,262 restaurants in the UK serving 1,739m meals a year on an annual turnover of £11.6bn. In 2001, the medium return on capital was an average of 5.4 per cent. Some, 288,000 are employed in the industry. While some 30 per cent of licensed outlets are group owned, the rest are independent – unsurprisingly 97 per cent of all Chinese/Oriental and South Asian restaurants fall into the later sector.

By 1939, there were six Indian restaurants in Britain. In 1955, according to the Good Food Guide, there were only four Indian restaurants outside London and nine in the capital. By 1982 there were 3,500 Indian restaurants in Britain, and in the last 20 years their number have more than doubled – expanding from cities to almost every small town in the country. There are now about 12,000 South Asian restaurants, ‘curry houses’, in the UK, generally known as ‘Indian’ – London, which has about 12,200 restaurants and 5,200 pubs, alone has more Indian restaurants – 3,600 – than Delhi and Bombay put together. 85 per cent of ‘Indian’ widely established all round Britain are owned and run by Bangladeshis mainly coming from Sylhet district. The story began when seamen from the Bangladesh up-country district of Sylhet gained a near-monopoly as cooks and galley-hands on imperial ships. They started to set-up cafes ashore, which spread out from the docks.

More people in Britain – around 100,000 – are employed in ‘Indian’ restaurants than in shipbuilding, steel manufacturing and coal mining put together. It’s a classic migrant success story. The conservative assumption that each restaurant employs two-and-a-half people, the total must be at least 20,000. ‘Indian’ restaurants alone account for more than 20p of every pound spent in Britain’s restaurants. It is estimated that 2.5 million people in the UK visit Indian restaurants each week. The total turnover for Indian food in the UK has climbed to £2.8bn in 2000, according to the Indian restaurant magazine, Tandoori. (Currently estimated annual sales of £3.5bn). Now the curry industry is thought to be worth £4.2bn annually. The cuisine is enjoyed by all social classes of the United Kingdom both inside and outside the home.

South Asian living in Britain are prone to conspicuous consumption and their marriage receptions are a “veritable display of wealth and social connections” that they have brought this custom from their country of origin.
 
However, it is African Asians who first moved from India to East Africa and who had a long trading experience there and now to Britain, many of these twice migrants are flexible in their habits and attitudes, have successful stories to tell. Many of those who came to Britain directly from South Asia suffer considerable disadvantage and, therefore, lag behind the white population. Unemployment among them is much higher than average, their housing condition is unsatisfactory and they continue to be disproportionately employed in manual work. Four out of five South Asian households have an income that is less than half of the national average.

Many South Asians came to Britain intending to return back home – a few years in Britain, and some pounds in the bank, they anticipated. But the years multiplied on, and pounds in the bank never seemed quite enough, or their needs and aspirations ballooned with their acquisitions or they developed new ties with their jobs, wives and schooling of their children in Britain. “Then gradually the realisation seeped in that they would never go back.” Shashi Tharoor writes in his book, India, and goes on, “And with this realisation, often only half-acknowledged, came a welter of emotions: guilt at the abandonment of the motherland, mixed with rage that the motherland had somehow – through its own failings, political, economic, social – forced them into this abandonment. The attitude of the expatriate to his homeland is that of the faithless lover who blames the woman he has spurned for not having sufficiently merited his fidelity." The South Asian as a community is now showing some sign of cracks caused by cultural conflicts and domestic tensions due to living in an alien atmosphere. The increasing domestic violence and at times cold-blooded murders have taken place in their houses largely due to disapproved marriages of sons and daughters. There is increase in family feuds and breakdown of marriages, particularly in second generation. Crime, drug and even Asian girls have been noticed as muggers.

A large number of the second generation of the South Asians are excelling academically and getting more employment opportunity than the first generation. Modern multicultural Britain is opening to second generation of South Asians to move up away from the activities of the first generation. They are working out new ways to capitalise on their background and are more aggressive and impatient, want to be successful – and also to be noticed. They are, therefore, going in journalism, computer science, and business-management, teaching and academic and industrial scientific research. A new breed of British Asian, unlike Indian, Pakistanis and Bangladeshi, is emerging in the United Kingdom who is more at ease and can freely communicate with his White counterpart. Asian youths are throwing off traditional family bonds to carve out an identity for themselves but also emphasising their ethnic differences. Total integration of these different Asian groups will take a very long time, if ever, to happen – not least as it’s something that is difficult to define and measure.

“The problem with second generation Indian is,” according to Amit Roy Indian born journalist based in London, “that they define themselves largely by opposition to the first. Young girls will not wear a sari because their mothers do. The humour of most Asian programmes is essentially rooted in protests of the second generation against first. Sketches about arranged marriages, for example have become almost a cliché. Goodness Gracious Me, a television series, has succeeded because it has allowed Whites to laugh not with Asians but at Asians.”

In every age migration of people and idea and in doing so have provoked multiple crisis of identity and belonging. In the 19th century great waves of European migrants set sail for the new world and the colonies. The culture shock sparked a multitude of response such as the anglicised babus of British India – some were benign, some terrible in consequence. Now the crisis of identity is taking place within the western world, largely because the flow of people has been reversed. This is the product of mass migration enabled by globalisation but driven by war, persecution and poverty. Religion and secular society, tradition and modernity, are colliding on the streets of European and American cities. Often the tension is laid bare only in the second or third generations, torn between two ways of life, strangers in both lands.

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