The Asian British Connection: Aims and Objectives.


There is need to have a forum that can bring together not only British Asians and Caucasians in the UK but anyone from Indian subcontinent who wishes to know more about British Asians and vice versa. One effective way to achieve this is by gathering people who can discuss and debate on various issues faced today by British Asians and countries of their origin. This could be followed by publication of the recommendations made by them based upon research, and efforts to operationalise these in policy at national and international levels.

The British Asian Community is made of various ethnic groups, all of which have an individually unique history, language and culture. Whereas the term ‘British Asian’ can be taken to mean the end product of a blend between British and Asian values, what it really means to be a British Asian individual is unclear. Correctly elucidating this definition can become even more difficult in context of today’s world of change and uncertainty.

British Asians have worked very hard in the UK and this is evident in their numerous achievements in a spectrum of different fields. British Asian businessmen are amongst the richest men in the UK. These include the steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, Sir Ghulam Noon, and Sir Anwar Pervaiz amongst others. There are some very well read British Asians like the Nobel Prize winning V.S Naipaul.  A sizeable percentage of British Asians are doctors and officers in civil services. British Asians have contributed a lot to the British culture through cuisine, music, sports, film, and fashion.

British Asians who have not been back to the Indian subcontinent can withhold their Asian culture and values while living in the UK, such is the fabric of our multicultural all embracing society. Thus, British Asians have a lot to offer anyone who wishes to either learn from them or about them.

However, the British Asian community claim to have felt discriminated and marginalised by certain members of the society. The national consensus shows that British Asians are the least educated group in Britain and have the largest rates of unemployment in the UK. British Asians comprise 4% of the population yet are grossly under-represented in the Parliament. There have been cases where British Asian women have been forced into marriage against their will and even killed for the sake of honour. There have been British Asians involved in cases of extremism, to which the government has responded with both adequate diplomacy and perhaps at times disproportionate force and legislation.

Thus there is a lot that British Asians need. More efforts are required to understand; the challenges they face today both in the UK and abroad, how faith is being misrepresented by some and misunderstood by others and, how community cohesion can be achieved. British Asians require more political awareness and representation as well as more education about social issues. How the British Asians perceive their issues has to be brought to the attention of people at places of decision making.

It is concluded that a platform is being created where there would be free discussion on matters relating to British Asians. It would be open to people from any sect, race or religion to contribute and benefit from this forum. It will take the shape of a think tank which hopefully will feed into places of social and political policy making. It would aspire to become a meeting point for people with academic and leadership skills.

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