Skip to main content

British Premier "woos" Gujarati Hindus, Punjabi Sikhs, calls Labour Muslim candidate for London mayor "radical"

By Our Representative
Is Britain's Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron following US Republican presidential aspirant Donald Trump in allegedly whipping up anti-Muslim sentiment? It would seem so, if a recent report the British newspaper “The Guardian” is any indication.
The daily has reported that Cameron thinks Zac Goldsmith, Conservative London mayoral candidate, “is the only sensible choice” for the city's London’s south Asian communities, particularly Gujarati Hindus and Punjabi Sikhs, especially when there is a need to be keep “streets safe from terrorist attacks”.
Cameron's open support Goldsmith has made the main opponent, Labour mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan's team calling the prime minister's move as “insulting, divisive and intrusive”.
The daily said, “The prime minister has been criticised for sending out letters targeted at London’s Gujarati Hindu and Punjabi Sikh voters, calling on them to back the Conservative mayoral candidate, Zac Goldsmith.”
Khan’s team said, “It is desperately disappointing that David Cameron is indulging in this sort of divisive racial profiling.”
In his letter sent out the voters of the two communities, under the heading “The Gujarati community makes London great”, Cameron wrote: “Closer ties between the UK and India have been a priority for me as prime minister. I was pleased to join Zac and thousands of British Gujaratis in welcoming Prime Minister Modi to the UK last year.”
"The Guardian" recalls, “The Labour candidate did not attend the event to welcome the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, a leader who has divided opinion. Until 2012, Modi was barred from entering the UK over allegations that in 2002, when he was chief minister of Gujarat state, he failed to stop anti-Muslim riots in which 1,000 people died.”
“The Guardian” writes, “After receiving a letter, retired biochemist Barbara Patel wrote back to the PM, objecting to his 'facile and inaccurate attempt at racial profiling'. She said: 'You have made a number of assumptions based on my surname (Patel = Gujarat and Gujarat = Hindu) and have attempted to use these ethnically based assumptions to ‘scare’ me into voting for your candidate, Zac Goldsmith.”
“I am not from Gujarat. I am not a Hindu, my husband’s family are lapsed Muslims. Above all, I have never been, nor ever would be, a Tory voter”, Patel said, adding, she was of Jewish descent and “the most distasteful aspect” of Cameron's letter was “attempting to cause division between the London Hindu Indian community and its Muslim community”.
The daily says, “Goldsmith has already come under fire for sending out racially profiled letters to prospective voters, in which he described Khan as 'radical; and 'divisive'... and suggested gold and jewellery of Indian families would not be safe under him because he wanted to introduce a wealth tax.”
The daily adds, “Under the heading 'The risk of a Corbyn-Khan experiment', Cameron writes: 'The alternative is Jeremy Corbyn’s candidate, Sadiq Khan. If he wins Londoners will become lab rats in a giant political experiment. His dangerous and unworkable Corbyn-inspired policies would make housing more expensive for the vast majority'.”
“In London, 44% of the population comes from minority ethnic backgrounds, while hate crime against Muslims rose by 70% between 2014 and 2015. Similar letters have been sent to people with Sikh names, outlining the 'dangers' of Khan winning. Some of the letters were also sent to people who are not Sikh, but have Sikh-sounding names”, the daily says.

Comments

ALSO READ

India failing to dictate diplomatic preferences of Nepal, Bhutan, is unfairly blaming Beijing: Chinese daily

By Our Representative
In a sharply-worded editorial, a top Chinese media outfit, described by BBC as state-run, has said, commenting on India's foreign relations with its neighbours, that "speculation and suspicion" is "certainly not diplomacy". Published in "China Daily", the largest circulating English Monday-to-Saturday newspaper with branches across the world, the editorial notes (September 20) that "several recent events" in Nepal and Bhutan, are "gnawing worrywarts in New Delhi".
The editorial -- which comes close on the heels of a sharp critique of India's foreign policy in a state-supported Russian media outfit, Sputnik International, calling India's anti-Pak diplomacy as having "gone awry" following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "half-baked" push for anti-terror drill down "others' throat" -- says, the " worrywarts" include "Nepalese troops taking part in a joint…

Ahmedabad, GIFT, Adani city get 1.68 lakh acre ft Narmada water; Gujarat's rural areas just 4.27 AF: Letter to CM

Counterview Desk
Well-known farmer rights leader Sagar Rabari, in an open letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, has demanded a transparent account of Narmada water, saying, while he has received a "routine reply" from him to his earlier, the data emerging from his RTI application show huge quantity of water being directed to Ahmedabad, the 10 km stretch of Sabarmati for the Ahmedabad riverfront, and nearby elite urban areas, including the Adanis' Shantigram township and GIFT City.

Gujarat BJP MLAs, youth leader "incited" attack on North Indians: Cong releases video

Counterview Desk
Senior Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil, currently in charge of Bihar and national spokesperson, All-India Congress Committee, has sent a legal notice to chief minister Vijay Rupani threatening criminal case and civil defamation suit for accusing him with "baseless statement" that he was responsible for attacks on north Indians in Gujarat.

Ethnocide in Caribbean island filmed following award winning docufilm on Jamaica's anti-colonial Indian roots

International awards winner for Best Feature Documentary Linda Aïnouche for “Dreadlocks Story” (2014), which shows how Indians are entangled in the Jamaican society, and how Hinduism was a source of inspiration for the Rastafari movement, is all set to release her new documentary, “Marooned in the Caribbean”, which aims at documenting the awful desolating living conditions that Raizal people, the native inhabitants of San Andres Archipelago, endure.
Sons of slaves, these islanders have fallen prey to what the Colombian government calls Colombianization. “It’s a process”, according to her, “which kills the Raizal culture; it’s the killing of the Raizal soul. Colombianization subjugates Afro-descendants of San Andres to an ethnocide.”

Explorer, director and producer, Linda Aïnouche writes exclusively for Counterview: ***
Nobody escapes from blood and thunder in Colombia, and definitely not in the archipelago of San Andres, situated closer to Managua and Kingston than Bogota. The Raizal p…

17 lakh Jharkhand elderly, widows, differently abled do not receive pension: Public hearing told, aadhaar is a hurdle

By Our Representative
Hundreds of elderly, widows, single women and differently-abled persons from different districts of Jharkhand gathered near the Raj Bhavan in Ranchi for a public hearing organized by the Jharkhand Right to Food Campaign and Pension Parishad demanding the right to universal social security pensions ahead of World Elderly Day on October 1.

Accused of being RSS plant, Modi man, Hyderabad Urdu varsity chancellor asks President to probe "irregularities"

Counterview Desk
Refused entry in the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), the central university's newly appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed, who claims to be grand nephew of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, has, in a letter to the President of India, said that MANUU vice-chancellor (V-C) Dr Aslam Parvaiz has accused him of being an RSS plant and a Modi man, whose sole aim is to "interfere in the working of the university".

India to deport Rohingya refugees, as the world moves towards prosecuting Myanmar for genocide

By Tapan Bose*
Seven Rohingya Muslims refugees who were held at a detention centre in Assam since 2012 will be handed over to Myanmar. The Supreme Court of India has refused to stop their deportation. The new Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gagoi said, "We are not inclined to interfere on the decision taken".

An elite Kutir set up by Modi far from the "madding" crowd: This Gandhi museum is formal, unapproachable

By Rajiv Shah
Have you ever heard of a Gandhi museum, sough to be projected as the “largest” on the Mahatma, yet totally inaccessible, in sharp contrast to Ahmedabad’s humble, approachable and unassuming Gandhi Ashram on the banks of Sabarmati, set up by the Mahatma during the heydays of the freedom movement? It exists about 30 kilometres away, its idea was conceived by none other than a person who has today become even more inaccessible than he ever was: Narendra Modi, India's Prime Minister.

History less known: Kasturba's role as an independent woman and a freedom fighter in her own right

By Nandini Oza*
Even the most deserving of women do not find a place that equals their worth in history. Kasturba is one such woman whose contribution to India’s struggle for freedom has been exemplary, and yet, it has not received the recognition it deserves. Kastur Makhanji Kapadia was born in the year 1869, the same year and in the same town of Porbandar in Gujarat as Gandhiji. In fact she was older than Gandhiji by a few months.

Post-MJ Akbar resignation: #MeToo movement and fears of backlash

By Sheshu Babu*
For the last few days, #MeToo movement has picked up momentum and many women are coming out with horrific tales of severe harassment in their past lives. They are not afraid anymore to expose famous persons including those at ministerial levels. As a senior journalist Neeraja Chowdhury opined (“An exit, a beginning”, October 18, 2018, indianexpress.com), "The #MeToo revelations are like the eruption of a volcano which was imminent, given the journey working women have covered. It was not easy to make public what they had gone through,and take on powerful men.”