Skip to main content

British Premier's bid to invoke Modi name to woo British Gujaratis fails; Labour's Khan is new London mayor

Sadiq Khan
By Our Representative
British Conservative candidate for London mayor, Zac Goldsmith – who received British Premier David Cameron’s support for wooing Gujarati and Punjabi settlers in the city by invoking Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s name – has faced a crushing defeat from his Labour rival Sadiq Khan, who happens to be a Muslim settler from Pakistan.
The 45-year-old son of a Pakistani bus driver beat Zac Goldsmith in what a British daily called “a sometimes bitter campaign during which the Conservatives accused Khan of being ‘dangerous’ and ‘pandering to extremists’. Sadiq’s team had termed Goldsmith’s campaign was “Islamophobic.”
Khan got 1,310,143 votes (57 per cent) after second preferences were taken into account, beating Goldsmith, who received 994,614 (43 per cent) votes. “His tally gave him the largest personal mandate of any politician in UK history”, The Independent said. Khan said it was a victory “hope over fear and unity over division.”
Ahead of the elections, fears were being expressed that the Britain premier was seeking to follow US Republican presidential aspirant Donald Trump in seeking to whip up anti-Muslim sentiment.
Cameron believed Goldsmith was the “only sensible choice” for the city's south Asian communities, particularly Gujarati Hindus and Punjabi Sikhs, when there was an alleged need to be keep “streets safe from terrorist attacks”.
Modi at Wembley Stadium, London
This led to Khan’s team accusing Cameron and Goldsmith of indulging in “divisive racial profiling”.
In his letter sent out the voters of Gujarati origin, 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 implicit attack was on the Labour candidate, who did not attend the event to welcome Modi, who has been accused by Labour leaders of dividing opinion. This was because, “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”, reporting on bitter electioneering, wrote.
A multi-millionaire, Goldsmith also wrote a letter to the Gujarati community, where he said, “Sadiq Khan won’t stand up for the London’s Gujarati community.” Reason, he insisted, was that Khan supported Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party, who wanted to ban Prime Minister Modi from visiting the UK. Khan did not attend the ‘UK Welcomes Modi’ event at Wembley Stadium last year, either.
The daily quoted retired biochemist Barbara Patel, who wrote back to Cameron, 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”.

Comments

TRENDING

Mallika Sarabhai releases speech she was 'not allowed' to give at NID Convocation on Feb 7

Counterview Desk
The National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, a Ministry of Commerce and Industry body, landed itself in controversy following its decision to put off its 40th convocation ceremony, where noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai was invited as chief guest. The ceremony was scheduled to be held on February 7.

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

As corona virus 'travels' to rural areas, NGO begins training tribals, marginalised women

By Souparno Chatterjee*
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared corona virus a pandemic. Originating from Wuhan in China, it has traversed the entire globe, almost, and claimed more than 16,000 lives already. That’s largely the urban population. In India, despite all the preparedness and war-like promptness to safeguard against the pandemic, several lives have been lost , and hundreds of individuals have tested positive.

Rani Laxmi Bai, Tatya Tope 'martyred' by East India Company, Scindia's forefathers

By Our Representative
In an email alert to Counterview, well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam has said that was “shameful for any political party in democratic India to keep children of Sindhias in their flock” given their role during the First War of Indian Independence (1857). In a direct commentary on Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia moving over to BJP, Prof Islam has quote from a British gazetteer to prove his point.

Across the board, among Muslims, Hindus, there's enormous fury at Delhi Police: Report

Counterview Desk
A quick report, prepared by Delhi's concerned citizens, "Let Us Heal Our Dilli", based on one-day visit (February 27) to several areas and mohallas of North East Delhi affected by the riots that gripped the country's capital -- Bhajanpura, Chand Bagh, Gokulpuri, Chaman Park, Shiv Vihar, Main Mustafabad (including Bhagirathi Vihar and Brijpuri) -- has said everywhere there is "zero trust" towards that the police.

Big 'danger' of NPR: A babu can tag anyone as doubtful citizen, Jharkhand meet told

' By Our Representative
People in large numbers from across Jharkhand gathered at the Raj Bhawan in Ranchi to demand that the Hemant Soren government reject National Population Register (NPR) and stop all NPR-related activities. The people’s organisations which participated in the dharna under the banner of the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JMM) resolved to intensify their struggle, insisting, NPR is not a Hindu-Muslim issue but is essentially anti-poor.

COVID-19: Dalit rights bodies regret, no relief plan yet for SCs, STs, marginalized

By Our Representative
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the National Dalit Watch-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, endorsed* by several other Dalit rights organizations, have insisted, the Government of India should particular care of the scheduled castes and tribes, trans folks, persons with disabilities and the women and children from these communities, while fighting against COVID-19 pandemic.

Gujarat govt plan to 'banish' Gandhian activist anti-democratic, unconstitutional

By Rohit Prajapati*
The current Central and Gujarat governments, and their bureaucracy, have been and are still unable to answer and address the concerns raised, with facts, figures, and constitutional provisions, regarding the terror of tourism in the name of the Statue of Unity and tourism projects surrounding it.

Haridwar Swamis lead Khudai Khidmatgar peace march in Delhi 'riot affected' areas

By Our Representative
A Khudai Kidmatgar team, which visited the riot-affected regions along with Swami Shivanand Saraswati and Swami Punyanand, has insisted that India's true heritage is the lesson of ‘vasudhaiv kutumbakam', and it is the responsibility of all to carry froward this legacy. Originally founded by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan in 1930, also known as Frontier Gandhi, Khudai Khidmatgar is claimed to have been revived by young Gandhian activist Faisal Khan in 2011.