Alpesh Patel’s Political Sketchbook: The Prime Minister Leads Us In Remembrance

Alpesh Patel Tuesday 08th November 2022 10:58 EST

I write to you as I prepare to depart for India. Having MC’d the Sardar Patel Memorial Society commemorations at India House, it will be a timely visit.

I will be speaking to businesses with a view to explaining how to establish their companies in the UK.

As we all prepare for Remembrance Sunday, and I observed the Prime Minister and his wife starting the Poppy Appeal outside Number 10, I recalled someone from the Armed Forces who passed away this year. You may sit on many boards, but it's an exceptional privilege and learning experience when you sit alongside a Field Marshall.
Field Marshall Lord Inge and I were on the Council of the Memorial Gates that commemorated the service of the Commonwealth soldiers in the world wars.

He had immense respect for the Indian Army of the Second World War. He spoke of their bravery of which he had read in military history books - such as at Kohima (if Kohima had fallen, Japan would have won Asia. As it was the Imperial Japanese Army faced its first ever great major defeat in combat).
Such people as the Field Marshall have an x-factor. Something maybe we call presence. Stature, gravitas. It was not pomposity or arrogance. It was a fine balance between command and control, between security and questioning. Of course, to a general it is natural - to the rest of us it will take observing the subtle cues of leaders. Most of all it just can't be faked. The belief has to run through your veins.

I was reminded also of this World War 2 poem.

"The life that I have, Is all that I have, And the life that I have, Is yours.
The love that I have, Of the life that I have, Is yours and yours and yours.
A sleep I shall have, A rest I shall have. Yet death will be but a pause.
For the peace of my years, In the long green grass, Will be yours and yours and yours."
And it matters that each of us recognizes that because one in six humans on this planet lives under that Constitution of India, it matters to all of us to help that democracy, India. A patriot of the whole world would help, regardless of nationality, hold up the Indian Constitution.

Article 15 states, ‘The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them.’ As Co-Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Loomba Trust which helps widows in India – do see our work on the website.

Article 21A; “The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years in such manner as the State may, by law, determine” 


Article 23; “Traffic in human beings and begging and other similar forms of forced labour are prohibited.”


Uphold in any way you can these articles of that sacred Constitution.


‘And how can man die better; Than facing fearful odds; For the ashes of his fathers; And the temples of his Gods.’ Do, or die trying. We come from the land of the Ramayan – in which even a God faced fearful odds to save his wife from enslavement. We face fearful odds trying to make the Indian Constitution a reality.

comments powered by Disqus

to the free, weekly Asian Voice email newsletter