Within one hour of launching the letter of protest to the Labour Party’s Emergency Motion on Kashmir, this newspaper had signatures in support of the protest from over 65 British organisations. These spoke to, if not for, the vast majority of British Indians. That motion seeks to contravene British policy and interfere in India’s internal politics – in an effort to embarrass and demean an ally of ours, and an enemy of those passing the Motion.
Labour have totally under-estimated the backlash. Manoj Ladwa, former Chair of the Labour Friends of India resigned and publicly condemned the Labour Party. This paper, long-standing in its support of Labour has led the campaign against the Labour motion. The Manchester Labour Mayor is being cold-shouldered in India for his forthcoming trip. The London Labour Mayor is being rejected by participants from the community for Diwali in the square.
We want to get to over 100 signatures and are well on the way. To those who have not heard and so not signed – this is not about any one campaigner, or organisation. This is the opportunity you’ve called for and sought to show one unified front. This is what you’ve always said British Indians don’t do. This is your time, your opportunity. Those not on board with the vast vast majority will rue that they were not part of the fraternity, the brotherhood and sisterhood. Their members will ask questions too.
We will name all signatory organisation next week as promised. If we do not stand up now, then when? For our values of a Britain of multi-cultural values, of religions living peaceably together, if we do not add our names to this letter to Jeremy Corbyn, that he cannot take for granted the votes of British Indians, he cannot allow his party to be hijacked by extremists, that we will not appease the support of terrorism in the guise of ‘freedom fighters’, that at best we will abstain in supporting his Party, at worst, we will rise up to actively oppose it, not just now, but for a generation.
This is a game-changer. The attacks on the elderly outside the Indian High Commission. The attack on the Indian flag, the High Commission – a symbol for the dignity of India and Indians in Britain.
We stand against the slander against our heritage. We stand against the claims we are not the guardians of human rights. We stand against the insult to our faith, that it is not open to all cultures and peoples of the world. We stand against deceit and terror and violence. We British Indians who proudly integrate stand by our Britishness and Indian values which are one and the same. And we stand against the forces of division who seek to divide us as a community among ourselves as Indians, and between us as Asians and a Britons.
Here, through this letter and campaign from this paper we make our stand, united. One for all. Once and for all. Join us. To all my fellow British Indian organisations, I say this, lay down all pride, all division, all difference. Be one at this moment. Send the message – we are as united as the Union of India. The lions of Ashoka can roar. To the adversaries of peace, multi-culturalism, multi-ethnicity unity, I say this, “I fear all you have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”
If you’ve not signed up for your organisation, please email your name, position and organisation you represent to: [email protected]