The statue of Mahatma Ghandithat which stands outside Manchester Cathedral, the gift of a Gujarati spiritual mission, was meant as a symbol of ‘peace, love and harmony’ after the appalling terrorist attack at Manchester Arena. But it has had the opposite effect. Sara Khan, liberation and access officer for Manchester University student union, has demaded its removal because Ghandi, who said that Asians were more developed than Africans, was really a racist ogre complicit in British imperialism. The presence of his carved effigy will harm students:
‘Gandhi was a virulent anti-black racist. This statue would not promote peace but instead promote Gandhi’s racist and anti-black ideology, and promote continued violence in Kashmir.’
The decolonialising movement has extended its reach to the man who gained independence for India: who repudiated violence and who extolled the innate virtue of the human being. His unique contribution to humanity earned him a similar end to that of black civil rights leader Martin Luther King: on 30th January 1948 he was assassinated by a Hindu fanatic on his way to an evening prayer meeting in Delhi
Ignorant revisionism is par for the course in student politics. But this is part of a broader problem in our ideologically-driven, inquisitional culture. India is becoming the new Israel. It is perceived as a threat by the Left: locally, in its control of Kashmir, and globally in the intellectual and commercial success of ethnic Indians.
Ivy League universities are now discriminating against Indians in imposing racial quotas. Squeezing of the proportion of white students doesn’t trouble the diversity commissars (in British universities, the dearth of white working-class students is hardly mentioned), but the increasing Asian population on campus is exacerbating the limited black representation. Talented and aspirational young men and women of Indian heritage are penalised. As their educational attainments cannot be discounted, they are downgraded on subjective and biased personality assessment (e.g. likeability). A law suit against Harvard by the Students for Fair Admissions campaign failed, but at least this shoddy practice has been exposed.
Martin Luther King’s dream of a colour-blind society has been discarded by liberal progressives, whose obsession with racial prejudice correlates inversely with actual prejudice.
Coleman Hughes, a black American, worried about this racial engineering: –
Despite its seeming popularity, affirmative action has always presented a problem for even its most ardent supporters: it is a racist policy.
When America has flu, Britain catches a cold. College administrators are busily working on access, with loudening calls by the likes of MP David Lammy for equality in admissions and awards. A few brave commentators have stood up to this anti-meritocratic movement. As Douglas Murray observed in The Madness of Crowds, his critique of identity politics, it is unrealistic to expect all racial groups to perform equally on every measure.
IQ is dangerous territory, particularly when discussing race. The Bell Curve is treated as a companion volume to Mein Kampf. But whether by nature or nurture, some ethnic minorities fare better than others, and inconvenient truths should be explored rather than brushed under the carpet. If Chinese and Indian students dominate, what can we learn from them?
India has a growing middle class, built on educational discipline. Its growing tech industry has expanded well beyond Bangalore, and it has a burgeoning outer space programme. The British government sees India as a major trading partner, and a strong rapport has been developed with the current leader, Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi. This concerns the Labour Party, as does the shift in voting patterns in the UK.
‘How the Conservatives stole the British Indian vote from Labour’, an article in the academic website The Conversation, hinted at lasting change. Corbyn offended the Indian government with his comments on the latest Kashmiri crisis, and an emergency motion denouncing the security operation was passed at the Labour Party conference. On 14th October 2019 over a hundred British Indian community organisations wrote to Jeremy Corbyn warning that such interference was harming community relations in this country.
The Labour Party, already being investigated for rampant anti-Semitism under Corbyn’s leadership, has been accused by political strategist Manoj Ladwa of ‘institutional bias’ against Indians. Ladwa resigned from Labour after more than twenty years due to the hijacking by ‘hard-left extremists and jihadi sympathisers’.
True to form, Corbyn reads a complex situation as a simplistic dichotomy: Muslim minority good, Hindu nationalism bad; poorer Pakistan good, richer India bad. In the British electorate there are millions more votes to harvest in the Muslims of Indian subcontinent heritage than there are of Hindu and Sikh communities.
Gandhi is thus reclassified as a member of the oppressor class. Indian students beware: you are fair game now that anti-Israel protests are discouraged. You will be perpetually criticised, harassed and expected to apologise for being such brainy brutes.
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I’ll never forget the day, 35 years ago, when I invited a Hindu friend to lunch and took her to the Kashmir Halal restaurant in Oxford’s Cowley Road. In my undergraduate ignorance, I was unaware of any incompatibility between “Hindu” and “Halal”: all I knew was that the restaurant offered the best Indian food I could afford.
She agreed that the food was good, but said that it was spoilt by the hostility she saw in the waiters’ eyes. At the time, I thought she was paranoid, but I’m not so sure now.
The Partition of India was the cause of my friend’s uneasiness, and also the cause of tens of thousands of deaths. Those deaths are mostly the fault of M K Gandhi and his intransigent pals. Please don’t call him “Mahatma”, which means “venerable”. The sanctimonious extremist ought to be loathed, not venerated.
Gandhi can be partially responsible for India’s partition and the carnage that followed. After all, he was only human and could have done harm even when he meant well. But I am sure he was not the only one responsible for it. There were quite a lot of extremists among both Hindus and Muslims who gladly fanned the fires of communal hatred. There must have been also a lot of unscrupulous politicians greedy for power and cynical profiteers. There always are in such situations. The British administration might have made certain blunders which made things worse.
You cannot blame one single man for that inferno.
But I agree with you in that Gandhi’s personality cult is a bit silly – like all personality cults, for that matter.
Antonio: If you re-read my comment you’ll see that I blamed Gandhi and his pals, not Gandhi alone. Among his pals I’d include many British politicians of the time.
But Gandhi was exceptionally sanctimonious and therefore exceptionally detestable.
Thank you for this specification. But don’t you think that at least some Muslim leaders could have their share of responsibility for India’s partition and for the bloodshed that accompanied it? As for the Hindus, it was not only Gandhi’s pals, but also his Hindu enemies, one of whom finally killed him, did their best to foster hatred and division among Indians.
I think more than M K Gandi who actually did much to bring harmony between Muslim and Hindu before he was killed should be considered rather the role of Nehru, Menon, Jinnah, and a British administration that wanted to exit so quickly it made no preparation, and aslo wanted to leave so quickly it made little or no interference or arbitration.
Afro-Carribeans so quick to turn against Ghandi. The tension between “bourgeois” Asians and “keep it real” Afro-Caribbeans ” has been therefor as long as I can recall but it is never openly acknowledged by the Rent-A-Mob, or their cheerleaders.
The tension between “bourgeois” Asians and Afro-Caribbeans has been there for as long as I can recall, as has the tension between Christian well educated Nigerians and Afro-Carribeans but it is one of those things “we” must not talk about.
In Corbyn’s party it is Moslems good, Jews bad; is the second the result of the first? I have not seen that suggested in any of the recent reporting of antisemitism.
Accusations of racism always seem to end up in the same place – ie. blacks (Africans, Afro-Caribbeans, Afro-Americans, negroes) angrily assert that they are getting a raw deal as a consequence of everybody else’s racial bias. They should therefore be given preferential treatment to compensate for historic injustices. Bring on the reparations!
Some years ago I worked with a woman who grew up in the ethnic Indian community of Trinidad. These people were descended from indentured labour brought to Trinidad from India in the British Empire era. She returned there annually to visit her family. There were, she told me, growing tensions between the black and Indian communities with indians frequently subjected to harassment and even violence by blacks. The source of resentment was the financial and educational success of the Indians.
There seems to be an issue of rampant self-esteem at work here. Far too many black activists show a marked unwillingness to embrace the notion of personal responsibility. As the activists see it blacks never really fail. They are always failed by others.
You can get away with being a racialist providing that you have that magic protective shield around you called ‘victim’.
David Lammy doesn’t do his brothers any favours.