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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