‘We looked for workers. We got people instead.’ – Max Frisch
Indians have been travelling to and settling in Britain since 1600, about as long as Britons have been sailing to India.
Colonialism powerfully altered what being ‘Indian’ meant culturally and legally in Britain – a meaning quite differently perceived in India. The lived experience of Indians venturing into Britain varied in their historical context, gender, class and individual circumstances.
In the first three hundred years of Indian immigration, many perished in harsh conditions they faced during their journey and in an inhospitable country. Shorter first part of this fiction tells stories of some of them as well as of few who successfully integrated into the British society albeit facing many difficulties. The second part follows the lives of some Indians in interconnected stories of the few who arrived in the UK since 1960 to fulfil demands in various public services, successfully integrating into the British society albeit facing many prejudices.
Right-wing agenda claims an insular ‘all white-England’ apparently under threat from the non-white aliens. Nativist British hostility to immigrants has increased since the Brexit Referendum.
This book tells the stories of Indian immigrants not as an offshoot of race relations but from their perspective.