Serving over 22 millions NRIs worldwide
Most trusted Name in the NRI media
We never stop working for you, NRI PEOPLE- OUR NETWORK
NRI News -


Lord Bikhu Parekh chosen from Britain for award of the Pravasi Bhartiya Samman patra 2005

Lord Parekh, who has risen to be one of the most respected Peer and academics, has always taken deep interest in the Asian community and is an authority on British Asian families and community relations. He was the first to defend and define the Indian culture in right perspective when the media here attacked the Indian business practices and the customs generally during the Peter Mandelson and Hinduja passport row. Yet he has never hesitated to adopt what is the best in the British culture or praise its good points and virtues.The perception behind the word NRI was wrong. Indians, he pointed out, have been travelling to other countries for ages. Wherever they may live, they are sort of an extension of India. Come to think of it, there is logic in his description of the people of Indian origin.

From right: Lord Parekh, Sarah Spencer and Antony Lerman,
members of the Commission on the Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain

Lord Bikhu Parekh spoke on the history of peaceful coexistence in India between Muslims and Hindus, on their shared culture and traditions and the enormous contribution Muslims have given to India.

Lord Parekh analysed the rise of Hindu communalism since the 1960s as a response to the disintegration of the caste system. The demonising of Muslims was a means for high-caste Hindus to protect their own interests and deflect the pressures for redistribution of rights and wealth. By turning on the minority the so-called puritan Hindu parties were using the innocent lives of Muslims in a cynical bid to keep control of Gujarat and win votes.

He described his own experiences of anti-Muslim prejudice in Gujarat both on the street, when he himself had been mistaken as a Muslim and very nearly beaten up by Karshevaks and in the ivory towers of academia, where he had witnessed Muslim students suffering from enormous prejudice. Lord Parekh drew parallels of his experience as a minority in the UK with the experiences of Muslims as a minority in India and promised the Dawood his every support in their rightful quest for justice.

He noted that large sums of money were unwittingly going to Gujarat from Hindus in the UK and the USA to fund the activities of Hindu chauvinists in Gujarat and appealed for this activity to stop.

Lord Bikhu Parekh
Academic and chair of the commission on the future of multi-ethnic Britain
September 11 was certainly a turning point in the history of international terrorism. Casualties were higher and more multi-ethnic than ever before, the manner of inflicting them was spectacular, and the targets were of great symbolic significance. The evident linkage between the remote mountains of one of the most backward nations, and the sophisticated nerve centres of the most advanced nation, dramatically demonstrated humanity's inescapable interdependence and shared fate. Will September 11 mark a turning point in the history of the world? Only if each side learns the obvious lessons. America cannot be both an ordinary state pursuing its national interest and a world leader. The latter requires it to be even-handed in its approach to international conflicts, treat all lives as equally sacred, work through international institutions, respect world opinion, and to use its enormous wealth to help create a just world order.

It should not treat individuals and nations as mere pawns in an international game, using and ditching them as its interests dictate, as it has done in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq. Those involved feel used and manipulated, and build up enormous anger and hatred. The U.S.A. must, finally, stop turning limited political conflicts into a Manichean war between civilisations or, worse, between civilisation and barbarism. Such an approach demonises and alienates its opponents, gives it a false sense of moral superiority, and blinds it to the real causes of conflicts.

For their part, Muslim countries need to learn at least two crucial lessons. Hardly any of them has been able to ensure a decent and democratic life for its citizens. They must put their houses in order, however painful it is, and stop blaming the west for all their ills. They must also realise that the impact of modern ideas cannot be avoided, and that they should radically re-examine their traditional beliefs and practices. Hating the west for nurturing and exporting modernity is silly and self-defeating. There are some signs that the U.S.A. might be learning its lessons. Its restraint so far, and its willingness to reconsider its past policies and work through international institutions are encouraging. I don't see such signs in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other vitally important Muslim countries.