Part VI: Identity and Politics
Introduced by Gurj Kang
“Based on the settlement of the communities and their involvement in the workplace, the next thing for them to achieve was political representation. The establishment of a Race Relations act to proffer protection against racial hatred, housing, and then education and employment took time, and was worked in three successive Parliamentary bills in 1965, 1968 and 1976.
“Within this time, the rise of far right politics opposing immigration and the influx of migrants from Commonwealth territories also forced the communities to remain closer together but also to politicise their cause and push for union strength.
“The photos that follow showcase meetings and gatherings that were designed to promote the rights of Indians. Bodies such as the Indian Workers Association, which was large in Bradford and Coventry were important in providing an organised place of support and a voice for the working members.
“Politically, Communism was a popular movement, and had been since the days of India, and the independence movement. A staunch Communist, and often called Comrade by the community, Sarwan Singh was very active in the promotion of rights for Indians and from a Socialist viewpoint.
“Even in India, the socialist movement had been popular, and the exponents of it seen as less corrupt as their left or right wing compatriots as their promises and ideology were rooted very much in the shared growth and development of the villages.”