4000 Miles to Home: Identity + Politics

May 19, 2015 Bradford Civic Society

4000 Miles to Home: Identity + Politics

Indian Workers: The need to unionise workers, and also provide informal groups for support began with the male migrants, who were interdependent, and for survival, and comfort, saw a community internalise.

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.

Meeting Hall: Recital of prose, poetry and any detail that helped to support the manifesto or cause, was seen in a good light.

“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.

The Cause: It was important to have an integration into the various ways that audiences and officials could be drawn into the cause. This in itself was a catalyst for many to adapt and learn the language of the workplace and employment law and rights.

Building Bridges: It was important to build bridges with Work and local authorities to enable discourse. The events here show a positive move where the stage was shared.

“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.”

Traditional Punjabi Folk Singer: The maintenance of traditional art form was also highly important in not having cultural signifiers be diluted or lost and as performance to encourage larger audiences.

Local Traditions: Having local Councillors or prominent English support was seen as a major boost to the cause.

Wider Audiences: The provision of a stage and a platform for these views became an important part of the desire to build a British identity and find common cause and purpose.