venerdì 30 luglio 2010


La mia amica Hanisha segnala un bell'articolo di Dean Nelson sul Daily Telegraph.

Antefatto: il governo inglese sta pensando di cambiare la politica di immigrazione dall'India in senso restrittivo. Come già succede in Italia, la gente pensa ci siano troppi immigrati indiani in inghilterra, che rubano posti di lavoro, ecc. Naturalmente, il governo indiano non è d'accordo, e minaccia contromisure che potrebbero danneggiare le aziende inglesi in India. Nell'articolo precedente, l'autore riassume la politica di Cameron così:
Hello India, We had a special relationship when we ruled you. Now you are getting richer and we are getting poorer, can we have more of your business but fewer Indian migrants?

E il governo Indiano risponde così:
But both Messrs Cameron and Hague were told in no uncertain terms last month, by India’s commerce minister Anand Sharma, that current plans to restrict non-EU immigration and student visas will be a major obstacle to the deeper “economic engagement” the prime minister seeks with India.

I lettori del Daily Telegraph commentano, la maggior parte a favore del governo. La loro posizione è più o meno la seguente: "gli indiani sono stati fortunati, l'India ha avuto moltissimo dall'Inghilterra, ora basta, dobbiamo pensare a noi stessi". L'autore risponde quindi con l'articolo linkato. Buona lettura!

What have the Indians ever done for us?

What have they done to deserve a “special relationship”? You’d think the answer is a clear “duh, nothing!” from the comments made on my earlier blog post. They reveal a Britain caught in inside a billiard ball state, where globalisation might yet, if we fight to the last, be held at bay a while longer, and where Indians are lucky blighters to be here.

Some respondents ask if I’ve lost my mind in suggesting we can’t have more Indian business without welcoming more Indians. “India needs to be told to get stuffed,” wrote one, while another asks: “Are you insane Mr Nelson ? Or do you live in a different world to the one I inhabit?”

She is right. I live in a country where growth is at nine per cent, but come from a country where it languishes at just one per cent. Where I live is full of hope and optimism, and British cabinet ministers pleading for more business, and where I’m from is full of fear.

Britain needs David Cameron’s mission to be successful, but for that to happen we need to be warmer in our attitudes towards the Indians who have given so much to Britain over the last three or four centuries. The truth is Indians have made us what we are today. In fact without India, Britain may never have come into being.


India gave Britain vast wealth through its supply of cheap raw materials to British mills, but it also helped to protect our freedom and independence in two world wars. One million Indians served and 60,000 died in the First World War, Pavan K. Varma reveals in his excellent book Becoming Indian, while two and a half million Indians fought for Britain in the Second World War.

Britain’s colonial adventure in India changed the food we eat, the beer we drink, and the English we speak. The blob of HP Sauce on the side of your “Full English” has its origins in India, along with Worcestershire sauce, piccalilli and Camp Coffee (Ready? Aye Ready!), not to mention our love of Mulligatawny, kedgeree and Chicken Tikka Masala. There would have been no need for India Pale Ale (IPA) had our Tommies never been stationed in India and our beloved Gin and Tonic really came of age because of its anti-malarial properties.


India eventually took his advice and created the country whose business we are so desperate to share today. To succeed, Britain will need to be reminded how much we already owe India, the part it played in making us what we are, and why the “shared history” we have is much more equally shared than those who obsess about immigration realise.

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