Asians in Britain: 400 Years of History by Rozina Visram

By Rozina Visram

'Rozina Visram's very good ebook does for Asians what Peter Fryer completed for African Caribbeans in his groundbreaking e-book, Staying Power.'
Socialist Review

'An unheard of advent to Asian legacy and background in Britian' Muslim News

Praise for Rozina Visram’s earlier pioneering learn,
Ayahs, Lascars and Princes:

'A energetic– and well timed– survey of British Indian history.' Salman Rushdie

'Rozina Visram’s first-class e-book does greatly to give an explanation for how the assumption of white supremacy lingers.' Hanif Kureishi

'Scholarly, succinct and gripping to read.' Dilip Hiro, TLS

In this new, groundbreaking e-book, Rozina Visram bargains an generally researched, entire learn of Asians from the Indian subcontinent in Britain. Spanning 4 centuries, it tells the background of the Indian group in Britain from the servants, ayahs and sailors of the 17th century, to the scholars, princes, infantrymen, pros and marketers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Drawing on basic assets and lately declassified executive files, Visram examines the character and development of Asian migration; reliable attitudes to Asian payment; the reactions and perceptions of the British humans; the responses of the Asians themselves and their social, cultural and political lives in Britain. This innovative and special research asks what it is going to were like for Asians to dwell in Britain, within the middle of an imperial city, and files the anti-colonial fight via Asians and their allies within the united kingdom. it really is a useful contribution to our knowing of the origins of the various diverse groups that make up modern Britain.

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Extra resources for Asians in Britain: 400 Years of History

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118 Some other early visitors were educated Muslims. Mirza Itesa Modeen came on a political mission in 1765 as an emissary of the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam, to get the support of King George III against the Company. Muhammad Husain, in 1776, came to learn western advances in astronomy and anatomy, while Mirza Abu Talib Khan, from Lucknow, was on a private visit. Between 1799 and 1803, he travelled around Britain and Ireland, and was lionised by upper class society. Munshi Ismail was brought to England in 1772 by Claud Russell, an employee of the EIC in Bengal, as his personal Munshi (teacher).

The first set of statistics relates to the ‘Country’ ships, wholly crewed by lascars, and allowed to bring goods to Britain during the Napoleonic Wars. The returns to the Bengal Board of Trade, dated 1800, reveal that of the total crew of 287 lascars on three ships, the Cavera, the Gabriel and the Calcutta, 73 died on the voyage to England, and 11 on the return voyage; 22 were discharged sick in England, while 36 deserted. Thus 145 lascars, just over 50 per cent, returned home to Bengal. In another instance, Joseph Hume, the surgeon on the Houghton, which left England for Bombay, in June 1799, complained that the ship was crowded, with 223 lascar passengers, ‘many of them … in a dangerous situation’, suffering from fever, flux and venereal disease; others ‘with ulcers on different parts of their body which remained obstinate … ’; 14 died during the voyage.

In the words of Equiano: … they reached Sierra Leone just at the commencement of the rains. 88 Were the Black Poor ‘ejected’ from the country in a hurry? The balance of evidence suggests otherwise. The problem of lascars is more complex. As a matter of policy and for political reasons, ‘to prevent reflections on us … from the people of India’, the Company, as a last resort, repatriated destitute Indians. 89 Pending a return passage, lascars had to be maintained in Britain. The EIC claimed that responsibility lay with the ship-owners and the Company took charge only in case of ‘necessity’.

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