“As Britain becomes a more multicultural society […] a clearer understanding of communities is vital. To achieve that, multiculturalism will have to be divorced from political correctness.” Focusing on two migrant communities in the UK – the Bangladeshis in London’s Tower Hamlets and the Ugandan Indians in Leicester – Salil Tripathi finds that while business may be the great integrator, cultural tensions have not disappeared. Understanding differences between communities means abandoning multiculturalist clichés about the “Asian community”.
was born in Bombay, India, and is a writer and journalist based in London, and a British national. He has written frequently for the Wall Street Journal, the International Herald Tribune, the New Statesman, the Guardian, the Independent, and Index on Censorship, on topics ranging from economics, politics, culture, and business to cricket. In the 1990s, he was the regional economics correspondent for Far Eastern Economic Review in Singapore and Hong Kong, and reported extensively on the Asian economic boom and the crisis that followed. He has also worked for India Today in Bombay. He obtained his MA in business administration from Dartmouth College in the United States in 1985. He is currently working on a novel set in the second half of the twentieth century in Singapore.
How do outsiders negotiate the new urban space in which they arrive? How do they make it their own?
Extremists are not interested in distinguishing between artistic merit and gratuitous provocation: they want total silence. To restrict freedom of expression to pacify Islamic extremists is patronizing and offensive to moderate Muslims, because it portrays them as being irrational, says Salil Tripathi.