In one of the most traumatic displacements in the history of the modern Indian Diaspora, thousands of Indians were forced to flee Uganda in 1972 when the ruling dictator, Idi Amin, ordered them out. Families were given 90 days to leave the country which they had known to be their own, and had called their own. Ugandan Indians sought asylum in many parts of the world, including mainly in the U.K., U.S.A., Canada, Sweden, Kenya, Tanzania, Australia and India.
41 years after Ugandan Asians, mostly of Indian descent, arrived at the Standsted Airport, a group of 130 people gathered together in London to mark the unveiling of a plaque in November. They also shared their experiences and, of course, their memories. On our cover is one such person, Mr Dawada, who arrived in Sweden in September 1972 from Uganda and has been captured displaying a newspaper from that time by photographer Bhupendra Jethwa.
Even though they arrived clutching on to a suitcase and with almost no money, hard work and discipline, entrepreneurship and innovation, has taken some of those Uganda Asians to the top echelons of social life in Britain.
The get-together was organized by Mr Praful Patel, chair of the India Overseas Trust, and a plaque was installed. The Trust also received a special message from Prime Minister David Cameron that said that the “British Uganda Asian community has made an enormous contribution to our society and offers us a wealth of examples of hard work and charity, yielding real success and lasting achievement. This plaque and this celebration are a fitting culmination of a year of commemoration of the momentous events of 1972.”
In the Ugandan package we have traced down some stories from the India Empire archives and put them together.
Continuing with our African theme, we also have a write-up on the 50th independence year of Kenya by senior journalist, Mr Kul Bhushan. He has worked in this East African nation as a newspaper editor for 22 years. He traces the history of Kenyan Indians in his article.
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