‘South Asian diaspora has made huge contributions to the British economy and society’ – South Asia Time

‘South Asian diaspora has made huge contributions to the British economy and society’

 June 9, 2024  

London – Prof Surya P Subedi, a leading UK-based academic and Barrister- has said that South Asian diaspora has made huge contributions to the British economy and society.

Delivering a keynote address on the theme “South Asian Diaspora in the UK: Partners in Progress,” Prof. Subedi, who teaches international law at the University of Leeds, said that British citizens of South Asian descent were excelling in almost every sector in the British society except football.

Saluting the ingenuity of Bangladeshi and Indian restaurateurs in the UK, Prof Subedi said South Asian people have made their space in the British society through hard work, discipline and by promoting family values. “From Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to three-time Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to Lord Karan Bilimoria, people from South Asian descent are leading the UK in various sectors. Now the challenge is to pass this ingenuity and discipline to the young generation,” he added.

Addressing the interaction organised by www.southasiatime.com, a UK-based online news portal, on Saturday, Prof Subedi said British society is the most liberal society in whole of Europe. “While far right parties are making gains in France, Italy, The Netherlands and other European countries, far right in the UK are not as hard line as in other European countries. It is because of the multicultural British society that they had to reconcile their hard line with the reality.”

Prof Subedi said that despite being new immigrants in the UK, Nepali diaspora were excelling in academia, business and service sectors. “With over two century long relations, Nepal and the UK enjoy unique relationship which is now flourishing at the people-to-people level,” said Prof Subedi, “You should encourage your children and young people to engage in local politics. Let us  hope we will have Nepali origin MP in the House of Commons within the next 10 years or so.”

Deputy Chief of Mission at the Nepali embassy in London, Mrs Roshan Khanal, said South Asia is known for its rich culture, heritage and strong family values. “South Asians take these values with them wherever they go and also pass these values to their children,” said Mrs Khanal and advised immigrant communities to integrate with the host population while protecting their own identity, language and culture. “We are so proud to see South Asian community registering progress in every sector,” she added.

Former Mayor of Harrow, Councillor Suresh Krishna, said there were no barriers left for the South Asian community in the UK anymore. He urged people from South Asian descent to protect their culture and heritage.

Former VP of Non Resident Nepali Association ICC and chairman of Holy Cow Group, Kul Acharya, said Britain offered a lot to law-abiding citizens. “South Asian community are hardworking, disciplined and help each other. We are grateful to Britain for the opportunities it is offering to us as well as to our children.”

Deputy Chief of Mission at the Nepali embassy in London, Mrs Roshan Khanal, unveiled the biography of Prof Surya P Subedi written by London-based Nepali journalists, Bhagirath Yogi and Nabin Pokharel. Commenting on the book, research fellow at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the Oxford University, Dr Krishna Adhikari, said extraordinary achievements made by Prof Subedi during his career are a source of inspiration for all including people from the South Asian community. “In his role as UN special rapporteur on Human Rights for Cambodia, as an advisor to the Foreign Secretary of the UK and as a writer and academic, he has contributed a lot which needs to be studied and discussed further.”

Mrs Khanal and Prof Subedi also felicitated community heroes and community leaders of South Asian descent in the UK.  Head Priest of the London Buddhist Vihara, Ven Bogoda Seelawimala Nayaka Thera, former MP for Ealing Southall, Virendra Sharma, Former Corporal Hari Budha Magar, a double above-knee amputee from the Gurkha regiment who summited Mount Everest, Bangladesh-born British entrepreneur founder chairman and managing director of Euro Foods, Shelim Hussain MBE, leading British Indian entrepreneurs Dinesh Gandhi and Steve Mody, Gurkha Justice Campaigner Gyan Raj Rai, President of Britain Nepal Chamber Dr Kapil Rijal,  Consultant Nurse in Critical Care at Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, Suman Shrestha MBE, and founder of Yumi and Utam Boutique Uttam Nepal were felicitated at the event.

Similarly, former deputy Mayor of London Borough of Barnet Councillor Lachhya Gurung, NRNA leader and entrepreneur Dayanedhi Sapkota, UK-based Nepali singer Situ Kharel, former Mayor of London Boroughof Harrow Councillor Krishna Suresh, Councillor Sasikala Suresh, philanthropist Rabindra Jung Lamichhane, fashion designer Sanyukta Shrestha, founder of The Makesworth Foundation Sanjay Sah, artiste Govinda Sah Azad, celebrity chef Vivek Singh and entrepreneur Manoj Mehta were also felicitated at the event.

Chief editor of www.southasiatime.com, Bhagirath Yogi, welcomed the participants while editor, Dr Jagan Karki, extended vote of thanks. Dr Sangita Shrestha ‘Swechha’ hosted the event.