London: Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday said the thousands of Indians and other Asians who arrived in Britain after being expelled from Uganda 40 years ago had made an "extraordinary contribution" to the fabric of British life.
Responding to a question from Indian-origin Conservative MP Shailesh Vara in the House of Commons, Cameron said those in Britain who had opposed their immigration in 1972 were "completely wrong", and also lauded Vara's contribution to parliament.
Vara, MP from north-west Cambridgeshire, was born in Uganda and migrated to Britain with his family in the early 1970s.
Vara recalled that the then Conservative government had allowed the Uganda Asians to migrate here after being expelled by Idi Amin despite much opposition at the time in parliament and other parts of the country.
In August 1972, the Uganda Indians were not welcome in the east Midlands city of Leicester, where over 10,000 of them migrated, and went on to prosper in one of the most remarkable success stories of the Indian Diaspora.
The Leicester city council had then paid for advertisements in the Uganda press, informing that it was "in your own interests and those of your family... Not come to Leicester".
As the community of Uganda Asians mark 40 years of their expulsion and immigration to Britain, the Leicester city council is planning to publicly thank them for transforming the city and region after facing racism and other hurdles as they rebuilt their lives.
Sundip Meghani, son of one of the many Indians expelled from Uganda, has proposed a motion in the same city council thanking the Indians and other Asians from Uganda for their contribution to the city.
First Published: Wednesday, September 12, 2012, 21:49