21 September, 2020

A Commons Factor

The growing visibility of Indians in the UK polls reflects their heft at several levels

Vilas Chirakaran
A Commons Factor

Chloe Morrison can’t wait to exercise her franchise in the forthcoming British general elections. A resident of Ealing and Southall borough in London, she is chafed by the controversial plans to strip the local hospital, the only one for miles, of accident and emergency services (A&E). But Chloe and hundreds of her fellow residents are pinning their hopes on a man who is staunchly campaigning to save the crucial A&E services from the axe—their local Conservative candidate Gurcharan Singh.

The 61-year-old devout Sikh is one of the longest serving local councillors in London and just one of the many Indian faces who are set to alter the British political landscape next month. Gurcharan had arrived in Britain four decades ago,  with just three sterling pounds in his pocket and a degree in Mathematics. “I had thought myself to be lucky when I got a job as a trainee guard at the Southall train station. At that time I had never thought I would aspire to be the MP of the same area,” says Gurcharan, who comes...



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