31 October, 2020

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown

One of UK's best-known columnists, she writes on politics and culture for major dailies like The Independent and Evening Standard

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown
What made you leave Uganda in 1972?

Idi Amin was making life very difficult for Indians there, trying to kick us out. I got a scholarship to Oxford and left as a young girl.

How did that experience shape your writing?

I’ve always felt I don’t belong anywhere. Not African, not Indian, certainly not English.

You’re seen as a liberal writer. What sort of expectations does that create?

Blacks and Asians say I should never criticise our own communities. But we have to examine ourselves to move ahead.

How do you view New Labour’s role in Iraq?

I have no words to describe the utter shame I feel for voting for Tony Blair. He should be tried in an international court.

Why did you return your MBE?

I didn’t agree with the war and I don’t buy this concept of a ‘New Empire’. The poet Benjamin Zepheniah shamed me into it live on TV.

Was there a change in attitude towards young Asian Muslims in Britain after 7/7?

There were backlashes, sometimes violent. But like America,...



To read this piece, and more such stories in India's most exciting and exacting magazine, plus get access to our 25-year archives goldmine, please subscribe.

More from Prayaag Akbar

Latest Magazine

November 09, 2020

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section