Professor Salman Sayyid comments in 'Remembering Britain's forgotten war veterans'
Professor Salman Sayyid has commented in an Independent.ae article entitled ‘Remembering Britain’s forgotten war veterans’.
The article highlights the contributions made by Poles, Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus who fought for the British army in the first and second world war. In contrast, the article also brings to our attention the xenophobic violence and hatred against Poles witnessed after the UK recently voted to leave the EU.
It continues by mentioning the discrimination such soldiers experienced once the war was over. Immediately after being demobilised, ‘one West Indian soldier was asked, “When are you going home?”.
Salman comments that “Such recruitment exposed the contradictions at the heart of the European empires”. He adds that “Men were good enough to die for the ‘mother country’, but not good enough to enjoy full political and civil rights.”
The article concludes by arguing that by publicising the roles of ethnic minority soldiers in the world wars, we could experience better community cohesion.