Posted on December 14, 2019, 2:01 PM IST
With the crushing defeat at 2019 British elections, Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn has learnt a bitter lesson to not mess with the Indian dispora living in the UK.
Corbyn was clearly looking forward to target India first. His party manifesto had pointed to Kashmir as the first place where a Labour government would want to intervene. His keen attention of the current abgoration of Article 370 in the valley and support to the opposition leaders on detention set Indians off. His loss and unceremonious exit mean a long-drawn diplomatic war with India has been averted.
His resolution had accused the Indian government of ordering and organising rapes in Kashmir Valley. The resolution was slipped in and passed insidiously towards the end of the annual party conference, but Corbyn said or did little later to disown it.
Pakistani government had officially put out a statement that it would wish Corbyn to be the next prime minister of Britain.That resolution sounded his death knell and got Indians’ backs up. Around 130 major Indian organisations wrote in protest to Labour. Once the election was announced, they began to rouse Indians to turn away from their traditional support for Labour. “I have never seen anything like this,” Conservative Party Lord Rami Ranger expressed his surprise. “This election, Indians in Britain really rose as a political force.”
A YouGov survey ordered by the group India Inc. a couple of weeks before the election found a 12 percent Indian swing away from Labour. The results came in line with that predicted trend.
“The Conservative Party has won at least 10 seats in this election on the strength of the Indian vote,” Conservative MP Bob Blackman, elected from Harrow East constituency told the press.
Indians in Britain have a million and more votes between them. Of course, they would count, if Indians would make them count. This time, many more Indians voted than ever before as an identifiably Indian entity with a peculiarly Indian political point to make.
Home Secretary Priti Patel told that Indians post-Brexit will be treated on par with EU citizens.
For now, the Indian voters in Britain, have largely seen off the dangers Corbyn was carrying and seemed impatient to unleash. The Indian political story in Britain is only a sub-text, but a sub-text that has come to be written in bold for all parties to see. It says, don’t mess with India, don’t mess with Indians settled in Britain.