As last viceroy, Lord Mountbatten (in white dress uniform, centre
right) handed over to Jawaharlal Nehru (far right). It was Nehru’s work
that made secular democracy thrive in India
- 23 April 2009
Born in Mumbai, Mihir Bose
has won numerous awards for his wide-ranging journalism over four
decades. Now the BBC’s sports editor, he reflects here on democracy in
India – and asks if the British really wanted their former colony to
Looking back to my paper submitted to then Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott 4 December 2004:
Ethnic Pluralism & Social Cohesion indicates that (i) Immigration
has not undermined national integrity (ii) Some immigrant groups have
progressed well, others not (iii) Labour market integration has been unwisely
downplayed (iv) Discrimination persists & thus affects social trust
(v) High risk, alienated, left behind groups are the priority (vi)
Building common glue is vital but so is the need to avoid overly prescriptive,
threatening answers. Promoting solidarity depends on underlying
(in)equality in a three-way triangular relationship thus solidarity <> equality <> diversity.
Thus building greater & more explicit cohesion across ethnic lines depends
on (i) understanding recent history (ii) learning the lessons of how economic
integration has worked abroad and (iii) systematically tackling settled
The Deputy PM’s Community Plan has completely missed Community
Cohesion as a critical issue within it. I am arguing that where there is no
injustice, unfairness &/or inequality – there can be no strife,
dissatisfaction, disappointment, disaffection, complaint or grievance.
In order for Britain to effectively manage and address the
internal risks of communal violence and (putting it bluntly) threats of
terrorism from left behind groups, it has to pay heed to my assertions
in the third paragraph (last page) that Discrimination persists & thus affects social trust.
Rest is history.