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The irony of UK's integrative initiatives

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“Long distance runners are lonely
And tired of counting each breath
So in the race of life if only
There wasn’t the shadow — of that finishing line”
From Katy Ki Peyti
by Bachchoo

Let’s adapt an old and famous Hindi film song. Here it goes:
Meyra three-piece suit Armani
Meyra jargon Americani
Meri handbag Hong Kong Gucci
Phir be values Inglistani

I dedicate the adaptation to the several British initiatives for integrating the UK’s immigrant population into the life and values of the mainstream “culture” — such as it is.

Integration is the lyric of the decent half of the nation, alienation, exclusion and even expatriation the obsession of the other.

The irony of integrative initiatives to encourage uniformity is that they, by definition, point to the differences.

There have been initiatives in the past to test immigrants on British historical facts, compelling them to mug up primers, much as part of the test to apply for a driving licence entails mugging up on road signs.

There are a myriad other initiatives, some of them under the umbrella injunction of the word “diversity” under which all institutions are meant to redress the balance of employment by recruiting ethnics, gay and lesbian, disabled and transgender persons. So it was written, so it’s being done.

One of the undertakings begun this autumn is a move by the ministry of defence to initiate, finance and support Military Cadet Corps in secondary schools. This will mean training........

© The Asian Age