Divided Loyalties

The historical presence of South Asian men and women in Britain has been ignored for too long, says Shompa Lahiri, who has investigated their experiences during the Second World War.

This year is a significant one for Indo-British relations. 2007 not only commemorates the sixtieth anniversary of Indian and Pakistani independence, it also marks the 150th anniversary of the 1857 ‘Indian Mutiny’. An important landmark in the history of South Asian Britain, one that is more likely to pass unacknowledged, also took place in 1857 – the establishment of the Strangers’ Home for Asiatics in Limehouse to cater for the spiritual and welfare needs of Indian and other colonial seamen in London’s East End.


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