The monumental contributions of British Asians from Yorkshire that have shaped the UK
(Image by pt Profit)
British Asians have made numerous significant contributions to the UK over the decades, which have helped shape the country into what it is today. Without these contributions, the UK would not be in the position it currently enjoys. We take a look at the history of the arrival of Asians and the various areas where they have played important roles.
The United Kingdom was experiencing a shortage of manual labour after the end of World War II. Many workers from Pakistan, which at the time included modern-day Bangladesh, were brought over to fill up the positions in factories and warehouses across the country.
Meanwhile, doctors and nurses from India were invited to the UK to work at the newly-formed National Health Service (NHS), formally established in 1948. This was a time when people from the Indian subcontinent, as well as Asian people who had settled in East Africa and the Caribbean, were also seeking a better life.
Throughout the 1950s and 60s, Asian communities began to form across Yorkshire, especially in areas such as Bradford, Leeds, Sheffield, Huddersfield, and Dewsbury. These communities brought not only their expert skills and work ethic but also their unique culture, which has since become an integral part of British society today.
Asian immigrants and those of Asian heritage have played a significant role in the British economy. The community has made significant contributions in the UK, particularly in Yorkshire as it sees a larger concentration of Asians. From business to healthcare, politics to arts and entertainment, British Asians have played an instrumental role in shaping the region’s cultural, social and economic landscape.
One of the most notable contributionvs of the British Asian community in Yorkshire is in the area of business. A large number of Asian entrepreneurs from the county have established successful businesses, providing employment opportunities and boosting the local as well as the national economy. Anwar Pervez, the founder of Bestway Group, is one such individual who started his career as a bus driver in Bradford and went on to become one of the richest men in the UK.
The food industry is another area where British Asians from Yorkshire have made significant triumphs. The region is home to several successful Asian food restaurants and restaurant chains – Aagrah, MyLahore and Icestone Gelato, being some of them, which are now household names. The popularity of Indian food has grown exponentially in the UK, thanks to the influence of British Asians who have established successful curry houses not just in Yorkshire but across the country.
British Asians have been an active part of politics in Yorkshire and the UK. Even though not from Yorkshire, the prime minister of the United Kingdom, Rishi Sunak, has been MP for Richmond since 2015. Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, who was born and raised in Dewsbury, was the first Muslim woman to serve in a British Cabinet. Naveeda Ikram made history as the UK’s first Muslim woman Lord Mayor after accepting the role at Bradford Council in 2011.
entertainment industry (Image by IMDb)
The healthcare sector is thriving owing to significant contributions made by British Asians. As mentioned earlier, many Asian doctors and nurses were invited to work in the newly established National Health Service (NHS) after being trained in medical schools run by the British Empire. Today, doctors, nurses and other medical staff of Indian, Pakistani and Sri Lankan heritage make up a large portion of the NHS workforce in Yorkshire.
In the arts and entertainment sector, British Asians have become sources of inspiration for several children from the younger generation to dream big and pursue a career in film, television and music. Jimi Mistry, Mandip Gill and Sair Khan are all accomplished actors known for popular projects that include East is East, Doctor Who and Coronation Street respectively.
Zayn Malik, a Pakistani-origin singer from Bradford, is one of the most sought-after names in the music industry and found fame through One Direction. Poet Shamshad Khan and magician Dynamo, both from Bradford, are also well known. Broadcasters Anita Rani, from Bradford, and investigative journalist Mobeen Azhar, from Huddersfield, have also achieved immense success in their respective fields.
Finally, in sports, British Asians are dominating the world of cricket. Top Yorkshire cricketers such as Ajmal Shahzad and Azeem Rafiq have made the country as well as the community proud with their discipline and sportsmanship.
In conclusion, the Asian community in Yorkshire is invaluable and has added to the region’s cultural, social and economic landscape. British Asians have played an important role in shaping Yorkshire’s identity and history, making it home to some of the most successful people in the country. Their contributions have enriched the region and made it the vibrant and diverse place we know today.