I was interested and pleased to read the back page of the Messenger
in March entitled ‘Celebrate our roots’ by the Sheffield
Multiple Heritage Service which supports mixed-race Children and
their families. I think it is an excellent idea to encourage young
people to write and express their feeling, which in turn will raise
their self esteem by feeling more positive about their heritage.
I would like to congratulate young people from Firth Park, Firvale
and Hinde House schools and all other individuals involved. Well
I would like to add that, as a second-generation Muslim from Kashmir,
South Asia, I want to assert my ethnic roots. My own heritage is
not being recognised by many institutions, and have to either declare
that I am a Pakistani or Indian, but have always stated that I am
The other frustration for Kashmiris is that they are told that
since Kashmir is not an independent nation state, British Kashmiris
cannot be recognised as such in the National Census. Yet several
councils including Bradford, Luton and Pendle have already recognised
the presence of Kashmiris in their areas.
Kashmiri journalist, Shams ur Rehman, wrote a stark warning in
1999: “While no serious conflict exists between Pakistani,
Indians and Kashmiris over the Kashmir identity… the exclusion
of the Kashmiri identity at official level is breeding a growing
sense of resentment and anger amongst the rising number of British
British Kashmiris in Burngreave argue that they have distinct history,
cultural heritage and language, and 99% of them speak Pahari/Mirpuri
which is different from Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi which are recognised
languages of British Pakistanis and Indians. Younger Kashmiri’s
self esteem is greatly affected by the non-recognition of their
roots and identity – the majority of teaching is biased towards
Indian or Pakistani historical and cultural hegemony, which further
alienates Kashmiris and reinforces the inferiority of their Kashmiri
heritage. The only solace they find is in their religion of which
majority are Muslims and hence share with other Muslims.
Many local authorities usually celebrate by making some sort of
provision on the national, cultural and historical heritage of ethnic
minorities – Kashmir history and culture is totally excluded
and marginalised as ‘political’, whilst Indian, Jamaican,
Pakistani and Bangladesh independence days are regularly celebrated.
For Kashmiris 13th July and 4th and 24th October mark the true historical
events that they can relate to.
Matloub Husayn Ali Khan.
want to hear from you!
June issue we want to look at how drugs affect people in
Burngreave. Let us know what you think or how it affects
you. You can write us a letter or an email.
can phone us, or come along to one of our meetings every
Wednesday 6.30pm at our office.
Park House, Abbeyfield Road, S4 7AT Tel: 242 0564