Interview with British Asian, Kishan Koria, on the disdain shown by some British living Indians towards the England cricket team!
Down the years numerous British Asians representing England have received abuse from minorities of Indian fans also living in the UK. In a Sportzwiki exclusive our writer Will Godley talks to British Asian Kishan Koria tackling this strange and disturbing matter
Will – To this minority of British Asians booing, is the England cricket team seen as a symbol of institution & white power?
Kishan – Well it’s weird with the India fans because when England play other teams they are positive towards them but when they meet them it’s like a phenomenon. India always have great support for these games and fill up most of the stadium and unfortunately a small minority act badly but I don’t think it’s anything as deep as that. The majority of British Asians don’t feel that way, it’s just a small minority.
Will – As a young British Asian yourself does it annoy you that after years of prejudices the British public now accept all cultures and ethnicities, allowing Moeen Ali & Ravi Bopara to represent England, it would seem they are now receiving conflicting messages from these Indian fans that they are in fact not real Brits in their eyes?
Kishan – To be honest it upsets me and is the reason why I wanted to speak out. This vocal minority are not aware of what they are doing because they are fueling far right-wing parties such as the BNP’s argument. They by seeing these actions, are able to to use it as an example of British Asians not assimilating into society.
Will – Could the booing and stick given to British Asians representing England just be tribalism or banter?
Kishan – I believe it could be something a little deeper. I hear a lot of people saying that the booing of Moeen Ali & Ravi Bopara is just banter. Although when people put their bad actions down to banter, I worry that it’s just a way of concealing something unsavoury. It is strange that young Asians like them, who do so much for multiculturalism in this country, would get the brunt of it.
Will – Could perhaps be born out of insecurities about their identities being young Asians?
Kishan – That is a good question but most british Asians feel comfortable in their Britishness and see what the likes of Bopara and Ali are doing as something good amongst the majority of them.
Will – Could the disdain towards the England team also be based on the fact that they feel like outsiders in this country or because they have possibly been racially abused in the past?
Kishan – A lot of people support a team or get their views based on their parents and their ancestors may have faced racial abuse in the past. This could be a major reason for their lack of allegiance towards England if true.
Will – Are the likes of Bopara and Panesar genuinely seen as traitors?
Kishan – They have been seen as traitors and even called that in Bopara’s case by this minority but most don’t feel this way. I believe it’s nonsense. Only the minority go and abuse them or say that. They don’t represent the overriding views of the British Asian community.
Will – In India the cricket team is so big and such a source of pride to the country, so is this also based on their fanatic passion towards their side?
Kishan – It’s mainly born out of pride. Maybe, it’s all we have so there is great support and passion at all the teams games. However that can go too far sometimes as in this case.
Will – Lastly, will these actions prevent other young british Asians from choosing to play for England at the risk of being outlawed by their own?
Kishan – Well from the research I have done, most aren’t put off by it as they see no harm is really meant and that it is just the view of a small minority. It’s the game they love and have grown up playing, I personally believe British Asians representing England is a good thing because we are quite good!