The history of Indian and Pakistani presence in Britain is long as it dates back to the seventeenth century. Yet the influence of the South Asian community was almost insignificant at that time, for its size remained very small. Only after the Second World War (1939-1945) did South Asian migration to Britain develop into a mass phenomenon. Both reconstruction and the expansion of the economy during the 1950s and 1960s provoked a great need of labour force that the local population was not able to fulfil. The British government encouraged the entry of workers from the former colonies around the world and large-scale immigration of Indian and Pakistani labour started. By 1945, migrants from the newly independent British colonies, such as India and Pakistan , came to Great Britain to settle for a short period of time. In the beginning, they were single young men, attracted by the British lifestyle and the employment opportunities that Britain could offer even to unskilled workers. Most of them knew already someone who had come earlier and could rely on a network of contacts. They lived in simple and crowded accommodation, worked long hours under poor conditions and saved for their families back home. They came as sojourners with no intention of settling, thus they were willing to accept the poor living conditions and refrained from establishing their own ethnic and religious communities. But gradually their stay in Britain was extended, wives and children were brought to Britain, and Indian and Pakistani communities started to develop.
The South Asian migrants in Britain consisted in a number of different groups of people differing in their ethnic origin, language, religion, traditions, customs, dress and education. However, when we consider the size of India and Pakistan, it is surprising that emigration was limited to very small and confined areas such as Punjab, Gujarat and six areas in the two parts of Pakistan (see Appendix A, p. III). Four-fifth of the Indian migration to Britain were Sikhs . They came from two districts in Eastern Punjab - Jullundur and Hoshiarpur. They were the most mobile people in India and they were considered as pioneers. After the partition of India and Pakistan in 1948, they and the Hindus were driven out of their farms across the new frontier. In the exchange of population, millions of refugees flooded into the Eastern Punjab where they took the smaller and sometimes poorer Muslim holdings. Jullundur had the highest percentage of poor landowners and also the highest population density in the Punjab . Therefore it is not surprising that people in that area were very likely to migrate to Britain.
[...] CHAPTER I Pattern of Settlement of the Indian and Pakistani Immigrants in Great Britain The pattern of settlement of South Asian immigrants in Britain is what we are going to study in this first chapter. In the first instance, we will determine where they resided on a national scale and observe the evolution of their distribution throughout a decade. Then we will focus on their settlement within British cities, and show how the process of chain migration, which was characteristic of the Indian and Pakistani communities, affected their presence in certain areas of the towns. [...]
[...] We will see how they used the social services and whether the latter were really appropriate to the very special needs of these immigrant communities in the first years of their stay in Great Britain. CHAPTER I Education and South Asian Children As we have demonstrated in the previous chapters, immigrants from the New Commonwealth and Pakistan tended to settle in inner-city areas where they not only suffered from labour and housing shortages, but also deficiencies in education. The main problems of the schools in those areas were the lack of teachers, inadequate school buildings and overcrowded classrooms. [...]
[...] In other words, Indian or Pakistani immigrants tried to find private accommodation from landlords who were themselves Indians or Pakistanis: per cent of Pakistanis in private tenanted accommodation [had] Pakistani landlords and 53 per cent of Asian tenants in this type of accommodation [had] either Asian or East African Asian landlords.” The attitude of the estate agencies helped to keep alive the stereotype of the immigrants living in poor areas and the systematic association of immigrants with deterioration of property. [...]
[...] The study of the experience of the Indian and Pakistani immigrant communities in Britain from 1948 to 1971 permits us to affirm that, regarding the three subject matters that we have chosen, they were systematically put in a position of disadvantage compared with the British population. By analysing patterns of settlement, employment, socio-economic status, education, social services and housing, we have found out important aspects of social inequality in Britain. As we have detailed before, we can explain this situation by a number of factors specific to the fact that they were immigrants in the sense that they were new to British society. [...]
[...] In this study, we will confine ourselves to giving an account of the experience of the Indian and Pakistani immigrant communities in Britain from 1948 to 1971. The choice of these dates is not fortuitous. In fact this period of twenty-three years corresponds to what is called “primary immigration from the New Commonwealth and Pakistan”, that is to say the arrival in Britain of the first generation of immigrants from former British colonies. It was during this period that South Asian migrants enjoyed the freedom to enter Britain as British citizens, a right that they nevertheless progressively lost during these twenty-three years (see Appendix p. [...]
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