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The India Centre for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development

The Ramniklal Solanki Pioneers Project

The Ramniklal Solanki Pioneers Project

The Ramniklal Solanki Pioneers is a ‘living history’ resource project aimed at narrating the life histories of British-Asians who have made Britain their home and contributed to its modern society particularly since the 1960s. In doing so, we aim to understand the associated wider sociocultural, intellectual and economic impact that South Asians have had on British society over the last 100 years. This research project will create a digital platform where the data will be stored, curated and shared, with the aim that this platform can be augmented and become a ‘living legacy’ which truly captures the spirit of the United Kingdom.

Pioneers Project

Connecting the living bridge between UK and the Indian sub-continent 

People from the Indian-subcontinent have been settling in Britain since the 1600s. At first, they were ayahs, domestic servants, nannies and seamen. By the mid-19th century, scholars, diplomats, traders and business people swelled those numbers. The two World Wars in the 20th century, under the Empire, cemented the connections between Britain and the Indian sub-continent. By the 1960s, Britain was used to seeing a steady flow of people from South Asian origin, who have made significant contributions to Britain, its culture and diverse history.

As we enter the third decade of the 21st century, it is clear that we have missed opportunities to honour and cherish the achievements of British-Asians. They have contributed to every facet and every aspect of British life, while upholding their values and cultural roots. From humble corner shops open all hours; life-saving surgeons; barristers representing the oppressed, even dispensing justice as high court judges; to chefs who have changed the British palate; actors entertaining us; politicians and leaders who frame and make laws; media moguls who, while ensuring diversity in what we read and see, hold people to account; and scientists and Nobel prize winners; British-Asians have had to overcome hurdles to rise to the very top. Each has different stories to tell.

The Ramniklal Solanki Pioneers project is a flagship interdisciplinary research programme of the University India Centre, which will feature a series of inspiring case studies of Pioneers whose lifetime contributions have an ever-lasting impression and impact on British society. The project is a collaboration between the University of Southampton and the Asian Media Group, supported by the India Business Group and UKRI.

 

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The Ramniklal Solanki Pioneers Project Research Team

Professor Jane Falkingham (Co- investigator)

Professor Jane Falkingham (Co- investigator)

Population change, Ageing, International Relations, Life Course analysis, Professor of Demography and International Social Policy, School of Economic Social and Political Sciences

Professor Sabu Padmadas (Co- investigator)

Professor Sabu Padmadas (Co- investigator)

Population change, Ageing, International Relations, Life Course analysis, Professor of Demography and International Social Policy, School of Economic Social and Political Sciences

Mr. Amarjit Singh

Mr. Amarjit Singh

India-UK business, enterprise strategy, Government, diaspora and community engagement

Our Partners

Our Pioneers who have championed various fields of expertise across sectors

Neil Basu QPM

NEIL BASU QPM

Assistant Commissioner Special Operations, Metropolitan Police Lead, National Counter Terrorism

Fireside Chat Gallery

Publications

Meera Syal

Meera Syal

“British-Asians are making history, and it’s not being written down” - Eastern Eye

Neil Basu

Neil Basu

"Top Asian cop Neil Basu slams race report" - Eastern Eye

Poppy Jaman

Poppy Jaman

"“Create mentally healthy workplaces,” says Poppy Jaman" - Eastern Eye

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