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Asians hit, but also emerge heroes

world Updated: Aug 13, 2011 02:13 IST

PTI
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People with roots in the Indian sub-continent were some of the worst affected when riots rocked London and other cities in England, but their resilience and determination to thwart trouble-makers was hailed as examples of the “best of Britain.”

As normalcy returns, the impact of the days and nights of mayhem is becoming clear, with official estimates of loss running into hundreds of millions of pounds.

Significantly, so far none of the rioters arrested is from Britain’s Asian community.

Those hit the hardest include scores of Gujarati businessmen, a Pakistan-origin family and a Sri Lankan shopkeeper who has been reduced to penury but insists he will soon be up on his feet with help from neighbours and others from the wider community.

There have been many inspiring examples of ordinary people — from all communities — in London and elsewhere, contributing to cleaning up, countering rioters, helping to deal with the situation and insisting on peace.

Tariq Jahan, the Pakistan-origin father of 21-year-old Haroon, who was among three Asian youngsters mowed down by a speeding car in Birmingham, has been widely hailed as a hero and as the “true face of Britain” for his efforts to calm passions after the incident.

Wrote Daniel Johnson in the Daily Telegraph: “The Jahan family has set an example, not only for their fellow Muslims, but for Britons of all religions .”

The Gujarati community in London estimates that at least 10 per cent of the business establishments attacked belonged to members of the community.