Adventures in the UK, Give Me Shelter!
In our second summer in the United Kingdom, the Kingdom's unity was severely stressed.
We arrived alone in London, Heathrow, what perhaps may have been a few weeks or so ahead of the throngs of refugees who would soon appear in the streets of all the major cities and ports of the United Kingdom.
We were familiar with dodging customs already, and would do s again before the summer was out, but that is another story...
Idi Amin had seized power in Uganda and planned to fuel his government's economy with monies stolen from the mercantile classes.
Uganda had been a British Protectorate or Colony of some sort, and during their colonial history the UK offered incentives to prosperous Indian merchants to immigrate to Uganda as British Nationals and set up shops to help build an economic infrastructure for Uganda.
Enterprising Ugandans were not excluded, they were encouraged to participate; however, those with the capital resources to do so were uncommon, hence the flood of Indian merchants to help them jump start their economy.
Perhaps monies equal to immigration incentives were also offered aspiring native Ugandans, or so we believe may have been the case.
In any event, Idi Amin executed a coup and rose to power as Uganda's dictator.
Idi Amin decreed all the Indian merchants must immediately leave Uganda, leaving behind all of their assets.
The rise of Idi Amin to power was well anticipated by these merchants, merchants who had insisted on their status as British Nationals to immigrate to the United Kingdom rather than return to India. They had been quietly moving the bulk of their assets offshore, but many still lost fortunes in the transition of power when they were stripped of all their rights and forced to immediately emigrate.
The flood of Indian refugee merchants into all the largest cities and ports of the United Kingdom was incredible, tens of thousands pouring in, filling up city streets with awnings stretched from building to building across them for shelter.
The UK responded to this extraordinary event with extraordinary grace and justice.
In spite of great unrest in repsonse to the arrivals of so many 'foreign' refugees, all true nationals of the United Kingdom, mind you, the UK managed to get all these people fairly housed in rapid order, a miracle of extraordinary social engineering.
News was carefully limited, little news of violence in any local area made the national news, it was all masterfully downplayed to prevent riots breaking out.
Many of the new immigrants were already very wealthy, they set up shops and returned to business prospering from the cheap labor of their family organized businesses, capitalized by themselves.
Some merchants returned to business with grants to reflect a small part of their losses as a consequence of the United Kingdom's failure to protect their Nationals in this crisis.
Many Native Sons of the Land were jealous of these merchants good fortunes. Fortunes now often competing with their own in manners they were sometimes justly describing as unfair.
Many of the new refugees were made destitute, barely able to afford the cost of passage to anywhere, let alone the United Kindom, but where might a pauper prosper more?
In Delhi, or Mombae?
Any port in the UK would be far better, the European Unification was several years away yet. Their passports only gave them free access to the UK and her colonies and protectorates.
This only further exacerbated the matter.
We were incredulous at how the characters of many districts of London were changed by the throngs of refugees from Uganda. Most incredible of all was the capacity ot the United Kingdom to peacefully respond with wisdom and compassion in this crisis which would displace many of her ancient native citizens in spite of their protests.
The levels of racial tensions in the UK today are high at times, but we think as a whole their nation must be applauded this incredible diplomatic victory within her own immediate, personal borders.
Too few young people in the UK today seem to know the glory of their nation's heart so well as we were personally able to witness.
Kudos UK! Well done!