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Sometimes it may not be possible to reply quickly and sometimes contributions may not merit a reply. Either way just remember - Jesus loves you. Even if no one else does.


Mission Statement

We, as modern Asian Britons, are fighting a metaphorical war on two fronts.

In one corner we have what you can call ‘the community’. Politically and socially it has become a closed system dominated by self-appointed leaders, ‘race relations experts’ and self-serving politicians. They are surrounded by a group of people who remain largely unwilling to critically examine themselves because they are too busy being defensive.

On the other side there are the racists. But while racism has become a dirty word, even for the BNP, it has evolved into anti-immigration hysteria and Islamophobia. It has also evolved into the soft racism of the middle classes. Like Hizb ut-Tahrir the bigots have simply changed their words.

Pickled Politics was created by a group of friends, led by Sunny and Rohin, to fill a void. It has become a magazine and a platform where we can talk of our own vision of how things need to change and rail against the system. Other media spaces remain constrained either by vested interests or political correctness.

There is another way to look at this.

On one side stand all the bigots who hate, despise and look down on others based on their race, religion, caste, sexuality and nationality. And there are others who choose to reject that hatred. Whose side do you want to be on?

To be sure, sometimes the lines are blurred. This is why we are here - to make sense of those lines and then choose where we stand. It’s a learning process, but we have to draw that line, and not side with the bigots.

But it cannot cannot simply remain a pulpit from where we shout or laugh at others. It has to become more pro-active than that.

In a more organised and planned manner, we need to highlight and discuss what needs to be changed and we need to thrash out how to go down that path. We need to forge a new way of thinking and record it into articles, campaigns and essays that can be used to document this revolution. We need to be unafraid of criticism, be open to learning and not be plagued by a victim mentality that holds back meaningful self-criticism.

At the same time we need to highlight the enemies of this revolution: the self-serving community leaders, the bigots and the religious fanatics. We need to expose them, attack them, ridicule them and gather evidence against them.

We have to figure out how to deal with this bigotry and unashamedly champion a progressive path.

The Project

This is a loose collection of articles and opinions, built into a narrative that supports our ideals and values. We do this because we need to forge a new way of thinking and record. We need to highlight and discuss what needs to be changed and we need to thrash out how to go down that path. For more, see about us.

What we stand for

Why we need a sense of Britishness
by Sunny, on 16th May, 2006

British Muslims, faith and Sharia law
by Reformist Muslim, on 4th December, 2005

The state we are in

Has multi-culturalism led to racism?
by Sabina Ahmed, on 3rd March, 2006

Enemies of the revolution

As I identified in this article, we can categories these into four broad groups:

  1. Faith-based ‘community leaders’.
  2. Career race-related commentators. Both these keep perpetuating a sense of victimhood.
  3. Some lefties. Wee ethnic minorities as ‘exotic people’ who are completely different to them.
  4. Some on the right. See race or a particularly rabid form of patriotism as intrinsically tied with Britishness.
  5. The articles below tackle them.

‘Integration’ won’t work with our current community leaders
by Sunny, on 27th September, 2005

Is the Sikh community on the brink of crisis?
by Jay Singh, on 20th November, 2005


Sunny - Editor
Academically trained as an economist, Sunny is a journalist who runs Asians in Media magazine and looks after the messageboards at BarfiCulture. In addition he contributes to the Guardian blog Comment is free and The Sharpener. He is currently trying to train up a pack of monkeys to take over his work before he dies of exhaustion.

He also writes occasionally on media and race-related issues for the national papers. So far in The Guardian, The Independent and Financial Times. He is also sometimes invited to commentate on television and radio with his frequently ‘controversial’ (meaning unashamedly liberal) views.
Email: sunny[AT]pickledpolitics[DOT]com

Rohin - Deputy Editor.
Rohin doesn’t like to kill patients – frequently fails. He tries his hand at journalism, filmmaking, dancing or being nice – repeatedly fails. London – the place from where he hails. He is Bengali and eats fish – including whole whales. He can be found at medical-student.co.uk and dailyrhino.blogspot.com – or occasionally enjoying one of Her Majesty’s jails.
rohin[AT]pickledpolitics[DOT]com - the address for emails

Very little is known about this writer other than his dislike for authority and irrational ideology. With a sharp tongue he marches forward with the fearless conviction of someone who doesn’t know what he is getting into.
Email: al.hack[AT]pickledpolitics[DOT]com

A freelance journalist and documentary maker, Fe’reeha is quite knowledgable of sub-continental affairs and unafraid to stand up for women’s rights. She is a strong supporter of freedom of expression and believes the biggest problem Muslims face is lack of education.
Email: fereeha[AT]pickledpolitics[DOT]com

Kulvinder likes a bit of a mystery, and therefore nothing is known about him. Except that he’s in his mid-20s and that is a man on a quest to be different… to establish his own style of creativity and “intellyjunt konversayshon”.
Email: kulvinder[AT]pickledpolitics[DOT]com

Coming soon….

If schmoozing is an art form, then this is her forte. She floats between the political scene, the city rat race and everything in-between. She also likes to salsa, have debates, Star Wars and go to the gym.
Email: nush[AT]pickledpolitics[DOT]com

A literati, muso, foodie, fashionista and shopaholic, Sajini prefers to procrastinate constructively, almost all of the time. She has a razor-sharp wit and an offbeat sense of humour (think Family Guy and Peep Show) so beware!
Email: sajini[AT]pickledpolitics[DOT]com

Coming soon…

On a regular basis we also feature guest articles from readers.

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Mentions in the media

  • Reuters Alertnet: Kate Moss turns African
  • Mumbai Blasts: BBC Online, Slate magazine
  • Slate magazine, 3rd March 2006: Bold Fusion
  • Danish cartoons controversy: The Times, 3rd February and 6th February 2006.
  • Slate magazine, 10th January 2006: Judging Alito
  • Asiana magazine, Winter issue 2005
  • Guardian Newsblog, 21st November 2005: Nice blogs, shame about the (type)face - Jane Perrone
  • The Observer, 30th October 2005: Politics of the ghetto - Nick Cohen
  • Independent on Sunday, 30th October 2005: A race riot in Lozells? So what’s going on? - Peter Cole
  • New Straits Times (Malaysia), 3rd October 2005: On the Bali Bombings
  • JohannHari.com, 2nd September 2005: Some blogs you should check out - Johann Hari

There have also been mentions on bbc.co.uk and the Guardian newspaper’s weblog section.

Editorial policy

Pickled Politics is a current affairs magazine (group blog) that focuses on the big events that shape our society, and allows young British Asians to voice their opinions on those events.

Our primary focus is always on British politics, current affairs, media and society. We are not a general culture and entertainment blog, so please do not send any press releases or information regarding those topics.

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How the Indo-Pak rivalry is harming Wikipedia
by Vikrant, on 30th March, 2006
Wikipedia’s official policy states that in all articles should have a Neutral Point of View. Unfortunately they never took the India-Pakistan rivalry into account.

In a guest article for Pickled Politics, self-confessed ‘Wiki-holic’ Vikrant details how the massive online encyclopedia is getting bogged down by this jingoism and the hilarious headaches being created.

Cartoons! Religion! Again! Oh and scientology
by Rohin, on 21st March, 2006
Now now, don’t worry - nothing more about those cartoons. I’m sure some of you have realised I’m a bit of a cartoon and comic fan. I have been planning on a light-hearted post about the religious affiliations of superheroes for a while, so imagine my surprise when Isaac Hayes quit South Park a few days ago and today Time ran a story about comics in Asia. Excellent…

Has multi-culturalism led to racism?
by Sabina Ahmed, on 3rd March, 2006
In everyday life, it seems as if some people in the “national conversation” have found it their daily routine to find episodes and news items which show immigrants in general and Muslims in particular in a bad light.

I wondered why this is the case. It occurs to me that Muslims especially have done nothing to clarify their position or establish a dialogue with others . This has been left to others: the councils, focus groups and various commissions who in their wisdom say what they think rather than what the minorities think.

Why human testing is morally right
by Sunny, on 1st March, 2006
Following on from my previous article advocating drugs testing on humans, I have found two things: buying and selling kidneys is legal in Iran (thanks Steve); a company is already trialling drugs on humans, in India.

There have been previous calls in Britain to consider legalising organ selling, specially since a huge black market already exists.

On the Mohammed cartoons controversy
by Hari Kunzru, on 6th February, 2006
I’ve seen the Danish cartoons. I found several of them offensive, in a way that wasn’t particularly surprising, given what I found out about Danish society when I visited Denmark as a novelist.

On my press trip I inevitably, found myself answering a lot of journalistic questions about race, immigration and so on. Denmark is in many ways a parochial place…

Dump the charade over Holocaust memorial day
by Sunny, on 27th January, 2006
Every year the same charade takes place over the Holocaust Memorial day, commemorated today for the victims of the Nazi exterminations camps. A big fuss is made over the Muslim Council of Britain’s (MCB) plans to boycott the event, and endless debate over whether they should or not, until the day passes. Nearer to the anniversary in the following year, the same process starts all over again.

We know their claims to care for everyone is hypocritical, as I show in this article. But my point is, the only way to really deal with the MCB on this is to entirely ignore them. They want to boycott the HMD? Fine, why the big deal? We end up helping them by making such a big fuss.

The coming tide of Chinese power
by El Cid, on 21st January, 2006
We knew it was coming but it still caught the eye when the news landed last month. Due to a statistical revision of 2004 GDP data China is now officially the world’s sixth-biggest economy.
On balance, the rise of China is surely good news for the human race because it suggests that the lives of a quarter or so of our kith and kin are catching up and improving economically….

The Politics of the Wave
by Rohin, on 26th December, 2005
TWELVE months have passed since the sea claimed 250,000 lives in south Asia and east Africa. Services have been held across the world, including many returning to the coastline where their loved ones were lost. As they look out at the peaceful Indian Ocean (left), it is hard to believe a year has already passed.

Inside, I take a closer look at how the political climates of Indonesia and Sri Lanka have affected rebuilding lives.

“So how do you feel as a British Muslim”
by Ahmad, on 24th December, 2005
With the glare firmly on Muslims, media organisations constantly ask the above question. I’m tempted to say - “I feel with my hands thanks!”. What next? “How do you Muslims eat, drink and breathe?” And the classic line: “Are you British first or Muslim?”
Not only are the questions leading and have a slant, they are as pathetic as asking a 5 year old if they love Daddy or Chips!

Why Bolivia has suddenly become important
by Sunny, on 19th December, 2005
The US government and media have been anxiously watching the Bolivian elections for some obvious reasons. Unfortunately for them, Evo Morales, a former coca farmer and the country’s first indigenous Indian President, won the election yesterday…

Women in Islam - veils of the mind
by Fe’reeha, on 7th December, 2005
One question that I have been asked from everyone about Islam is regarding its message about the role of women. In fact, it is one question I have often asked myself as a little girl. Coming from a family of three girls which was condoled at male absence by the typical South Asian inquisitors, but raised by a father who never made us feel unequal in any way, I was always dissected by clashing ideas…

Will the Tories now become ‘ethnic’ friendly?
by Sunny, on 7th December, 2005
Will a “compassionate Conservative party” mean dropping that nasty anti-immigration agenda and extending a bigger hand to non-white populations and MPs? Others may not think so, but I’m a bit more optimistic, and explain why…

British Muslims, faith and Sharia law
by Reformist Muslim, on 4th December, 2005
One argument used by moderate Muslims to argue against Sharia is the point that Sharia as we see it today is largely the implementation of Muslim values by 10th and 11th century jurists to the world that they lived in. Since then the gates of ijtihad have been closed and there has not been much jurisprudential development to update Islamic law so that it can provide guidance in the modern world…

White Phosphorus, ‘trophy videos’ and ending this foolish war
by Sunny, on 28th November, 2005
Every day in Iraq new probems emerge, more people get blown up and kidnapped, the military gets caught using White Phosphorus, making ‘trophy’ videos and all sorts of other actions, and al-Qaeda becomes bloodier. Is the government upholding the values it is promotes? And shouldn’t we (the left) be taking them to task if they are not?

Crazy Conservative Women
by Al-Hack, on 27th November, 2005
In the beginning there was Ann Coulter. The crazy-ass right-wing nutter ranted and raved successfully for years before suddenly going a bit quiet. Then came Michelle Malkin, not only better looking and ‘ethnic’ (trips up the liberals you see)…

The sexual politics behind Harry Potter
by Ink Spill, on 24th November, 2005
Blogger Ink Spill has written a piece on sexual politics in Harry Potter and why she thinks Hermoine is letting the girls down…

Coming to terms with AIDS in South Asia
by Rohin, on 23rd November, 2005
A UN report, published yesterday, revealed some shocking statistics about AIDS in 2005. The number of people living with HIV worldwide has doubled in a decade to top 40 million for the first time. 3.1 million people will die from HIV/AIDS this year and over half a million of them will be children. Over 1 in 100 of pregnant women across Asia are HIV positive.
Here is a brief round-up of the latest from India, Pakistan and China.

The Guardian (and me) on British Muslims after 7/7
by Sunny, on 21st November, 2005
The Guardian today publishes its annual report on what British Muslims are thinking about and how they see themselves. It was first published last year and given the events in July, they saw it fit to carry on.There is a lot to say about the event and how it reflects (or not) what young British Muslims are thinking. I have to be honest though, the extent of denial over 7/7 took mine, and Tariq Ramadan’s breath away…

Is the Sikh community on the brink of crisis?
by Jay Singh, on 20th November, 2005
….however, this situation has highlighted a worrying trend, and that is the eagerness with which some young British Sikhs are willing to use unrestricted mob violence to enforce their way. Ever since the storming of the Birmingham Rep over the play Behzti these extremists have become emboldened and speak openly on message boards of their intention to ‘teach people lessons’ and how they are willing to give up their lives in their riots and confrontations…

What will jolt us Muslims out of denial?
by Fe’reeha, on 16th November, 2005
I have become so used to watching and listening horrifically misinterpreted versions of Islam on media, that it takes serious jolts to get me out of lethargic indifference. I say if a bunch of misguided Muslims have created terror on the streets of London, proclaiming it in the name of my religion, it is indeed my problem as well…

The oppression of the Brown man
by Nooruddean, on 14th November, 2005
The brown man is oppressed. Not by another people holding him down, nor by physical confinements of mortor and steel. No - the brown man is oppressed by the confines of his own mentality. We cannot demand help from others if we are not willing to help ourselves. Oh no. Self-respect demands respect, not the other way around. And so I say, look inward for the answer brothers and sisters, look inward.

Why I don’t support the riots in Paris
by Sunny, on 7th November, 2005
I fundamentally disagree with the riots, possibly against the opinions of most of my peers, on many levels. On the most basic level it is a very lazy form of political activism, and one that takes you backward not forward.

The problem with being in fashion
by Kulvinder, on 4th November, 2005
I write this as a heterosexual man. This isn’t meant to be patronising and i hope it doesn’t read that way. The depiction of any minority or subgroup of ‘wider’ society always has a tendency towards clichés. The media highlights the differences between communities as a way of distinguishing between them; there is nothing inherently wrong in that, but it does lend itself to stereotypes and bigotry.

Tyranny of the minorities
by Shihab, on 25th October, 2005
After the 7/7 atrocity, if you sat on a train and saw a bearded Muslim man with a bag and thought, even for a split second, “people like you”, then the minority that caused the tragedy achieved in making you the very thing you hoped never to be: judgemental of people you do not know. The more I think about it, the more it seems obvious. It’s the minority that always rule…

Muslims demand more change to something!
by Sunny, on 6th October, 2005
Every week a new controversy comes up where Muslims have supposedly asked for something to be banned or changed. But examine each issue and they are mostly either conjured up by the media or the result of “well-meaning but misguided” individuals.

Why Bali will continue to be a target
by Rohin, on 1st October, 2005
Bali is one of the most beautiful places I have visited. Nowadays, post-Jason Donovan and Ricky Martin, it’s known for its tourist trade as much as it is for its natural wonders. One can only hope that it doesn’t develop a new, darker claim to fame. However I fear that Bali may become one of the most popular targets for Islamist terrorists. For those who believe in the supremacy of their warped Islamic beliefs, Bali represents a triple-whammy. Three reasons to target the jewel in Indonesia’s crown.

‘Integration’ won’t work with our current community leaders
by Sunny, on 27th September, 2005
The discussion on ‘multi-culturalism’ and hand-wringing over how people should integrate with each other is endless. But it’s only when the issue hits you in the face that everything come into better perspective.

Much Apu About Nothing
by Rohin, on 26th September, 2005
As an Asian, I’ve always felt some affinity towards Apu. Apu Nahasapeemapetilon is the industrious convenience store-owner and one of the major cast characters, with several episodes revolving entirely around him. Growing up in my middle class corner of London, I have never felt that Apu’s character could carry any negative connotations; however several American South Asian chaps recently expressed their intense dislike of Apu. I wondered why.

Musharraf talks to Jewish leaders shocker!
by Ahmad, on 19th September, 2005
President Musharraf says Pakistan will take steps to build ties with Israel yesterday, at a dinner with the American-Jewish congress. For both countries this is excellent news, even though many in Pakistan and Israel will be appalled. In this article, I will explain why this is a necessary step for Pakistan….

Who killed Navjeet Sidhu?
by Sunny, on 4th September, 2005
A quick background: 27 year old mother Navjeet Sidhu jumped in front of the train in Southall, London, on 31st August, with her 5 year old daughter Simran and 9 month old son Aman, both of who also died. The suicide has shocked people, and she leaves behind her husband Manjit, 31. Condolences aside, as more facts are uncovered about this case, the question arises - why did she kill herself and her children?

About Us

Pickled Politics is a current affairs magazine / group blog. Our primary focus is always on British politics, current affairs, media and society. We are not a general culture and entertainment blog.

We have an Asian (meaning South Asia) tinge to our stories as some of us are of that background, but our politics are broad and progressive.

We frequently disagree with “community leaders”, race-relations experts or just politicians and commentators generally. To understand where we come from on these issues, see our mission statement. If you disagree with us then post your opinion underneath the article, but do so constructively.

Pickled Politics is here to provide a new range of progressive voices that previously, we feel, were not being represented.

We want to influence and contribute towards change and building a more tolerant and pluralistic society. For that reason we are unafraid to criticise the establishment.

On the left are links to pages where you can learn more about us.

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