livid row has erupted over what to name Havelock Highway in west London after the council determined to strip the identify off a British common who killed Indian troopers to call it after the founding father of Sikhism.
A stretch of Havelock Highway in Southall is about to be renamed after Guru Nanak, the founding father of Sikhism, after a neighborhood MP argued that it at the moment honoured a “colonial oppressor who ravaged India for private achieve”
The Indian neighborhood accounts for almost 50 per cent of Southall’s inhabitants of 70,000.
Henry Havelock was a British common who received fame for his recapture of Cawnpore throughout the Indian Insurrection of 1857. Havelock received adulation again dwelling for his violent putdown of the Indian ‘mutineers’ who threatened the British Empire.
He died of dysentery three days after his males survived the siege of Lucknow in 1857. His surviving household had been awarded his title as a baron because of his exploits.
His tomb nonetheless stands in Chander Nagar – Alambagh space of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh and there’s a statue to him in Trafalgar Sq..
Ealing Council introduced on Monday that part of Havelock Highway between King Road and Merrick Highway can be renamed ‘Guru Nanak Highway’ to commemorate the Sikh founder’s birthday on Monday.
A descendant of British army common Henry Havelock was focused by on-line trolls after she supported a choice to rechristen a west London highway bearing her ancestor’s identify.
Emily McKenzie, 32, claims Havelock as her great-great-great-great grandfather, she was accused on-line of getting “white guilt” after she backed the highway identify change.
The model strategist informed the Normal: “It’s exhausting to know what he’d have considered the change as most of what’s written about him centres on his life within the army, not his character or character.
“Nonetheless, from what I’ve gathered, Henry died in India simply as he was beginning to achieve recognition and fame again dwelling within the UK – it’s possible that he’d be stunned to study there are roads named after him all these years later.
“Havelock additionally had many courageous Sikh males underneath his command and he had spent a great deal of time finding out the native tradition and studying the native language earlier than he resolved to go to India – this makes me surprise if he’d discover it fairly becoming to have half a highway named after him, and the opposite half named after somebody vital to his Sikh comrades-in-arms.
“I believe that it brings consideration to Henry’s story and the story of the folks in India who fought each with and towards him.
“Individuals say that altering avenue names is ‘erasing historical past’, however how many individuals can have walked down Havelock Highway and thought to seek for who the highway was named after and why?
“I imagine that discussions about historic figures and occasions and their relevance to modern-day life within the UK is only one approach that we hold historical past alive.
“With out these conversations about one thing so simple as a avenue identify change, many individuals would by no means find out about somebody like Havelock, and by no means assume to ask.”
Virendra Sharma, Labour MP for Ealing Southall, has campaigned for the identify change since 1992, added: “I’ve seen her feedback sadly together with too many bigoted and racist folks, however what she says appears proper to me.
“I’m delighted we’re celebrating the impression, contribution and place in British historical past Sikh folks have.
“This identify change is about greater than only a signal coming down, Sir Henry Havelock was a colonial oppressor, he ravaged India and her folks for private achieve and imperial glory. To have a highway named in honour of a colonial assassin within the coronary heart of one of many UK’s most various areas is an insult.
“His identify is to me, and tens of millions of different British Indians, British Pakistanis and British Bangladeshis, synonymous with homicide, oppression and thuggery.
“It means reminiscences of tales informed by mother and father and grandparents of being a second-class citizen in your personal nation. In a lot the identical approach Part 28 was meant to make LGBT folks really feel ashamed of who they’re, being confronted by Havelock’s identify every day is a tacit reminder to know your home and neglect your previous.”
He added that the board of the Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha Southall had been towards the thought of the highway being named after Guru Nanak and referred to as on a neighborhood session to make the ultimate resolution.
In a letter Davinderpal Singh Kooner, govt member of the Sikh temple, urged Chief of Ealing Council, Cllr Julian Bell to “instantly cease” the naming of the highway after the Guru Nanak – saying it was offensive to the Sikh neighborhood.
He wrote: “If I’ll request, might you kindly advise if on this Christian nation, there’s a highway referred to as Jesus Christ Highway? And with many Muslim politicians on this nation, is there a highway referred to as Prophet Mohammed Highway.
“Factually, I can let you know that within the 52 Muslim international locations on the planet, I have no idea any highway named as Prophet Mohammed Highway’. Please cease offending the Sikh neighborhood on behest of some misguided councillors.
“I urge you to instantly cease this step and take it again.”
Havelock’s great-great grandson, Mark Havelock-Allan informed the BBC when the problem arose again in 2002: “I do not thoughts in the event that they need to change the identify of the highway.
“That is as much as them. However to take action as a result of Havelock did unhealthy issues in India is a little bit bit revisionist and under no circumstances correct so far as Sikhs are involved.
“Havelock had Sikhs underneath his command. Sikhs remained loyal to the British and Havelock admired them.”
The identify change of the a part of Havelock Highway to Guru Nanak Highway will come into impact within the early months of 2021, based on a press launch by Ealing Council.
Cllr Julian Bell stated: “The choice to rename one in all Ealing’s roads displays the significance of celebrating the borough’s range and is a well timed celebration of Guru Nanak’s birthday on 30 November.”
As well as, the Ealing Council has additionally shaped a 12-person equality fee to handle problems with structural inequalities and their impression on race. This fee has been requested to submit a report back to the Ealing Council by Might 2021.