Theme of the Week: Diligence

Over the course of the weeks leading up to the general election, Election Masala presents excerpts from interviews that we have recently conducted with members of the British Indian community. Every week is headed by a particular theme: this week’s theme is diligence.

SHAVATA is the founder of Shavata Brow Studio. She has built her own business and runs over twenty-five brow studios in the UK.

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Her career began as an employee at Michaeljohn in Mayfair, where she developed a following for her eyebrow shaping (something that was, at the time, a less appreciated aspect of beauty). Recalls Shavata: “I shaped the brows of an editor from Vogue and she loved the transformation and then wrote about me and her experience. I went on to open my own studios and we now have over twenty-five nationwide, including my flagship on Beauchamp Place in Knightsbridge.”

What according to you is the biggest contribution of the British Indian community in the UK?

I appreciate all British Indians who are hardworking and ambitious and who have embraced the UK as their own home. The majority of us came to the UK with nothing and built new, prosperous lives from scratch. We did not come here for handouts, but to build a future and instill a strong work ethic in our children.

The Conservative party values aspiration, hard work, family and service above self.  As a British Indian, what personal values do you associate with the Conservative party?

I associate with all the values above. These principles got me to where I am today, with a successful business and a loving family.

What has been your proudest British Indian moment?

My proudest British Indian moment is seeing a change in perception of the British Indian community in England.
While growing up and watching soaps on television, I would see Indian actors being presented as shop keepers. Now when I watch TV I see them as lawyers and doctors, which is a big change.

When you think of the word ‘achiever’, who comes to mind and why?

My father comes to mind. He came to the UK with five children and only £5 in his pocket. He worked very hard and saved up to provide for his family. I would not able to do what he did and I admire him for that.

An epitome of hard work and perseverance, meet AMANDEEP SINGH BHOGAL, the first British Indian Conservative party candidate to be contesting from a rural seat in Northern Ireland.

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Born in the land of the five rivers – the Punjab, Amandeep comes from a Sikh family of farmers and carpenters. Growing up in India and England, Amandeep went to BETHS Grammar School in Bexley and has been a Conservative Party member ever since his school days. Going forward from BETHS Grammar he joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and carries with him a strong British Diplomatic ethos of standing up for Britain’s National Interest. He is working hard for a greater bi-lateral ‘New-Old’ Special relationship between the United Kingdom and the Union of India, one founded on more than just trade alone, one built on unrivalled joint defence, governmental and cultural co-operation.

Married to Pari, they have two children, Sukhmani and Arjun. As a father, a farmer and an experienced engineer and industrialist he stands up vehemently for strong families, the free market and empowering the individual to create wealth.   Amandeep is a super-charged Conservative voice for ‘minimum government – maximum governance’, ‘red carpet not red tape’ and a new bold, centre-right and free modern ‘One World’.

He was the first ever Sikh candidate of any party to stand for the London Assembly in 2012. He is the first Sikh Parliamentary candidate in Northern Ireland history and the youngest ever ethnic minority candidate to stand for Parliament in Northern Ireland. In a recent interview in the Conservative Voice, Aman explained that the Conservatives want to “end sectarian politics” in Northern Ireland and introduce “some real normal politics”, with arguments about the economy, and voters presented with the choice between David Cameron and Ed Miliband. He believes that sectarian differences, from which politicians make their careers, mean less and less to young people. He is in favour of “extremely low taxes”, and believes the state sector – still 72 per cent of Northern Ireland’s economy – needs to be reduced.

What according to you is the biggest contribution of the British Indian community in the UK?

The health of the nation! With thousands of Indian doctors stepping forward to serve the United Kingdom over the past five decades to build up a great NHS ensuring wealth creation by health preservation.

As a British Indian what personal values do you associate with the Conservative party?

In addition to valuing family, aspiration and hard work, the most important principles the Conservative Party stands for is free enterprise, free market and free people. We back the free individual to engage in free enterprise on the free market to secure the nation’s future by creating wealth and prosperity for all. I am incredibly proud of our British Indian community which is the finest example of that vision in action over the last 60 years.

What has been your proudest British Indian moment?

It has got to be the Prime Minister David Cameron visiting Sri Durbar Sahib in Amritsar – a first by a British Prime Minister and his recognition of the sometimes difficult shared history and condemnation of Jallianwalla Bagh.

When you think of the word ‘achiever’, who comes to mind and why?

William Wilberforce – who relentlessly campaigned to abolish the slave trade during the late 18th and early 19th centuries finally achieving an end to British ships carrying slaves with the Slave Trade Act in 1807.

If you can wish for one thing, what would it be?

An end to sectarian politics in Northern Ireland. For far too long politics of fear, mistrust and head counts has ruled the people of Northern Ireland pitting neighbour against neighbour. It is about time that Northern Ireland had a real alternative of normal meaningful politics of economic development, social harmony and functional government. It should all be about job counts not head counts and never about where one comes from – only where one is going.


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