Monday, 12 January 2009

The Four Letter P-Word

When Prince Harry was shown as calling an army colleague 'Paki' and all hell broke loose, I thought that those objecting were making a mountain out of a molehill. Until I read this very good article by Murad Ahmed which explains the historical baggage behind the word 'Paki'.

Whilst I fully empathise with Murad Ahmed and all other British Asians who felt offended by what Prince Harry said, I also think it is important to move away from the past. I haven't lived in the UK for long (just a little over 6 years) and cannot claim to understand the pain and trauma suffered by British Asians in the 70s and 80s when racism was commonplace and racist taunts a part of daily life. However, if an Australian can be called an Aussie and a Briton can be called a Brit, it should be acceptable to call a Pakistani (or by association any other South Asian) a Paki.

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