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Snippets from UK: Subtle Racism Rampant in British Media's Reporting on Delta Strain

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From the legal victory for IDBI Bank to the Indian cricketers in a good mood at Southampton, a roundup of what's making news today.

UK Media Still Getting Used to Name Switch: Expressions of prejudice take some subtle forms now. Crude racist abuse in Britain is almost a thing of the past, except among yobs and football hooligans several pints down. But the wave of prejudice sweeping Britain today is evident also in supposedly responsible reporting by leading groups. BBC is still speaking in its headlines of the “Indian” variant. “Indian variant ‘now dominant’ in the UK” read a BBC headline late on Thursday. The text speaks of the variant “now known as Delta”. It could be possible to speak of the Delta variant known earlier as the “Indian” variant. And later to drop ‘Indian’. The Telegraph and most other papers also still speak of the “Indian” variant. The Guardian newspaper has been the first to simply and swiftly switch to Delta. But most of the media in Britain is doing more than its bit to fan the prevailing prejudice against Indians.

IDBI Bank Wins Big in Debt Judgment: UK law firm TLT has secured a 239-million-dollar judgment for IDBI Bank against a Cypriot subsidiary of India-based Essar Shipping Group. “This is one of the largest ever debt judgments obtained by an Indian bank in the English courts,” said a spokesperson for the UK law firm TLT that represented IDBI Bank. The result “demonstrates the ability of Indian banks to pursue defaulting borrowers and guarantors in the UK”. Essar says it is disappointed with the judgment and is considering an appeal against it.

Bumrah All Smiles at Southampton: Jasprit Bumrah posted a picture of himself soon after arriving at Hilton Hotel at the Hampshire Bowl in Southampton with the caption “Hello Southampton”. It was a confident smile, and one that inspired confidence in the face of good performances by both England and New Zealand in their first Test at Lord’s. India will of course play both New Zealand in the World Test Championship and then England in a Test and ODI and T20 series. Indian fans are waiting to smile with Bumrah again and again when he takes wickets. Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant were also seen smiling on the balcony of their hotel room overlooking the stadium. Those two can really turn a game the way India wants it turned.

Relief for Sania: Tennis star Sania Mirza should be in England soon, in time to start the Indian summer in women’s tennis. To her great relief, as she tweeted on Thursday, a visa has been granted to her sister and son as well to accompany her. If cricketers could arrive with families, so, of course, could a tennis player. This will be a long summer in one place, and no one on any side wants to risk repeated travel for any reason. Sania Mirza’s games begin with the Birmingham Open from June 14.

Indians in Britain Bear Brunt of High Inflation: The present inflation in Britain is hitting groups of Indians particularly hard. Indians work extensively in hospitality and travel, with a strong concentration around Heathrow. They face a collapse in income as these areas take the brunt of the Covid hit on the economy. At the same time they face inflation, currently announced to be running at 1.5 per cent but expected to rise to 2 per cent. This reflects a rise particularly in the price of consumer goods. House prices have risen more than 10 per cent over the past year. That can be good news only to a seller. Job losses and rising prices have come as a double blow to tens of thousands of Indians.

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