A Passage To Britain 9pm, BBC Two
PART of the BBC’s Big British Asian Summer season, this three-part series is an excellent piece of social history by Oxford professor Dr Yasmin Khan, who pieces together the lives of the some of the new arrivals who came to Britain from the Indian subcontinent between the 1930s and 1960. In each episode, she takes as starting point a ship’s passenger list, beginning with P&O liner The Viceroy Of India, and a journey that set sail from Bombay in 1933. Among those on board were author Mulk Raj Anand and Sir Lancelot Graham, one of the Indian Empire’s last colonial governors. Elsewhere were two young students who would go on to start families in the UK. Their stories, along with the memories of Raja Stokes – an 86-year-old surviving passenger from the Viceroy – illustrate the tense relationship between Britain and India at the time, and illuminate the experience of strangers building new lives in a strange land, while helping their adopted country to evolve.