Two hundred years of shared history had a period of recess, neither country investing actively in building a contemporary relationship. The result: India does not know contemporary Britain and Britain has little idea of how the new India is emerging. The past offers a strong platform for rebuilding a new relationship, but it has to be based on an equal footing, recognizing the cultural nuances and current ambitions of both nations.
Shrabani Basu, who as editor provides the overview that strings together all the essays, is also on the committee of Project 400 that commemorates the arrival of the first Indian in England and the departure from India in 1614 of the first ambassador to the Mughal Court, Sir Thomas Roe. She traces the people to people links over four hundred years that create an overlapping history of the two nations and raised the question how a relationship forged on a common love for cricket, curry, parliamentary democracy and the English language can be taken forward gainfully in the twenty-first century, at a time when both countries face uncomfortable problems as they look into the future.
Shrabani Basu is an author and journalist. She has authored Victoria & Abdul, Spy Princess and The Curry. In 2010 she set up the Noor Inayat Khan Memorial Trust and her efforts were instrumental in the bust of Noor Inayat Khan being unveiled in Gordon Square in London by HRH The Princess Royal.
Introduction - Shrabani Basu My Family and India - Mike King Reporting India - Phillip Knightley English Vinglish: A Far Cry from Mimicry - Indrajit Hazra Looking for Shakespeare in Mumbai and Delhi - Tom Bird May a Million Firefiles Rise - Sanjoy Roy Growing Up Under the Umbrella of Indian Cinema - Nasreen Munni Kabir Geek India - Pradeep Kar Are Books for Keeps - Sita Brahmachari Science as an Agent of Transformation - K. Vijay Raghavan How Jamini Roy Found a Home in Baker Street - Nirmalya Kumar Education and Terrorism - J.E. Spence The Y Factor: India's Generation Next - Mihir Sharma Young Brittannia: Living on the Edge - Kapil Komireddi The BBC and India in the Twenty-first Century - William Crawley and David Page Engaging India: Reconnecting Through Trade and Investment - Jo Johnson