Politics : UK

Making of the Lord Popat

By Rami Ranger

Dolar Popat will join the ranked, titled and privileged few by accepting a seat in the House of Lords as a Conservative Peer. Dolar's arrival in the Upper House will take his rise from a mere waiter in a London restaurant to one of the highest offices in the country. He was the personal choice of David Cameron, the Conservative Leader who has known Dolar for some time.

It is rare when someone as successful in business as Lord Popat devotes his valuable time for the uplift of the community and country. He benefits the nation in more ways than one. He is a proud Hindu and says with pride, "Proud to be Hindu and Proud to be British". He believes that it is a prerequisite for success to be loyal to the country where one lives and has made a home. "Those who look back cannot look forward" it is as simple as that. He is a firm believer that Hindus must always preserve and be proud of their ancient heritage as well as their adopted country. We can live in any country,Islamic or Christian, but must be loyal to the host community at all times. As a matter of fact, by being loyal pays a tribute to our faith which has enshrined these values in us.

Lord Popat who is known as simply "Dolar" by many, is someone who has gone the extra mile for the Hindu community and his adopted country, Britain. He is a Ugandan Asian who arrived for studies and could not return as Asians were expelled by General Idi Amin; the despot leader of Uganda who felt that by expelling his hard working Asian community he would give the indigenous population a head start. As a matter of fact, by removing the hardworking and enterprising community, he plunged Uganda into an unparalleled crisis.

The country has only started to recover now after the dictator was deposed and the present government allowed the Asians an honourable return back to the country of their birth in order to help build Uganda's shattered economy.

They say one man's poison is another man's meat. Britain under the then Conservative Government, received these beleaguered and destitute Ugandan Asians with open arms. These Asians, as we know, worked hard and transformed the British economy. They became successful as a result of the British sense of tolerance and fair play. Today, Britain without the Asians will not be the Britain as we know it. The Asians have brought colour, pageantry and culinary delight to every corner of the country and have become invaluable assets to the nation in every sense of the word.

Dolar has never forgotten this act of kindness by the then Conservative Government and set about repaying his debt to the Party. He by chance met Sir Rhodes Boyson MP through one of the community leaders, Mr Shantoo Ruparell MBE in 1980. The rest, as they say is history and Dolar has been working for the party quietly and diligently ever since.

I have known Dolar for nearly 25 years and often called him the original Asian Tory because in those days we were a struggling community and the Tory Party was perceived to be the party of the rich and elite. It will not be an exaggeration if I was to say that the word Tory was considered a four letter word by many amongst our community. Dolar undeterred, kept on chipping away at the hostility against the Party and with his softly, softly approach, he converted many reluctant recruits to the Party.

I too, followed into the Party because of the persuasion of Dolar and Ranbir Suri who is now the Chairman of the British Asian Conservative Link. It is with their efforts that the Party has become Asian friendly and Asian Tory friendly.

David Cameron is going out of the way to encourage Asians to stand for Parliament, having seen the loyalty and integrity of people like Dolar and Ranbir for the country.  


June 2010

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