British Bangladeshis
in Class, ethnicity and religion in the Bengali East End
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Chapter 4 looks at the Bengalis’ continued links with their now independent homeland and with its politics (which it outlines), as the London community consolidated and settled and men were joined by their wives and families. This is a smaller scale politics, with different groups taking different positions, but it involves strong loyalties. As well as activity in Britain and the influence of immigrant money, the chapter discusses direct political involvement by returned immigrants and the possibilities of two centred politics. It also discusses the relative disenchantment of the younger, British-educated generation, and continued bonds with Bangladesh that are less overtly political, such as through regional organisations and their charitable activities. The chapter includes a discussion of the different meanings of secularism, and a critical examination of the growing conflicts between secular and religious politics.

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