Nirpal Dhaliwal is a novelist and journalist whose work has appeared in the Financial Times, The Times, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian, Haaretz, and India Today. His novel, Tourism, published by Vintage Books, is available here. Follow him on Twitter @nirpaldhaliwal.
Britain’s on-screen portrayals of race have always been loaded. Be it the abject brown-faced cretinism of Spike Milligan or the creepy sexualised coonery of Little Britain, representations of minorities on film and TV have typically reflected the nation’s eternal neuroses and mediocrity. But while in the past such depictions were a lazy punching down on vulnerable groups for cheap laughs, there is now a seismic shift underway.
Watching Dev Patel play Gawain in ‘The Green Knight,’ supported by Sarita Choudhury as his mother, Morgan le Fay, the witch sister of King Arthur, I was struck by how a pair of British-Indians have been centralised into the Arthurian Romance, the closest thing Britain has to a founding mythology. Set in a time when the earth was still flat for Europeans, and the dark-skinned heathen much feared, the England of the Dark Ages is nonetheless portrayed as a polyethnic paradise in which no one bats an eye at lusty interracial couplings, mixed-race families and the crowning of a brown man.
It reminded me very much of ‘Bridgerton,’ the hit Netflix show that reimagines slave-owning Georgian England as the sort of multicultural idyll that Martin Luther King could only dream of. This series and ‘The Green Knight’ come in the wake of another Patel vehicle, ‘The Personal History of David Copperfield,’ in which he plays Dickens’ beloved hero and where colonial Victorian London is also depicted as a utopia of colour-blind equality.
Contemporary Britain is beginning a wholesale brown-washing of its past; a retroactive wokening to set the stage for an inevitable future in which non-whites hold the elite positions in every sphere from politics to business, sport, culture and academia. One only has to look at the seven BAME members of the present cabinet to see how rapid and far-reaching this process is. Indeed, with South Asians running the Treasury, Home Office, Health Service and the Attorney General’s Office, as well as planning Britain’s climate-change summit later this year, it won’t be long before the UK simply outsources its government to a management consultancy in Bangalore.
As large minority groups such as Africans and South Asians increasingly outperform the native population at school –. Brinkwire Summary News. For more information, search on the internet.