The National Conference of Delegates, representing the Indian diaspora, one of the oldest NRI organisation the Indian Workers’ Association GB took place in Derby. The Conference on 11 September was held in a hall specifically dedicated to all the founders of the Association.

Derby is the home to the former National President of IWA GB the late Prem Singh Perdesi and the current National General Secretary Joginder Kaur Bains. The local unit is one of the most active and militant part of the Association.


Delegates from across the UK assembled to discuss and deliberate upon the report presented by Joginder Kaur on behalf of the Central Executive Committee. The report highlighted key achievements worthy of celebration, identified ongoing and future tasks.

From the successful withdrawal of Visa Bonds, exposure of divisive racial profiling in the London Mayor elections, easing of restrictions imposed on Non EU nurses with arbitrary levels of IELTS scores, to the scandalous treatment of students accused of deception and fraud for English Testing when extending their visa. The latter is now under Home Affairs Committee scrutiny. The Government has appealed against the recent Upper Tribunal ruling on TOEIC effected students. This travesty of justice has effected over 48,000 Non-EU students mainly from the Indian sub-continent. The IWA is supporting the campaign for Justice for the students. House of Commons Lobby facilitated by Virendra Sharma MP for Southall Ealing will take place on 18 October from 12.00 pm.

The IWA awaits the decision on the popular campaign against the unethical, discriminatory Immigration legislation of Minimum Income Threshold. This has been set around fifty percent higher than the National Minimum wage for sponsoring a spouse from outside the EU.

The images from mass demonstrations against war, austerity, communalism and TTIP illustrated the dynamic character of the IWA as an organisation responsive to the concrete realities of the Indian working people in Britain.
The Conference endorsed the call for lifting the ban on the Leslee Udwin directed Documentary India’s daughter by the Indian Government. The IWA will step its campaign on gender equality. The rights and respect for women. From the right to be born to an equal right to inheritance.

The Association will draft proposals to increase its interaction with the youth, listening and responding to their specific needs. The ongoing work with students and the cultural activities have provided encouragement to the breakthrough in the generation barrier. The recent events on the left of the labour movement have added a new dimension and provided impetus for this renewal of confidence. The IWA has regained its relevance.
The IWA is supporting the initiatives by existing broad based cultural organisations, like the Progressive Writers Association, Chethna and Progressive Malayali Society in the battle of ideas. This is in direct response to the murder, intimidation and silencing of rational academics and intellectuals opposed to the obscurantist Hindutva agenda.

The delegates expressed their anger and disbelief that after almost 70 years of Independence, citizens of India, particularly from the minority communities, still have to provide evidence of patriotic allegiance. The IWA took serious note of the increase in the attacks against the Dalit community with daily reports of murder and rape. These regular incidents have desensitised the people to this barbaric behaviour by self-appointed custodians of cow protection. The IWA reaffirms its solidarity with the Dalit community and the militant youth struggling against oppression and social injustice in India and in UK.



In reviewing the outcome of the European Referendum, the Conference decided to ensure that the verdict by the people should be respected. An alternative proposal for the future direction for Britain outside the EU should be projected by the left and progressive forces. The IWA as one of the oldest migrant organisations in Britain expressed its solidarity with the Polish Community and other BME communities subjected to vile racist propaganda and physical attacks.

The National Conference concluded by electing a new Central Executive Committee, reaffirmed its faith in the leadership by re-electing Dyal Bagri as National President and Joginder Kaur as National General Secretary.