British Indian journalist calls for better inclusion in top TV jobs
One of Britain’s prominent Indian-origin journalists, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, has called for better inclusion at the top echelons of the country’s television industry.
In his keynote address at the Channel 4 2022 Inclusion Festival this week, the British Indian broadcaster and anchor reflected upon his Indian heritage and being pushed by his parents to work harder to achieve success.
He said: “I was born in Liverpool and grew up in Lancashire. My Dad’s a doctor – a refugee in World War 2, an orphan who knew what it was to be hungry, who made it thanks to the lift of education.
“But like most immigrant families who arrived in Britain in the early 1960s when racism was blunt and the landlords’ signs barring blacks and coloureds were legal, my parents were pretty clear with me: You’ll have to work harder and be better than the person next to you, because the person next to you will be white.
“In fact they didn’t say ‘white’ they said British – because their identity was Indian. And for their children the way to succeed in Britain was not to be an Indian in Britain but to be a British Indian.”
Questioning the pace of change at the very top management levels, Guru-Murthy noted that there were “still no black or Asian people running our biggest broadcasters”.
“Now that may mask something else going on – that ambitious minority talent may increasingly see its power and earning potential in making and owning content and running their own production companies. But are we really happy to just live with the idea that the gatekeepers – the people companies are selling to – may never truly reflect the audiences they serve,” he questioned.
The keynote coincided with a racism row engulfing Buckingham Palace, with senior royal aide Lady Susan Hussey resigning over her repeated questioning of black British charity worker Ngozi Fulani about where she was "really from".
It also follows outgoing British Indian Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner, Neil Basu, speaking out candidly against damaging rhetoric and the need for tough action to stamp out racism.