Anita and Me
Meera Syal’s novel about nine-year-old Meena is a delightful portrait of life in a small, ex-mining village in 1960s West Midlands. Born in Britain to Indian parents, Meena struggles with her dual identity, the racism of her peers, and the everyday trials of friendship, family and growing up.
As an increasingly multicultural society, what it means to be ‘British’ is still a huge part of political debate in the UK - just as it was for Meena in the 1960s.
Cameron enters national identity minefield
Prime Minister claims multiculturalism has left us segregated. Britain needs stronger national identity, he says, but many disagree.
From churl to chav: shaming the underclass
A new book suggests we enjoy ridiculing people at the bottom of the heap for everything: their accent, their behaviour and even their clothes. Often by using the word 'chav'.
Ten years dramatically change UK population
The 2011 Census, released this week, reveals the immigrant and mixed race population is up, Christianity down. Disastrous transformation or fascinating fresh chapter in UK history?
When Meena overhears racist comments from her neighbours and friends, her world is turned upside down. Is racism still a problem in the UK?
Farage under fire over race equality laws
UKIP’s leader is coming under criticism after calling racial discrimination laws outdated. He says racism isn’t a problem now, but some accuse him of not recognising it within his own party.
'Whites only' in deadly village of Midsomer
A long-running TV drama features only white faces. Anything else just wouldn’t be a true English village, says the producer. Harmless escapism or dangerous fantasy?
Racism haunts football as England captain charged
In the latest of a string of racism scandals, John Terry has been charged with a criminal offence for racially abusing another player. Can prejudice ever be kicked out of football?
Meena comes from a Sikh family, something which sets her apart from her peers, while offering another strand to her identity. How important is religion today?
Faith survey reveals a nation in doubt
A major study examining British attitudes to religion has found most people deeply uncertain in their own beliefs. Is doubt the enemy of faith — or its essential companion?
Sikhism takes the spotlight after temple shooting
On Sunday, a lone gunman opened fire in an American Sikh temple, killing seven people. In the wake of the tragedy, the Sikh community has been forced to confront prejudice and misunderstanding.
Cameron declares UK is a Christian country
David Cameron insists on Christianity’s value in public life, but many say he is excluding those of other faiths and those of none. Is religion a helpful guide to running a modern country?
The novel may be set in middle England, but this large and complex country is felt throughout its pages.
Rich or poor? Divided India remains an aid target
The UK is to give more than £1bn in aid to India - a polarised society where one in four lives in poverty while the list of billionaires grows. But should charity begin at home?
Class-obsessed Britain bans Indian caste system
The UK government has announced that the Indian caste system will effectively soon be illegal in Britain. But what of Britain’s own obsession with social class?
Terror strikes India – death toll 18 and rising
India's biggest city Mumbai is once again under attack as three terrorist bombs explode. An age old dispute that has killed millions takes its latest victims.
At its core, Anita and Me is a story about growing up - something that everyone, no matter where they come from, can understand.
Report calls time on sexualisation of childhood
Parents voice concern at sexualised images surrounding their children. Publishers, retailers and broadcasters find themselves in the dock.
Parents told: ‘get mean’ to avoid spoiled children
A quarter of British children do nothing to help around the house, a survey finds. ‘Mean parenting’ gurus say parents who overindulge children are creating a generation of spoiled brats.
New film documents ‘birth’ of teenagers
We all take our definition of teenage years for granted these days: a drawn-out transition to adulthood. But a new documentary film says adolescence and youth culture are a modern invention.