London, Sep 16 : 72-yer-old Indian-born British Labour Party MP Virendra Kumar Sharma speaks to British Asia News in the sideline of Saragarhi Day on Saturday, September 14, at the Army Reserve Centre in Southall commemorating the gallant last stand of the 21 Soldiers from the 36th Sikh Regiment.
MP Sharma spoke in details with Amrit Mann, MD of Punjab Covent Garden, one of the oldest Punjabi restaurants in the UK.
When asked about his background experience date, he said "I come from Punjab, about 51 years ago, always lived in Southall, I started my journey in Britain, as a bus conductor. And now I'm a member of parliament, but also served as a local Councillor in London for Borough Ealing for over 28 years and I was the mayor of Ealing at one term, so I spent whole my adult life in Britain and also doing the public service. And I feel honoured and privileged to represent an area which we have the diversity in all kinds of shapes, and I feel proud of that"
BA: You spent a lot of time in Parliament, any notable moments.?
MP: I think that every minute in your life is inevitable, that unless you are not doing anything, when you are active in your life, you are doing public service, you are doing casework you are doing public speaking you are going to visit the elderly you are going to visit the disabled people, then you doing the casework when you resolve the problem from the homeless, immigration, housing, you name it, when you have done it, that you feel satisfied inside and I feel satisfied throughout my life, serving the community serving humanity and making sure that we can bring unity and equality in our society.
BA: True Punjabi, how was your first day in Parliament as MP for Southhall ?
MP: It was very interesting day. We and you may remember, there was some floodings in Somerset, on the day I was going into the parliament. And there was a prime minister had to make a few statements. So my arrival in the parliament was delayed. And Prime Minister, Gordon Brown called me during that time to apologise that I have to wait. At that time I said, I waited for 25 years to come to the parliament, that they are three hours make no difference.
For me, it was quite a humorous and pleasant as far as I said earlier on, it's not the position, whether with the position you are satisfied or not. I feel satisfied. When I serve the community, I go around I walk on the streets, I walk on the Broadway on the shopping centre, meet community people, talk to them, listen to their issues, then make sure that I do the proper representation of that. So that they feel that their representative is a listener, the representative is a representating, and he can do the job, which they may not be able to do it otherwise. I think that today's if you look around in Southhall or in my area, people have different views. Because I lived throughout my adult life in Southhall I think they're the major changes have come and a lot of people feel Southall as their home.
BA: And today the army has opened its community preserve unit for our community. How do you find today ?
MP: I came this morning. Then I was there was a mixture of my time. Initially I said I'm coming then my office said that I'm not coming. Then there were some changes in my other programme, then I drop in here. But I feel that the British Armed Forces and every institution has accepted us as part and parcel of British society. They also recognise the bravery, the Punjabi community, particularly the Sikh community has shown in the past, we have seen that they've witnessed the British government and the institutions and today's Open Day indicates that sign that they want the brave, intelligent, patriotic, above all a loyal soldiers and officers into the armed forces. That's why they come to Southall and they encourage it, I encourage it. I wanted our routes to take part in all walks of life, which includes the force, and includes the Navy and other institutions, in the armed forces to take part. And I'm proud to see so many of my constituents, the young people, the families coming and they are enjoying it, but also taking that they can encourage themselves and encourage others to participate.
BA: And will there be a general election? I am confident that there will be general election by end of November..
BA: You'll be standing?
MP: I will be standing.
BA: We want you, of course, we want you.
MP: Thank You
Watch video interview: