I'm Indian. Southasian. Asian British. Whatever you want to call it and I'm proud. I am proud that I can write this sentence without hesitating or questioning what I really am or fear of ridicule or belittlement. But that always wasn't the case.

I grew up feeling like I had to crawl out of my own skin to survive in a world that hated me. I denied my culture, my heritage and my people weren't good enough for my "whitewashed" self. I was a brown girl in denial, haunted by my shame hiding behind glass.

But the older I got, the more open my mind became. I saw the depth in their stories, the vibrancy of their culture and I felt the fear they must have felt. And the more and more I heard, the more horror, shock and pure disgust I felt against the people I once tried so desperately to fit in with. 

India was the richest country in the world pre-colonisation but currently, it's considered a third-world country with 15% of its population living below the poverty line, a huge infant mortality rate and a fifth of the population unable to have basic literacy skills. You may be asking, what caused this? Well,  isn't it obvious? The British. But what you may not know is this is a dramatic improvement from how they left it. According to Al Jazeera British colonialism resulted in one hundred million deaths in the forty years of what was once fields of gold turned into cash crops and famine, what was once a vivid culture stripped away through oppression and slavery. 

Decades on as India is still feeling the impact, we look closer to home to see signs of progress. With Rishi Sunak and Sadiq Khan both working alongside one another in the highest positions possible,you'd expect massive change but, in my opinion things have only gotten worse, A recent survey revealing that 32% of Britons take pride in Britain's colonial legacy only increases my lose of hope. It's a sobering reflection of the gaping holes in education, the gaping holes that allow such ignorance and indifference to thrive. And to add on, Rishi Sunak's contreversial Rwanda plan puts in motion a plan of hostility and a feeling of Britain's true racist colour showing. I grew up attacked and made to feel like an alien in my own home because of my skin. If the education system continues the way it is now, there's no hope for future generations. The scars of colonization run deep within me, each one a reminder of the pain inflicted on my ancestors. But being British feels like salt rubbed into these fresh wounds, reopening old hurts with every reminder of a history stained by exploitation and oppression.