MI Jason MacQueen: My African-American wife is more or less the colour of caramel, my children have a natural to-die-for tan, and I, like most Anglo-Saxon Brits, am a sort of pale brown-peachy-pink colour. It is my view that racism, especially in the US, is not helped by the use of the terms ‘black’ and ‘white’ to describe people who are clearly no such thing. It surely makes them seem more different than they actually are. With respect, we are coloured, and to talk as if some of us were and some of us weren’t will only serve to perpetuate the divide between us.
Sewerage gold rush
Surrey Dr Robert Bruce-Chwatt: Mumbai street sweepers have long panned for gold in the sewers that lead off from the areas where the goldsmiths live and work. The gold dust is washed down from showers and basins, and up to two grams a week can be recovered from the mud. The high price of gold makes it worthwhile. The same happens in the jewellery quarter of Dhaka.
Passage to India
London Michael Blacker and Kusoom Vadgama, Chairmen, Indo-British Heritage Trust: Anglo-British links go back to 1616 when Sir Thomas Roe became England’s first envoy to India, appointed by King James I to the court of the Moghul emperor Jahangir at Ajmir. The 400th anniversary of this historic event will be on January 10, 2016, a cause for celebration and reflection on the combined history of the two countries.