November 23, 2009

Spitfire is not BNP's to use, says Sikh pilot who fought the Nazis

One of the last surviving Indian Second World War fighter pilots has launched an attack on the BNP after it used images of a Spitfire in its campaign.

Mohinder Singh Pujji hit out at the far-Right party, and urged all British ethnic minorities not to shun the forces. The 92-year-old RAF Squadron Leader flew a Spitfire in the Battle of Britain and also met Sir Winston Churchill. He was one of only 18 Indian pilots in the RAF in the war, and the only Sikh to fly wearing his turban.

Sqn Ldr Pujji said he was outraged at the way the BNP has used imagery from the war: "The BNP are wrong to use the Spitfire as representative of their party. They forget people from different backgrounds helped in the Second World War. I am proof of this - I was flying a Spitfire. I also met Winston Churchill. Even in those days, there were ethnic minorities fighting for the British. I would recommend the armed forces for young people, regardless of race."

Sqn Ldr Pujji was born in Shimla, India, and volunteered for the RAF in 1940 after qualifying as a pilot in 1937.He was shot down twice and flew missions in North Africa and Burma, winning the Distinguished Flying Cross. After the war he flew commercial airlines, settling in Newham before moving to Gravesend. He was made a freeman of Newham in 2005.

Last week BNP leader Nick Griffin announced his intention to contest the Barking constituency, in Newham's neighbouring borough, at the election.

London Evening Standard


Anonymous said...

I’ve always voted for Labour after my mum told me to when I was 18!”

So depressing!

Anonymous said...

iliacus said...

Several years ago the Tories in our area ran a fundraising raffle which featured Churchill and Spitfire imagery.

I didn't mind them using Churchill - he was a Conservative (eventually) after all - but I objected most strongly to them using Battle of Britain imagery, pointing oyt that socialists, liberals, anarchists, communists and all sorts of others had fought the Battle of Britain.

So you can imagine how I feel about the BNP purloining such imagery ....

Anonymous said...

The voice of a true Sikh not an Uncle Tom!