The Indian-origin author says he has turned down the Queen’s Birthday honour, given by the government.
In a tweed, Indian-origin author Nikesh Shukla has revealed he turned down a Queen’sQueen’s Birthday Honour because he does not wish to be associated with what it stands for — “Member of the Order of the British Empire”.
“The main reason for not accepting the MBE was because I hate how it valorises the British Empire, a brutal, bloody thing that resulted in so much death and destruction. To accept the MBE would be to co-sign it,” Shukla tweeted on Saturday.
Shukla was born and brought up in Britain. His father grew up in Kenya, where his ancestors had moved from Gujarat.
Shukla writes about racism, identity and immigration in Britain. He is best known for editing a collection of essays in 2016, The Good Immigrant: 21 Writers Explore What It Means to be Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic in Britain Today. He followed up three years later with The Good Immigrant: 26 Writers Reflect On America.
He has also authored three novels — Coconut Unlimited (2010), Meatspace (2014) and The One Who Wrote Destiny (2018).
Queens Birthday Honours have different lists such as MBE, CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire), OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire), and BEM for British Empire Medal.
This year, “the List includes those who have worked throughout the crisis, putting others before themselves – from caring neighbours, frontline and community heroes, to those supporting the UK recovery,” according to the British government.
Oxford vaccine developer Prof Sarah Gilbert and the former chair of the UK vaccine taskforce Kate Bingham, TV chef Prue Leith, choreographer Arlene Phillips, actor Jonathan Pryce and England footballer Raheem Sterling are among this year’s recipients.