Asians on New Year Honours List 2015

The Queen’s New Year Honours List for 2015 has been revealed, celebrating the contributions of British individuals to their country. DESIblitz explores some of the Asians who have also made the prestigious list.

James Caan

Fauja Singh has been awarded a BEM for his services to both Sport and Charity.

The Prime Minister’s Recommendations for the New Year Honours List 2015 has been released featuring 1,164 names of British individuals.

These individuals are those that have contributed to all sectors of British life and society and have performed services at the very highest level.

Each year the number of British Asians commended for their contributions grows, and 2015 has seen a number of high profile names.

Of them include marathon runner and extraordinaire Fauja Singh who has been awarded a Medallist of the Order of the British Empire (BEM) for his services to both Sport and Charity.

The centenarian is the world’s oldest marathon runner and has been tirelessly fundraising for charitable causes for over two decades.

James Caan Also receiving CBE’s (Commanders of the Order of the British Empire) are James Caan for services to Entrepreneurship and Meera Syal MBE for her services to Drama and Literature.

Caan has also been recognised for his charitable services through the James Caan Foundation where he has raised significant funds for social enterprise.

Having left school at the age of 16, British Pakistani Caan began his own recruitment businesses and is now considered one of the wealthiest Asians in the UK.

He has contributed significantly to Pakistani areas plagued by natural disasters, and has even built a school to ensure that young poverty-stricken children can receive education.

Meera Syal Meera Syal who is already a holder of an MBE has now received a CBE for her contribution to the arts.

Famous for her TV roles in Goodness Gracious Me and The Kumars at No. 42, the comedy actress has also scripted films and books which comment on British Asian identity.

Here are some of the British Asians and South Asians who have been recognised on the Queen’s New Year Honours List 2015.


  • Nilesh Jayantilal SAMANI, DL Professor of Cardiology, University of Leicester. For services to Medicine and Medical Research.

Commanders of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)

  • James CAAN Founder and Chairman, Start Up Loans Company. For services to Entrepreneurship and charitable services through the James Caan Foundation.
  • Ms Meera SYAL, MBE Actress and Author. For services to Drama and Literature.
  • Miss Adeeba MALIK, MBE Deputy Chief Executive, QED-UK. For services to Interfaith and Community Cohesion.
  • Ms Shakuntala Michaela GHOSH For services to Venture Philanthropy and the Voluntary Sector particularly Homeless and Disadvantaged Young People.
  • Ms Uma MEHTA Chief Community Services Lawyer, London Borough of Islington. For services to Children.

Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)

  • Dr Mohinder Singh AHLUWALIA (Bhai Sahib Mohander Singh) For services to Interfaith and Community Cohesion.
  • Gulfaraz AHMED Headteacher, Parkinson Lane Primary School, Halifax. For services to Education.
  • Ms Sajda MUGHAL For services to Community Cohesion and Interfaith Dialogue.
  • Professor Venugopal Karunakaran NAIR Head of Avian Viral Diseases Programme, Pirbright Institute. For services to Science.
  • Professor Dilip NATHWANI Director of Medical Education, NHS Scotland. For services to Treatment of Infectious Diseases.
  • Surat Singh SANGHA Managing Director, Asiana Ltd. For services to Entrepreneurship.
  • Jatinder Kumar SHARMA Principal and Chief Executive, Walsall College. For services to Further Education.
  • Professor Iram SIRAJ Professor of Early Childhood Education, Institute of Education, University of London. For services to Education.

Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)

  • Ms Shabana Iltaf ABASI Head of Service, Cafcass Greater Manchester. For services to Children in Greater Manchester.
  • Waqar Afzal AHMED Prevent Manager, Birmingham City Council. For services to Challenging Extremism and Empowering Communities.
  • Shahnaz, Mrs AKHTAR Foster Carer, Slough. For services to Children and Families.
  • Ulfat Shahin, Mrs ASHRAF Muslim Chaplain, Birmingham. For services to Interfaith and Community Cohesion.
  • Hasan BAKHSHI Director, Creative Economy in Policy and Research, Nesta. For services to the Creative Industries.
  • Ahmed BASHIR Head, Operations and Finance Business Partner, Marketing, UK Trade and Investment. For services to Equality in the Public Sector.
  • Surinder Kaur, Mrs GHURA For services to Interfaith Understanding and to the community in Newcastle upon Tyne.
  • Paul Shanthakumar JACOB Lately Trustee, Christian Aid. For charitable and voluntary services.
  • Gurmel Singh KANDOLA Chief Executive, National Sikh Museum, Derby. For services to the community.
  • Abdul Razaq KHAN Foster Carer, Slough. For services to Children and Families.
  • Surinder Pal Singh KHURANA For services to the community in North East Lincolnshire.
  • Atul MARU Executive Officer, Border Force, Heathrow Airport, Home Office. For services to Law Enforcement.
  • Ms Vanita PARTI Founder, Blink Brow Bar. For services to the Beauty Industry and to Street Children in India through Butterflies.
  • Ushma, Mrs PATEL Diary Secretary, Department for Communities and Local Government. For services to Public Administration and to the community through the Dharmaj Society of London.
  • Mohammad Aslam RASHUD Headteacher, John Summers High School, Flintshire. For services to Education in Wales.
  • Laila, Mrs REMTULLA Managing Director, Laila’s Fine Foods Ltd. For services to the Food and Drink Business.
  • Miss Zubeda SEEDAT Policy Officer, Public Health, Department for Health. For services to Public Health.
  • Mizan Rahman SYED Internet Technical Manager, Cabinet Office. For services to Government Digital Communication.
  • Mohammed Kabir UDDIN Imam, HMP Wormwood Scrubs. For services to HM Prison Service.
  • Muhammad ZAHUR For services to the Pakistani community in Sheffield.

Medallist of the Order of the British Empire (BEM)

  • Dr Shazad SALEEM Dentist, Manchester. For services to Dentistry.
  • Fauja SINGH Marathon Runner. For services to Sport and charity.

The extensive names of British Asians and South Asians above showcase how much our Desi community is contributing to greater society.

Whether it be through the charity, social enterprise, health or education, British Asians are doing wonders for their country. Congratulations to all of the honoraries!

Aisha is an editor and a creative writer. Her passions include music, theatre, art and reading. Her motto is “Life is too short, so eat dessert first!”

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