Asians on New Year Honours List 2017

The New Year brings with it the Honours List for 2017, recognising key individuals across the UK. Many British Asian men and women have also been honoured.

Asians on New Year Honours List 2017

a number of British Asians were recognised for their work with interfaith communities

Released on 30th December 2016, the New Year Honours 2017 recognised the impeccable achievements of outstanding men and women across the UK.

A total of 1,197 people received an award. In particular, the bi-annual list saw a record number of British Asian individuals from all sectors of the local community, sport, arts, business and technology be honoured with a British Empire medal and title.

The prominent titles, which range from Commanders of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), and Medallist of the Order of the British Empire (BEM) among others are awarded to those people who have made significant achievements in public life and have committed themselves to serving and helping Britain.

Of the recipients, 9.3 percent of the successful candidates came from a BAME background, making just over 111 names in total.

Women were also equally awarded alongside their male counterparts with 603 making the list.

Professor Shankar Balasubramanian was the only British Asian to be awarded a Knighthood this year for services to Science and Medicine. The University of Cambridge professor was, in fact, joined by the well-known marathon runner, Mo Farah who received a knighthood for services to Athletics.

One notable recipient was football coach and active community member, Manisha Tailor for her services to Football and Diversity in Sport. Tailor, who bravely spoke out about cultural stigmas around mental illness with DESIblitz has spent many years encouraging young British Asians and non-Asians to overcome barriers in sport and football.

Manisha tweeted out her thanks and gratitude on social media, where she gave special mentions to those who had supported her over the years:

Joining Manisha is a fellow sportswoman, Saba Nasim, who received a BEM for services to Cricket and Young People. For the past several years, Saba has been working to encourage grassroots cricket among girls in East London.

Saba says: “It feels amazing to have received this award and to know that the work I am doing at the grassroots level is being recognised at a national level.

“I hope to use sport as a vehicle to drive change in the community, promote social cohesion and empower young people to become respectable role models themselves.”

Some familiar names from the Arts and Cultural sectors also made the list. In particular, theatre heavyweight Jatinder Verma who co-founded Tara Arts. Verma was awarded an MBE for services to Diversity in the Arts, particularly Drama.

Jatinder Verma is widely recognised as ‘the Godfather’ of British Asian theatre, having been an avid creator and director of cutting-edge cultural drama since 1977. Verma saw drama and theatre as a way of combating racist attitudes and inspire many ethnic minorities to speak on a public platform.

Joining Verma, with a BEM is dhol master, Gurcharan Mall for services to British Asian Music and Performing Arts. Also known as King G Mall, the musician has been an integral influence on the Bhangra music industry for decades.

Asians on New Year Honours List 2017

Making dhol popular across the world, he has been a key member of numerous Bhangra groups over the years including, Apna Sangeet, Nachdey Hasdey, Nachda Sansaar, Dhol Blasters, Bhangra Blasters and Band Baja.

Prominent TV Chef and Scottish personality Tony Singh was also given an MBE for services to the Food and Drink Industry and charity.

74 percent of candidates in the New Year’s Honours list were given in accordance with outstanding work in local communities. In particular, a number of British Asians were recognised for their work with interfaith communities.

Jasvir Singh of City Sikhs received an OBE for voluntary service to Faith Communities and Social Cohesion, Dr Brinder Singh Mahnon, an OBE for services at Nishkam School Trust, and Mrs Sharan Ghuman an MBE for the safeguarding of vulnerable people.

Here are most of the British Asians and South Asians who have been recognised in the New Year’s Honours List 2017:

Knighthoods (Kt)

  • Professor Shankar BALASUBRAMANIAN Herchel Smith Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, University of Cambridge. For services to Science and Medicine.

Commanders of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)

  • Naim Ibrahim ATTALLAH Publisher, Quartet Books. For services to Literature and the Arts.
  • Hardip Singh BEGOL Director, Independent Education, Safeguarding in Schools and Counter Extremism, Department for Education. For services to Education.
  • Professor Kamaldeep Singh BHUI Professor of Cultural Psychiatry and Epidemiology, Queen Mary University of London. For services to Mental Health Research and Care.
  • Ms Neena GILL Member of the European Parliament for the West Midlands. For parliamentary and political
  • Ravindra Pragji GOVINDIA, MBE Leader, Wandsworth Borough Council. For services to Local Government and the community in Wandsworth, London.
  • Professor Anita THAPAR Clinical Professor, Institute of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences, Cardiff University. For services to Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)

  • Ms Iman ABOU-ATTA Founder, SCEME. For services to Community Cohesion.
  • Abdul Fazal BHANJI Deputy Chair, University of London Board of Trustees. For services to Education and Young People.
  • Imran GULAMHUSEINWALA Global Lead for FinTech, Ernst and Young. For services to Financial Services.
  • Poonam, Mrs GUPTA Chief Executive Officer, PG Paper Company Ltd. For services to Business and charity.
  • Naseem Aslam KHAN Managing Director, Jennings Motor Group. For services to the Economy and charity.
  • Dr Brinder Singh MAHON Chief Executive Officer, Nishkam School Trust. For services to Education.
  • Professor Ghulam Jeelani MUFTI Professor of Haemato-oncology, School of Medicine, King’s College London. For services to Haematological Medicine.
  • Avtar Singh PUREWAL Regional Head of Learning and Skills, HM Prison Service Yorkshire. For services to Prisoners.
  • Jasvir SINGH Founding Chair, City Sikhs. For voluntary service to Faith Communities and Social Cohesion.
  • Mohammad TAJ President, TUC. For services to Trade Unionism.

Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)

  • Councillor Mohammed AIKHLAQ Chair of Governors, Leigh Primary School, Birmingham. For services to Education.
  • Imran AMED Founder and Chief Executive Officer, The Business of Fashion. For services to Fashion.
  • Anjana Purnawaty, Mrs APPIAH Foster Carer, Islington Council. For services to Children.
  • Surjit Singh CHOWDHARY Vice-President, Central Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Glasgow. For services to the Sikh Community and charity.
  • Parkash Singh DHAMI President, Telford Gurdwara. For services to charity and Community Cohesion.
  • Arjuna Gihan FERNANDO Investor and Entrepreneur. For services to the Digital Economy.
  • Sharan, Mrs GHUMAN Higher Officer, Outbound Detection Heathrow, Border Force. For services to the Safeguarding of Vulnerable People.
  • Sunita, Mrs GOLVALA For services to South Asian Dance in the UK.
  • Uzma, Mrs JOHAL Festival Director, Frequency Festival and Cofounder and Director, Threshold Studios. For
    services to the Digital Economy in the East Midlands.
  • Sarbjit, Mrs KAUR Detective Sergeant, Merseyside Police. For services to Policing.
  • Javid KHAN For services to the Prevention of Forced Marriage and Honour Based Violence.
  • Massa Singh NANDRA For services to charity and the community in South London.
  • Shezad NAWAB Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, Sfhere. For services to Business and Diversity.
  • Inayat OMARJI For services to Built Heritage and the community in Bolton.
  • Priyesh PATEL Managing Director, Cofresh Snack Foods. For services to the Economy in Leicestershire and
  • Vanita, Mrs PATEL Anti-Slavery Ambassador, Worldwide Eradication of Slavery. For charitable services to Human Rights.
  • Ms Indhu RUBASINGHAM Artistic Director, Tricycle Theatre. For services to Theatre.
  • Mohammed Abid SALEH Detective Constable, CSE Team, Lancashire Constabulary. For services to Policing and the community in East Lancashire.
  • Mohamed Karim SBIHI For services to Rowing.
  • Mukesh SHAH For charitable and community service in the UK and Abroad.
  • Sangeeta Rajesh, Mrs SHINGADIA Field Force Officer, HM Revenue and Customs. For services to Debt Collection and charitable service in the UK and India.
  • Tony SINGH Chef Director. For services to the Food and Drink Industry and charity.
  • Professor Sital SINGH SITARA For services to Sikh Heritage and Culture.
  • Miss Manisha TAILOR For services to Football and Diversity in Sport.
  • Jatinder VERMA Co-founder, Tara Arts. For services to Diversity in the Arts, particularly Drama.
  • Mira, Mrs VYAS Senior Executive Officer, Universal Credit Programme, Department for Work and Pensions. For services to Welfare and the community in London.
  • Dr Premila Nalini WEBSTER Director of Public Health Education and Training, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford. For services to Public Health.
  • Ms Riffat Perveen YOUNG Head of Corporate Services, Department for International Development Nepal. For services to International Emergency Response.

Medallist of the Order of the British Empire (BEM)

  • Mohammed FAROOQ For services to Fundraising and Providing Meals to Disadvantaged Children in Peterborough.
  • Prithipal Singh KANG For services to Fire and Rescue Awareness and Community Cohesion in North Kent.
  • Ms Davinder KAUR Chief Executive Officer, SWEDA and Chair, Sandwell Consortium. For services to Women’s Enterprise and the community in Sandwell, West Midlands.
  • Gurcharan MALL For services to British Asian Music and Performing Arts.
  • Siraaj-Ul-Haq NADAT Senior Quality of Life Facilitator, Changing Our Lives. For services to People with Disabilities in the West Midlands.
  • Sewa Singh NANDHRA For services to the community in Woolwich, London.
  • Miss Saba NASIM For services to Cricket and Young People in London.
  • Carmen Kamini, Mrs PATEL Lately Head of Year 11, Oasis Academy Coulsdon, Croydon. For services to Education.
  • Paritaben, Mrs PATEL For voluntary and charitable services to Poverty Reduction in India.
  • Ms Induji POPAT Hindu Priest, Ashton Under Lyme Hindu Temple. Indu Popat For services to Asian Women in the North West.
  • Baljinder Singh RANA Chairman, Guru Nanak Football Club. For services to Football and Inclusion in Kent.
  • Vijey, Mrs RATTAN Chair, Naree Shakti. For services to Interfaith Relations in Enfield.
  • Miss Nadia Fauzi SABA For services to Triathlon in Bristol.
  • Miss Qurratul Annie ZAIDI For services to Football Coaching.

Each year, the New Year’s Honours List celebrates more and more deserving British Asians.

At a time where diversity and multicultural attitudes are at the forefront of socio-political thought, these key individuals display the vital contributions that Asians have made in British society and local communities.

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!”

Images courtesy of FIPA, Female Coaching Network, Dhol Blasters, Saba Nasim and

What's New



  • Polls

    Which Indian television drama do you enjoy the most?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...
  • Share to...