Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

The Viceroy of India

Dr Yasmin Khan tracks down passengers who travelled from Mumbai to Britain in the 1930s on the luxurious P&O liner The Viceroy of India.

Dr Yasmin Khan explores an extraordinary collection of ships' passenger lists to trace the changing story of migration from the Indian subcontinent to Britain over three key decades.

In this episode, she tracks down passengers who travelled from Mumbai, known previously as Bombay, to Britain in the 1930s on the P&O liner The Viceroy of India. Yasmin discovers the challenges faced by these new arrivals as they tried to build a life in a strange land and reveals how their individual stories reflect the increasingly strained relationship between Britain and its Indian Empire.

Yasmin traces the story of a 21-year-old student Netra Dutt, to discover the reasons why his Bengali parents panicked and forced him to come to Britain. At the Indian High Commission, Yasmin finds out from his daughter about Netra's struggles with his identity as he tried to fit into an overwhelmingly white London. She uncovers the story of Mulk Raj Anand, one of the most famous Indian authors of the 20th century, who despised the British Raj and meets his niece and the surprising family he married into.

Raja Stokes, an 86-year-old surviving passenger from the Viceroy, sheds light for Yasmin on the relationships that developed between colonial families and the local Indian population - from his bond with his ayah who travelled with the family to Britain, to the maharajah who was his father's patron.

Yasmin also traces the story of Viceroy passenger Sir Lancelot Graham, who became one of the last colonial governors in the Indian Empire. She tracks down evidence of a bloody revolt in the Sindh province to share with his grandson.

And she travels to Essex to reveal the sacrifice Ghulam Mum-taz, a law student from Madras, made when he married a white woman and started a family.

59 minutes

Last on

Thu 6 Sep 2018 00:45

More episodes


You are at the first episode

See all episodes from A Passage to Britain

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:06



  • 00:08


    Your House Is My World

  • 00:08


    Jullandar Shere (All Fetters Loose Mix)

  • 00:13

    Lia Ices

    Tell Me

  • 00:18

    Asian Dub Foundation


  • 00:21

    Nitin Sawhney


  • 00:21

    Asian Dub Foundation

    19 Rebellions

  • 00:34

    Nitin Sawhney

    Charu Keshi Rain

  • 00:35

    Nitin Sawhney


  • 00:43

    Talvin Singh

    Sway Of The Verses

  • 00:47

    Nitin Sawhney



Role Contributor
Presenter Yasmin Khan
Production Company Wall to Wall West
Production Manager Emily Assael
On-line editing Martin Ralph
Executive Producer Emily Shields
Director Helen Nixon
Series Producer Helen Nixon
Editor Dilesh Koraya


Featured in...

The Big British Asian Summer

The Big British Asian Summer

A season of programmes across the BBC exploring what it means to be British and Asian.