I am of Indian Origin born in Kenya. Kenya (as well as Uganda and Tanganyika ) had a Indian community of about 150,000 at the time of Independence (1962).
We are heading in a direction that is probably OTT for this thread but posting a reply here as the original is here.
I am also of Indian origin and born in Kenya and disagree with a lot of what has been said above. There was absolutely NO squeeze on any of the Asian community in Kenya. The option was very straight forward, surrender your British nationality, become a Kenyan citizen and carry on as normal or retain your British passport and leave Kenya. Many Indians did not trust the regime and decided to move and many elected to obtain Kenyan nationality and continue as before. There was NO bar on how an Indian could become a citizen. Pay a small bribe and all was possible.
The majority of the Indians that obtained Kenyan nationality have thrived and continue to live lives that are opulent at least. A list of the richest Kenyans bears testimony to this fact. 6 of the top 20 are Indians.https://businesstoday.co.ke/richest-ken ... anthropic/
Let’s add to this list, the deputy Attorney General was an Indian, 3 of the Assistant Commissioners in the Police were Indians and there was also a Sikh who was a Brigadier in the Army.
With respect to Kenyatta, his personal aide in all matters legal was Judge Chanan Singh (a gem of a man, with whom we have shared more than one meal - his personal library was so extensive that it was seized for the Kenyan Government as a national treasure when he passed away) whose opinion exceeded that of Charles Njonjo who was his employer by virtue of being the Attorney General! Yes Kenyatta was corrupt but show me an African leader (other than Nyerere) who was not.
With regards to Pio Gama Pinto assassination, it was nothing to do with him being an Indian. He was simply a communist who did not know where to draw the line. James Kiriuki, Tom Mboya, Robert Ouko, George Muchai were also assassinated. They weren’t Indians. These are matters related to power, plain and simple. One should know ones place in African politics.
As a community we hosted may "Indians" whilst we were there. The 2 that remain in my mind were Atal Bihari Vajpayee who put up at NGS’ s house and General Jagjit Singh Aurora who can home for breakfast whilst staying at S-----’s house down the road from us. The thrill of being introduced to the General remain with me to this day and the memory of that breakfast clouds every discussion of 1971 as is seems so personal a matter as I have met the man!
Much as we have emigrated from there for personal reasons we as a family as with many if not all of our friends continue to be deeply embedded with all that is Kenyan Indian that includes all our social lives and economic relationships.
I am sorry for those for whom it did not work out and felt that it would be unfair if their reflection was the only opinion on this matter. Thus this response.
Jambo sana! It is good to come across another person of a similar background. I agree that we are drifting far off topic but I want to emphasise the relevance of this in the BLM discussion. My point is that there are black folk who are also racist, and my experience is both in Kenya and in the UK.
To address your various points. Yes there are still some Indians in Kenya. These are mainly the very rich, who have too much to lose, or the very poor, who cannot afford to leave and of course some have just accepted that they are happy to stay and have integrated into the Kenyan people.
Your point about citizenship- that Indians were free to become citizens. Yes this was the Government position and we were given something like two years to apply for citizenship. However, the practice was somewhat different. My father applied (he was an Indian citizen, originally was Portuguese being born in Goa), but never was granted citizenship despite chasing. There could have been many reasons, but our belief was that the Government did not want to grant it.
About Kenyatta's legal adviser - The judge you mention was Charan Singh. Kenyatta's lawyer was Horatius da Gama Rose (another Goan) and he acted for him when he was on trial pre independence and while he was in detention. His son is still lawer for the Kenyatta family and guess what, Kenyatta's son Uhuru is now President! Charan Singh was appointed a judge before independence and unlike the British judges, stayed on after it.
I did not claim that Pio Gama Pinto was murdered because he was Indian, but because he threatened to expose Kenyatta's corruption. However being Indian meant that he did not have an African tribal power base making him a soft target. He was a friend of my Mum as their families were from the same village in Goa. The others you mention,were all after I left Kenya; Mboya and Ruto were Luo (Kenya's second largest tribe) and fallen foul of the Kikuyu, Kenya's largest tribe that were in control. I don't know about the other two, they sound like Kikuyu perhaps they were too honest.
With respect to Indians rising to prominent positions in the legal system, forces etc, many were automatic citizens ie two generations born in Kenya. Quite often the "foreign" second in command did the work while their African superior took the credit. Some of my Indian classmates went down that route, one rose to be a Wing Commander in the Kenya Air force. Suffice to say he now lives in Canada.
I believe we are from different times (you are much younger) and different background. I came from humble beginnings and left Kenya within a month of completing my "A" Levels in January 1968. I have lived most of my life in the UK but my work has taken me to most of the world except Africa and Latin America. When I left Kenya, Vajpayee and Jagjit Singh had never been heard of but you must have rich friends to have hosted them in Kenya. My classmates in my last school were 90% Africans, and I am in touch with some of them but there was a lot of bias against the Wahindi.
You are right about Nyerere being the only African politician to be honest. He actually gave up power when his term was up. Looking at your article on the rich in Kenya, count the politicians on the list; three Presidents and their families and several ex politicians. Of the Indians several are Khojas (not listed should be Juma who manages the Aga Kahn's holdings) and at least one of the "Indians " (Chandaria) lives in the UK.