Ninety Days

Author: Rashmi Paun

Ninety Days is a story about what life was like for Asians in Uganda before the President ordered them all to leave, and what happened afterwards as law and order broke down and people considered themselves lucky to escape unharmed. The story centers on the Hindu Mitani family whose biggest problems before the announcement are their elder son’s choice of a Muslim wife, a sister’s unhappy marriage and whether or not the community should spend its money on yet another religious shrine.

But as the deadline approaches and there are beatings and imprisonments, they, like their friends and neighbours, become increasingly desperate to find refuge in whichever country will take them, though they must flee more or less penniless and leave all their possessions behind.

Within ninety days, 70,000 members of what had been a close community many of whom were born in Uganda, were scattered across the world, mostly in the UK, Canada, India and the US, but some others across Europe and as far afield as Australia and New Zealand. Rashmi grew up in Jinja, Uganda. In 1972 when Amin made his announcement, Rashmi was already in London, studying for a doctorate in Physics, but his parents, family and friends were forced to flee from Amin’s terror.

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