Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Press Release in Response to the report "Caste System" by the Hindu Council of the UK

To provide a befitting response to HCUK’s misleading report on Caste Discrimination
titled: ‘Caste System’ by Dr. Raj Pandit Sharma, a meeting was held at Ambedkar
Centre, Southall, United Kingdom on Sunday 2nd March 2007.

It was attended by members of Valmiki Community, Ravidasi Community, Indian Christians and Indian Buddhists.

To oppose the forthcoming Single Equality Bill in British Parliament and the likely
inclusion of caste based discrimination within it, has triggered this unprecedented alarm
among the Hindu fundamentalists.

To nip the efforts of progressive British Members of Parliament in the bud they have waged shameless onslaught on them and leveled baseless allegations of conversion of marginalized victims of Hindu caste discrimination onto Christianity and other religions.

Their report has been so very prejudiced and full of absurdities that they have
forgotten that the issues they have raised were effectively countered and dispelled by
none other than the Architect of Indian Constitution, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar during his
lifetime. It is the meek effort of HCUK to sell its ideas to the western world hoping that
they would be digested without verification and scrutiny.

Thanks to the Government of Maharashtra’s (India) initiative in publishing the writings and speeches of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar which are available on Ambedkar.org website wherein every point raised in HCUK’s report has already been countered effectively and successfully. In their report, they have even gone ahead and produced a document in the name of Valimiki Sabha
Southall which supposedly has endorsed HCUK’s view. By doing so, HCUK has exposed
itself and its policy of ‘divide and rule’.

We would neither like to name nor shame the Hindu Council for producing this document
as it has given us an opportunity to present the facts straight across to the British media to
settle the age-old scores against the heinous practices of the caste ridden Hindu religion
which has kept 250 million Indians away from enjoying basic human rights. The report
has ascribed the ill-effects of caste discrimination existing in India unfortunately to
British Raj and the various invasions and foreign rules in India - forgetting that the basic
scriptures of Hindu religion like Rigveda, Gita & Manusmriti pre-date all foreign rules.

It was really not essential for them to have come out with a 30 page document as it could
be reduced to not more than 3 pages; since it only projects their apprehensions on the
proposed Single Equality Bill in the British parliament which could have far reaching
impact of having its place in European Parliament and further in the United Nations as
well. This not only concerns Hindu Council UK but also the Hindu bureaucracy in the
Indian Government which has been consistently denying the caste discrimination existing
in India to the enquiries made by United Nations. Caste has always been projected as the
‘internal’ and ‘cultural’ aspects of Hindu society; thus evading international scrutiny and

Caste discrimination has neither been compared with apartheid by British MP’s nor by
any other international communities but it has been unequivocally expressed by the
present Indian Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh on December 27, 2006. The HCUK
report has mentioned this fact without mentioning the Prime Minister’s name.

HCUK shouldn’t really have gone for mudslinging against various organizations such as Dalit
Solidarity Network UK and Caste Watch UK as these organizations have beyond doubt
been instrumental in providing voice to 250 million people discriminated on the basis of
caste in the Indian sub continent and in the UK.

The HCUK having lived in this civilized country could have frankly accepted the responsibility of Hindu religion for the inhuman creation of caste system and been apologetic about its role in this practice. The meeting at Ambedkar Centre, Southall has constituted a committee which would carry out research and will come out with a full report in due course of time. This full report would inform the world once and for all unambiguously the nefarious designs of spreading
disinformation and hiding facts that Hindu Council UK has employed.

UK government should in fact take an initiative and have implementation of the General
recommendation XXIX of The United Nations CERD’s (Committee on the Elimination
of Racial Discrimination) in order to prohibit and eliminate Caste discrimination
effectively. This should be in furtherance of its commitment to elimination of slavery 200
years ago.

We take this opportunity to inform British Parliamentarians that let the good sense
prevail in supporting our cause to include caste discrimination in the forthcoming Single
Equality Bill.

Contact: Mr. C. Chahal Sphere: Related Content

No comments: