Many allegations are being made on all sides regarding alleged caste discrimination, its nature, the degree and severity, the fundamental Christian agenda, etc etc and these allegations are clear indication of insufficient research, of adequate quality, having been conducted.
On our WebSite home page, we declare in the words of Adi Shankaracharya, "Na mey jaati bheda - I see no Caste distinction" and that is sufficient to state the Hindu perspective.
The NCHTUK is deeply concerned at the precedent being established where a group of non Indians/non Hindu's can without adequate consultation or courtesy, assume moral authority and appoint non-Indians/non Hindu pseudo scholars, funded from the public purse to which Hindus contribute significantly in this country, to sit in judgement and scrutinise the whole of the Indian community as though we were an ant colony. This group has no issue with then taking a "statistically embarrasing" sample of 32 anecodotal cases, heavily biased to one particular religious subsect, spanning a period of 15 years, and then has the temerity to extrapolate this to the WHOLE of the Indian community as though it were a huge problem, and then seeks to rush to legislate. We would submit that it is possible to find 32 people who are still convinced that the earth is flat, to find 32 racists who are adamant that white skinned people are genetically superior or indeed 32 people who are convinced that Elvis is still alive and that Obama is an alien.
In the words of William Paley, the famous "Christian Apologist" ..
We the Hindu community of the UK are again on the receiving end of contempt prior to investigation from this Legislative process. The precedent set by such sloppy research and rushed legislative process is dangerous and for the good of all British citizens, such heavy handedness MUST be resisted. The quality of legislation is only as good as the quality of the legislators and the legislative process. We would remind everyone that NOT one of Hitlers actions were ILLEGAL according to German law at the time, since all actions were preceded by speedily passing desired appropriate laws, without full and honest consultation and due diligence.
The definition of the word prejudice is:-
We the elected representatives of the Hindu Temple community assert that this legal process is flawed and racially prejudicial. No research has been conducted into the existence of the Jewish Caste system nor indeed the Muslim caste system not to mention the existence of a bloodline based monarchy in the UK and to catapult legislation affecting all such communities on the basis of a sample of 32 INDIAN specific, anecdotal accounts is not what we expect from our legislators.
We the NCHTUK reject the need for such rushed legislation since the very existence of a problem has NOT been adequately researched nor established. If this legislation is enacted we will challenge and resist its application as well as seek legal redress through European Legislation, because the legislative process which has been pursued is itself RACIALLY PREJUDICED.
The NCHTUK will be making our Hindu communities and congregations aware of the, in our opinion, neglectful, ill-considered manner in which members of the House of Lords and the members of the House of Commons who have supported this legislation, have acted. We expect our legislators to fully assess the data prior to voting and there is sufficient data to imply that this desire and expectation have not been respected.
Every Indian, not just every Hindu, needs to be aware of the manner in which these legislators have worked, collectively and individually, the seeming lack of quality of attention and sensitivity they appear to have applied to this issue, focussed primarily on the Hindu community. This will be most useful information when both local and Government elections are in the pipeline.
The NCHTUK propose that appropriate, reliable, unchallengeable research is conducted, by a reputable and respected SOCIAL, RELIGIOUS and CULTURAL organisation, perhaps the Oxford University Centre for Hindu Studies, that this research is funded by Government in the same manner as the wholly inadequate and unsuitable NIESR was funded and that all legislative process is halted until the very NEED for legislation has been unquestionably established. Until this has been established the NCHT refutes the need for an educational programme, which we feel may well be wholly unnecessary.
The issue is NOT one of discrimination, which we agree is abhorrent in all its flavours and it is our submission that those who are focussing and beating the Caste drum, both pro and anti are possibly focussing on the tail and not the Elephant; the Legislative process which has been wielded against the Hindu community in its entirety, is by far the bigger cause for concern.
In Indian villages, its a common teaching imparted to children by family elders to be wary of the meddling outsider, very keen to "support/inflame" one sibling against another, and in so doing further the outsiders own purpose of disrupting the family for his own advantage. If this issue does exist, it is a FAMILY problem one which the Indian/Hindu Family is perfectly capable of resolving without "nanny state" interference. We the NCHT confirm that in the 35 years of existence, with membership of Temples representing the diverse traditions of Hinduism in all of its colours, we have NEVER encountered an instance of the alleged "systemic" discrimination. We extend a warm hand to our brothers and sisters of all Indian religious traditions to engage with us and if necessary, conduct unimpeachable valid research into this issue and to then proceed on the basis of such findings. Together we are certainly capable of doing this without the intervention of "meddling outsiders", no matter how patronisingly well meaning.
At a time when confidence in the integrity and competence of Members of both Houses is at an all time low, with recent memories of "Honours for Cash", "Expenses fraud" and "Undisclosed Conflicts of Interest", not to mention the spectacle of snoring Peers, it is critical that the legislative process is transparent and reliable. The process we are scrutinising is not so; our scrutiny has revealed the existence of a sham, discredited report masquerading as academic erudition, being relied upon by Peers in what can only be described as a disappointing and shallow process of inspection. The Peer who declared that this issue affects HALF of the Indian population in this country did little to enhance the reputation of the House as being a source of well informed, balanced legislation. This is unacceptable to the Indian Hindu Community, against whose freedom to self regulate and self manage, which has been exemplary for so many years, this offensive assault is specifically targeted.
The Trustees and Executive Committee of the National Council of Hindu Temples (UK)
The NCHT UK is not alone in being concerned in the manner in which this legislation has been thrust upon the Hindu Community and a rejectinon of this issue has been jointly expressed by almost ALL the Hindu organisations. The Joint statement can be found here.
Also of interest may be this Huffington Post article by Jasdev Sing Rai, which will no doubt open a few eyes!
..and this article will hopefully bring a smile as well as some very serious observations about conduct... "Caste & Shakti without Bhakti"
If you have feedback on this issue, please do engage with us here and share your thoughts. Thank you