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NCHT(UK) Response to the Caste Consultation Decision

NCHT(UK) welcomes the Governments conclusion and the proposed course of action, regarding the issue of “Caste Discrimination” Legislation.

The Government has decided to repeal the duty that currently appears in section 9 (5) (a) of the Equality Act 2010, which requires Government to take action to include caste as an aspect of race for the purposes of the Act. The decision to rely on emerging case-law renders that duty redundant and we will identify the most suitable legislative vehicle that can be used to repeal it at an early opportunity. In doing so the Government will be effectively reversing the harm caused by the Lord Harries amendment and the first step towards restoring community cohesion and tranquillity will have been taken. The harm done to Interfaith and especially Hindu Christian relations, will take significantly longer.

On the 4th March 2013 Parliament was advised by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, supported by other members of the House of Lords that 480,000 British subjects were being discriminated against on a daily basis by British Hindus. Parliamentarians were informed that 400 “community leaders” were waiting outside Parliament desperate for justice. Parliamentarians were advised that the NIESR report was adequate, comprehensive and “unequivocal”. The Equalities and Human Rights Commission published its preferred outcome on its website BEFORE any adequate consultation and the Labour Party used a 3 line whip to ensure that the legislation was passed. 

The Government under PM Cameron was the only body which was open to consider evidence from the British Hindu, Sikh and Jain communities. For 5 and a half years volunteers of the British Hindu community conducted their own rigorous research, attempted to engage directly with all conceivably “low caste” groups, and consulted with their Temple communities.  The “scholarly” works produced by Dr Dhanda and her colleagues were scrutinised and found to be so inadequate and internally inconsistent as to be little more than atrocity literature or superior grade propaganda. The NIESR report was found to be woefully inadequate and confirmed as unsuitable by the authors.

After five and a half years of process the Government has revealed the following facts.

  • ·  There is no trace of Lord Harries’ 480,000 Dalits and 400 community leaders, in fact after 5.5 years of lobbying, the respondents supporting Lord Harries’ claims number no more than 2,885 out of a national population of over 850,000
  • ·  The Government stated that “..we are not aware from any of the research into caste discrimination by NIESR and others, of discrimination between such sub-groups or sub-castes being a real-life issue”
  • ·  There were only two possible outcomes and that those parties recommending a third option were inadequately informed “The Government did not propose this course of action as an option and we do not wish to pursue it. It is not clear how it would work in legislative terms, not least because it would not fit with the normal approach to anti-discrimination law, which is inclusive rather than exclusive in its treatment of grounds for claiming unfair treatment. It could also result in the Government being in breach of its international legal obligations.”

 There is undisputed evidence that the Church of England desired a prejudiced outcome, the EHRC desired a prejudiced outcome, the Labour Party desired a prejudiced outcome, the Liberal Democrats Party desired a prejudiced outcome, the supposedly independent researchers appointed by the EHRC had also already placed on record their prejudiced outcome. Even the National Secular Society desired a prejudiced outcome. All of them already knew what was good for the British Hindu community, without evidence, consultation or reliable research. This is the very definition of institutionalised prejudice against the British Hindu community.

The British Hindu community is recognising this as undisguised religious and racial prejudice as defined in the Oxford English Dictionary “Dislike, hostility, or unjust behaviour deriving from preconceived and unfounded opinions. Preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.” For example ‘English prejudice against foreigners’

The Government report states that “At the beginning of the consultation the Government made it clear that it had no preferred or expected outcome.” The British Hindu community has every reason to be grateful to the Government for being resolutely neutral but open.

The Home Office has provided guidance upon Hate Crimes and Hate Speech in their report published in 2016 stated “Hate crimes are pernicious; they send the message that some people deserve to be targeted solely because of who they are or who they are believed to be…..” The Hindu community were clearly targeted by the above institutions and individuals; their actions sent out the message that British Hindus deserve to be targeted and punished because they are inflicting discrimination upon the vulnerable disadvantaged members of their community – evidence not required. Now that a full consutation and genuine evidence gathering has been done, a review of the 5 year old debate in the House of Lords makes for harrowing viewing. (The House of Lords Debate)

The NCHTUK produced their seminal Caste report available free for download from our website, and published multiple detailed videos on the issue. We established links with the Sikh and Jan communities and working very closely with the HFB, amongst other groups and together managed to encourage over 8,000 British Hindus to respond.

We still assert that the continuing use of the term “Caste” with reference to the Hindu community, is a perpetuation of the colonial use of this term to falsely denigrate and divide the Hindu community in order to facilitate the evangelical conversion activities of the Anglican Church. We have provided extensive evidence of this in our submission to Parliamentarians and this is available in our publication “Caste, Conversion and a Thoroughly Colonial Conspiracy”.

The British Hindu community will now need to take stock of the fact that in the Britain of the 21st century, they had been targeted by institutionally sanctioned hate speech, they were found guilty without evidence in a manner reminiscent of colonial times and required to expend 5.5 years of valuable volunteer, valued on a chargeable basis in the millions of pounds, time in order to provide evidence and to prove their innocence. With this decision Hindu temples, the Hindu Forum of Britain and the NCHT(UK) can turn their attention to dissolving caste consciousness entirely, thereby reversing the destructive impact of Lord Harrie's corrosive intervention. 

The NCHT(UK) and HFB will be publishing their report on the events of the last few years in a few weeks but would like to place on record their appreciation for the clear and reliable legal advice provided by partner Bernardine Adkins and her team at Gowlings and express our warm affection and gratitude to every Hindu who studied the legalities and still stepped forward to complete the consultation forms in the recommended manner. Our thanks also go to Hon Bob Blackman MP, Chair of the APPG for British Hindus and the Hindu Parliamentarians and community leaders, who stepped forward to teach the community about Parliamentary processes and who guided and supported our forays into the arcane waters of statutory legislation. Finally on behalf of the Hindu Temples of the UK, we are grateful to PM Rt Hon Theresa May, her Government and Secretary of State Rt Hon Sajid Javid for arriving at an entirely just conclusion.

NCHT(UK)

Contact:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Governments papers on the Consultation can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/caste-in-great-britain-and-equality-law-a-public-consulation

 

 

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