1st August 2013 - Update:-
22/04/2013 Update - House of Lords reveal's its Racist Colours -
Religious Persecution of Hindus under the guise of Dalit protection.
When there is a dispute between members of the same family, there is no such thing as a victory for one family member over another family member and the harm that has already been done to the fabric of the hitherto relatively peaceful British Hindu family, by this political process is already beginning to be felt. Where only a short few months ago we were observing a gradual softening of communal boundaries at an organic pace, we are now, in such a short space of time, already witnessing a reversal and an accelerated polarisation of the Hindu communities, as even our 3rd generation now become aware of this legislative process and become wholly unnecessarily, caste aware.
The NCHT UK, member of the Alliance of Hindu Organisations UK, welcomed the decision by the Government and the House of Commons to reject an amendment which would have introduced a caste system into the UK, targeted specifically at the Hindu community and we are grateful to the Parliamentarians who had the vision and perception to resist the considerable pressure from the Honourable Peers and recognised the possibility that such hasty legislation may have caused irreparable damage to the social fabric of the UK. We have only to look at the example of India itself where the impact of enshrining such gradually dissolving concepts into Law has had the effect of preserving and exacerbating Caste awareness and discrimination, thereby sustaining the very discrimination and sense of separation and experience of suffering which the Law was supposed to eradicate. We believe that the assertion, that the mere insertion of the word “caste” into law, was an unchallengeable panacea for the ills of discrimination, is unfounded and we are relieved that the Government prevented this from happening.
Our position is simply this. We acknowledge without reservation that amongst socially unskilful families and communities in all religions and nationalities, discrimination does occur, usually on a prejudicial basis of one or more perceived differences. It is found amongst all social groupings in the UK and is not restricted to the immigrant Hindu population, who seem to have become the focus of this legislative process, with repeated mention of our Hindu community at all stages of the process, despite the fact that THE EVIDENCE PRESENTED IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION DID NOT INCLUDE A SINGLE CASE WHERE THE ANTAGONIST WAS HINDU.
We positively accept that discrimination exists in pockets and also maintain that the proposed legislation could not fail to promote that very same evil which it was presented as being the solution to, as has so obviously happened in India and as we are observing already as this process gains momentum here in our own British community.
The NCHT UK and other member bodies of the AHO, will continue to engage fully with the Government to produce better quality, less biased and more reliable and comprehensive research and more importantly will fully engage with the Government to help develop Educative or Social Cohesion based initiatives to foster closer ties between the varied but spiritually and religiously connected members of the Hindu family. In addition to the above we, the NCHT UK will be shortly announcing our own independent initiatives designed to help accelerate the already dissolving vestigial communal boundaries even further.
We hope and pray that those communities who feel marginalised or who have suffered such discrimination will accept our open invitation to work with us, together as a Hindu family, who as John MacDonald so graciously asserted during the debate, have contributed so much to the fabric of our adopted country and have so much more yet to contribute.
Satish K Sharma
General Secretary (Acting)
National Council of Hindu Temples (UK)
The Dharmic philosophy of "Ahimsa" (usually translated as 'Non-Violence') has inspired Hindus Sikhs Jains and Buddhists for time immemorial and was globally popularised by Mahatma Gandhi in the struggle for freedom from the Colonial rulers of the British Raj. Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela drew strength and inspiration from it, quoting extensively from Gandhi's words and from the Bhagavad Gita as did many others who have fought against the most violent oppression, bigotry and racism which characterised the last two centuries.
Following on from the horrors of the Paris attacks, the latest in a string of violent assaults, the NCHT(UK) would like to explore all of these issues, but viewing them through the lens of the ancient science and philosophy of Ahimsa, "the absence of Violence".