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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

 

 

GDPR Compliance

The GDPR regulation aims to make personal data processing more transparent and to give people more control over their data. Even though the GDPR only applies to EU citizens, we have decided to go beyond and adopt the same good policies for all of our users, regardless of their citizenship or location. The new rules became effective on 25th of May 2018. The following two documents apply these rules to our service:

 

  1. Our Privacy Policy, which describes how we collect, use, share and process our customers’ personal data.
  2. Our Data Processing Agreement (DPA), which regulates our responsibilities as a data processor,

 

Processing of your personal data

 

In compliance with the GDPR, our new Privacy Policy explains in detail what information we receive from you and why. It also outlines how we share your personal information and with whom we share it with.

 

1. You provide minimum data and are in control of it

 

The first thing you need to know is that we collect the minimum data needed to provide our communications and news function. When you communicate with  us, you provide your contact information. We need this to process your event invitations and newsletter subscriptions, and to keep you updated about Hindu issues, as well as to send you send critical information related to the services you use. You can edit this data, download it and request profile deletion through your customer area.

 

2. We share your contact data with no third parties.

 

3. You control your email subscription preferences

If you’ve given us your express consent, we also use your email address to share updates, queries and status reports. This consent can be withdrawn or modified at any time by notifying us.

 

These are some of the most important points in the Privacy Policy, but to see everything in details we strongly encourage you to read through the whole document. We also have a designated Data Protection officer, who can address your questions related to your personal data and how we process it.

 

Processing of the data uploaded on your account

 

We also have responsibilities as a data processor. This means that when our contacts use our services and we store any personal data on servers, we are required by the GDPR to meet some criteria for handling this data too. These obligations are described in details in the new Data Processing Agreement, and you can see below some of the major points explained.

1. Transparent Security measures

One of our main responsibilities as an entity processing information, uploaded on our servers concerning our contacts, is to provide adequate security measures. The DPA has them listed in the form of an official document (Annex 2 of DPA).

2. Minimum access principle

The DPA puts in writing our obligation to access any data that our customers store on our servers only to the extent needed to provide our services and to make sure only employees that are directly involved with the provision of the service have access to it.

3. We provide access to secure partners only

Sometimes our partnering companies such as hosting companies etc need access to the data uploaded on our servers so that we can provide our service. Our supplier partners are an example of such a partnering company. We provide access only to partners that have same or higher level of data protection as the one we guarantee you through our DPA.

4. Any personal data breach is timely disclosed

Our DPA responsibilities include timely disclosure by us, if a personal data breach is detected by us to have happened on the servers used by our clients. We are obliged to notify our affected customers within 72 hours.

5. Any end user GDPR requests are appropriately passed on

Also if we receive a request by an individual, regarding any data hosted on our servers, to exercise one of the personal data rights outlined in the GDPR, we’ll direct them to our DPA.

The Fruits of Difficult InterFaith Conversations -

The Fruit of Difficult InterFaith Conversations - 100 Exiled Sikhs can return to their homeland in Punjab.

 "Genuine InterFaith Dialogue is not only vital to community cohesion but it may be THE critical area which will deliver or deny a peaceful 21st Century. It is the hardest space to work in but for those with motives based upon true seva and the courage to recognise that they may not have all the answers, the rewards can be pivotal as this news shows." Satish K Sharma, General Secretary, NCHT(UK)

The news that 100 Sikhs, who were exiled by the Congress government following Operation Bluestar, can now visit their families and their Punjabi homeland is a testament to the force for good which genuine InterFaith can be. The NCHT(UK) places on record its deep appreciation for the courageous visionaries in the British Sikh community who took a risk in extending their hands and supporting our "Dharma Rising" initiative and for welcoming Dr Swamy into the Hounslow Gurudwara for a ground breaking seminar. Their vision has begun to be realised today with the removal by the BJP Government of India, of the ban on 100 exiled Sikhs.

The premier Indian news portal pgurus.com yesterday announced:-

 

"It all started with Dr. Swamy’s visit to the UK in 2015, flying on the winds of great expectations and anticipation. A series of events organised by Satish Sharma of gss 04 smlVHS-UK as part of the National Council of Hindu Temples (NCHTUK) called ‘Dharma Rising’, gave oxygen to the masses to engage in productive, positive debate reflecting upon issues ranging from interfaith dialogue, relationships between India and the UK, the British General Election and the Indian Diaspora."

 

The series of events took place at venues in London, Slough, and Birmingham. In a dramatic gesture of goodwill between the Hindu and Sikh community, co-ordinated by Dr Jasdev Singh Rai and the Trustees of the British Sikh Consultative Forum, and the Trustees of the NCHT(UK) supported by the Trustees and Management Committee of the Hounslow Sri Guru Granth Sahib Gurudwara, Dr. Swamy became the first Indian politician to be welcomed in any Gurdwara in the West since 1984. Also present was Sr Raghbir Singh of the DamDami Taksal.

It's undeniable that the meeting commenced with an almost palpable air of distrust and suspicion, of unrecognised suffering and injustice. The presence of courageous Hindu and Sikh community leaders ensured that a "safe container" was maintained within which the most uncomfortable and sensitve issues could be explored and understood. When the seminar and meeting concluded a cordial, mutually respectful atmosphere prevailed. Dr Swamy had made a commitment to take back the wishes of all community members present in the gathering and to press for, amongst other needs, freedom to return for exiled Sikhs.

With the determination which is a hallmark of Dr Swamyji's campaigning, Dr Swamy lobbied the Indian Government, continued meetings with members of the Sikh Community globally as well as in India, where he met Sr Jasbir Singh Rode of the DamDami Taksal and succeeded in commencing the process of reconciliation. Today one of the wounds inflicted upon the Sikh diaspora has begun to heal.

 

dss gw langarsmlOn reflection there were many reasons for the meeting not to have happened. Many raucous voices objected to Dr Swamy visiting the UK, claiming everything from "Hindu Fundamentalism" due to his BJP membership, of "Islamaphobia" because of his Ram Temple campaign and many other ad hominem attacks. He was prevented from speaking at Oxford University, there were complaints to the Charity Commission alleging that his visit was politically motivated etc etc but the meetings continued and due to the courage of the Sikh and Hindu community organisations and the spirit of genuine interfaith dialogue, the paradigm has today shifted.

 

 

 

Noteworthy was the observation regarding the social media hype, made by one of the young Hindu volunteers at the time - "No ltr sikhone is focussing on the important matters being discussed, why are they criticising the people and not challenging the facts being discussed?" It is clear that in addition to the many good people and leaders of all faiths who do wish to improve our British communites and strengthen our inter community ties, there are equally very vocal voices who do not wish to see inter and intra faith harmony improving. They can usually be identified by their use of ad hominem attacks and they themselves pose the greatest threat to a harmonious, integrated tranquil multi cultural society, one comprised of diverse voices and history's, maintaining their diversity, but learning to live with each other, for each other.

The Trustees of the NCHT(UK) who are followers of the Dharmic principles of Satya (Reality), Jnana (Wisdom), Ahimsa (Non Violence), Shanti (Tranquility) recognise that the "appearance of InterFaith dialogue" (known as chai samosa InterFaith or fake InterFaith) is easy and comfortable but has not delivered what Britain so desperately needs. It is clear that the British people desperately need authentic InterFaith, which like Dharma, requires honest engagement and dialogue. With the support of courageous leaders of all faiths and traditions, and with the patronage of equally courageous Parliamentarians such as Dr Subramanian Swamy MP, Bob Blackman MP and Seema Malhotra MP, we hope to continue to see more successful "Hard Talk initiatives" emerging from all communities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hindu & Sikh organisations call the Government to account for "Hate Crime" discrimination

British Citizens have, for many years now, been able to move Parliament to enact legislation for the protection of human rights and to ensure that equality is preserved, adhered to and maintained in terms of access and remedy. As British society has evolved, Parliament has responded to ensure that these legal protections remain up-to-date and indeed relevant but of late many of Britains communities are beginning to comment that the twin sisters of British Jurisprudence, Justitia and Prudentia are no longer blind to difference nor prudent and seem to be displaying increasingly tangible bias.

The Dharmic Communities have been pressing Government for equality of access, equality of support and equality of treatment but recent developments indicate that these requests are falling on deaf ears. The NCHTUK, the HFB and the NSO have been working together to communicate to the Government that these inequalities which appear systemic are harming the minority Dharmic communities and the NSO recently presented these results, from the Sikh perspective to the Government. The concerns apply equally to the Hindu community and we are appreciative and whole heartedly supportive of the initiatives taken by Lord Singh and the NSO. The following is an extract of some of the issues raised by NSO with Government and we hope that working together we will be able to ensure greater equality for all Dharmic Communities.

                                                            Executive Summary

 Action Against Hate (July 2016) included reference to a number of government funded projects dedicated in tackling hate crime affecting Muslims and Jews. There was no reference to projects for Sikhs or any other non-Abrahamic faith group.

  • Despite the high profile ‘revenge’ attack for Lee Rigby on a Sikh dentist in Wales in 2015, and a catalogue of hate crimes against Sikhs here, and in the U.S where the first person to be killed in retribution for 9/11 was a Sikh, there is little focus on the community from government.
  • With the exception of the places of worship security fund, there has been little progress. The one initiative (with True Vision) looking to help support Hindu and Sikh victims of hate, announced in 2017, has not moved any further forwards, despite being announced a year ago.
  • ‘Prevention’ in the school setting must be inclusive of children of non-Abrahamic faiths.

 

This submission follows on from evidence submitted by NSO to this inquiry in January 2017.[1]

1 True Vision

Back in January 2017, we were heartened to see the government acknowledge a specific request in our submission to this very inquiry, by announcing specific funding for Hindu and Sikh communities in helping report hate crime via the police-reporting portal True Vision.[2] Despite an initial meeting with True Vision, and subsequent correspondence since, a year on the project appears to have come no further forwards.We would like the inquiry to establish the reason for the delay.

 

1.2 We understand True Vision is working with National Churchwatch (NC) in promoting a series of workshops talking with clergy about how to keep safe. This also involves the funding for NC to work with academics at Royal Holloway University to conduct research into anti-Christian hate. We would like a similar commitment and have established links with academics, who are already conducting research into the post 9/11 backlash Sikhs face and would be able to assist.We would like to see government funding commitment to support such research efforts.

 

1.3 We are aware of the publication of forthcoming Routledge academic volume titled: Racialization, Islamophobia and Mistaken Identity: The Sikh Experience.[3] This is being co-authored by Dr Jagbir Jhutti-Johal from the University of Birmingham and journalist Hardeep Singh, who is an officer in the NSO.

2Religious literacy

Much of the hatred directed at Sikhs is down to ignorance about Sikhism and Sikh articles of faith. This is why Sikhs and other non-Muslims are being recorded as victims of ‘Islamophobic hate crime’ by forces like the MET police. The figures we’ve obtained via FOI from the MET show that 25% of victims of so called ‘Islamophobic hate crime’ in 2016 are non-Muslims, and for the previous year the figure is 28%.S ome recent research on non-Muslim victims of Islamophobia (which includes Sikhs) by Professor Peter Hopkins from the University of Newcastle recommends, ‘increasing understanding of ethnic, religious and cultural differences.[4]We agree with this statement and the government must ensure steps for parity for all faith groups with this in mind.

..... 

3.1Bullying in schools

 As Professor Peter Hopkins points out ‘misidentification’ occurs in public places including schools.[5]Action Against Hatestates it would tackle bullying in schools with a ‘new programme to equip teachers to facilitate conversations about ‘difficult topics’ and carry out a new assessment of the level of anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic, homophobic, racist and other bullying in schools’. This involves working with the Anne Frank Trust and Streetwise, which run educational programmes.Sikh children, (in particular thosewith patkas) must also to be considered in the context of Islamophobia. There was the case from the U.S in which a boy is filming his classmates on a bus whilst they refer to him as a ‘terrorist’.[6] The video shot in 2015 went viral, but shows how visible difference can promote prejudice. We find it peculiar that the government hasn’t extended ‘prevention’ projects to other children from ‘visible’ faith minorities. We request an urgent review of this element with input from both the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for Education. The government must brief project leads in the Anne Frank Trust and Streetwise on this element to encourage a more inclusive faith community approach.

 

25 January 2018

 


[1] http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/home-affairs-committee/hate-crime-and-its-violent-consequences/written/45945.html

[2] https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-hate-crime-package-to-target-groups-at-need

[3] https://www.amazon.co.uk/Racialization-Islamophobia-Mistaken-Identity-Experience/dp/081535262X

[4] http://www.ncl.ac.uk/press/articles/archive/2017/03/islamophobia-otherethnicgroups/

[5] Ibid.

[6] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-trending-31695234


[i]Gov.uk. (2016). Hate crime action plan 2016 - GOV.UK. [online] Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hate-crime-action-plan-2016 [Accessed 7 Dec. 2017].

[ii]Ibid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NCHT(UK) submits complaint to IPSO on the use of the word "Asian"

 The NCHT(UK) has submitted a formal complaint to the Press regulator, IPSO, regarding the following article.

The Mirrors article of the 11th March 2018 - Headline “Britain's 'worst ever' child grooming scandal exposed: Hundreds of young girls raped, beaten, sold for sex and some even KILLED”

We have objected to the Mirror's depiction of the perpetrators of these horrific crimes, as being identified as Asian. This description defames all Indians, Chinese, Vietnamese etc and contributes towards the increasing incidence of hate crimes against these entirely innocent ethnicities and communities. This sustained and consistent trend for the media to use the word "Asian" whenever there is a "grooming gang" incident is recognisable as an act of harassment against British Asians. It is a deliberate attempt to associate "grooming gangs" with "ALL ASIANS" in the minds of the non-Asian British public and in terms of the scale of this act of harassment, it is being inflicted upon and harms all British Asians, numbering in the millions of British citizens.

             We wholeheartedly support the complaint to IPSO made by the NSO (Network of Sikh Organisations) on the inappropriate use of the word 'Asian' in the Mirror's story. This is something we have been seeing in the British press for some time and have found it utterly objectionable. Hindu girls, like Sikh and white girls, have also suffered at the hands of sexual grooming gangs for decades and if there is an identifiable commonality or ideology connecting these “grooming gangs”, the free press must not abdicate its responsibility to fully report facts including the complete identity of those perpetrating these crimes.

            The print media has a responsibility to be clear in language, and 'Asian' only serves to smear wholly innocent communities, whilst shielding those responsible. We sincerely hope that IPSO will accept our objections and uphold our, and the NSO's complaint and in so doing protect the wider wholly innocent British Asian communities from further defamation. This will set a much needed precedent.

View NSO Article - http://nsouk.co.uk/the-mirrors-recent-article-on-grooming-gangs-and-use-of-the-word-asian/

If you would like to add your voice to this issue please do so with IPSO directly at  

https://www.ipso.co.uk/make-a-complaint/

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