Ayurveda -Spring Renewal

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Press Statement - Tolerating the Intolerant

Banner05

Following on from the hugely succesful event, we have received requests for comment from the Sun, Buzzfeed and from Middle Eastern Eye. In response to the following questions we have published the following reply.

 

The subject of the event was Tolerating the Intolerant - the abuse of  Hindu Human Rights in Europe and in India. A core subject was the sustained targeting and abuse of Hindu and Sikh girls .. their selection on the basis of their religion and their subsequent physical and emotional abuse for the purposes of forced conversion to Islam. This phenomenon has been reported here in the UK but has also been a major problem in India and most especially in West Bengal, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Mr Ghosh has a great deal of support from the Bengali Muslim community in India who too find the targeting of vulnerable girls abhorrent and completely unIslamic.

 

Evidence was presented at the event which showed that

  • In 21st century Europe the majority of European nations do not accept the Dharmic traditions as state recognised religions including Belgium, the home of the European Parliament. This is religious discrimination.
  • That 49 million Hindus are missing from Bangladesh and
  • that the grooming of Hindu & Sikh vulnerable girls is occurring on an "industrial scale", with these girls then being channelled into lives of crime, prostitution and trafficking.

 

We are disappointed that despite the above, the focus of one segment of the media is on the tweets made by a grass roots activist, who may be guilty of intemperate language, allowing for difference in vocabulary and regional nuance, but he is certainly not guilty of crimes against vulnerable girls nor of blatant institutional discrimination.

 

In addition we are working directly with British Imams who have come forward and are keen to see the rights of vulnerable women of all religions protected. We would welcome an opportunity to discuss this with the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) and equally we are working with Sikh community leaders, who also attended the event and who are deeply concerned at this phenomenon, one which has been causing disharmony within our British multi faith communities for decades.

Many victims are unable to come forward because of the cultural importance of family honour and this issue needs to be brought to light so that victims can be encouraged to come forward and be helped to recover their self esteem and dignity.

tolerance02You will have noted that even Pakistani Politician Imran Khan (https://www.dawn.com/news/1365958)  has commented on the prevalence of this violent strategy which is destructive of community cohesion and harmony. Presumably Mr Khan is not an Islamophobe. Mr Ghosh has been working at grass roots level in India and his organisation has successfully helped to re rehabilitate over 300 such trauma victims,  and he was invited to provide data, photographic evidence and witness testimony and statistics to inform parliamentarians of the ground reality and to submit this data to the forthcoming Report on Religion Based Human Rights Violations of Hindus.

 

As Hon Bob Blackman stated in Parliament:-

“... I thank the Hon. Lady for notifying me that she was going to raise this point of order. She has inadvertently misled the House. Let me be clear: I did not invite Tapan Ghosh to the House of Commons. I hosted, in my capacity as chairman of the all-party parliamentary group for British Hindus, two functions last Wednesday, which Tapan Ghosh attended. One was the annual Diwali celebration on the House of Commons Terrace, which a number of hon. and right hon. Members attended. Subsequently, in the evening, we had the launch by the National Council of Hindu Temples of a report into Hindu minority rights in Bangladesh and Pakistan. Tapan Ghosh was invited by the National Council of Hindu Temples to attend that meeting and present evidence of physical attacks, rapes, forced marriages and forced conversions that have taken place in West Bengal and other places.

I have made clear, and the National Council of Hindu Temples has made clear, that it was only in that capacity—as presenting that evidence—that that individual was invited to this House. He made no abhorrent remarks at the meeting, and I am quite clear that I and the National Council of Hindu Temples do not agree with the views he previously stated. We do not accept them, and we do not endorse them in any shape or form, but it is right that this House has the opportunity, and that Members have the opportunity, to hear evidence from people of what is happening in other countries.”

It’s clear that people who raise this thorny issue are wholly inappropriately and maliciously labelled by certain members of “the left” and their apologists, as ‘Islamophobes’ or ‘racists’. We saw this with the recent sacking of Sarah Champion from the Shadow Cabinet, who bravely spoke out against the disproportionate number of Pakistani Muslim heritage males being convicted in sexual grooming gang cases where the girls were of disproportionately high non-muslim origin. The truth is as in Mr Ghosh’s case, that this trend is nothing but an orchestrated mechanism to shut down those who presume to speak inconvenient truths. We are unaware of the other allegations and remarks you refer to and if there is truth in them, we reject them without reservation.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

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/

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

£1.65m - The British Price of Equality and Moral Values

Press Note – 10th August 2017

The Bank of England announced its decision regarding the use of tallow in pound notes as follows:-

"The Bank is today, Thursday 10 August, announcing that after careful and serious consideration and extensive public consultation there will be no change to the composition of polymer used for future banknotes. The new polymer £20 note and future print runs of £5 and £10 notes will continue to be made from polymer manufactured using trace amounts of chemicals, typically less than 0.05%, ultimately derived from animal products.

(The full statement can be found here)

 

The decision by the Bank of England to take no heed of the contributions of 88% of respondents who submitted details of a value based position to the Bank, although not unexpected, is disappointing. The Banks decision is based upon what is offered as “value for money”, itself a strange concept in the context of the production of money, but we are deeply concerned that the Bank has chosen its own perspective in determining what is deemed as “value” and has completely ignored what is perceived as value by those not limited to the materialistically bounded perspective of a Central Bank.

The Bank has determined that there is a monetary value to the ethics and morals of a rapidly increasing number of British citizens i.e. the vegan and vegetarian community, and also of the religious and spiritual values of the members of the Dharmic traditions who view all of life as one family.

The Bank of England has stated that it has taken account of the Equality legislation but what it has in essence done is established that the spirit of Equalities legislation in the UK does in fact carry a price tag and a level at which the spirit of human rights which is enshrined in Equality legislation, becomes “unaffordable”, a paltry £1.65m per annum for a decade. Has Great Britain become so poor?

It is undisputed that until this decision, currency was a neutral medium of exchange of value and its use did not physically, emotionally nor intellectually cause any conflict in the hands of the citizens and although the decision satisfies the value systems of bankers and lawyers, they are not the custodians of society’s evolving values, its morality and the increasing sense of connectedness with the Earth and all of life. 

From this perspective they appear to have forgotten that the sole function of currency is facilitating the attainment of prosperity, happiness and tranquil existence through exchange of values, values which are not only confined to numbers on bank statements and promissory notes.

Some traditions will not use the proceeds of gambling, being attuned to the corruption such activities introduce into society, playing upon and exploiting human vulnerabilities and other traditions have learned that it is possible to corrupt human well-being as well as our relationship with other beings, when we undervalue their right to life and existence. 

These are wisdom principles acquired over many generations and the argument that 0.05% is acceptable is seen to be grossly devoid of the perception of the nature of moral principles and surprising in its lack of relevance to the core issues. If a human finger were to fall into the production line of 100,000 bars of chocolate at which quantity level would it become “cost effective” to permit it? 0.05%? This shallow logic is deeply flawed.

The decision of the Bank establishes that there is a cost based rationale upon which these decisions can be made - the previous example establishes the falsehood of this line of thinking. If it were simply down to molecules and percentages, we could justify the repulsive suggestion that human cadavers also contain the same constituents and on precisely the same basis are eligible for industrial utility. It is not a monetary decision which prevents us from making this choice, it is something far deeper and many feel the same level of repulsion when applied to other sentient beings. It is disappointing that this dimension of understanding appears to be valueless and still absent from the Bank of England’s view of existence.

For many Hindus Sikhs and Jains, and for vegans and vegetarians as well, the spirit of all monetary transactions will be tainted to varying degrees and the donations and monetary activities of our Hindu Temples will be now be felt to be polluted on a moral and emotional level and we did hope that the Bank would recognise the seriousness of this decision. To taint spiritual moral and religious transactions, the values which help us to connect with our own Divinity and the Divinity in all of life, is a costly choice.

For many Karma is an inescapable principle, Hindus recognise that karma exists at an individual level, a family level, a societal level and a national level. We will do what we can to mitigate the ill effects of this choice and will continue to work also to assist the Bank of England to recognise that in its capacity to harm and hinder societies' non fiscal values, it is more than a mere printing press.

Please add your voice to the petition raised by Doug Maw which has already attracted over 140,000 signatures by clicking here Petition

 

Pt Satish K Sharma B.Sc. (Hons) Econ MBCS FRSA
General Secretary, National Council of Hindu Temples (UK)

Chair, British Board of Hindu Scholars

Chair, City of London InterFaith

www.nchtuk.org

Quick Donation!

Please Enter Amount

Register for Newsletters

Please register to receive our Newsletters
captcha 

Follow us on Twitter

nchtuk RT @hhrLondon: This is Sanjay singh who won Gold medals showing his respect to the cow whose milk he had been having which he believes mad…
nchtuk NCHT(UK) Fully supports this complaint to IPSO. This policy of consistently using "Asian" in a very specific negati… https://t.co/GuO1FdO91F
5049409
Today
Yesterday
This Week
This Month
All days
451
5766
6217
112120
5049409

Your IP: 54.81.117.119

Current Visitor Map

NCHTUK Word Cloud

have   some   british   like   also   time   lord   into   many   they   life   save   more   very   which   will   people   their   hindu   mind   this   yoga   from   with   there   what   been   were   that   hindus   even   would   about   those   human   community   ncht   religious   such   temples   these   temple   being   body   india   over   your   other   when   only   JoelLipman.Com