Untouchables (Dalits) are made “Religious, Economic and Political Slaves” by “Hindu Caste System”.
A bit of background:
Reports (July, 2006) of “Dalit Solidarity Network UK (DSN)” clearly showed Caste Discrimination is prevailing in UK. When asked by DSN “Do you believe that Indian people in the UK follow the caste system? 84.67% people said YES. 80% agreed that caste divide people.
Another research by Mark Juergensmeyer from UK states that, “Caste relationships between caste groups seem to be upheld to a great extent…the rules of endogamy (marrying within the caste group) are still strictly followed”. People face discrimination in political career, education, employment & health sectors mainly, i.e. same as happens in India, though may be somewhat lesser or to same extant. The former Mayor of Coventry, Ram Lakha, a Labour Councilor who is a Dalit, faced intense discrimination from ‘upper castes’ when he stood for election in a largely Indian ward. ‘During campaigning he was often told that he would not get people’s vote as he is a “chamar”. So, he filed his nomination in a non-Asian constituency and was able to win.
Few other incidents of caste discrimination in UK: –
A shopkeeper in Wolverhampton, England, tells of an incident where a customer insisted that their change be placed on the counter to avoid contact with someone from a lower caste.
On a factory floor, in Wolverhampton, England, women from so-called upper castes will not take water from the same tap as a lower caste person.
“Caste has caused division and it does cause social devastation. The problem is that nobody has accepted the problem within this country (UK). Caste is one area which is totally swept under the carpet”. — “The Caste Divide,” BBC Radio 4, April 2003
CasteWatchUK is fighting for the removal of casteism and discrimination. You can check out the website of CasteWatchUK at http://www.castewatchuk.org/
Please read below the message of Davinder Prasad (General Secretary CasteWatchUK)
As an going campaign to root out caste based discrimination from British Society, CasteWatchUK would like to invite you to our conference “Caste & Equality Act 2010 – Next Steps” being held on Saturday 2nd July at 10.30hrs in Conference Theatre, Saturn Facilities,101 Lockhurst Lane, Coventry. Programme for this conference is attached for your information. Prominent community leaders, academics, human rights activists, politicians, legal professionals, representatives from educational institutions and others including journalists from media are expected to attend.
Government commissioned a research to study existence and seriousness of caste based discrimination in UK through National Institute of Social & Economic Research in early part of 2010. NIESR report called “ Caste Discrimination & Harassment in Great Britain – by Hillary Metcalf & Heather Rolfe” was published in December 2010. The report has highlighted that a significant population in UK is a victim of totally unacceptable caste related social practices that have been in existence for several decades and the situation is not getting better. Unless serious legal and other statutory measure are taken, the problem is expected to get worse in future for the victims.
This conference aims to consider “Equality Act 2010 & Next Steps” so that British Society can continue to provide a free environment for its citizens to live their lives with pride & dignity and basic human rights of all the British Citizens continue to get protection from British Law. We would appreciate if you could confirm your attendance as early as possible so that appropriate arrangements can be made.