Tags: Indian Elite, UK, fear, anti-care, legislatio
“The Indian businessmen in the UK are exerting great pressure on the government from implementing the Caste and Equality Act 2010 passed by the UK government,” said Lekh Pal of Anti Caste Discrimination Alliance, UK an association that campaigned for this legislation. He was speaking at an international conference on Caste in South Asian and its Diasporas organized by the Oxford University on 4th July.
“The Indian elite who maintain a progressive outlook feel they will be condemned by the British public if they realize they actively practice caste system. This could be one consequence of the accepting caste as an aspect of racism,” he added.
Various Associations that represent the Hindu community in the UK has convinced the UK government that there is no caste discrimination in the UK. The 2010 Act mandates that the government collect quantitative data on caste discrimination to ascertain the actual situation on the ground. A government agency did make this enquiry and had concluded there do exist caste discrimination in the UK. Still the government does not accept it in the legislation. Lekh Pal believes this is due to the influence the top Indian origin businessmen have on the government thanks to the big donations that they make to the political class and parties.
The one day international conference that saw 16 academics and activists sharing their research on the practice of caste discrimination and the struggles against it was organized by the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology and George Kunnath.
In his keynote address Professor David Mosse of SOAS elaborated on the various steps taken to outlaw caste discrimination in UK and the objections raised by the Hindu associations. According to these associations the caste is category invented by the colonialists to weaken the Hindu society. Behind the caste legislation efforts in the UK some Hindus also see a conspiracy by the powers in the UK and USA to weaken Indian society by dividing them in caste lines to dominate India.
Caste is also predominant among the migrants from Pakistan in the UK. Sufyan Abid of the University of Chester found Muslim businessmen of Pakistani origin of Jat caste is willing to get their kids married to Hindu Jats than to a member from their own religion.