Courtesy – Ethnic Minority Foundation
Advisory Statement_11 May 2017
The last Government issued a consultation on whether we need legislation on caste discrimination or not as we already have that protection under existing laws, in the light of a recent employment tribunal case of a maid employed below a minimum wage, Tirkey v Chandhok where it came to light that Caste groups such as Dalits are already covered for discrimination under the ethnicity laws of the Race Relations Act 1976. The Consultation document was issued on 18 March 2017 for a 3 month consultation which will close on 18 July 2017. The document can be downloaded from the following link, and responses can be submitted by post or email or online: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/caste-in-great-britain-and-equality-law-a-public-consulation
The Consultation gives two choices, if you think existing laws under ethnicity are sufficient to deal with any caste discrimination then accept option 1. If however you believe new legislation is required then accept option 2. There are only two choices.
The Ethnic Minority Foundation has done a case study under its Integration & Minorities report pages 61 to 70, under the link: http://www.emfoundation.org.uk/2017/04/29/integration-and-minorities-report-2017/
We would recommend you to read this case study based on our Trustee Anil Bhanot’s personal experiences over the last 15 years which in a nutshell smack of a mischief started by the Indian Christian Dalit lobby groups – though later joined by a small proportion of the Panjabi Ravidassiya community – onto the well-integrated substantial British Indian (Hindu Sikh Jain) communities to create laws in the UK primarily to send a message to India Government to invest more in their welfare. Be as that may our UK cohesion should not be put at risk by such mischievous organisations on our progressive British minorties brought up under British Equality Laws.
Moreover, thanks to our past ethnic minority activists for equality in Britain we already have enough laws to cover such discriminations under ethnicity laws.
Our Trustee Surinder Singh Syan says, “in case of discrimination cases it is right that case law option is exercised since proof of onus in such cases depends on a rigorous examination of facts. Each claim that goes before the court will be adjudicated by a qualified impartial Judge and the case will be presented by qualified lawyers who will understand all the issues thoroughly including anything relating to caste discrimination and put forward their respective client’s case in a manner and in a way that the caste issue will be properly considered. If option 2 is taken then you’d be leaving it to unqualified MP’s and civil servants who do not fully understand what the caste system is or its nuances and we will just get bad legislation, which will fail to tackle the actual problems rather than those they would perceive to be through their Western stance.”
Anil Bhanot additionally contends that a new legislation on caste will have the effect of setting one surname against another as nowadays caste is all that it is, an expiring identity of a surname, and not only bring back a forgotten and irrelevant caste system here into the UK it can have the effect of dividing the British Indian society, whereas these societies have been exemplary on cohesive integration at all levels, within themselves and for the overarching Britishness as a whole.
Ethnic Minority Foundation advice thus to the relevant Indian (Hindu Sikh Jain) communities on this consultation is to accept option 1 of maintaining existing case law protection for such discrimination and reject option 2 to implement a new legislation which is seen as spurious to requirement and harmful to integration.
Mr Anil Bhanot
Director of Interfaith Relations
Hindu Council UK