No escape from caste prejudice even in UK by Anahita Mukherji

No escape from caste prejudice even in UK

By, TNN | Mar 16, 2013, 04.24 AM IST

No escape from caste prejudice even in UK
Many Indians in the work place say they have faced a great deal of harassment from other Indians on grounds of caste.
LONDON: If you happen to be of Dalit origin, or from the so-called lower castes, migrating out of India may not help you escape discrimination. India’s infamous caste system has reared its ugly head in the United Kingdom.

School children from the lower castes have been taunted with casteist slurs like “bhangi” and “chamar” from other Indian school children of a higher caste. Many Indians in the work place say they have faced a great deal of harassment from other Indians on grounds of caste.

This has resulted in widespread protests across England. Human rights activists and Dalit organizations in the UK are campaigning for the enforcement of a clause in UK Equality Act that mentions the Indian caste system.

One of the worst instances of discrimination took place in central England, in a city called Coventry. “An elderly Dalit lady was receiving home care from the city council, who would send a council worker to her house to bathe her. One of the council workers happened to be an Indian of a higher caste. When she discovered the lady was Dalit, she refused to give her a bath,” says Lekh Pall, an activist with the Anti-discrimination Alliance.

Harbans Lal Bali, a retired employee of UK’s Royal Mail, who lives in the suburbs of London, recalls the harassment he faced at the Post Office when he was temporarily promoted to the post of supervisor. “I got to know that some of the people under me, who were Indians of a higher caste, complained to the management about my promotion. They said that they were not used to taking orders from people of my caste,” he says.

There has also been an instance where an Indian of a lower caste was in a relationship with another Indian from a higher caste in the same office. Both were asked to leave their jobs by their employer, who was an upper caste Indian.

Lekh Pall was amongst those who campaigned for the inclusion of caste under the Equality Act 2010, as a form of racial discrimination. “We presented the House of Lords with a great deal of evidence when the Bill was being passed. They made an amendment to the Bill and included caste as an aspect of race. When the Bill was sent to the House of Commons, ministers were in favour of conducting their own study on the subject before including it in the law,” he adds.

The UK government commissioned a nation wide study on the issue and came out with a report showing that there was “evidence suggesting caste discrimination” in the UK with regards to “work (bullying, recruitment, promotion, task allocation), provision of services and education (pupil on pupil bullying)”. Though the Equality Act does mention caste, Dalit organizations say they are upset that this clause has yet to be enforced.

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10 thoughts on “No escape from caste prejudice even in UK by Anahita Mukherji”

    1. Indian Caste system is more dangerous, inhuman, cruel and harmful than any other kind of Racial discrimination or Slavery system. Indian Caste system is not only a social, economic, religious, political and educational evil but also a mental disease and mental sickness. It (Indian Caste system) should be banned at any cost by Act of Parliament or by the Law of the State. Otherwise, it (Indian Caste system) will spoil and kill the democratic and secular character of any civilized state and society. It (Indian Caste system) will also slaughter the unity and integrity and scientific and economic progress and development of any state and society. Caste is not only a devil but also a monster who destroys the principal of equality, liberty and fraternity. To believe in Indian caste system and untouchability is a crime against humanity. To believe in it (Indian caste system) is not only a crime against humanity but also a violation of Human Rights of an individual.

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  1. What we as inhabitants of this ONE world should be concerned about is our environment! And look what people are busy doing.

    “An elderly Dalit lady was receiving home care from the city council, who would send a council worker to her house to bathe her. One of the council workers happened to be an Indian of a higher caste. When she discovered the lady was Dalit, she refused to give her a bath,”

    Some person is unwell. One person is getting a chance to serve another but what that person is caring about is caste and religion. So these castetists are going spiritually backward, that too in the name of GOD

    So sad! Castist and racists are spiritually backward (SB) people and should be termed as SBCs SPIRITUALLY BACKWARD Caste just like they get to call others OBCs, SCs, Dalit , Chamar and so on…!

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      1. Really they should be tagged as something with the word ‘backward’ in it for two reasons:
        1. coz its TRUE that this behaviour IS spiritually backward
        2. coz these people will know (hope so) how it FEELS to be TAGGED in spite of being well-educated, being intellectual, creative etc

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  2. @ Mrig , Very truly said! “Castist and racists are spiritually backward (SB) people and should be termed as SBCs SPIRITUALLY BACKWARD Caste.” I guess that’s the ultimate way to make feel such people about the disgusting inequality they are practicing since hundreds of years in India! And this is again a real disgusting fact that now these diseased ppl from India are spreading these vile deeds in UK as well and making all Indians feel ashamed to be from the same native.
    I moved to UK since 5 months and believe me I thank these English people for ruling India for years which made a huge change in our so called cultured society (which I believe -a diseased society)!
    It may feel offensive to many Indians but since I moved to UK I really feel that now I am staying in a crowd of HUMANS rather than morons!

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    1. Dr. Vaishali, glad to hear your thoughts. There is racism even in the UK especially institutional racism but what I feel is that the legal system is good and politically there is commitment to addressing racial discrimination. In India,most of people sitting in power are from these so called SBC, so there is no sense of equality, fairness or justice. These people are also propagated by people from same community who benefit from this kind of structural violence.

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      1. @Dr. Vaishali @ Dr. Sylvia
        First of all I appreciate that you have already started using the term SBC. 🙂
        I am telling you guys….there has to be this tagging. Because this what they have been doing for years- TAGGING OTHERS AS BACKWARD. We have to TAG them BACK.

        Believe me, I don’t mean to hate a particular caste because I believe that there are good and bad people in everywhere. However it’s the Superiority Complex problem that is to be addressed. So calling them “backward ” is one way of doing it. I wish that this term gets official soon. Then after these people are enlightened (hopefully), I wish further for, 1 Earth – 1 world. Though it may sound too far- fetched… one small thought in me says”No it’s not that far”

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  3. ” Indian Caste system is more dangerous and harmful than chemical weapons. It (Indian Caste system) divides the society and state. It (Indian Caste system) kills the democratic institutions and secular character of state and society. Indian Caste system is a monster that slaughter the human rights and fundamental rights of an individual. It (Indian Caste system) is an enemy of social justice, equality, liberty and fraternity and it is also an enemy of economic and scientific development and progress of state and society. Indian Caste system is a great threat and challenge to world peace and unity. If you want to save the global society, annihilate the Indian Caste system. The casteists are not only cruel, rigid, violent and hard but also an inhuman.”

    (Harbans Lal Badhan)

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