UK Law: India’s Hindu Caste-slavery is racism


The worlds worst violation of human rights are going on in India. World conscience has been asleep. Indians hide the status of the Dalit and delve into tokenism to justify Caste discrimination. Half the population of India is shackled in slavery and hidden from plain view. This has to be exposed.

Every human being on this planet must write about and speak up against institutionalized slavery in India.

Indians themselves do not have a single term for describing the Caste system as a whole, but have a variety of words referring to different aspects of it, the two main ones being varna and jati.

The varna consists of four categories, each ranked differently in terms of social honour. Below these groupings are the so-called ‘untouchables’- those in the lowest position of all. The Jati are locally defined groups within which the caste ranks are organised. Jati is coupled with one’s occupation and the meaning of varna in Sanskrit is ‘colour’ that signify a social category or a social classification. It is used to enforce a social stratification but does not mean colour of skin.

According to those who practice and promote it, Caste is determined by birth and cannot be changed. In a class based system there is ‘vertical mobility’ but this is denied in a Caste based system. In India, Social Stratification, historically, gave rise to ‘Untouchables’. Although, practice of Untouchability is legally prohibited in India but ‘Untouchables’ continue to be shunned socially and economically. Each Caste continues in a state of social paralysis antagonistic and hostile towards each other’s interests.

However there is a ray of hope-ignited by a new law in the United Kingdom. Once this law finds a way into the world media, it may spread like wildfire through the European Union-and eventually to America. Once that happens, India will have to buckle under international pressure and be forced to end the slavery of 450 million souls who are fighting for the right to be considered a human being.
Following intensive lobbying by the National Secular Society (NSS, an IHEUmember organization), the UK’s House of Lords on 2 March 2010 adopted an amendment to the new UK Equality Bill, paving the way for caste discrimination to be made illegal. Lobbying by the NSS was given a new focus by the first international conference on untouchability hosted by the IHEU and held in London last summer.
Keith Porteous Wood of the National Secular Society commented: “This victory is historic; the UK is the first Western country to pass such legislation. I hope it will encourage other states where caste discrimination is practised to do likewise, or – in the case of India – enforce the legislation it already has.”
With particular focus on the Hindu caste system, this book (Caste-based Discrimination in International Human Rights Law) represents a comprehensive analysis of the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination in international law. It evaluates the strategies that have informed the work of the United Nations in this area, mapping a new path that moves from standard-setting to implementation. Combining legal analysis with the meaning and origin of caste, it explores the remedies human rights law can propose towards the prohibition of caste-based discrimination, and the abolition of the caste system itself.

Bharat (aka India) has tried to keep Caste discrimination under the radar. Now a new law in the United Kingdom equates the horrendous practice of caste slavery as racism. Mr. Mohandas Gandhi had the opportunity to end Caste discrimination and liberate the Dalits. He however defended the Hindu Caste system and said that he would defend it with the last breath of life in him. Gandhi forced Dr. Ambadekar into abandoning the separate electorate for the Dalits. Separate electorates would have liberated the Dalits from Brahamin enslavement. Dr. Ambadekar considered the abandonment of separate electorate as the biggest blunder of his life.

Dr. Kancha of the Dalit Freedom Network predicts the “Post Hindu India” where 450 million Dalits, Untouchables and Scheduled classes will leave the shackles of Hinduism and convert to Christianity Islam and Buddhism.

NEW DELHI: In the first such legislative move anywhere in the world, and much to the embarrassment of India’s official position, the British House of Lords has passed a law that treats caste as “an aspect of race”.

On March 24, the House of Lords passed the Equality Bill empowering the British government to include “caste” within the definition of “race”. This threatens India’s much-touted success in keeping caste out of the resolution adopted at the 2001 Durban conference on racism. The provision to outlaw caste discrimination in Britain came in the form of an amendment made by the Lords as a result of intensive lobbying by dalit groups, including followers of Ravidass sect who had suffered a violent attack last year in Austria.

The bill will become a law after the House of Commons passes it. The legislation draws its legitimacy from a recommendation made in 2002 by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) that all member states of the International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), including India and the UK, should enact domestic legislation declaring that descent-based discrimination encompassed caste and “analogous systems of inherited status”.

This development comes at a time when the Manmohan Singh government is already under pressure before the UN Human Rights Council as the draft principles and guidelines issued by it last year on discrimination based on work and descent recognized caste as a factor. The British legislation may provide impetus for the adoption of those draft principles and guidelines.

Though the bill originally contained no reference to caste, the Gordon Brown government agreed to its inclusion even as it commissioned a research on the nature of the problem that is believed to have come into Britain through the Indian diaspora. A parliamentary committee, while recommending last year that caste be considered as a subset of race, cited specific instances of caste discrimination in Britain.

In one such case, a qualified dalit working in the National Health Service suddenly suffered discrimination at the hands of his supervisor soon after the latter discovered his “low caste” status. The dalit employee was reportedly harassed and suspended from work for a whole year. While a trade union managed to obtain compensation for him, the case highlighted a lacuna in the law to deal with caste discrimination. The Gordon Brown government accepted the amendment tabled by Liberal Democrats subject to the outcome of the research ordered by it on caste discrimination. Baroness Thornton, speaking for the government, told the peers, “We have looked for evidence of caste discrimination and we now think that evidence may exist, which is why we have now commissioned the research.”

Lord Avebury, who had tabled the amendment, said he believed that the research would “conclusively prove that caste discrimination does occur in the fields covered by the bill”. India’s opposition to the linking of caste with race began in 1996, when it tried to free itself of “reporting obligation” under CERD, saying that caste, though perpetuated through descent, was “not based on race”.

This is a drastic departure from the position originally taken by India in 1965 while proposing the historic amendment to introduce descent in CERD. It had actually cited its experience with caste as an argument for recognizing all forms of descent-based discrimination. UK bill links caste to race, India red-faced, Manoj Mitta, TNN, Mar 31, 2010, 04.17am IST

The UK law is be part of the United Nations Resolutions. India should face the same type of international isolation, sanctions and approbation ’till it ends Caste discrimination and makes real laws that actually make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of birth. The current laws on the book in Bharat (aka India) are a joke.

The only way to end Dalit slavery is to allow them to them to have separate electorates so that they can elect their own representatives proportional to their population. These Dalits who make it to parliament must make up about half of the Lok and Rajgha Sabah. that is the only way to liberate them

The day the House of Common passes the law on Caste-slavery will be a great day for freedom loving people everywhere. From that day onward, the Dalits can see a ray of hope.


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