Britain â€“ A Society Free From Caste Prejudice?
At least this is the claim of the British Government. How did the British Government arrive at this conclusion?
The British Government claims that it had a preliminary survey carried out which indicated that there was no strong evidence to suggest that there is caste based discrimination in the UK. Surprisingly the Hindu Forum of UK, which has in the past supported extreme right wing Hindu organisations, released a report in 2008, to the very same effect. The difference between the two approaches is that the UK Government did not release the basis and results of their survey whilst the Hindu Forum did. It is not possible to analyse the British Governmentâ€™s finding or criticise these, as the basis of their conclusion is not available. Nevertheless the Hindu Forumâ€™s Report is in the public domain and hence it can be scrutinised.
FABO Replies to the Hindu Council UK
Problems of the Term Hindu
It is often assumed that everybody understands the term Hindu.Â This in fact is not the case when it comes to understanding the politics of Dalit oppression.Â Ambedkar himself had written about the problem of defining a Hindu in his essay The Riddles in Hinduism.
In this video Prof Rachel McDermott of Harvard discusses the relationship between the colonial construct and the politics of the term Hindu.
Annihilation of Caste
We can think of no better document which is a better antidote to Hindu Council UK's distortion and propaganda regarding the Indian caste system and Dalits, than Ambedkar's Annihilation of Caste . This document is a form of a speech that was drafted in 1935 but not deliveredÂ at the Jat Pat Todk Mandal's[roughly-Break Caste System Society] public meeting. Jat Pat Todak MandalÂ officials had invited Ambedkar to deliver his speech. However, later they withdrew their invitation because Ambedkar's speech was considered to be too radical. The issues raised by Ambedkar remain relevant today as these were at the time his speech was written.
Coulmbia University's website has a "multimedia study environment which now includes The Annihilation of Caste, explanatory annotations and some of Dr Ambedkar's other important writings."
Embedded in this multimedia document annotations are a number of videos which deal with some important issues relating to Ambedkar.