A consultation is currently going on regarding caste discrimination in Britain and possible inclusion in the Equalites Act. Operation Dharmic Vote LINK is operating behind the scenes to back candidates who are opposed to anti-caste discrimination legislation. This is what they say:
A Government Equalities Office report gives some background to the issue LINK. Uma Kumaran, formerly Labour candidate for Harrow East in 2015, recently called out Bob Blackman for the divide and rule tactics based on caste politics used in the 2015 campaign. She felt she could not expose her family to the stress caused by such campaigning by standing again LINK.Please take a few minutes to understand some very serious consequences of the caste legislation and case law. For the GE17 election, the Dharmic community needs to vote in large numbers and strategically. Political Party alliances and affiliations need to be set aside. Labour, LibDems, Greens and all the nationalist parties have supported caste legislation bare the odd MP in these parties. As you will see ALL the Prospective Parliamentary Candidates who have signed up are Conservative. Please note Operation Dharmic Vote is not being an agent of the Conservative party, as our analysis and rational for supporting the independent Candidate in Leicester demonstrates.
|Campaign materials are downloadable from the Operation Dharmic Vote site|
Locally Conservative candidates Rahoul Bhansali (Brent Central), Ameet Jogia (Brent North) Bob Blackman (Harrow East), Hannah David (Harrow West), Matthew Offord (Hendon) and Mike Freer (Finchley and Golders Green) have backed Operation Dharmic Vote's campaign to withhold legislative protection for the UK's 250,000 Dalits (untouchables).
Brent resident Sujata Aurora said:
Caste discrimination is endemic within parts of the Hindu and Sikh communities in the UK - there have been instances of doctors refusing to give medical treatment to Dalits and others where Dalit couples have been refused venues for weddings. It is a discrimination which remains largely hidden to wider society and its defence is usually cloaked as a way of preserving traditions. We have laws against discrimination on the basis of race, sex, sexuality and disability and it is frankly appalling that some candidates in this election are seeking to prevent the implementation of laws against caste discrimination. Voters should question their candidates about their stance on this issue and ask why, in 2017, it is legally acceptable to treat Dalits as inferior subhumans.
Green Party candidate for Harrow East, Emma Wallace recalled the 2015 election:
Liberal Democrat candidate for Brent Central, Anton Georgiou said:When I stood as Green candidate in Harrow East in 2015 I could not believe that Bob Blackman and his team had employed such a religiously divisive tactic as 'divide and rule' caste politics to ensure that he retained his seat. It was especially shocking in light of the fact that Bob Blackman had been elected to represent all his constituents since 2010, in what is the most ethnically and religiously diverse constituency in the country. It is beyond reprehensible that there are a number of candidates standing in this election backing a campaign to prevent legislation that protects caste members from discrimination. There is absolutely no place for caste discrimination in the UK.
Jaiya Shah (Chair Harrow Council for Justice) and Dr Pravin Shah (Coordinator Harrow Monitoring Group) have issued a joint statement on Bob Blackman's candidature LINKMy party's constitution is unequivocal, it says, we exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society in which no one shall be enslaved by ignorance or conformity. Caste discrimination does not belong in the UK's modern society. I am disturbed that some candidates in this election are supporting efforts to maintain it and prevent legislation that would ensure Dalits are treated as equals in our community. Brent's representatives should be leading the way to end this discrimination, not seeking to safeguard it.
We can’t support Bob Blackman because we strongly believe that an MP should represent all constituents on equal footing without taking sides, stirring up religious emotions for votes and dividing the communities in the process.