The Stench Of Caste In Britain And How Caste Supremacists Want To Protect It

Posted by Saunvedan Aparanti in GlobeScope
November 30, 2016

If you thought that Britain was more or less about the Queen, Big Ben, fish and chips, red buses, black cabs, Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace and a pub on every other street, I’d like to add an unsavoury addition to your list – caste. Yes, that’s right. The Asians in Britain brought their caste baggage along with their check-in and hand luggage on their flights from Bhatinda and Mehsana. I wish the customs would have checked for the caste stench amongst other pungent smells of masalas and pickles.

Sticking to good old ‘sanskriti‘ (culture) became ever more crucial in a debauched ‘pardes’ (foreign land) where the local population could easily be swindled by likening caste to class. Somewhere along the way, the crucial difference of purity and pollution, endogamy and honour killings got lost. I can’t remember any story of a stable boy being lynched for romancing a high society woman by devout Christians in Manchester.

For most of the last century, the local Brit could hardly tell the difference between a Brahman and a Dalit than whether the Taj Mahal was in Chennai or Agra. As Dalits started asserting themselves at the turn of the century, caste Hindus realised that they should at least not have practiced untouchability in their corner shops. That’s right, there was an incident when a caste Hindu shopkeeper consistently refused to hand over change to their Dalit customer and instead placed it on the counter.

By then, almost all temples, both Hindu and Sikh, were divided along caste lines. Even today, try joining the management committee of a temple outside of your caste and you’ll see the segregation in action. Other cases of caste discrimination include being refused service by a taxi driver in Britain because of caste. Remember the story of the young Bhim Rao Ambedkar being thrown out of a bullock cart as soon as the caste Hindu cartman learned of his passengers’ caste? The Ambedkars then paid the driver double and the young Bhim Rao’s elder brother drove the cart while the cartman followed the ‘polluted’ cart on foot. That was 1901 in Koregaon, Khatav Taluka, Satara District, India. This is in modern day Britain. Same story, same concept, over a hundred years apart, nearly 5000 miles away. Caste continues.

So the government commissioned research on caste discrimination from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) in 2010 which confirmed the existence of caste in Great Britain and recommended that, in addition to education on this issue, “extending the definition of race to include caste would provide further, explicit protection.” The Equality Act 2010 was then amended to allow for secondary legislation to be passed to make caste an aspect of race. This provision for amending the Equality Act 2010 was effected by Section 97 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2010.

Let me translate all of this in plain English and present you with a timeline:

  • Government realises that there’s casteism in Britain thanks to relentless Dalit protests.
  • Equality Act 2010 is passed with a provision to include caste, if evidence is found.
  • Government commissions research in 2010 from NIESR which concludes that there is indeed a problem of caste based discrimination in Britain.
  • NIESR suggests that extending race to include caste would provide further, explicit protection.
  • Section 97 of Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 allows for caste to be made part of race in Equality Act 2010 via secondary legislation.
  • Government introduces a timetable in 2013 with a series of steps including a public consultation intended to lead to enactment of caste legislation in 2015.
  • Caste Hindus panic.
  • Government comes under massive pressure from caste Hindus to not pass legislation.
  • Radio silence from government.
  • Dalit groups demand to know why the Government is not passing the secondary legislation to make caste part of race in Equality Act 2010.
  • From September 2013 to February 2014, following the direction of Parliament, the UK Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) commissions an independent research project ‘Caste in Britain’ confirming the existence of caste discrimination in Britain and outlines how caste must be made an aspect of race in the Equality Act 2010.
  • The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) in 2016 urges the government to pass caste legislation in the Equality Act 2010.
  • Government announces caste consultation in 2016 – 2017 but shifts the goalposts, so instead of determining how to implement caste in legislation, it attempts to go back to square one by asking once again whether there is caste discrimination in Britain.
  • The saga continues.

So basically from 2013 to 2016, the government has been held hostage by caste Hindus from performing their legal obligation of including caste in the Equality Act 2010. Some hilarious arguments put forward by British upper caste Hindus against caste law include the following:

  • The British invented caste during the Raj. (No, I am not joking. I once had this vision of Lord Dalhousie doing a ‘yagna‘ on the banks of the Ganges while Lord Curzon sprinkled ‘gau mutra’ (cow’s urine) on Lord Macaulay)
  • There is no caste in Britain. Watch evidence to the contrary.
  • It’s a Christian conspiracy!
  • Caste is a division of labour like we see in all societies (Bear in mind Dr. Ambedkar’s classic quote that caste is not just a division of labour, it is a division of labourers).
  • Caste has nothing to do with Hinduism (Sikhs meanwhile argue that caste has nothing to do with Sikhism, don’t embroil us with the Hindus).
  • Caste system (like Chicken Tikka Masala) is a great thing!

So as you can understand, I had had enough and decided to enter the arena. I was invited to speak in Parliament last week on caste legislation at a debate and decided to unleash an idea whose time has finally arrived. Jaibhim.