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Caste discrimination among communities in India don’t require separate legislation

Caste discrimination among communities in India don’t require separate legislation
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On Monday, the government of UK arrived at the judgement that separate laws for caste discrimination among Indian communities are not necessary and...

LONDON: On Monday, the government of UK arrived at the judgement that separate laws for caste discrimination among Indian communities are not necessary and said it can be covered as part of emerging case law in the country.

Last year in March, the ‘Caste in Great Britain and Equality Law-A Public Constitution’ was launched to collect public views on how to ensure that there is “appropriate legal protection” against caste discrimination in Britain.

The Office of UK government Equalities said, “Having given careful and detailed consideration to the findings of the consultation, the government believes that the best way to provide the necessary protection against unlawful discrimination because of caste is by relying on emerging case law as developed by courts and tribunals.”

It added that, “We were not persuaded by the argument that introducing explicit legislation into domestic law was the most appropriate and proportionate way to provide the necessary legal protection against discrimination because of caste.”

Sat Pal Muman, Chair of Castewatch UK, a group campaigning in favour of anti-caste legislation over the years, said, “The government has sent a depressing message to the Dalits that their cause is not important as they continue to face discrimination with impunity. This clearly means the victims will not have any legal protection and have to go through expensive long-drawn legal battles to get justice.”

“We have worked hard to promote community cohesion for the last 20 years to unite all Hindu and Sikh communities, whatever caste, as one British Indian integrated community into the country’s evolving and dynamic culture. Such a legislation would have further divided our communities when our youth here have grown up not even aware of such caste identities. We do not condone any type of discrimination and there already are laws to protect people being discriminated under ethnicity of the Race Relations Act 1976,” said Anil Bhanot, chair of the Ethnic Minority Foundation and Founding Member of Hindu Council Uk.

UK’s Equality Act 2010 reads that, “It is generally associated with South Asia, particularly India, and its diaspora. It can encompass the four classes of Hindu tradition( the Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra communities) the thousands of regional Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Muslim or other religious groups known as ‘jatis’ and groups amongst South Asian Muslims called ‘biradaris’. Some ‘jatis’ regarded as below the varna hierarchy are known as Dalits.”

The House of Lords had voted in March 2013 in favour of outlawing caste discrimination by including it as a category in anti-racism laws.

“Exceptionally controversial one, the more proportionate approach given the extremely low numbers of cases involved and the clearly controversial nature of introducing ‘caste’, as a self-standing element, into British domestic law,” the consultation’s conclusion described the issue.

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