Caste Report Exposes Campaigning MPs With Undeclared Interests

June 17, 2008

Author: Press Release

Source: Hindu Forum of Britain

A report released by the Hindu Forum of Britain (HFB), 'Caste in the UK' has found that Caste discrimination is not endemic in British society. The report exposes MPs who have not declared in the Members Register that they sit on the Board of lobbying organisations on whose behalf they have run many campaigns in the House of Commons.

The HFB Report also calls for a parliamentary enquiry into the activities of these MPs, who have created a strong lobby in Parliament backed by several Christian groups to highlight issues of caste discrimination in India, particularly amongst the Dalit communities. Although MPs do not have to declare unremunerated interests, it could be seen as 'good practice' to declare formal links if they are campaigning in Parliament on behalf of these organisations.

The MPs named in the report have run the Parliamentary Dalit campaign on behalf of organisations like Christian Solidarity Worldwide and the Dalit Solidarity Network. Several of these MPs also have Research Assistants funded by Christian Action Research and Education, a Christian lobbying group that has been described in several newspapers reports as being 'right wing'.

Ramesh Kallidai, secretary general of the Hindu Forum of Britain, said: "There has been some criticism against the caste system with regards to the treatment of Dalits in the Britain. However, it is not right for the UK Government to take a position on the rites, beliefs or practices of a particular religion. Social interactions and personal choices are an expression of people's freedom, and any barriers should be removed through education and awareness, not through legislation."