Wed. Dec 7th, 2022

The recent attacks on Hindus and Hindu temples by radical Islamists in the city of Leicester and in the city of Smethwick reflect the rampant Hinduphobia in the UK. This is not the first time that local law enforcement agencies have become mute witnesses to attacks on Hindus and their religious institutions. To make matters worse for Hindus, a section of the UK media appears to be deliberately misreporting the facts and blaming the victims, meaning Hindus as perpetrators, while turning a blind eye to the growing threat of Radical Islam in his own country.

The Center for Holistic and Integrated Studies (CHIS), a New Delhi-based think tank that tracks and analyzes international affairs, has observed in its recent report released on 22nd September 2022: “An incisive study of cases of Hinduphobia in the United Kingdom. they show that Muslims and other adversaries have attacked Hindus time and again over issues that are central to Hindu culture. For example, on many occasions, Hindu festivities have been disrupted, their temples vandalized, their deities mocked, and their religious symbols destroyed. This reflects the deep-seated hatred and fear that Islamists have for the Hindu civilization. In the last year, religious hate crimes have increased by 9 per cent in the UK, but there is no clarity on the rise in Hindu hate crimes. As observed on the ground, Hinduphobia has increased considerably, but exact figures are not available.”

According to the report, there are a number of people, organizations and pressure groups in the UK who are spreading anti-Hindu sentiment. Organizations that make up this anti-Hindu ecosystem in the UK include but are not limited to South Asia Solidarity Strive UK, Muslim Council of Britain, The Polis Project, Islamic Human Rights Commission, Scottish Indians for Justice, International Sikh Youth Federation (UK), SOAS Society of India, The London Story, Apna Haq, Indian Muslim Welfare Society (IMWS), Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND), Muslim Community Association of Great Britain ( MAB), London Anti-Fascist Assembly, Sikhs for Justice (UK), Sikh Federation (UK) and the International Sikh Youth Federation (UK).

Hinduphobia case studies: UK media’s dubious role

Here are some of the case studies indicating how, in recent years, Hindus have come under attack in the UK despite being a huge contributor to the economy, community building and cultural diversity in the UK . These case studies also indicate that the recent violence against Hindus is not an isolated incident. It’s not spontaneous, but it’s part of a larger plan to target Hindus that has gathered momentum especially since 2014. And it’s supported and encouraged by a section of the UK media as they have become volunteered as part of the disinformation campaign. targeting the Hindus.

Case study 1: British newspaper ‘new statesman‘ published an article on May 24, 2022 titled ‘How Labor lost the Indian vote.’

Here are some of the excerpts, which will give you an idea of ​​how the UK media constructs the Hinduophobic narrative: “The new India has a new politics, favoring Hindu nationalism and social conservatism over progressive politics and the secularism A cocktail of patriotic pride and homesickness has united Hindu voters in support of the regime of Narendra Modi, the Indian prime minister, and his nationalism and his party, the BJP. Broadcast and cable television have placed radical Hindu commentators in the living rooms of Harrow, evangelizing about the horrors of Pakistan in digestible bits for the diaspora.”

“When a radicalized Hindu voter sees leading South Asians in the Labor Party (Sadiq Khan, Shabana Mahmood, Rosena Allin-Khan), they don’t see people who look like them, they see Pakistanis. New Labor multiculturalism no longer resonates with Indians.”

“Conservative supporters have repeatedly used anti-Muslim rhetoric in their campaigns, and this sadly goes down well with Hindu nationalist voters.”

“Household waste reduction and recycling are foreign concepts to the wealthy Indian voter. In India, waste management is steeped in casteism, and waste management has historically been a profession for scheduled castes, the most discriminated castes in India. Recycling has been virtually non-existent until recently, with the only recycling carried out by the extremely poor, rummaging through landfills for reusable plastics. The average rich Indian probably grew up with staff picking up after them; from their perspective, getting the bins out now that they live in London is enough of a struggle without adding food separation, recycling and green waste. Pleas to reduce landfill and promote recycling will have fallen on deaf ears in this community, contributing to the Harrow dumpster crisis that the Conservatives were able to capitalize on.”

Case study 2: On March 4, 2020, another British newspaper The Guardian published a derogatory caricature of then UK Home Secretary Priti Patel as a cow, which is a sacred Hindu symbol. The same cartoon shows the then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Borris Johnson, as a bull, making fun of Hindu culture.

Case study 3: Conservative MP David Amess was brutally murdered by a Muslim of Somali origin, Ali Harbi Ali, in October 2021. He was stabbed multiple times. But at the time, instead of reacting to the threat of radical Islam to their own compatriots, a section of British civil society and academia, supported by the local media and some politicians, mounted a campaign to organize an anti-Islamic conclave. -Hindu that would be financed by the European Union. In October 2021, the British Hindu leader, Pt. Satish K. Sharma revealed that the European Union had given €220,000 for this conference.

Case study 4: In July 2021, Oxford University President-elect Rashmi Samant was humiliated by her professor, Dr. Abhijit Sarkar, for her Hindu upbringing and culture. Samant was the first Indian woman to be elected President of the Oxford University Students’ Union (OUSU). But she was intimidated for being a practicing Hindu and forced to resign.

Case study 5: Religious education is compulsory in British schools. But in great numbers if the ordinary schools hindu faith it is projected as divisive and discriminatory. Textbooks perpetuate negative stereotypes about practicing Hindus as fanatics.

According to a study by UK Insight entitled “A Report on the State of Hinduism in Religious Education in UK Schools (published January 2021)”, “Hinduism is the third largest religion practiced in the UK, however…the teaching of Hinduism in UK mainstream schools is very limited, flawed and often ignored.This imbalance has led to an inaccurate representation of Hinduism and can lead to feelings of negativity and ignorance when meeting citizens of the UK belonging to the Hindu faith Lack of awareness and misrepresentation of Hinduism in religious education is found to result in: 1. Depriving students of a world view and understanding of nature, diversity and impact of religion and belief in the contemporary world 2. Deprive knowledge of the third largest religion in the world, followed by one of the largest communities most taxpaying minority entities in the UK. 3. Insensitivity towards Hindus and their beliefs resulting in harassment and hate crimes.”

Case study 6: Aina J Khan, a Pakistani journalist who works for The Guardian, sought to attribute the violence in Leicester to ‘Hindus’ and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a socio-cultural organization based in India. He made a series of tweets that attempted to divert attention from the violent behavior of radical Islamists. Some of the previous headlines from the stories she has featured The Guardian are self explanatory about their bias:

UK Muslim charity attempts to break record for blood donations in one day

“Pakistani diaspora groups and UK charities raise up to £1 million for flood relief”

‘Muslim Dating Site Loses Trademark Case Against Industry Giant.’

By the way, you’ve been appointed ‘community affairs’ correspondent for The Guardian. But in their stories, the Muslim community figures prominently and always in a positive way! He has yet to come up with a story about radical Islamists wreaking havoc in the UK. While reporting on the violence in Leicester, he equated the chanting of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ with anti-Muslim hatred. Here is the tweet:

“…. I shared concerns about yesterday’s impromptu protesters chanting “Jai Shri Ram,” a Hindu chant appropriated by extremists in India, which has now become synonymous with anti-Muslim hatred.”

In a series of other tweets, he tried to drag the name out of the RSS by making unsubstantiated accusations. Here is the false narrative that he tried to build through his tweets:

“Today was a tense day of reporting from Leicester for me. I interviewed a Hindu man wearing a motorcycle helmet and holding an Indian flag in Belgrave Street, the site of some of the rioting yesterday between a group of Muslim and Hindu men. This is what happened.

This man said he supported the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a group whose founders were inspired by Mussolini’s fascists.

This man enthusiastically professed how great and altruistic RSS was, a stone’s throw from a Gandhi statue that stands next to a Hindu temple. The irony here is that Gandhi was assassinated by an RSS member (who, RSS claims, had left by then).

According to the CIHS report, “There has been a 9 per cent rise in hate crime in the UK in the last year as reported by the UK Home Office, however the government has not categorized this report in terms of religion. Therefore, a general increase in cases does not clarify the scale of hate crimes against Hindus in the UK.

The Great British Indian Survey conducted by iGlobal News reported that nearly 80 percent of British Indians feel disadvantaged as a result of their Indian identity. Out of this, the most common form of discrimination manifests as Hinduphobia. Hindus who have been subjected to hate crimes stated that they encountered Hinduphobia in terms of misrepresentation and mockery of their culture, exclusion and discrimination based on religion, mockery, hatred, religious and racist slurs and violence.

It is clear that the recent violence against Hindus and the attacks on their temples, homes and establishments are not isolated incidents. Hindus in the UK will continue to suffer if the UK Government does not immediately and effectively address entrenched ‘Hinduphobia’ at all levels. The Indian government has already sprung into action, but it would take much more than government intervention. It is time for Indians around the world to collectively put pressure on the UK government to protect Hindus and end ‘Hinduphobia’ there.

The writer, author and columnist, has written several books. Tweet @ArunAnandLive. The opinions expressed are personal.

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