UK: Conservatives Endorse ‘Hindu Manifesto’ Ahead of General Election


A group of Conservative politicians have signed a “Hindu Manifesto” document, calling for new “hate crime” rules and “streamlining immigration policy.” The manifesto, from Hindus for Democracy UK, demands recognition of “anti-Hindu hate,” including “microaggressions,” as a “hate crime.” Signatories must promise to ban groups like Sikhs For Justice, a US advocacy group for an independent Sikh nation.

The document cites attacks on Hindu temples in the UK and calls for the government to fund security schemes for Hindu religious buildings. It also demands “streamlining immigration policy” to fast-track visas for Hindu priests and facilitate Indian migrants bringing over their families.

The manifesto includes other demands, such as opening more grammar schools, as Hindus excel in academia, and erecting a war memorial for Hindu soldiers who served in the British Empire’s armed forces.

Several Conservative Members of Parliament, including Bob Blackman, Robert Buckland, Laura Farris, and Theresa Villiers, have endorsed the manifesto. Hindus for Democracy claim 16 backers, mostly Conservatives, who are candidates in the upcoming General Election.

The National Secular Society has raised concerns, noting “misogyny and caste discrimination” in the Indian community are also important targets for reform. The society claims some Hindu groups that backed the launch of the manifesto have been “highly vocal” in opposing outlawing caste discrimination in Britain.

There are an estimated 50,000-200,000 people in the UK who are regarded as “low caste” and at risk of caste discrimination. The law already protects Hindus and all other people in the UK from discrimination and hate crime based on religion or belief, but there is no specific protection against caste discrimination or persecution.

This development follows a period of controversy in the British election campaign after Brexit leader Nigel Farage warned about the looming danger of sectarianism and the primacy of religion in politics.

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