Protest by South Asian Diaspora to urge British Prime Minister Mrs Theresa May to Act now to outlaw Caste Based Discrimination in Britain

 Anti Caste campaigners recently protested outside Tory Party Conference, International Convention Centre ,Birmingham, calling on the British Prime Minister to rescind the Government’s decision to repeal the caste provision of the Equality Act 2010 (the Act).
The protest was organised by Castewatch UK in alliance with national organisations to express their anger at government’s recent announcement. The protest took place on the first day of Tory party conference, 30th September and also on the last day of 3rd October.
    The decision to repeal the Caste provision came as a massive shock to Caste affected communities in the backdrop of Government’s own acceptance that Caste based discrimination exists in Britain.
The protest was organised in the wake of an announcement made on 23rd July 2018 by Penny Morduant MP, Minister for Women and Equalities that the current Government will not be implementing parliament’s decision as enshrined in the Act to make caste an aspect of race.
Subsequently, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) stated quite clearly that “it is both necessary and desirable for the Government to implement section 9(5) of the Equality Act 2010 (the Act), in order to clarify that the Act’s prohibition of race discrimination and harassment includes protection against discrimination and harassment based on ‘Caste’.       This view was also shared by United Nations’ international committee on the elimination of all forms Racism(CERD). In viewing the UK in August 2016, CERD recommended that the UK: ‘Invite section 9(5)(a) of the Equality Act 2010 without further delay to ensure that caste-based discrimination is explicitly prohibited under the law and that victims of this form of discrimination have access to effective remedies, taking into account the Committee’s general recommendation No. 29(2002) on descent’.
Mr Sat Pal Muman, Chair, CasteWatchUK, whilst responding to questions from reporters said that Caste based discrimination in Britain operates at subtle levels impacting predominantly South Asian Diaspora resulting in name-calling, bullying, harassment and degrading treatment similar to racial discrimination. There is preponderance of evidence gathered by various government studies in the area of education, employment and provision of goods and services areas covered by the Act.
Mr Muman said that it was unprecedented in British legal history that a provision enacted by Parliament to protect against discrimination was firstly not put in force and secondly the Government instead decided to repeal that provision. As per eceived reports Government caved into powerful political lobbying by Hindus and Sikhs with Tory government’s eyes on Hindu and Sikhs votes.
Protesters continued to step up their demand to put pressure on the British government to rescind its decision to repeal the Caste provision.