UK Dalit groups condemn Modi’s unveiling statue of Ambedkar in London

London: UK-based two Dalit organisations, Caste Watch UK and Dr Ambedkar Memorial Committee have strongly condemned the inauguration by Narendra Modi of Ambedkar House in London. They urged Prime Minister David Cameron live up to his commitment to Equality and implement provision on section 9(5) of the Equality Act and stop pandering to the Hindu Fascist lobby.

The Dr Ambedkar Memorial Committee of Great Britain (DAMC) said it regards the inauguration of Ambedkar House, London by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with utter aboherence.

While CasteWatchUK abhorred Modi’s unveiling of statue of Dr Ambedkar as cheap political posturing saying Dalits (former untouchables) are the most marginalised groups in India who face daily atrocities at the hands of upper-caste Hindus.

It stated that number of atrocities has increased since the BJP came into power. Quoting the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), it said crimes against Dalits rose to 47,064 in 2014 from 39,408 in 2013. In 2012 there were 33,655 crimes against Dalits, about the same as in 2011 of arson, murder and rape.
The rate of such crimes against Dalits surpasses the national average in many states. Describing the unveiling statue of Ambedkar as the cynical exploitation of this reality by Modi, CasteWatch said it is seen as a ploy to garner support of Dalits numbering over 260 million people.

“The BJP is the political arm of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) an openly Hindu supremacist organisation. The RSS also operates in the UK through its overseas wing the Hindu Swayamsevak Samaj (HSS) which is currently being investigated by the Charity Commission for hate speech against Christians and Muslims. The HSS however continues to operate along with other Hindutva organisations in the UK, who continue to oppose UK Equality legislation which aims to outlaw caste-based discrimination in Britain. This law is essential because the virus of caste has travelled to the UK and many Dalits face caste discrimination as highlighted by the UK Government’s own research.”

The UK based campaign for Equality led to the enactment of Equality Act 2010, section 9(5) mandating the Minister of crown to prohibit caste-based discrimination. However, the UK Hindutva forces along with upper-caste Sikh leaders continue to campaign against the law’s implementation.
CasteWatchUK finds it abhorrent that Ambedkar memory is being used as a political tool by the Indian Prime Minister to try and confuse Dalits who are asserting their human rights in India and are also asserting the demand for equality in the UK.

It recalled that at the Tory Party Conference this year, David Cameron declared that the Conservative Party wants to end discrimination and bring real equality in UK.
“Why then, we ask, is his government still dragging its feet and not implementing the provisions of section 9(5) of the Equality Act to prohibit Caste discrimination in UK. If David Cameron wants to bring an end to discrimination he should stop pandering to the upper-caste Hindu lobby, which is led by the HSS (the overseas wing of the paramilitary and fascist RSS).

We are unhappy with David Cameron’s invitation to Narendra Modi and his support for the Indian Prime Minister’s outrageous act of hypocrisy in unveiling the statue of Dalit icon and great Indian leader Dr B.R.Ambedkar”.

Tarsem Kaul, President of the Dr Ambedkar Memorial Committee of Great Britain said: ‘It is the height of hypocrisy that Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi, is inaugurating Ambedkar House. Modi is a long-term organiser of the Hindu Supremacist paramilitary organisation, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) which models itself on the Nazi party, stands for upper caste Hindu power, and is a bye-word for attacks on Dalits and other oppressed castes’.
Modi’s party the BJP, and its sister organisations like the RSS are constantly infringing this constitution with their attacks on Dalit and minority rights, he added.

The continuing escalation of atrocities on Dalits should be a cause for shame but Modi adopts silence instead of condemnation, and this has become his hallmark.

“The Dalits and oppressed castes in Bihar have seen through his cynical attempts to divide and rule and have decisively rejected him. This is why he is now attempting to save face and salvage his image with Dalits. This is not likely to happen since all we have seen from his party is anti-Dalit violence and certainly no Dalit-friendly development policies”.

The DAMC established in 1969 is the largest Ambedkarite organisation promoting the ideology and philosophy of Ambedkar in Britain and is not affiliated to the much smaller Federation of Ambedkarite and Buddhist Organisations (FABO) which has decided to associate Narendra Modi for reasons which have not been made clear to the Ambedkarite communities in UK.