Caste Discrimination Debate comes to House of Commons

28th October 2014

9th July 2014

The subject of caste discrimination in the UK and lack of protective legislation implemented by the UK Government was put forward in the House of Commons. When asked about why the Government has prolonged the implementation of legislation to protect victims of caste discrimination, Mrs Helen Grant – The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Women and Equalities – responded ‘we (the Government) need to assess the feasibility of any further research into caste discrimination’. According to Mrs Grant, there are some people that ‘do not believe that caste discrimination exists and consider that legislation is, therefore, unnecessary’ and so a feasibility study is needed in order to assess whether caste discrimination is actually here in the UK. Facts were brought forward as both Jeremy Corbyn and Adam Holloway pointed out that caste discrimination does exist in the UK and on an incredibly  large scale. It is estimated there are  around 860,00 Dalits living in the Uk and of  ‘58% of those surveyed believe they face discrimination because of their caste’ and ‘80% believe that the police would not understand caste discrimination if it was reported to them’. There is undeniable evidence that caste discrimination is present in the UK and although Mrs Grant says ‘the Government have always said that there is no place for unlawful discrimination or prejudice in society’ the fact of the matter is unlawful discrimination and prejudice is rife in caste society in the UK. ‘It was the will of Parliament that a duty be imposed to make caste an aspect of race for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010, and we (the Government) are well aware of that duty’ remonstrated Mrs Grant but if 4 years on and no legislation whatsoever has been implemented to make caste discrimination illegal, is the Government’s awareness the only thing Dalits can rely on for protection?

Caste Discrimination debate Westminster Hall 9 July 2014