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British Hindus: What a Sham (e) !
Regular readers of AV will no doubt know that I have been writing on issues affecting the Hindu community and the state of our lead national organisations for many years.
First let me be very clear, there are some very good honest hard working people giving up their valuable time each and every day who serve our communities well. To those people, I salute you and I commend your dedication in serving our community. However one cannot forever turn a blind eye to those who either for personal gain, kudos, name, fame, honours or just plain corrupt practices, have destroyed our organisations to be ridiculed by most in Government, as well as by other faith organisations.
For example, the Hindu Council UK (HCUK) have taken a leaf out of Jedward and have metamorphosised into two organisations. One led by Anil Bhanot and Sanjay Jagatia that controls HCUK a ‘company’ listed at Companies House. And the other led by Dr V P Narayan Rao and Satya Minhas which is registered with the Charities Commission. Of course historically there was only ever one HCUK but it seems that one group has high-jacked part of the organisation and its identity. And folks they do this on the national stage. Can you imagine what Ministers, Civil servants and other faith communities think of Hindus? As they laugh at us in their private moments, the only sentiment expressed is that of silent contempt.
So what about the National Council of Hindu Temples (NCHT) led by Brij Mohan Gupta and Dr. Raj Pandit Sharma? They are doing a slightly better job, however recently I was abused via email and twitter by the son of one of the office bearers. When I asked the leadership to investigate the matter and ensure that such episodes do not occur again, I was astonished to find that they ignored all my communications.
Then you have the Hindu Forum of Britain (HFB), an organisation when it started that was doing some sterling work. Even it has now lost its way.
So what is this all about? Is it that I have gone nuts and want to have a KK ranting episode at these organisations? Those who know me, will know all too well that I don’t raise such issues lightly. A crisis point is arriving from whence we will either grow as a community, or regress into a role of insignificance. Folks, the choice is for you to make.
Let’s flip the coin and see what else is happening that shows an aspect of how our community behaves that we need to recognise and change soon. In the recent Mayoral elections good old blondie, Mayor Boris won – just. The small margin was a surprise given Ken had publically stated he was looking at making London a beacon for Islam. I am sure Ken must have meant well but it sent shockwaves throughout the various faith communities. Lord Sugar came out publically and asked people not to vote for Ken. Please note, Lord Sugar being of Jewish faith thought of his community first, before his party, his politics or his personal gain. So how many of our esteemed Lords came out to protect the interest of their communities?
Further analysis of the voting pattern suggests that, for example, in Ealing and Southall where there is a significant proportion from the Sikh & Punjabi community, they in fact voted for Ken. We see this pattern repeated also for the Hindu community in places like Harrow and Brent. So what does this tell us? Either our communities are content to vote for Ken, blindly. Or maybe they voted for Labour, blindly. Or maybe they just don’t take politics seriously enough. What is even worse, less than 20% of our community voted – so what were the other 80% doing? Singing Bhajans whilst London was burning?
What is happening to people in positions of responsibility who coward their principles for personal or political gain? For example, recently a Pakistani gang was found guilty of abusing ‘white’ girls systematically. However our own Keith Vaz was unable to come out and say it, as it was. It took Baroness Warsi several days (and some prompting from her father) before she came out and said a “small minority” of Pakistani men see white girls as “fair game”.
Our communities need to rise up and recognise their plight before it is too late. It is time our national organisations served their communities better, and not resort to pampering their egos. Is it now not time we took stock of our place in British society and become effective champions for the very future of our children?