Indian-origin people facing caste discrimination in UK: study



The report, titled "Voice of the Community -- A Study into Caste and Caste Discrimination in the UK", says that the caste system is widespread and that it affects thousands of people in the workplace, the classroom and even the doctor's surgery.
British law currently does not protect people who suffer caste-based discrimination.
The issue was also discussed at the committee stage of the Equality Bill 2009 in the House of Commons in June this year, but the government said evidence of this was lacking.
The new study, whose main conclusion was that there is "considerable evidence of caste-based discrimination among the Asians in Britain," was coordinated by the Anti-Caste Discrimination Alliance (ACDA), and included academics from three British universities.
ACDA hoped that the study will provide evidence to the government to make caste discrimination illegal.
The study suggests that 58 per cent of the 300 people surveyed said they had been discriminated against because of their caste, while in another query 79 per cent said they did not think the police would understand if they tried to report a caste-related "hate crime".

Almost half of the respondents (45 per cent) said they had either been treated negatively by co-workers or had comments made about their caste.
While, nine per cent felt they had been passed over for promotion, 10 per cent said they had been paid less because of their caste. Another 5 per cent said they had experienced threatening behaviour because of their caste.
The study was conducted by academics from the universities of Manchester, Hertfordshire and Manchester Metropolitan University.
The report said that doctors from the Indian subcontinent now indicated "a potential for caste discrimination occurring in the healthcare sector".
"There is clear evidence from the survey and the focus groups that the caste system has been imported into the UK with the Asian diaspora and that the associated caste discrimination affects citizens in ways beyond personal choices and social interaction.
There is a danger that if the UK government does not effectively accept and deal with the issue of caste discrimination the problem will grow unchecked," it said.
Meanwhile, Lynne Featherstone, Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, was quoted by The Guardian as saying that "Caste discrimination, like other forms of discrimination, needs to be outlawed. This is the evidence that will prove the case for its inclusion in the equality bill".

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