Caste Not Class is the Main British Problem, Lords

On 16 April, the Commons will discuss an amendment by the Lords prohibiting an allegedly rampant discrimination in UK. Caste, not class.

Jasdev Singh Rai, Medical Doctor, with MA in politics, human rights activist and community worker writes ins Huffington post about cast.

Dr Jasdev Singh explains, Trouble is ‘castism’ as an attitude was promoted by Britain in the first place since ‘caste’ as a category is a wholly British colonial construction. An elementary fact is that the word ‘caste’ has no literal translation in any Indian language.

The British Suprintendent of 1921 Census confessed, “We pigeon holed everyone by caste and if we could not find a true caste for them, labelled them with the name of hereditary occupation. We deplore the caste system and its effect on social and economic problems, but we are largely responsible for the system we deplore”.

Some of these internalised colonial infused habits lingered in early migrants to UK. But much has changed as new research destroys orientalist constructions and individualism undermines group myths.

Can cliché ridden eighteenth century orientalism be the basis of legislation in twenty first century multi cultural Britain? Obviously it can! Labour and Liberal legislators want to reignite a dying issue in UK.

Of course there is some lingering discrimination among handful, but dialogue and mutual action by communities can bring this to an end. Legislation will institutionalise it. The Tory Government prefers dialogue.

Two million Sikhs, Hindus and Jains have been judged on orientalist literature without a hearing by Labour and Liberals. Perhaps Rushdie was right when he said migrants were brought here as subject peoples with whom the British can deal, in very much the same way as their predecessors thought of and dealt with.

The real issue of class prejudice at the work place? ‘People suffer prejudice in this country because of their class and we have no legislation on that’, reminded Tory Baroness Stowell of Beeston to her fellow Noble members. Labour and Liberal legislators remain in denial.

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Jasdev Singh Rai