Hindu dharma is implicitly at odds with monotheistic intolerance. What is happening in India is a new historical awakening... Indian intellectuals, who want to be secure in their liberal beliefs, may not understand what is going on. But every other Indian knows precisely what is happening: deep down he knows that a larger response is emerging even if at times this response appears in his eyes to be threatening.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

'Crimes against Hindus, Sikhs rise steeply in UK'

Press Trust of India
Thursday, September 08, 2005

London, September 8: In the backlash that followed the London bombings, there has been a steep rise in incidence of hate crime against Hindus and Sikhs, with most of them perpetrated because of mistaken identity, the Hindu Forum of Britain said in London.

There were as many as 932 instances of such hate crimes against Indians, who are predominantly Hindus or Sikhs, as opposed to approximately 600 instances of faith-related hate crime against Pakistani and Bangladeshi Muslims, Ramesh Kallidai, secretary general of the forum said last evening.

"As Asians we all look the same, and are equally vulnerable to any backlash," Kallidai said at the meeting of the leaders of the forum with the assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Tarique Ghaffour.

At the same time Hindu leaders noted that most of the hate crimes against the community were perpetrated through mistaken identity during the backlash after 7/7 bombings.

"However, our greatest concern is that there is no official recognition yet of the vulnerability of Hindus and Sikhs," Kallidai said.

During the special meeting organised by the forum and the Metropolitan Police Hindu Association, he said the leaders voiced concerns over lack of community infrastructure to prevent hate crimes and help the victims.

"Even worse is the fact that there has been very low levels of government engagement to understand what effect such high levels of hate crime is having on our confidence in the criminal justice system," he said adding very little effort was being made to help increase reporting of hate crime and offering voluntary support to victims.

In June there were only three instances of faith hate crime against Hindus and Sikhs but now there are more Hindu and Sikh victims of hate crime in the capital than Muslims, Kallidai said.

Arjan Vekaria, chair of the Hindu Forum Security Committee, said, "even though the level of hate crime against our community has increased so dramatically, there have been very few prosecutions."

The forum had invited over 25 organisations to the meeting with assistant commissioner.

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