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Has Caste Discrimination Followed Indians Overseas? by Priyanka Mogul

Has Caste Discrimination Followed Indians Overseas?

Has Caste Discrimination Followed Indians Overseas?

by

Priyanka Mogul

diplomat.com

 

“One is of the opinion that you leave behind all the trappings of the caste system once you leave India, but perhaps I was naive.”

Saunvedan Aparanti, an Indian student studying in London, has found himself at the center of a heated campaign to introduce caste discrimination legislation in the United Kingdom. Having moved to Britain for university, Aparanti was surprised to find himself at the receiving end of “caste supremacy” from his new flatmates. The caste system he speaks of — and its trappings — is one that the world has, unfortunately, become familiar with. Stories relating to caste violence frequently emerge from some South Asian countries, particularly India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. Headlines featuring the rape and murder of so-called “lower caste” people, or Dalits, are no longer rare.

Everyone is in agreement that this mistreatment of people based on an ancient social hierarchy is horrific and that it must be combatted. But when Indians say caste discrimination has followed them overseas, the solution doesn’t appear as straightforward anymore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Across the UK, a fierce debate has been playing out within the British-Indian community over whether there is a need to introduce legislation for caste discrimination. In 2011, the employment tribunal heard its first claim of caste discrimination when a couple alleged they had been wrongfully dismissed by their employers because of their inter-caste marriage. Vijay Begraj claimed he was told by a “higher caste” colleague that he was lucky to be working in a law firm as his caste would have made him a cleaner in India. The tribunal also heard that Begraj had been assaulted by relatives of one of the firm’s partners and had been called derogatory caste names. The law firm in question, Heer Manak, denied the allegations until the case was ultimately abandoned in 2013.

Stories such as Begraj’s have united Dalit rights campaigners in the U.K. in the fight for caste law. Caste Watch UK, the Dalit Solidarity Network UK, and the Anti-Caste Discrimination Alliance are a few who have taken center stage in the campaign, with support from a number of academics. The United Nations has also lent a voice to the debate, urging the UK government to implement caste discrimination law.

Manifestations of Caste in the UK

So who is experiencing caste discrimination in the UK? And where and how are they experiencing it?

Numerous reports have been put together, each compiling a number of U.K.-based case studies of caste discrimination. Due to the stigma that comes along with being a “lower caste” person, many are afraid to speak out publicly. Instead, they choose to isolate themselves from the Indian community in the UK and live among non-Indians who have little understanding of caste dynamics.

Research conducted by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research and the Equality and Human Rights Commission has detailed various incidents of caste discrimination in the UK. The majority of these appear to occur in the personal sphere, which falls outside the reach of the Equality Act 2010, which relates to education, employment, and provision of goods and services. This has led some to question whether the implementation of caste under the Equality Act would do very much to combat instances of discrimination among social circles.

However, Dr. Meena Dhanda, a leading academic in diaspora Dalit studies, has noted that there is crossover between what happens in the private and public spheres. She argues that if prejudice exists, it cannot always be assumed that this prejudice does not cross over into the areas of employment and education.

Reena Jaisiah, a young woman of Dalit ancestry, illustrates how this crossover is possible. Her experience saw her become the victim of caste discrimination on the school playground, where students would bully her and call her derogatory names relating to her caste. This then carried on into her adult life, when she was running her shop and found that an elderly “upper caste” woman consistently refused to put money in her hand, instead placing it on the counter.

“That is exercising untouchability here in the U.K.,” Jaisiah said in Caste Aside, a documentary that sees her recount her life as a “lower caste” woman in Britain. Jaisiah’s experience doesn’t appear to be an isolated one, with caste rights groups such as the Dalit Solidarity Network UK and Caste Watch UK noting that they receive calls from people across Britain who say they too have become victims of caste discrimination.

“This is a rights issue that’s happening across South Asia,” said Meena Varma, director of Dalit Solidarity Network UK. “In fact it’s happening globally, because wherever the diaspora go, they take their caste with them, and so, therefore, that discrimination goes with them.”

Arguments Against Caste Legislation

However, not everyone in the British-Indian community believes that caste legislation is necessary in the U.K. The Hindu Council UK and the National Council of Hindu Temples UK have both opposed the calls for caste legislation, with politicians such as MP Bob Blackman backing them.

“Caste legislation simply doesn’t stand ground,” said Anil Bhanot, director of interfaith relations at the Hindu Council UK. “Dalits have become rich now here because there’s no discrimination.”

Bhanot goes on to note that the instances of caste discrimination that have been brought up so far relate to prejudice within social circles, rather than discrimination that would fall under the realm of equality law. He also argued that implementing this legislation will make caste more prominent among British-Indians, bringing awareness of caste where he says there is currently none.

Satish Sharma, general secretary of the National Council of Hindu Temples UK, takes a similar perspective on the legislation. When asked to characterize the Hindu community in the UK, Sharma commended the “harmonious” nature of the community and emphasized that the current generation of British-Hindus have been free from the understandings of the caste system and do not discriminate against each other in any way. He fears that this legislation, if implemented, will automatically presume certain members of the community — anyone who isn’t a Dalit — are “prejudiced by birth.” He strongly opposed this notion and restated his belief that caste is not an aspect of the Hindu religion. Instead, he argues, caste, as it exists today, is a Euro-Christian concept imposed on Indian people.

“Where does this notion that there is some sort of superiority being played out in the British-Hindu community come from?” Sharma questioned. “It’s purely an act of mischief. And if that isn’t a recipe for friction, then I don’t know what is.”

What Happens Next

On September 18, the British government ended a public consultation on caste and equality law in Great Britain, which invited the public to submit their views on “how to ensure that there is appropriate and proportionate legal protection” against caste discrimination. Groups on both sides of the debate rallied supporters to submit their thoughts on the issue.

Sat Pal Muman, Chairman of Caste Watch UK, has hit back at those opposing the legislation, saying: “They are afraid that if caste discrimination law does kick in, somehow it will affect their religion. They may have something to hide, there may be some skeletons in their cupboard.”

As the debate continues, campaigners are hoping that a decision will be made on the legislation in early 2018. Hindus groups remain concerned that bringing caste into U.K. law will send a message that caste is becoming a prominent feature in British-Indian society; something that they believe is far from true. Meanwhile, Dalit rights groups remain anxious about what will happen to the thousands of caste discrimination victims they say they know in the UK.

Future cohesion of the British-Indian community hangs in the balance as the UK government mulls its next move.

Priyanka Mogul is a freelance journalist based in London. She is the producer of Caste Aside, a documentary about the British government’s controversial decision to introduce legislation against caste discrimination in the U.K.

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TEN COMMANDMENTS OF LIFE FOR HINDUS AND THE NEW AGE MYSTICS: Hinduism Exposed

Hinduism Exposed

 

http://www.blessedquietness.com/journal/housechu/hindu.htm

 

TEN COMMANDMENTS OF LIFE FOR HINDUS
AND THE NEW AGE MYSTICS:

My personal observations in green are based on
my observations growing up with Hindus in East Africa.

I -YOU ARE THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE–
          Make sure everyone around you knows it.

II – THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS TRUTH,
AND THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A LIE
          Anything not included in that statement does
          not matter anyway.
          
Do whatever turns a profit.
          The golden rule of Hinduism is,
          “Rip off everyone and buy gold in Bahrain.”

III – DO NOT GET CAUGHT–
          If caught, blame Kali or the Prime Minister,
          and offer a generous bribe.

MAHATMA GHANDI IS IN WISCONSIN

I was talking on the phone with our correspondent, Dave Casper, in Wisconsin this morning. We were discussing all the Hindus who have come to the USA and rescued gas stations and motels. Also, we noted that they have heavily moved the White race to turn against eating meat. Dave asked why, and I told him the theological reason. I am very well versed on Hindu theology, having many of their books and having grown up with Hindus.

Hinduism says that there are 12,000 cycles of reincarnation for everyone. With each reincarnation, we work off more and more of our bad karma, and we progress upward each time. Eventually, we reach the Brahman mind and Nirvana. At that point we are in a state of nothingness, and we are to believe that we will be happy once our mind is empty and we don’t know who we are. San Francisco is well on its way!

With each reincarnation we come back as a rat or as a guru, depending on whether we have been good and advance, or if we have been naughty and regress to the animal world. This is why Hindus will not eat meat. They are terrified that they may eat their grandmother or uncle. The Jains even believe the bugs and roaches are spirits on their way to Nirvana.

Imagine that– Your Roach Hotel is massacring thousands of innocent souls who are just trying to eat their daily crumb and wend their way to Nirvana.

Shirley McLain and her mob repackaged this loonie reincarnation doctrine for Gringos and reduced the trip to four reincarnations because Anglo Saxons would not possibly buy into something that took 12,000 tries to get it right.

Mahatma Ghandi once said, “Reincarnation in Hinduism is a burden too heavy to bear.” He was not really a very good Hindu. Dave and I speculated that Ghandi may have had to go back down the chain of reincarnation to be a rat or duck to pay for his nerve in questioning the doctrines of Shiva et al.

Ghandi hated Black Africans intensely and massacred many in South Africa as a Major in the British Army. He admitted that he was a poor husband and neglected his wife. He covered up the murder of an American engineer in India by his followers. There is a lot of bad Karma coming down for Ghandi. MORE

Well, while we were on the phone, Dave suddenly shouted, “Ghandi is swimming by the end of my dock.” It turns out, and this has to be earth shaking, that Ghandi is a beaver in a lake in Wisconsin. He was seen with a wad of grass in his mouth (what else?) which he was using to build his beaver lodge.

Dave Casper has promised to get us a digital photo of Ghandi soon, and we are considering keeping track of him through the winter.

Folks, you just don’t get the real news if you never check in at Blessed Quietness Journal 🙂

IV – BELITTLE EVERYONE YOU CAN,
INCLUDING YOUR WIFE AND CHILDREN
          As you beat and humiliate them, you are
          helping them work off their bad Karma.

V – NEVER WORRY ABOUT KHARMA
          You can be good in your next incarnation.

VI – POLITICS IS THE HIGHEST FORM OF
AM– USEMENT
          If you cannot BE one, destroy one.

VII – IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO EAT TOO MUCH
          Food and a huge stomach are signs of
          prosperity.

VII – THERE ARE 400,000,000 GODS IN HINDUISM
          If you do not like the one assigned to you,
          make your own.

VIII – IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO TALK TOO MUCH
          See if you can get someone else to do your work
          so you can loiter and chatter.

IX – NEVER EAT MEAT, FOR YOU MAY BE EATING
YOUR GRANDMOTHER
          But, you may sell meat to Muslims and
          Christians. Grandmother will understand.

X – NEVER HELP THOSE IN NEED
          The more they suffer, the more kharma they
          are getting rid of.
          To help them and feed them would cause
          them to enter their next incarnation with
          left over kharma.
          Helping people to suffer pain and hunger
          is the most merciful act of kindness a Hindu
          can perform.

 

 

 

 

Srila Prabhupada, at the left, was the founder of
Hari Krishna, and every photo of him
I have seen shows a bored miserable look.
There is no joy in Hinduism, only sensuality and lust.
Ane, much uncertainly !!

 

 

“You can’t have a present without a past.”
        Words by Hindu radical, Acharya Dharmendra

Yes, Acharya, my past defines my present, AND my future. No reincarnation as a mouse or stink bug for me! Don’t you worry about stepping on me after I die, I will not be coming back 🙂 I am sorry about your having to work off your Karma by trying to make good Dharma. No amount of rule keeping will cancel the record of your sin– never enough puja. Eating no rice, no salt, no meat, burn incense– what does that have to do with your sin? Nothing! What a fearful way to deal with the past. Why should you wait to see what happens? Put your faith in the finished work of Jesus, and your past will also define a glorious future.

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GODMEN : Life At An Austin Ashram, A First-Person Account: The author of Sex, Lies and Two Hindu Gurus shares her experiences

GODMEN
Life At An Austin Ashram, A First-Person Account
The author of Sex, Lies and Two Hindu Gurus shares her experiences
 

In 1991, American writer Karen Jonson wasn’t in love and was in a dead-end job when she joined an ashram, the Jagad­guru Kripalu Parishat (JKP) in Austin, Texas, attrac­ted by local guru Prakashanand Sara­swati’s talks “about god and loving god”. The JKP proclaims the divi­nity of Kripaluji Maharaj. In the beginning, she was happy to be among a group of people who had the same feeling and purpose, picking green beans by the moonlight, cooking meals, acting in skits. After living in the ashram for 15 years, she quit in 2008, three years before Prakashanand was found guilty on 20 counts of child sex abuse. Jonson published a tell-all book, Sex, Lies and Two Hindu Gurus, which JKP followers dismiss as a ‘Christian conspiracy’. Here Jonson tells Debarshi Dasgupta how her spiritual quest went awry:

 

In hindsight, I always had some small doubts about both Kripalu and Prakash. But I had no proof of anything. I was also very religious and wanted to believe what they were telling us, about achieving God realisation and becoming a gopi in divine Vrindavan. All we had to do was ‘surrender’ to them, they said. So I tried really hard to do that, and whenever I stumbled, I believed it was because of my own lack of devotional qualities. So whenever I had doubts, I would push them back into the corners of my mind.

But the major onset of scepticism occurred when Kripalu was arrested in Trinidad for raping a young woman in May 2007. It was while he was on a ‘world tour’ that year for a few months. He had just spent about four weeks in the JKP ashram in Austin where I had lived full-time since April 1993. His plan was to go to Trinidad, then Canada, then come back to Austin.

Some uncomfortable events took place when he was in the Austin ashram, called Barsana Dham at the time (the name was changed to Radha Madhav Dham later, after Prakashanand fled to Mexico on his own cases becoming public). For the first time ever, I was invited to Kripalu’s bedroom to perform a secret ritual they called ‘charan seva’. I had never heard of it before. But I later learned that many of the women in JKP’s ashrams participated in this ritual, which took place several times every day at specific times.

During this ritual, 5-6 women are brought into the guru’s bedroom. He is lying on his back in the middle of his bed on several pillows with his arms and legs spread out. The women each climb up on his bed and kneel near one part of his body, the thigh, calf and feet. (At that time, one foot was not available for massaging due to an injury, which I later learned was tuberculosis that had gone into his bone.) We had been instructed to “press him very hard.” So we just pressed hard on whatever body part we had.

My first time was his left thigh. The room is very dark so it was hard to see what else was going on. Also, my attention was very focused on massaging him correctly, as instructed. While pressing him as hard as I could, his hand reached down to mine and tried to nudge my hand up to his groin. At the time, I naively thought he wanted me to massage him higher on his thigh, so I tried, but there was really nowhere else to go. He nudged me again. And again I went a tiny bit higher, but that was it. Then it was over and we were told to leave. “Jao!”

I had four more pressing sessions. In two, nothing that I know of happened. But then I wasn’t really expecting anything. But one time, when I was on the left thigh again, I saw movement on his groin from the opposite side. While focusing on my pressing, I also kept glancing over. It looked like another woman, who I knew, was massaging his penis. I really could not believe my eyes. I kept glancing, but was in shock. But I now knew that is exactly what was happening.

 

 
 
 
  That’s when I started putting together pieces of the puzzle—including my past doubts and experiences in ‘charan seva’.  
 
 
 

Another time I was on his left calf, and out of the corner of my eye I saw some movement. When I glanced up, I saw that Kripalu’s hand was up the woman’s blouse. I knew this woman too. Again I was in shock. Each of these three times, I tried not to think about the incidents. I still tried to believe that Kripalu was God and that I could not understand God’s actions. Plus, with him in residence there is way too much work to do and no one gets enough sleep, so we are sleep-deprived every day. I was constantly exhausted trying to keep up with the brutal satsang schedule from 4 am to 10 pm. Plus the work we had to do. My job was baking “birthday cakes”. They offered a thing called a “birthday seva”, where an interested person paid US $2,500 for the privilege of having Kripalu acknowledge their birthday—even if it wasn’t the person’s birthday. I baked over 50 cakes in four weeks for this!

 

About a week after his arrest in Trinidad, one of the preachers gathered us together one night to inform us. After spinning the story in Kripalu’s favour (she didn’t use the word rape), she told us: “Do not go on the internet and read about this.” I think that was the exact moment I got my mind back under my own control and snapped out of my cult delusion. Because I decided that is exactly what I was going to do: I went online, typed in ‘Kripalu’ and ‘Trinidad’, and started reading. I was in complete shock.

That’s when I learned the truth. So many people from around the world were commenting on the real JKP and Kripalu. I just knew they were telling the truth. Everything. The sex, the money collection, the abuse. That’s when I started putting together pieces of the puzzle—including my past doubts and recent experiences during “charan seva”.

It took me a little more time to accept that Prakash was as bad as Kripalu, because I knew Prakash first and had hardly known anything about Kripalu until the fall of 1999. Prakash had stopped talking about him after Kripalu’s first arrest for raping two underage girls in India in the early 1990s (I joined in 1991). That case has never been resolved. He ‘reintroduced’ us to him in late 1999, saying he was the fifth jagadguru, an incarnation of Radha-Krishna and Chaitanya, and a lot of other fairy tales.

One day, I realised that Prakash had to be as bad as Kripalu, because he served him and brought us to him. Within a couple of months, I heard from the young women who had been molested by Prakash as children while living in the ashram.

I’m not sure why certain people calling themselves “gurus” in India are so popular among Indians. I don’t fully understand the beliefs, culture and history surrounding this relationship. I’ve been told by some of my Indian friends living in the US that to worship so blindly is an aberration of the traditional guru-disciple relationship. In fact, an Indian man living in Austin wrote a chapter in my book on that subject. He stressed that there should always be an element of verification on the student’s part. In other words, be sure the person is a true guru. But it seems that some people have completely abandoned this step.

I believe that conmen gurus don’t leave any room for verification. In my case, Kripalu and his preachers went out of their way to teach that it’s a sin to doubt the guru, question him or second-guess him. The only option is 100% unquestioning belief. I now know that this is a red flag. Only a cult would not want a person to use their reasoning mind to make an informed decision.

If a person stays in such a situation, well then they are just sitting ducks. This unquestioning attitude gives the conmen complete control and allows them to shape the followers’ minds anyway they choose. The conman has effectively stolen the individual’s personal power and used it for their own purposes, much like a vampire sucks a person’s blood to stay alive.

At the same time, they claim a kind of shield. Just before his arrest in Trinidad, one day at the Austin JKP temple, Kripalu said: “The actions of a saint may seem more worldly than the most worldly person’s actions. But you cannot judge them, because you are worldly and a saint is divine.” That’s the kind of thinking that gives a person a licence to kill. Very scary.

 

 

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FAKE HINDU GURUS : Death of boy at Asaram ashram & Narayan Sai exposed by his wife – updated

Death of boy at Asaram ashram & Narayan Sai exposed by his wife – updated

 

 

 

 

 

UPDATE  ”After determining the charges under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, the court of district and sessions judge (Jodhpur rural) slated the next hearing in the case for 4 December, when the trial against the accused people will begin. “Asaram Bapu and his aides – Sanchita Gupta alias Shilpi, the warden of Asaram’s ashram in Chhindwara, his cook Prakash, aide Shiva and ashram director Sharad Chandra – were produced in the court of District and Sessions Judge (Jodhpur Rural) Manoj Vyas today (Wednesday),” said the girl’s lawyer Manish Vyas.” (http://www.firstpost.com/india/asaram-trial-to-begin-dec-4-1254163.html)

If the judiciary cannot convict these two criminal gurus – a failing which the judiciary has shown consistently in respect of a long list of gurus charged with criminal acts of sex abuse and financial scams etc. , then there is little hope that India can drag itself out of pseudo religious delusions that have plagued it from time immemorial, and which have worsened considerably since Independence and the modern money economy.  Had sanathana dharma instead been observed to the full – in action and not only in hypocritical words – by prominent Indian gurus, then the situation would have been better indeed.

Zee Media Bureau reported that ‘Narayan Sai had relations with many women’ Last Updated: Tuesday, November 19, 2013, 17:58Ahmedabad: “In a sensational revelation, Surat Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana on Tuesday said that Narayan Sai’s wife Janki has confirmed that her husband had relations with other women.Divulging the details after questioning Sai’s wife, Surat Police Commissioner said that Janki has told the police that she didn’t live with her husband as he had relations with other women.During interrogations, Janki also told police that Sai is the father of Jamuna’s son,” Asthana said. Jamuna was a female associate of Sai. Earlier reports had claimed that Ganga, another female associate, had confessed that Sai is the father of Jamuna’s son. A few days ago, it was reported that the police have revealed that the self-styled godman Asarams son Sai had a fetish for sex.

Reports quoted Surat Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana as saying that Sai is a habitual sex offender and that he used to indulge in such acts regularly. Sai has been on the run since a complaint of rape was filed against him in Surat, Gujarat on October 6.”

Now the evidence is increasing to the point of overload, but will the powers-that-be allow Asaram Bapu and his son to go free, sooner or later?


asaram-boy-death

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India is now the sick man of Asia by Maqsood Kayani

India is now the sick man of Asia

 

 

Highlights

 

·           “A summer of difficulties has dented India’s confidence, and a growing chorus of critics is starting to ask whether India’s rise may take years, and perhaps decades, longer than many had hoped.

·           “There is a growing sense of desperation out there, particularly among the young”

·           India’s growing economic worries are perhaps its most challenging.

·           “I think things will get much worse before they get better,” said Sonal Varma, an India economist at Nomura Securities in Mumbai. “The government is between a rock and a hard place.”

·           Unable to build or buy, India is becoming dangerously short of vital defense equipment, analysts say.

·           “Many analysts say that India is unlikely to achieve prominence on the world stage until it reaches some sort of resolution with Pakistan of disputes that have lasted for decades over Kashmir and other issues.”

Courtesy: PTT Member-Maqsood Kayani 

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