Dear Sir Starmer,
Hindu Human Rights Group (HHR) was set up to highlight persecution, oppression, and discrimination against Hindus worldwide. HHR was formed in the UK, and it is sadly in this country that we find Hinduphobia now going mainstream.
It is commendable indeed that you have condemned the antisemitism which has saturated the Labour Party in recent years, something which resulted in the party’s condemnation by the EHRC (ironically a body which a Labour government had created). Nevertheless, just as Labour has managed to make antisemitism mainstream and acceptable, it has done the same with Hinduphobia.
As with almost all immigrant communities, Hindus and others flocked to the Labour Party as their natural home. The blatant and vile racism evident in the Conservative Party meant they needed little persuading: Peter Griffiths election in Smethwick in 1964 using racist language; Enoch Powell’s 1968 ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech and opposition to Labour’s legislation to outlaw racial discrimination; the Monday Club supporting repatriation, colonialism, apartheid and Rhodesia; Federation of Conservative Students handing out ‘Hang Mandela’ posters; Margaret Thatcher speaking of white people being swamped in their own country; John Carlisle as lobbyist for apartheid South Africa; Alan Clarke praising Nazism and saying Ugandan Asians (like the family of Priti Patel) should not come here as they were the wrong colour; Nicholas Budgen using the race card in a manner that echoed Powell. The examples are legion.
It is therefore sad, disturbing and somewhat disheartening that Labour would employ tactics reminiscent of what was once seen in the hard right of the Conservative Party, and even to the right of that. The present electoral contest in Batley has brought this to the fore. When you have the Daily Mail, a newspaper that once supported the British Union of Fascists, condemning the Labour Party for using anti-Hindu and anti-Indian rhetoric, then this is something very serious. In that same article, your own Stockport MP Navendu Mishra lashed out after the party distributing that leaflet.
Unfortunately, this is the long culmination in sinister trends that have been afoot in the Labour Party in which Hindus are seen as a malevolent, metaphysical threat. Labour MPs have long pioneered the ‘self-determination’ of Kashmir. In reality this means supporting the extermination and expulsion of the indigenous Hindu population who were forced out by Pakistan-armed Islamic extremists in 1990, en masse. To this day many continue to languish in refugee camps. Yet this is always censored by those same MPs and the like who claim to support human rights. Indeed in September 2019, violent mobs who back the extermination of Hindus in Kashmir attacked the Indian High Commission in London. British Labour MP Liam Byrne in fact heading the mob.
Yet no mention of the indigenous Hindus exterminated from their only homeland. They have been erased from history and Labour has no intention of acknowledging that they existed. No dialogue from Labour, no interest. What can one say about a political party which pioneered the fight against racism and other forms of hate, that is now complicit in fanning the flames of communal hatred now in Britain? Why is it that Labour denies the genocide that has taken place in Kashmir against Hindus; and indeed in Pakistan and elsewhere? Why is Labour deaf to any dialogue with Hindus on the matter?
The second area in which Labour pioneered Hinduphobia is less well known nationally. This is on the issue of caste. Former Labour MP Rob Marris pioneered what on the surface looked like a noble cause to combat caste discrimination. However one did not have to look far to see something else was lurking. In meetings with organisations such as Castewatch it rapidly descended into fanatical speeches about Hindu supremacy in the UK, Hindus wanting to legalise burning of widows, and other strange phenomena which would not be out of place in the pages of Der Sturmer, the racist mouthpiece of Nazi Julius Streicher during the Third Reich. Again not just lack of dialogue but complete hostility from this former Labour MP, the same sort which one would normally have expected from Alan Clarke, Nicholas Budgen or even Enoch Powell. But not from Labour. In fact these anti-caste events went beyond even the Monday Club with their emphasis on Aryan race theory. It is doubtful if even the Monday Club would rant on about the Aryan race. Indeed it would be hard pressed to see if its sinister reincarnation in the Traditional Britain Group of Gregory Lauder-Frost would take things to this level.
The sad fact is that Labour has become almost a mirror image of the TGB run by Lauder-Frost.
Let us not forget that just as the Right has its own long contamination of antisemitism, racism and identity politics, so does the Left. Eugenics was once an intrinsic part of socialism and ideas of progress. Marx revealed his antisemitism in the ‘Jewish Question’, his racism by disparaging racist references to blacks, and his belief that India was incapable of progress without the superior whites ruling it.
This will no doubt come as a shock to you. The Labour Party is one that prides itself on combatting racism. But racism evolves and mutates. These are not the days when shaven-headed Nazi tattooed maniacs like Nicky Crane prowl the streets to attack and kill, or where a teenage Joe Pearce sells the National Front’s Bulldog to school children. That racism lies at the heart of the identity politics which Labour now peddles, seeing some communities as inferior, just as some races were once seen as inferior. At least we can say that Nicky Crane eventually disowned his racist views when he came out as gay, shortly before dying from AIDS. Joe Pearce also saw the light after being jailed once too often for stoking racial hatred. But with the Labour Party the constant, unrelenting attack on Hindus and stoking Hinduphobia continues unabated. What is the result of all this?
Inflammatory leaflets in Batley. Labour MPs’ supporting mob violence in the streets in a manner which Enoch Powell never did with the dockers and Smithfield meat packers. Meetings by Labour MPs backing the extermination of Hindus in Kashmir. Yet all the while Labour is deaf to Hindus, who are doubly done over like people of colour and yet blamed as having the very white privilege which Labour’s middle-class, red brick university-educated, latte-sipping, disconnected elite have. This has not just resulted in the mass alienation of Hindu voters from a party they once called home and indeed to which they owed so much. It also shows the disconnect which labour has with the white working-class majority, which formed the core of its voting base, and at one time through the trade unions the major feed for its MPs. For this reason James Callaghan felt he could not quash strikers in the Winter of Discontent, thereby allowing Thatcher to win. Callaghan had come up through the very trade union movement which he now had to face down. Such a situation would be rare now as the disconnected elite come up through a process of brainwashing in which Hinduphobia is an essential component.
That the Labour Party has chosen the sectarian and identitarian politics of Hinduphobia is a sad epitaph to a party which under Clement Attlee not only gave this country its national health service, but which under Harold Wilson faced off white minority rule in Rhodesia, and subsequently opposed apartheid in South Africa. Roy Jenkins passed progressive legislation to build a ‘civilised society’. It was the same Labour Party which of course gave independence to India, much to the chagrin of Churchill and the Conservatives. Yet this is now the same party whose mainstream attitude mirrors that of Churchill when he notoriously said:
“I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.”
Churchill blamed India’s backwardness and especially its social degradation and poverty on Hinduism. Hindus were unfit to rule and education would hopefully extinguish Hinduism from India because it was the main impediment to progress. In 1943 he admitted:
“the only quality of the Hindus is that there’s a lot of them and that is a vice.
Two years later, in 1945, Churchill told his private secretary John Colville that “the Hindus are a foul race,” and that he wished Air Chief Marshall Arthur “Bomber” Harris could “send some of his surplus bombers to destroy them.” In other words, he wanted the Hindus exterminated. Leo Amery, Secretary of State for India, privately noted, “I didn’t see much difference between his outlook and Hitler’s.”
Just as now there is precious difference between the Bulldog rag once sold by Joe Pearce in the National Front and some of the gutter comments and literature emanating from the Labour Party. Or very little difference in the obscene racist comments by Churchill and present-day parts of the Labour Party.
The question is will Labour wake up and disown its intolerant and bigoted elements? Do Hindus have a place in a political party that is so encased in its own self-destructive intolerant Hinduphobia?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Hinduphobia was first used in the British Media.Read more.. @
York Newspaper. (20 March 1883). Hinduphobia.