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India-UK: Jeremy Corbyn — a sympathiser of Dalits and critic of communalism

Saturday 10 June 2017, by siawi3

Source: Peoples Media Advocacy & Resource Centre , June 9, 2017 7.00 am

Mr Corbyn is a long-standing and passionate advocate of Dalits ... In 2012, Mr Corbyn told parliament: Dalits are the largest group of people in the world who are systematically discriminated against on the basis of their descent and caste. They perform the worst jobs in the dirtiest conditions, and have the shortest life expectancy, the lowest level of education, the worst housing and the lowest pay and employment levels of any group in India, or indeed, the rest of the world.

Caste in the UK: No Escape - Caste Discrimination within the UK: The Dalit Solidarity Network UK

... I first became truly aware of the extent of caste discrimination in India, and of the resistance to it, when I attended the World Social Forum in Mumbai in January 2004. I had been aware that there was such a system, and that it did affect many poor people, but the reality of it struck home in that experience.

There were several thousand Dalits at the World Social Forum protesting about the vicious effects of the caste system in India and other countries of South Asia. Hundreds of them marched, dancing and beating their drums, objecting to being regarded as the polluted outcastes of society. I then learnt more about the problem when I met a group of Dalit activists on a second visit to Mumbai in February 2006. I was therefore horrified to realise that caste discrimination has actually been exported to the UK through the Indian Diaspora.

The same attitudes of superiority, pollution and separateness appear to be present in South Asian communities now settled in the UK. This is an issue the Government and all those concerned about good community relations must address. Any discrimination, of whatever kind, is unacceptable and must be both legislated against and challenged by all appropriate means. - Jeremy Corbyn MP

Jeremy Corbyn — a sympathiser of Dalits and critic of communalism

... Some of these issues have taken Mr. Corbyn to India. He attended the World Social Forum gathering in Mumbai in January 2004. In his engaging account for the Morning Star on the conference from Mumbai, Mr. Corbyn writes among other things about those who joined the WSF march. ‘The Dalit peoples who have suffered untold discrimination despite the Indian constitution’s claim to protect them march in huge numbers, and many union groups from miners to forestry workers march against re-structuring and privatisation. The surviving victims of the killings and mayhem in Gujarat tell what it is like to be the victims of the hordes goaded on by right wing xenophobic politicians.” ...

Arguments over caste spread from India to Britain: Britain’s political class is caught up in an argument over caste

... Mr Corbyn is a long-standing and passionate advocate of the Dalits, people from India who complain of being treated terribly by their compatriots because of their low status under the caste system; such discrimination was supposedly abolished by independent India’s constitution but it remains a powerful social reality. ...