News Brief

British Hindus Assert Political Power With 'Hindu Manifesto' As UK Heads To Election Today—All About It

Kuldeep Negi

Jul 04, 2024, 10:11 AM | Updated 10:11 AM IST

Rishi Sunak, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
Rishi Sunak, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

As the United Kingdom prepares to vote today (4 July), the political landscape is significantly influenced by the growing assertiveness of the British Hindu community.

With around one million Hindus in the UK, they have emerged as a critical electorate, prompting both the Labour and Conservative parties to vie for their support.

This election season has seen unprecedented engagement from British Hindus, highlighted by the release of 'The Hindu Manifesto UK 2024' by 29 Hindu organisations.

Among its key demands is the recognition of anti-Hindu hate as a religious hate crime, a first for the community in articulating collective political demands.

"[Anti-Hindu hate] Hinduphobia is a set of antagonistic, destructive, and derogatory attitudes and behaviours towards s Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism) and Hindus that may manifest as prejudice, fear, or hatred," reads the Manifesto.

They have also given the example of Hinduphobic hate prevalent in the UK, from blaming the Hindu religion for all the vices in Indian society to abetting or normalising the killing of Hindus.

The document also discussed the organisations in the UK responsible for hate crimes against Hindus.

"Organisations such as the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and International Sikh Youth Federation have been involved in various acts of violence against UK Hindus and Indians or have committed acts of terrorism aimed at de-establishing India and promoting separatist agendas," reads the Manifesto.

It also discusses candidate expectations, such as recognising anti-Hindu hate crimes, taking actions against all forms of racism and monitoring organisations responsible for hate crime.

The Labour Party, which has faced challenges in its relationship with the Indian diaspora under its previous leader Jeremy Corbyn, is making concerted efforts to rebuild trust and attract Hindu voters.

Labour leader Keir Starmer has been actively visiting temples and his party, which is leading the UK race, has committed to deal with anti-India sentiments in the party ranks.

The party has also fielded several Indian-origin candidates, aiming to resonate with the community's concerns and aspirations.

Meanwhile, the Conservative Party, led by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, also an Indian-origin politician, is leveraging his heritage to connect with Hindu voters.

Also Read: Modi Government Forms Key Cabinet Committees: Here's The Full List

Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.

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