British Indians call time on Hinduphobia, demand legal definition

British Indians call time on Hinduphobia, demand legal definition

As part of the regular Great British Indian Survey series, iGlobal decided it was time to get the pulse of the diaspora on Hinduphobia – the term itself and the act of anti-Hindu hatred.

The issue was thrown into the spotlight recently with the case of Rashmi Samant, an Indian student studying at Oxford University whose formal complaint over what many felt was a case of anti-Hindu hate by a staff member finally came to a conclusion recently.

In fact, as many as 119 British Hindu organisations issued a joint letter to 10 Downing Street in London to urge action against an Oxford University faculty member for his alleged “Hindu hatred and bigoted views”.

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Against this backdrop, the Great British Indian Survey asked respondents three Yes-No questions and the results from nearly 1,200 participants from across the UK proved definitive:

  1. Does Hinduphobia exist in the UK? Yes = 83% No = 17%

  1. Have you or anyone you know been a victim of Hinduphobia? Yes = 74.5% No = 25.5%

  1. Should there be a universally recognised definition for Hinduphobia; just as there is for Antisemitism and Islamophobia? Yes = 85.4% No=14.6%

Hinduphobia is a set of antagonistic, destructive, and derogatory attitudes and behaviours towards Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism) and Hindus that may manifest as prejudice, fear, or hatred – this is the working definition referenced recently at the Understanding Hinduphobia Conference hosted by Rutgers University Natya and Hindu Students Council in the US.

Ever since, there have been calls for the definition to be considered in the UK and more universally, just as Islamophobia is recognised as anti-Muslim hate and Antisemitism as an attack on the Jewish community.

“Eighty per cent of respondents experienced prejudice as a result of their Indian identity within the past 24 months. Of which, the largest type of prejudice reported is Hinduphobia,” concluded a recent study by the 1928 Institute, supported by Linacre College, University of Oxford.

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