Published on April 23, 2008
Slide1: Our Purpose Hindu Council UK was founded in 1994 for all Hindus domiciled in the United Kingdom, combining all the Hindu faith denominations, whilst representing various Hindu communities and Hindus from different parts of the world settled in the United Kingdom. It’s main purpose was to give the UK Hindus an effective voice on policy matters with the Government of the day whilst enhancing mutual understanding among the major faiths predominant in the UK. Hindu Council UK is itself a non-partisan faith organisation. Slide2: Our Work The work that the Hindu Council UK undertakes falls into various streams which are separate but connected categories, viz: the interfaith commitment through the Inter Faith Network of the UK and the review of policies affecting Hindus through a consultation process with the Government of the day, stakeholder relationship, representation, employment and acting as catalyst to facilitate better business opportunities by supporting minority business organisations. Slide3: Background Whilst British citizens of Indian origin are a diverse group, the majority are Hindus followed by Sikhs, Muslims and Buddhists. The largest volunteer contribution for the British War effort in the 2nd World War was from the Indian sub continent, by soldiers of Hindu faith. Allied victory over the Nazi regime would not have been possible without their contribution. Sapper Pradeep Gandhi was one of the first serviceman to make the ultimate sacrifice during the Falkland conflict. Our community plays a leading role in key professions and businesses that contribute enormously to Britain’s role on the world economy. British Hindus have a considerable presence in areas such as London with homes and businesses in the following parts of London. (source Asian Voice) Hounslow – (38812 of Indian origin) Harrow – (45310 of Indian origin) Barnet – (27130 of Indian origin) Brent – (48624 of Indian origin) Hillingdon – (23234 – of Indian origin) Croydon – ( 21246 of Indian origin) Ealing – (49734 of Indian origin) Enfield – (10887 pf Indian origin) Slide4: Essential British Hindu values are based on our traditions of: Ahinsa (non violence) Belief in one god which embodies various shaktis (strengths manifested in deities of one supreme being) Religion practiced on a very personal level which stipulates doing one’s Dharma (deeds), which is propagated by simply doing good to oneself and others you interact with. Respect for other people’s belief which may be different to one’s own. Defending the weak and challenging the strong in one’s society as written in the Bhagvad Gita. The value of education is deeply ingrained in our psyche. Business and commerce are respected activities that are recognised with prayers during the most important celebrations of Diwali. Respect of elders and family loyalties play a key role in our family knowledge and welfare systems. Ingrained belief in democracy which has its roots in the Panchayat system of elections, to govern micro societies. Our relationship with other faiths and deep bonds of affection and celebration of diversity in religion and tolerance are well known throughout the world and were best espoused by Mahatma Gandhi – a world citizen. Slide5: London Mayor and Assembly HCUK see their role as one of raising issues that are important to Hindus in London, with the Mayor. HCUK have a positive relationship with leaders of each of the political parties in the Assembly and have urged them to get involved in the developing relationship with India as its economic strength and investment grows in the UK and London. HCUK are involved in projects witihin interfaith networks. Hindu Representation across the GLA group HCUK are concerned about the under-representation of Hindus especially at senior and board levels. They would like to input into the recruitment selection process. They have cross party support in the Assembly to do this. With regards to TfL, there are concerns that tender specifications do not include equalities requirements especially with regards to the Mayor’s major suppliers . Contractual obligations to ensure representation of Hindus is an imperative. They would welcome reassurance from the elected representatives on commitment to address this issue. Hindu Representation and engagement at LOCOG & the ODA HCUK feels that there is lack of representation and employment opportunities for Hindu’s on the Olympic organisations. They are concerned about the lack of contracts awarded by LOCOG & the ODA to the Hindu community.