Hindu Forum of Britain

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The Hindu Forum of Britain (HFB) is an organization that represents over 300 Hindu groups throughout the United Kingdom.[1] It provides member organizations an opportunity to mobilize their efforts in informing public policy and assists in the development of community projects.[1]

HFB’s website reports its activities as broadly divided into three areas: public policy and community consultation for the government; capacity building and project development for the Hindu community; and developing good interfaith relations with other faith communities to build a cohesive and inclusive Britain. The HFB says that at the core of the Forum’s activity is a strong belief in the richness and diversity of the Hindu culture, its value system that encompasses for respect for all beings and faiths and a cultural heritage that facilitates community cohesion and coexistence. The former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Gordon Brown praised the work of the HFB in facilitating the integration of the British Hindu community.[2]

Campaigns[edit]

HFB have launched high-profile campaigns that include safeguarding the use of Hindu images and icons in commerce and arts, the Defend Russian Hindus campaign, persecution of Hindu rights in Bangladesh, changes to immigration laws for Hindu priests entering Britain, Save the Hindu Swastika campaign, Shambo, Justice for Gangotri and many others. They have also protested alliances between the far-right British National Party and anti-Muslim Sikh and Hindu groups.[3]

Cultural activity[edit]

In early 2006, it demanded closure of London's Asia House Gallery, stating that it contained "obscene images of Hindu goddesses".[citation needed] The organization also tried to mobilise support to protest against the blockbuster French comedy Les Bronzés 3: Amis Pour La Vie for alleged denigration of idols.[4] A statement by British-based Indian academics, after a vandal incident in the gallery, denounced the Hindu Forum of Britain. It argued that these organisations were using the same tactics as Hindu fundamentalist organisations in India, thereby undermining the nation's constitutional right to freedom of thought and expression.[citation needed]

Anti-terrorism[edit]

The Hindu Forum of Britain has condemned many acts of terrorism including the 7 July 2005 London bombings[5] and attacks on temples belonging to the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.[6]

Cow protection[edit]

Main article: Shambo

The organization protested against the Welsh government in a campaign to prevent slaughter of Shambo, a bull under the protection of Skanda Vale, a Hindu temple in the region. Welsh farmers alleged had tested positive for bovine tuberculosis, an assertion that was disputed by Skanda Vale.[7]

Alleged fundamentalism[edit]

The Evening Standard accused the then secretary general, Ramesh Kallidai, of maintaining a close association with Hindu nationalists in India [2] and of defending them in the British Parliament [3]. In a press release, the HFB said that the report was "full of fundamental factual inaccuracies and unsubstantiated accusations" and "implies HFB's and Kallidai's guilt by association".[8]

A group of British academics of mostly Indian origin led by Chetan Bhatt, who is accused of gender discrimination by colleagues in the UK have claimed the existence of links between the HFB and the Hindu nationalist organization Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.[9] The HFB both disputes and condemns these allegations.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About Us". Hindu Forum. Retrieved 2007-07-30. 
  2. ^ Gordon Brown praises India's culture The Hindu – 15 November 2007
  3. ^ Hindu and Sikh extremists in link with BNP, The Guardian
  4. ^ "UK Hindus call for French comedy protest". Guardian Unlimited (London). 2006-02-22. Retrieved 2007-07-30. 
  5. ^ Hindu Forum of Britain terms terror attack as barbaric The Hindu – 8 July 2005
  6. ^ British Hindu Forum condemns bomb attack on ISKCON temple The Hindu – 17 August 2006
  7. ^ Topping, Alexandra (10 May 2007). "Temple campaigns to save TB-infected bull". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 4 May 2010. 
  8. ^ a b Hindu Forum of Britain condemns report Hindustan Times – 14 June 2007
  9. ^ British academics flay Husain exhibition closure Hindustan Times- 1 June 2006

External links[edit]