In 2013 amendments initiated in the House of Lords decided that specific legal protection against caste discrimination should be introduced in the UK, by making caste an aspect of race in the Equality Act 2010. The underlying assumptions were that caste discrimination is rife against the 500,000 Dalits in UK (a figure that cannot be confirmed, since no caste based data are currently collected), and that current legislation neither protected them nor acknowledged their unfair treatment in UK. The Government set out a public consultation and the responses are being analysed now.
The announcement yesterday that the government has chosen Sara Khan as the Lead Commissioner for its new Counter-Extremism agency has provoked predictable condemnation from the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) and one of its most high profile allies, Conservative peer Baroness Sayeeda Warsi.
Making glib moral judgements about the past does a disservice to history and to ourselves.