Need to urgently take suitable action against the continued violence against Hindus in Leicester and Birmingham by Islamic extremists and hoodlums.
The Vishva Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council) is deeply concerned and alarmed at the ongoing violence in Leicester in which a large number of Hindus of Leicester, their places of worship, their cultural and religious symbols have been wantonly targeted and damaged by Islamic extremists and hoodlums. These violent, hateful, and extremist acts are entirely unidirectional, and unilateral. However, a strong but false narrative is being constructed that it is the Hindus of that area, who triggered this wanton violence, and are responsible for the same. Here are some incontrovertible facts.
1. Several Hindus have been assaulted, and some of them have also been admitted to the hospital.
2. Numerous Hindu places of worship in Leicester have been violated, and desecrated. In fact just today, violent protest has been held near a very prominent Hindu religious and cultural Centre in Smethwick in Birmingham.
3. Hindus are being terrorised to remove symbols of their heritage, traditions, culture, and religion and a few Leicester Hindus had, out of fear, to comply.
4. Many houses and properties of Hindus have been damaged. Many Hindus living in the impacted area have not sent their kids to school for several days now.
Nothing of this sort has happened to Muslims, Islamic symbols or places of worships.
Hindus, by nature, are a peaceful and law-abiding people. UK-Hindus, who constitute a miniscule 1.5% of UK’s population have contributed significantly to their adopted homeland economically, culturally, and educationally. A very large number of UK Hindus are self-employed and provide jobs to others. As an acknowledgment of our contribution to the UK, the late Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had stated in a public event addressing Hindus, “You have taught us, in this country, so much about the family and we must continually keep it in mind. You are a great asset to the UK.”
Unfortunately, the local police and administration has been lax and irresolute in quelling such violence. Leicester Hindus have been subjected to violence and intimidation continuously since September 4, 2022.
We request that strong and immediate efforts be made to protect Hindu lives, dignity and properties. We also urge that strong punitive action be taken against all who are involved in such violent and heinous hate-crimes. Sans such strong actions, peace and social fabric of the country will get damaged. The law and order and the due protection of law to all Hindus, particularly in Leicester and Birmingham must be provided.
Finally, we request that the UK government under your strong leadership should not view the recent Leicester riots as a one-off event. These riots are a part of a continuum. They arise from an ideology of hate, aggression and violence. The riots are merely the most recent manifestation of Islamic extremism which has hurt UK (and other countries) over the last several decades. Earlier acts included the London-metro bombings, the 2017 London Bridge attack, and the deadly stabbing near London Bridge in 2019. All of these acts have been inspired by extremist and violent ideologies. Thus, may we suggest development of a comprehensive approach for handling periodic surges of violence and terrorism which are caused by extremist ideologies. We shall be willing to contribute to this goal in whatever ways you deem appropriate.
The VHP had requested the Hon’ble High Commissioner UK in India for an appointment to convey our this concern. We have not received any response till yet. Therefore, this letter is sent by email. We shall happy to meet the High Commissioner to discuss the matter towards a just resolution.