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Casting prejudice aside

A new report highlighting the level of caste discrimination has led campaigners to call for the issue to be addressed in the government’s Equalities Bill.

Eastern Eye report on a poll carried out by the organisation Caste Watch UK which has found that 58 percent of people surveyed claimed they had suffered discrimination because of their caste.

There was an even higher level of scepticism that the police would treat casteism seriously. The story was also covered by The Guardian.

The paper quotes Caste Watch UK director Davinder Prasad saying: “The report shows that the government has not been able to recognise the disadvantages faced by a significant population of British citizens facing serious bullying and humiliation in the name of caste.”

As the Guardian reported in 2006, caste prejudice is an often overlooked form of hate crime. That article quotes Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn calling for the government to give more priority to this form of discrimination.

Three years on, Lynne Featherstone, Lib Dem equalities spokeswoman, who sits on the Equality Bill select committee, has pledged to propose that caste discrimination is written into the legislation.

By Lester Holloway

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