The British Hindu Manifesto (BHM) was launched by Trupti Patel, President of Hindu Forum of Britain (HFB) at the ‘Dharma Rising’ conference organised by the British Board of Hindu Scholars (BBHS) and the National Council of Hindu Temples (NCHT). The mega event was graced by the international Indian politician and personality, Dr Subramanian Swamy who has a following of some 1.3 million on twitter.
The Hindu community has now been in the United Kingdom in reasonably large numbers for some five decades. During this time the community rightly focused its attention to the day-to-day requirements of embedding in British society and in ensuring a future for their children. The Hindu community is seen to be well integrated, highly educated, law abiding, hugely contributing in business, hard working, professional, diligent, honest and community spirited. These are but a few examples of the many positive attributes that one may consider when describing the Hindu community in Britain.
The ‘British Hindu Manifesto’ primarily highlights the unique issues of relevance to the Hindu community. This does not mean that issues such as the NHS, UK economy, Immigration, Welfare, benefits and pensions, Jobs and pay, Education, Crime/law and order, Housing, Europe/EU and Environment/transport don’t matter. They are of great significance to the whole community and our concerns tally with those of society in general.
Trupti Patel, President of HFB said, "There are concerns pertinent to the Hindu community and the Hindu vote depends heavily on how the political parties address the issues outlined in the 'British Hindu Manifesto'. The Hindu community has come forward to be engaged within the political arena, seeking not only a greater and fair representation, but also positive honest engagement on issues that Hindus in the UK are faced with on a day-to-day basis."
The BHM has received huge support from national and regional Hindu organisations and is now the defacto ‘Hindu Manifesto’ for GE2015.
In partnership with the HFB, Satish Sharma, the Secretary General of the NCHT said, "While the concerns laid out in the Manifesto are of utmost importance, it is also essential that the Hindu community comes out and votes in the upcoming General Election 2015. A number of British Hindus choose to be 'apolitical' and that does not help at all as these are precious voices and votes wasted. To be able to have a say in the policy matters, we must exercise this very important right to vote and not shy away from it. We must use this opportunity to educate ourselves on how different parties have dealt with our key concerns, instead of blindly casting the vote. Just because you do not take an interest in politics, doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.”
Hindu organisations are currently engaged in grassroots hustings throughout the country to increase debate, participation and to ask politicians some tough questions.
The polls indicate a close run election. In these circumstances every vote counts and it is imperative that politicians understand and appreciate that they must now also take the Hindu