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Casteaway Arts

 

CasteWatchUK's history

 

CasteWatchUK was formed in 2003.  It was formally launched in July 2004 and registered as a Charity with the Charity Commission in February 2005.  Building on the momentum created by the BBC Radio 4 programme broadcast in April and again in May 2003 entitled ‘Caste Divide in Britain,  CasteWatchUK has been in the forefront in raising awareness of Caste based Discrimination occurring in the UK.

CasteWatchUK has achieved national and international recognition as the one of the leading champions of Caste related issues in UK. It works alone and in partnership with a number of  academic institutions, politicians, community groups and  organisations promoting the rights of those who are victims of caste discrimination in the UK, including the Dalit Solidarity Network (UK) and Voice of Dalit International to tackle Caste based Discrimination in the UK.

CasteWatchUK’s achievements include our:

·          input into the “Strength In Diversity Consultations” Home Office White Paper consultation in 2004

·         constructive meeting with the Department for Education and Skills in March 2005 to raise awareness of Casteism

·         key input into the Department for International Development (DFID) / DSN organised conference in October 04 and again on 27 June 2007 in seminar at DFID to raise awareness about the plight of Dalits in India and the need for the British Government to effectively target international aid.

·         lobbying of 200 MPs by letter asking them to signup to an Early Day Motion (EDM) 346 in 2004 on Caste issues. This contributed to a 12½% increase in the MPs signing up in support of the EDM.

·         participation in a number of  live radio discussions on Caste including on Sangat Radio, under the topic  “Does Casteism have a place in Sikhism”, BBC Network discussions on report by Human Rights Watch about the hidden apartheid of Discrimination against Dalits in India.

·         participation in the SOAS Conference on Caste and its impact on the Valmiki community.

·         formation of CasteAwayArts in February 2006 as an arts wing of CasteWatchUK which began work on a play based on real life experiences of Caste Discrimination.

·         collaboration with Dalit Solidarity Network (UK) in 2007 to formulate the strategy to make submission to the Parliamentary Discrimination Law Review. 

·         successful conference in July 2007 at the Sandwell Conference under the theme ‘Fighting Caste Discrimination in the UK’.

·         submission to the Cohesion and Faiths Unit, Communities and Local Government in response to their questionnaire on Caste in the UK in August 2007.

·         successful conference at the Palace of Westminster under the theme  ‘Caste and UK Discrimination Law’ in November 2007 which attracted over 100 participants and three MP speakers

·         participation in the Annual General Meeting of West Midland Branch of Trade Union “Unison” in December 2007 and where we successfully raised awareness about Caste Discrimination in places of employment in the UK.

·         arts wing – CasteAwayArt’s – first play ‘The Fifth Cup’ shown at the Drum theatre in Birmingham.

Some of the key dates in the history of CasteWatchUK’s campaign to end Caste Discrimination in UK

2003

April 2003

Broadcast of BBC Radio 4 Documentary “Caste Divide”

2004

February 2004

CasteWatchUK participates at conference at SOAS organised by VIBES (Young Valmikis)

Issue of Caste discrimination raised by CasteWatchUK at National Level in academic arena for the first time. Dr Julia lends support to CasteWatchUK

April 2004

CasteWatchUK included in Dr Julia Leslie’s VIBES Conference (SOAS) report. This report was circulated throughout UK’s Educational circles.

July 2004

CasteWatchUK formal launch at a conference at St Mary’s Guild Hall, Coventry. The launch is publicised in a number of magazines and papers:

*       “Caste Action Group Sets out its aim”  a news article in Coventry Telegraph   http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-news/tm_objectid=14352883&method=full&siteid=50003&headline=caste-action-group-sets-out-its-aims-name_page.html

*       “Reaching the untouchables”  an article by Ken Hunt of CasteWatchUK in the “New Humanist” magazine  http://newhumanist.org.uk/757

*       news  article in India Weekly http://www.indiaweekly.co.uk/iframe_story.asp?NID=573

*       “Kick Out Casteism”  -  an article about CasteWatchUK after St Mary’s Guild Hall Conferencehttp://www.asiantimesonline.co.uk/iframe_story.asp?NID=609

August 2004

CasteWatchUK receives its first hate mail by email:

“Zabardasti ke chutyappe na pao...chhoti jaat chhoti hi rahegi. Kauve ko tilak lagane se vo hans nahin ban sakta. England jakar tum angrez nahin ban sakte, kutte the, kutte ho, kutte hi rahohe

 From "Supercalaflagilisticexpialodosius" <vibhav@omantel.net.om>

Translation: 

“Don’t start these f***ing things. Low caste shall always remain low caste. If you put holy mark on a crow, it cannot change into a swan. Just because you are in England, you cannot become English. You were always dogs, you are still dogs and you would always be dogs.”

Two special rapporteurs, Mr Yozo Yokota and Ms Chin-Sung Chung, appointed by The Sub Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights  to carry out a detailed investigation into discrimination based on work and descent over the next three years.

CasteWatchUK takes part in CEHR White paper consultation through CEHR project Team, Department of Trade & Industry.

September 2004

CasteWatchUK inputs into- Strength In Diversity Consultations – Towards a Community Cohesion and Race Equality Strategy 2004

BBC Radio 4 Sunday Programme  CasteWatchUK raises awareness about caste discrimination in UK

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/1190875.stm

CasteWatchUK joins DSNUK at a Fringe meeting of Labour Party Annual Conference at Brighton to raise awareness of Caste Discrimination in UK.

October  2004

Vivekanand Centre engages with CasteWatchUK

CasteWatchUK participates at a conference at the Department for International Development  seminar  - “ Caste, Social Exclusion and development in South Asia”.

December  2004

Reena Bhatoa completes  her Dissertation (MA) on Caste Discrimination in UK.

2005

January  2005

CasteWatchUK noted as a respondee in a summary of responses to a consultation. A copy of the strategy Improving Opportunity Strengthening Society that was launched by Racial Equality Unit of Home Office.

CasteWatchUK becomes a registered charity with Charity Commission for England & Wales.

February 2005

CasteAwayArts forms as an arts wing of CasteWatchUK following a meeting with SAMPAD –  a South Asian Arts Group.

CasteWatchUK becomes a registered charity with Charity Commission for England & Wales.

March 2005

CasteWatchUK participate on BBC Midlands TV highlighting Caste Discrimination in UK.

CasteWatchUK attends a Caste-related play “ANUM” in Wolverhampton and has a first meeting with the Director of the play.

CasteWatchUK meets Department for Education and Skills to raise awareness about Caste Discrimination in schools and education.

CasteWatchUK receives coverage in an article in Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,3604,1442445,00.html)

European Parliament support for UNCHR Caste Discrimination resolution.

April  2005 

UN resolution for the appointment of two special rapporteurs to undertake the study on the "Work and Decent based discrimination"  is adopted.

May 2005

CasteWatchUK and DSNUK meet Head of communication at Commission for Race Equality (CRE).

July 2005

CasteWatchUK receives coverage in “New Internationalist” magazine -  July issue dedicated to Combating Caste by Co-Editor – Niki Vander Gaag.

Early Day Motion in Parliament -  by Jeremy Corbyn MP  “Caste Discrimination and Dalit People” fully supported by CWUK  http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=28900&SESSION=875

August 2005

CasteWatchUK writes to Mr Trevor Philips, Chairman, CRE and head of the Equality Review Team.

October 2005

CasteWatchUK sends feedback on Evidence of caste discrimination in the UK to Equality Review Team.

November 2005

CasteWatchUK and DSNUK supports debate on Caste Discrimination in the Westminster Hall of Parliament

December 2005

CasteWatchUK supports DSNUK’s research by providing evidence of Caste Discrimination occurring in the West Midlands.

CasteWatchUK supports Dr Nicholas Jaoul, Paris University with his research on Caste Discrimination in Indian Diaspora in Europe.

CasteWatchUK lobbies MEPs in Strasbourg EU Parliament

2006

February 2006

CasteWatchUK allows formation of Funding Sub-committee to seek funds to help the charity.

CasteAwayArts is formally established as an arts wing of CasteWatchUK and it submits its proposal for a drama based on real life experiences of Caste Discrimination.

Media coverage in Guardian  http://society.guardian.co.uk/print/0,,329428613-105909,00.html

March 2006

CasteWatchUK receives Equality Review Interim Report The Equalities Review: Interim Report for Consultation   www.theequalitiesreview.org.uk.

Casteawayarts finishes the script for their play.

April 2006

Dr Benjamin Zephaniah sends letter of support for CasteWatchUK

May 2006

Response from Sarah Ludford MEP, Liberal Democrat  regarding EU-India joint action policy on Caste  -  EPQ response from EU-Commission      www.sarahludfordmep.org.uk <http://www.sarahludfordmep.org.uk/>

June 2006

CasteWatchUK meets TSB Lloyd to discuss funding for the charity.

“New Internationalist” magazine short-listed for Amnesty Award for their July2005 issue on “Combating Caste”

CasteWatchUK included “Punjab Panorama” magazine on Caste Discrimination in UK.

July 2006

 “Caste Divide is blighting Indian communities in UK – claims report” News article in Guardian, UK http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2006/jul/04/india.world

 CasteWatchUK participates in BBC Radio 5 Live – Anita Anand Show.

CasteWatchUK participates in the Asian Network –Gujarati Programme on Caste Discrimination in U.K

“No Escape – Caste Discrimination in UK” – review by Jenny Bourne of  “Institute of Race Relations” http://www.irr.org.uk/2006/july/ha000013.html

CasteWatchUK on Kismet Radio – London – on Caste Discrimination in UK

Mandrika Rupa from New Zealand interviews CasteWatchUK for her documentary on Caste Discrimination in UK.

September 2006

CasteWatchUK in SHAP Journal 2006-07  -  World Religions in Education

October  2006

Professor Paul Ghuman of Abryswyth University, joins CasteWatchUK.

CasteWatchUK joins DSNUK in a meeting at House of Parliament and forms a working group to seek the inclusion of clauses in the forthcoming Single Equality Bill to make Caste Discrimination unlawful in the UK.

November 2006

“Caste & Credibility” an article by Lilia Rajiva -  published on the web-site of Commission for Racial Equality  http://83.137.212.42/siteArchive/catalystmagazine/Default.aspx.LocID-0hgnew0ne.RefLocID-0hg01b00100k.Lang-EN.htm

CasteWatchUK participates in BBC Asian Network – Anita Rani show -  discussion on Caste Discrimination in UK.

CasteAwayArts hold audition for their Drama “The Fifth Cup” at Shri Guru Ravi Dass Temple, Foleshill Road, Coventry.

December 2006 

Adjournment debate in House of Parliament about the Punjabi Community in UK and CasteWatchUK lobbies MPs to highlight cases of Caste Discrimination.

CasteWatchUK awarded grant aid from Lloyds TSB Foundation.

- India must get rid of Caste discrimination - European Parliament  http://www.cultivasian.co.uk/article/37/India+must+get+rid+of+Caste+discrimination:+%3Cbr%3EEuropean+Parliament.htm

2007

January 2007

Rob Marris MP asks a question about Caste Discrimination in the UK in the  House of Commons http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2007-01-16b.110207.htm

New Law Journal published by Manchester Metropolitan University Article published by Annapurna Waughray. http://e-space.openrepository.com/e-space/handle/2173/13474

Caste Discrimination discussed in European Parliament Brussels.  http://www.europarl.org.uk/news/textfiles/epnews291-30January2007.htm

February 2007

CasteWatchUK in BBC Radio 4  “Beyond belief” documentary. http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbreligion/F2213233?thread=3862690

European Parliament opposes Dalit Discrimination which CasteWatchUK supports http://www.christiantoday.co.uk/article/european.parliament.opposes.dalit.discrimination/9452.htm

CasteWatchUK applies to Arts Council for funds for a drama project.

CasteWatchUK appears on BBC Coventry & Warwickshire & BBC Asian Network on Caste Discrimination in UK.

CasteWatchUK supports the release of report from Human Rights Watch on hidden apartheid of discrimination of Dalits in India    http://www.hrw.org/reports/2007/india0207/

CasteWatchUK supports Dr Manmohan Singh, Prime Minster of India public statement on that “Caste System is a blot on Humanity”. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1542669/Caste-system-still-blighting-India.html

March 2007

United Nations Body tells India to halt Caste Discrimination. http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L09662940.htm http://uk.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUKL0966294020070309 

May 2007

House of Commons holds a debate on Caste Discrimination    http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/cm200607/cmhansrd/cm070508/halltext/70508h0006.htm

CasteWatchUK successfully secures funding from Arts Council for the Drama Project “The Fifth Cup”.

CasteWatchUK successfully secures funds from “Awards for All” for Drama Project “The Fifth Cup”.

 June 2007

Discrimination Law Review: Green paper on a draft Single Equality Bill published. http://employment.practicallaw.com/6-367-2984

 Question on Caste Discrimination in UK in House of Lords

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2007-06-19a.33.0&s=speaker%3A13378

 Parliamentary Question on Caste Discrimination in UK

  http://employment.practicallaw.com/5-368-8971

CasteWatchUK participates in a DFID seminar.

July 2007

CasteWatchUK holds a conference at Sandwell in West Midlands “Fighting Caste Discrimination in UK”.

September 2007

CasteWatchUK provides input to “The Communities & Local Government  Cohesion and Faith Unit” consultation

CasteWatchUK supports Professor Paul Ghuman with testimonies on Caste Discrimination in West Midlands.

October  2007

CasteWatchUK secures office space at Saturn Facilities in Coventry.

November 2007

CasteWatchUK holds a conference at Westminster “Caste Discrimination and British Law”.

December 2007

CasteWatchUK raises awareness of Caste Discrimination and Caste issues at the UNISON Regional Office at their Annual General Meeting.

“The Fifth Cup” features in the following magazines and radio broadcasts:

*       Birmingham’s “What’s on Magazine

*       “The Sikh Times” in Birmingham.

*       Birmingham Mail

*       IKONZ magazine

*       “Ranjit Weekly Newspaper”

*       Metro / Birmingham

*       BBC Radio 4 Sunday Programme 

*       Raaj Radio in Midlands area.

“The Fifth Cup” is staged at the Drum Theatre in Birmingham.

CasteWatchUK secures second stage of Lloyds TSB Foundation grant.

CasteWatchUK participates in the BBC TV news  - “British Hindus divided by Caste”http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7156139.stmhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/check/nolavconsole/ukfs_news/hi?redirect=fs.stm&news=1&nbram=1&nbwm=1&bbram=1&bbwm=1&nol_storyid=715682

2008

January 2008

 CasteWatchUK welcomes an article by Jaswinder Khera ‘Caste Ridden Britain’ -  New Statesman. http://www.newstatesman.com/200801030015

Minority Report   “Caste – a discrimination the government simply refuses to acknowledge.    -   News Article in “The Independent”  http://blogs.independent.co.uk/independent/2008/01/caste---a-discr.html

 CasteWatchUK participates and features in the following magazines and radio shows:

*       Eastern Eye

*        “Colourful Radio” in London area.

*       BBC Asian Network

February 2008

CasteWatchUK receives coverage in Eastern Voice newspaper in Birmingham area.

CasteWatchUK secures permission to use UDHR60 LOGO on its website.

More4news films news feature called ‘Caste Discrimination in the UK’ at CasteWatchUK office which is later broadcast. .http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/society/religion/is+there+a+uk+hindu+caste+culture/1574747

Caste issues highlighted in BBC TV “The Big Question Show”.

CasteWatchUK responds to Hindu Council UK  report ‘Caste System in UK’

Professor Eleanor Nesbitt formally inaugurates CasteWatchUK’s Office in Coventry

CasteAwayArts formally releases documentary film “Making of The Fifth Cup

CasteWatchUK featured on full front page news on “The Epoch Times” 28th February 2008 Community Channel 4 http://community.channel4.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/8476000511/m/8910002869

March 2008

“The Fifth Cup” on “Sikhism Philosophy Network” http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/sikh-sikhi-sikhism/18585-the-shame-of-being-untouchable-britain.html http://www.hinduunity.org/hinduunity/viewtopic.php?p=8305&sid=9051cccf9364de9854a10f8624e57b8e

CasteWatchUK responds to the Hindu Council UK condemning their fabricated  report on “The Caste System” and issues a Press Release which receives coverage in the Public Relations Directory   http://e-space.openrepository.com/e-space/handle/2173/13474

CasteWatchUK features in BBC Asian Network – Nihal’s programme  http://www.bbc.co.uk/asiannetwork/nihal/

Shri Guru Valmik Sabha (Southall) responds to Hindu Council UK clearly highlighting that their report was fabricated.

CasteWatchUK is invited by Ambedkar International Mission, London, to a meeting with Parmar Moses from International Dalit Freedom Network.

April 2008

CasteWatchUK approached by Simon Jones of Zee Magazine

 May 2008

CasteWatchUK receives a letter from Hindu Council UK

Rekha Larsen, Postgraduate Student from Roskilde University, Denmark  -  meets CasteWatchUK for her research on “Perspectives on diasporic identity and mobilisation”.

Sabrina Duran, a Brazilian Journalist, interviews CasteWatchUK for magazines in Brazil.

June 2008

CasteWatchUK on  BBC Asian Network debate on Hindu Forum of Britain on Caste Discrimination in the UK.

CasteWatchUK  on Al Jazeera TV Channel on Caste Riots in India by Gujjar Community.

CasteWatchUK featured in Eastern Eye Newspaper  -  raising awareness about Single Equality Bill.

CasteWatchUK on Radio Sunrise -  raising awareness about need for change in anti discrimination legislation.

July  2008

CasteWatchUK  launches lobbying of Community groups regarding  Single Equality Bill.

Caste Away Arts starts rehearsals in Birmingham  for the Tour of their play “The Fifth Cup”.

CasteWatchUK launches its redesigned web-site.

August 2008

CasteWatchUK  meets Mr Jagdish Singh Shemare, Equality & Human Rights Commission, West Midlands.

CasteWatchUK on Al Jazeera TV News  -  raising public awareness about caste discrimination in the UK.

CasteWatchUK meets Mr Robert Lee, Manager of “The Peepul Centre” Leicester

CasteWatchUK  & Caste Away Arts  meet Mrs Rita Patel, Founder of “Belgrave Behno Project for young Asian

Women” in Leicester.

How can you help CasteWatchUK ?

You can help by becoming a member of CasteWatchUK and join a team of committed volunteers who not only have a sense of social responsibility but also see it as their duty to promote social equality and social justice.

Please download the CasteWatchUK membership form, fill it in and  send it to info@castewatchuk.org
 

You can also send us email expressing your interest. read more