India is set to clash with Britain over Westminster's new Equality Bill which outlaws caste discrimination as a form of racism.
Ministers in London have become increasingly concerned about discrimination and persecution against lower caste Indians in Britain following a report last year which claimed thousands had been ill-treated because of their caste. The report, by the Anti-Caste Discrimination Alliance, surveyed 300 British Asians and cited cases of children being bullied at school, bus inspectors refusing to work with lower caste drivers, and employees being sacked after their bosses discovered their caste status.
Until now victims of caste discrimination in Britain have had no recourse to law. India also has legislation outlawing caste discrimination but is fiercely opposed to any comparison with racism. The Indian government has made its views known to British delegations at the UN's Human Rights Council in Geneva and at a European Union-India Human Rights Dialogue last month.
"India's position on this issue has been clear and consistent. Caste and race discrimination are two separate issues and there is no case to equate the two. We are opposed to attempts at international fora to equate the issues," said an official source.
Obviously some forms of discrimination are more acceptable than others. It's the culture, innit ?
UPDATE - for those interested, I wrote about caste killing in India here, caste privilege (not what you'd think - there are government privileges/quotas for lower castes) in India here, and noted a caste killing in Europe here.