Open letter to the prime minister of the UK

Failing Liberty: Tolerating intolerance is breaking Britain

14th October 2022

Dear Prime Minister,

Failing Liberty: Tolerating intolerance is breaking Britain. 

We write to draw your attention to the recent disturbances in Leicester, Birmingham and other towns which have greatly distressed the Indian and Hindu communities in the UK. Hatred towards the Hindu community is at an all-time high, to the point where there has been open violence, intimidation, and abuse levelled at Hindus through physical assaults, harassment on social media, and most recently through soft targeting in schools and the workplace. 

The Hindu community has made the United Kingdom it’s home for more than half a century. We are less than two per cent of the population, and yet, our contribution, of which you no doubt are aware, is significantly higher both in terms of socio-economic contribution to the British economy and by way of social integration as well as upholding our progressive British values. The Hindu community is one of the most law-abiding, as evidenced by the imprisonment statistics.

Yet, today, we feel like a community that is under siege. As a last resort, we write to you to draw your attention to our plight, and the long-term consequences of what is unfolding. 

You must be aware of the violence in Leicester and the aggressive protests outside a temple in Birmingham as well as the vicious attempts to harass the Hindu community in Nottingham and outside London’s iconic Sanatan Mandir in Wembley. Although the causes of what happened in Leicester are many and complex, the bottom line is that a marginalised Hindu community has been targeted through violence and intimidation. This Hindu community now lives in a state of fear. While some families have already left the neighbourhood, many more are preparing to relocate. It is worth noting that a small, but highly organised band of radical Islamists took full advantage of the community tensions that existed between this marginalised Hindu community and their Muslim neighbours, which had previously lived in peace. A storm of misinformation was wilfully created on social media with open incitement for violence against Hindus. As a consequence of this vicious campaign, numerous Hindus were physically assaulted, Hindu homes targeted and cars which showed any Hindu symbolism were vandalised. While the media widely reported it as a clash between the two faith communities, it failed to explain why the damage suffered was almost exclusively by the Hindus. It is frightening for the beleaguered Hindu community of Leicester to see that the perpetrators of these crimes are still walking freely. 

Those who dared to speak the truth in the press and on social media were threatened.  Many Hindu speakers from Leicester who spoke to the media now live in fear and have had to seek police protection while carrying panic alarms at all times.  Sections of the Hindu community are, in practice, being deprived of the basic rights of freedom of speech and freedom of religion which are central to our liberal way of life.

It is worth noting that the police, although slow to react, have by and large performed their duty to the best of their ability, but failed to protect Hindus with certain events which took place. The Hindu community dreads the time when extra police patrolling is lifted. 

Our appeal

First, to ensure that the Police are actively investigating the most recent crimes against the Hindu community as set out in this letter;

Second, to declare and ensure financial support is provided for the victims of these riots, including businesses in Leicester that have been vandalised during the riots;

Third, to commission an independent investigation into anti-Hindu hatred and its causes, which will go a long way in raising awareness of this problem amongst the key institutions of our society;

Fourth, to recognise the threat of British homegrown extremism and how certain parts of Britain have become hubs of radicalisation; 

Fifth, help us fund training for teachers so that they are aware of and can identify and deal with anti-Hindu hatred in schools; and

Sixth, to ensure that sufficient security is provided to the Hindu community both in the short-term and the long-term, including sufficient security during the celebration of Diwali around the UK.

The above proposals and/or recommendations will go a long way in repairing the damage that has been done to so many by an extremist few. 

We truly hope that you will take our concerns seriously and act upon our appeal. We are prepared to work shoulder-to-shoulder with you to make our country a leading light in the world. 

Thank You

Signatory Hindu community organisations and temples

  1. Advocacy for British Hindus & Indians (ABHI), UK
  2. Anand Milan Centre, Bradford
  3. ANKUR, Merseyside
  4. Arya Samaj (Vedic Mission) West Midlands
  5. Aryan Cultural Society
  6. Aylesbury Hindu Temple Trust
  7. BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Sanstha UK
  8. Basingstoke Hindu Society
  9. Bengali Hindu Adarsh Sangh UK (BHAS UK)
  10. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Manchester
  11. Bihari Community
  12. Bihari Connect UK Ltd
  13. Bolton Hindu Forum
  14. Bolton Indians Sports and Social Club
  15. Bradford Bengali Hindu Cultural Society
  16. Bradford Hindu Council
  17. British Hindu Voice (BHV)
  18. Bromley Temple Trust
  19. Charotar Patidar Samaj, Leicester
  20. Chelmsford Hindu Society
  21. City Hindus Network
  22. Derby Hindus
  23. Derby Kannadigaru
  24. Dr. Ambedkar UK Mission (AUM)
  25. East Midlands Hindu Samajam
  26. Edinburgh Hindu Mandir & Cultural Centre
  27. Friends of India Society International (FISI), UK
  28. Friends of Madhya Pradesh UK Chapter
  29. Gayatri Pariwar UK Croydon
  30. Gita Bhawan Hindu Temple Manchester
  31. Gita Foundation
  32. Global Hindu Federation Ltd
  33. Global Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora
  34. Greater Manchester Bengali Hindu Cultural Association (GMBHCA)
  35. Greater Manchester Malayalee Hindu Community
  36. Greenwich Hindu Temple
  37. Gujarati Association Wolverhampton
  38. Gujarati Rajput Samaj UK, Birmingham
  39. Gurjar Hindu Union, Crawley
  40. HCRC Durga Bhawan, Smethwick
  41. Hindu Cultural Association (Mata Da Mandir), Dudley
  42. Hindu Cultural Organization’s Radha Krishna Temple, Liverpool
  43. Hindu Cultural Society, Slough Hindu Temple
  44. Hindu Cultural Society Grimsby
  45. Hindu Cultural Society of Cleveland
  46. Hindu Education Forum
  47. Hindu Forum of Europe
  48. Hindu Forum Walsall
  49. Hindu Lawyers Association (UK)
  50. Hindu Mandir Network UK
  51. Hindu Matters in Britain
  52. Hindu Medical Association UK
  53. Hindu Punjabi Sabha
  54. Hindu Samaj Swindon
  55. Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (UK)
  56. Hindu Temple Geeta Bhawan Derby
  57. Hindu Temple Society Coventry
  58. Hindu Think Tank UK (HindusinUK)
  59. Hindu Youth Association
  60. HinduNaree
  61. IDUK Group (Indian Diaspora in the UK)
  62. Indian Association Oldham
  63. Indian Community Centre, Belfast
  64. Indian Hindu Welfare Organisation, Northampton
  65. Indian National Students Association UK
  66. Indians in London
  68. Inspiring Indian Women (IIW)
  69. Institute of Jainology
  70. International Centre for Cultural Studies (ICCS UK)
  71. International Dogra Society
  72. ISKCON Manchester
  73. Jain Yog & Meditation Centre
  74. Jammu Kashmir Study Center UK
  75. Kannada Balaga Swindon
  76. Kannada Hindu Organisation UK (KAHO UK)
  77. Kashmiri Pandit Association of Europe (KPAE)
  78. Kent Telugu Community
  79. Lakshmi Narayan Mandir, Belfast
  80. Leeds Durga Puja and Diwali Association
  81. Leeds Pragati Mandal
  82. Leuva Patidar Samaj Leicester
  83. Liverpool Ganesh Temple
  84. Lohana Community East London
  85. London Institute of Vedic Education
  86. Lord Rama Krishna Temple Warrington
  87. Luitporia Nasoni and NEICCUK
  88. Maher Community Association, Leicester
  89. Maheshwari Mahasabha UK (MMUK)
  90. Manchester Marathi Mandal
  91. Mandir Baba Balak Nath, Walsall
  92. Mangalam HCRG
  93. Namaste Group for Elderly, Leeds
  94. National Council of Hindu Temples
  95. National Council of Kerala Hindu Heritage UK
  96. National Hindu Students’ Forum (UK)
  97. NCGO National Council of Gujarati Organisations UK
  98. Newcastle Upon Tyne Hindu Temple
  99. North West Marathi Organisation (NORWEMA)
  100. North West Telugu Sangam (UK)
  101. Odia Cultural Association London (OCAL)
  102. Odisha Society of UK
  103. Odiya Samaj of Midlands
  104. Organisation of Hindu Malayalees (UK)
  105. Overseas Friends of BJP (UK)
  106. Pushti Nidhi UK Ltd (Shreeji Dham Haveli)
  107. Ramdevpir bhajan mandal
  108. REACH India Group
  109. Reading Hindu Centre
  110. Sadgmaya Foundation
  111. Sale Indian Cultural Society
  112. Sampark Bharati
  113. Sanatan Hindu Cultural Society, Sutton
  114. Sangamam UK
  115. Sanskruti Centre for Cultural Excellence
  116. Saraswati cultural organisation, Birmingham
  117. Sharodiya Basingstoke
  118. Shivalaya – The Leicestershire Brahma Samaj Leicester
  119. Shree Bharatiya Mandal, Tameside, Ashton-under-Lyne
  120. Shree Damania Machhi Mahajan Leicester
  121. Shree Gujarati Hindu Centre – Shree Krishna Temple Dudley
  122. Shree Hanuman Temple, Leicester
  123. Shree Jagannatha Society UK
  124. Shree Kalyan Mandal, Rugby
  125. Shree Krishan Mandir Wolverhampton
  126. Shree Krishna Mandir, West Bromwich
  127. Shree Krishna Resource Centre
  128. Shree Kutch Leva Patel Community (Bolton)
  129. Shree Navdurga Association UK
  130. Shree Prajapati Association Birmingham
  131. Shree Prajapati Association Leicester
  132. Shree Ram Mandir (Walsall)
  133. Shree Ram Mandir / Shree Jalaram Bhajan Mandal, ASHTON-UNDER-LYNE
  134. Shree Ram Mandir, Birmingham
  135. Shree Ram Mandir, Southall
  136. Shree Sanatan Seva Samaj
  137. Shree Sarvodaya Samaj UK
  138. Shree Shree Radha Krishna Cultural Centre, Coventry
  139. Shree Sorathia Prajapati Community UK (SSPC)
  140. Shree Swaminarayan Temple Cardiff
  141. Shri Pashupatinath Mandir Of UK
  142. Shri Sorathia Prajapati Community (SSPC) Bolton
  143. Shri Vallabh Nidhi UK – Sanatan Hindu Mandir Wembley
  144. SKS Swaminarayan Temple – East London
  145. Slough Mitra Mandal
  146. South Asian Cinema Foundation (SACF)
  147. South Indian Association
  148. Speaking Bharat
  149. Sri Padmavathi Srinivasa Kent Hindu Temple (SPSKHT)
  150. Sri Raja Rajeswary Amman Temple, Stoneleigh
  151. Sutton Mitra Mandal
  152. Swaminarayan Mandir Vasna Sanstha (SMVS ) UK
  153. SwIndians
  154. Swindon Ayyappa Pooja Group
  155. Swindon Hindu Centre
  156. Swindon Hindu Temple
  157. Swindon Puja Committee
  158. Swindon Tamil Association
  159. Telugu Community Association
  160. The British Hindu Press Association
  161. The Hindu Initiative for Global Harmony, Oldbury
  162. The Hindu Temple, Bristol
  163. The India League
  164. The National Council of Hindu Priests UK
  165. UK Telugu Hindu Organisation
  166. United Hindu Cultural Association London
  167. Upton Hindu Community Association
  168. Uttar Pradesh Community Association (UPCA) UK
  169. Vasavi Club International
  170. Vedic Organisation for Indian Culture and Education (VOICE), Manchester
  171. Vedicca London
  172. VHP Ilford Hindu Centre and Mandir
  173. Vichaar Manthan UK
  174. Vishwa Hindu Parishad (UK), Bolton – Veda Mandir
  175. Vishwa Hindu Parishad UK
  176. Vishwa Hindu Parishad UK – Yorkshire
  177. Voice of Dogras
  178. Wellingborough District Hindu Association
  179. West Midlands Hindu Forum
  180. Yog Foundation
  181. Yog-Kulam UK