REVIEW OF PREVENT FAILS TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE CURRENT AND GROWING THREAT FROM HINDUTVA
London – 8 February 2023
Headlines from the Independent Review of Prevent and the Government’s response published today is that Islamist terrorism remains the primary terrorist threat to the UK.
The UK Government has stated Prevent’s activity will be proportionately directed to confront Islamic terrorism and will remain vigilant against all other threats with a specific focus on the threat from the extreme right.
We do not disagree with this high level conclusion. However, the review has failed to acknowledge the current and growing threat from Hindutva and unnecessarily made reference to the Sikh community where there is no threat.
Dabinderjit Singh, the Principal Adviser to the Sikh Federation (UK) said: “For reasons of political correctness there is a totally unnecessary one paragraph reference in the 190+ page review to the Sikh community and pro-Khalistan extremism although the report itself states the “current threat is low.”
“This paragraph is simply there to appease and point out to the Indian Government. This is exposed by reference to a “false narrative” that the UK government “is colluding with its counterpart in India to persecute Sikhs.”
“There is already proof the UK government led by Margaret Thatcher colluded with Indira Gandhi in the massacre of Sikhs at the Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) Complex in June 1984.
“In more recent times the UK government is being legally challenged that it provided intelligence information to India that led to the abduction and torture of British national, Jagtar Singh Johal that is currently being examined by the courts.
“This reference to Sikhs contrasts with a deliberate oversight by William Shawcross of Hindu nationalism, known as Hindutva, in Britain that recently reared its ugly head in widespread violence and terror in Leicester.
“The authorities in Britain have proof of the growing influence of the Sangh Parivar ideology across the globe, including in towns and cities in Britain like Leicester. The core of the Sangh Parivar are the extreme Rashtrya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP).
“Many British politicians are simply burying their heads in sand and completely ignoring this growing and sophisticated threat from the Sangh Parvar because of the pressure being applied by the BJP Indian Government.”
The Sangh Parivar’s form of organisation is best understood as an unincorporated network made up of bodies pursuing the same political agenda as the BJP Indian Government and drawing inspiration from the same sources. There is overlapping membership and affiliations, but also no formal membership at all in some cases.
This allows for the sudden appearance of new campaigning groups, apparently out of thin air, enabling a sophisticated and systematic targeting of individuals and minority groups, like Sikhs. Both Sikh MPs, Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi and Preet Kaur Gill have been targeted by these right wing Hindu groups.
ENDS Jaspal Singh National Press Secretary Sikh Federation (UK) firstname.lastname@example.org