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“Caste discrimination in the UK” Documentary screening and discussion

The Warwick Policy Lab and Warwick in London are pleased to be hosting a screening of a new documentary “Caste Aside” about the controversial fight to legislate on caste in the UK. The event will be followed by a panel discussion.

Panel Chair

Siobhan Benita is Chief Strategy Officer of Warwick in London and Co-Director of the Warwick Policy Lab, University of Warwick.

Panel Members

Anil Bhanot read Actuarial Science at university but then qualified as a chartered accountant and has been running his own practice, based in West London for the last 27 years. He was one of the founding members of Hindu Council UK in 1994 and was first elected as General Secretary in 2003, serving two terms. He was awarded an OBE for his community cohesion work in 2010.

Anil’s voluntary work then widened into other ethnic minorities when he was elected as Chair of the Council for Ethnic Minority Voluntary Sector Organisations (CEMVO) from 2009-2011. This led to Anil being elected to be the Chair of the Ethnic Minority Foundation (EMF) in 2013, which is a social enterprise charity working for social justice for all but with an emphasis on ethnic minority communities.

He also runs the EMF's social enterprise arm the Peepul Centre Leicester bringing Arts & Theatre, Sports & Fitness and Nursery facilities for all the local communities and help lift their well-being through Arts and Sports.

Dr Meena Dhanda arrived in the UK from Punjab, India in 1987 with an award of the Commonwealth Scholarship for her doctoral work in Philosophy at Balliol College, Oxford University. She was a Rhodes Junior Research Fellow at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, before taking up a full-time lecturing position at the University of Wolverhampton in 1992, progressing to a Readership (Associate Professorship) in 2010.

In 2013-14, as a Principal Investigator of UK Equality and Human Rights Commission project ‘Caste in Britain’, Meena led a consortium of academic experts from five leading universities, producing two substantial reports - internationally noted and widely discussed – on the proposed inclusion of a provision in the Equality Act 2010, to protect British citizens against caste discrimination.

Mr Sat Pal Muman is the current Chairman and co-founder of CasteWatchUK. The organisation was established in 2003 to raise awareness of caste based discrimination(CBD) occurring in the UK. Mr Muman has been on the fore-front of the British campaign to make CBD unlawful in Britain. The campaign culminated in the recognition of Caste as an aspect of race with respect to the Equality Act 2010.

In 2013, Mr Muman led the campaign during the passage of the Enterprise and Regulatory reform Bill 2013 resulting in British Parliament voting to urge the Government to implement Caste provisions of The Equality Act 2010. Mr Muman currently works as IT Specialist for a major High Street UK bank and resides in London.

After initially training as a surgeon in New Delhi, Professor Swaran Singh became a psychiatrist after working in human rights organisations and with children traumatised by ethnic conflict in India. He moved to UK in 1991 and as lecturer and consultant at Nottingham, he conducted research on first-episode psychosis and ethnic influences in mental health. He spent 5 years at St George’s University of London as senior lecturer developing ETHOS early intervention service.

In 2006, he joined the University of Warwick as Professor of Social and Community Psychiatry and consultant psychiatrist at Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust. He currently heads Mental Health and Wellbeing at the University of Warwick and is also a Commissioner for Equality and Human Rights Commission, UK.


The caste system has been a source of much debate in South Asia. But what happens when British Indians say caste discrimination has followed them overseas?

Caste Aside is a documentary about the British government's controversial decision to introduce legislation against caste discrimination in the UK.

Highlighting both sides of this heated debate, the documentary speaks to Dalit rights activists, Hindu community leaders, academics and lawyers, as well as those who say they have been discriminated against on the basis of their caste - here in Britain.

While some members of the British Indian community believe that making caste an aspect of the Equality Act 2010 would shine a negative light on the Hindu community and create social tension, others believe that caste legislation is a necessary protection for victims.

The UK government has been torn between these two groups for years, finally resulting in a public consultation to seek the views of the general public on the issue. With the consultation now complete, both sides await a response.

With a big decision on the government's hands, Caste Aside highlights the bigger picture behind the public consultation and the story behind the UK's caste problem. Who will the government ultimately believe?



Date: Tuesday 23 January 2018

Time: 5.45pm – 8.30pm

Location: Stanley Building, 7 Pancras Square, King’s Cross, London N1C 4AG


5.45pm – Arrival

6pm – 6.45pm - Screening

6.45pm - 7.30pm – Panel and Discussion

7.30pm – 8.30pm – Drinks reception and networking


The event is free to attend but booking is essential.