Please take the time to read the below article, which has been reproduced from a well known anti racist blog. I have amended this introduction to deal with allegations. As I understand it this is a full article published in the Evening Standard. This story is shocking if it is true and I believe it is true.
ONE OF the key members of a Government taskforce charged with tackling “extremist ideologies” and religious segregation has close associations with violent extremists and recently praised a man who endorsed Hitler’s treatment of the Jews.
Ruth Kelly’s Commission on Integration and Cohesion will this week deliver its landmark report into how Britain can foster “inter-community harmony.” But a Standard investigation reveals that one of the commission’s own members, Ramesh Kallidai, has clear links to violent Hindu fundamentalists accused of “direct responsibility” for the slaughter of thousands of Muslims. In Britain, Mr Kallidai has accused British Muslims of “aggressively” converting “hundreds” of British Hindu girls to Islam through intimidation and beatings. However, police forces contacted by the Standard say they have no knowledge of a single such case.
The Standard has learned that around half-a-dozen other members of the Commission on Integration and Cohesion held a late-night meeting in a bar to discuss their concerns about Mr Kallidai. At least one member, and possibly more, approached Mark Carroll, a senior official in Ms Kelly’s department, to raise concerns about Mr Kallidai’s presence on the commission. No action was taken.
“The concerns were about his links with Hindu fundamentalism and exactly how much he stands by some of the things he has said,” said one figure close to the Commission.
Lord Desai, the Labour peer, said: “White politicians look at religion very uncritically they say we must respect all cultures, all faiths. But these guys have no respect for other faiths.” Chetan Bhatt, professor of politics at Goldsmith’s College, London said: “Mr Kallidai has chosen to associate with organisations that represent in India what the BNP represents here.”
Testifying to MPs on the Home Affairs Select Committee in 2004, Mr Kallidai defended the VHP, saying: “We would deny it is an association of Hindu extremists … It is a peaceful organisation.” In fact, according to Human Rights Watch, the VHP was“directly responsible” for anti-Muslim riots in the Indian state of Gujarat in 2002, in which 2,000 Muslims died. During the disturbances, VHP leaflets described Indian Muslims as “saboteurs” and “anti-nationals” who must be cleansed from Indian soil.
On 12 April this year, in Wembley, Mr Kallidai spoke at the British conference of another Hindu fundamentalist organisation, the RSS, a paramilitary group which wants to expel Muslims and Christians from India and turn the country into a Hindu state.According to a report of the event in the RSS’s official newspaper, Mr Kallidai praised the organisation’s “exemplary” ideology and its ex-leader, M.S.Golwalkar.
Last year, the HFB campaigned against an exhibition of pictures in London by India’s greatest living artist, M.F.Husain, a Muslim. The exhibition was cancelled on security grounds after three men entered the gallery and vandalised the pictures. There is no suggestion the HFB or Mr Kallidai were involved.
In 2005, Mr Kallidai got the Royal Mail to withdraw one of its Christmas stamps from open sale, claiming it was insulting to Hindus. In fact the stamp, depicting the baby Jesus and Mary with a Hindu mark on her face, is a reproduction of a famous Indian painting owned by Hindu nationalist hero Nana Phadnavis. The picture has been a much-loved attraction in the Mumbai municipal museum for years.
“This is the absolute textbook religious extremist agenda,” said one expert who has advised the Commission on Integration and Cohesion. “You whip up the ‘base’ with flimsy allegations that play to people’s emotions. The forced conversion slur, inparticular, is an exact copy of an allegation that has been made by Hindu extremists in India.” Despite the Hindu Forum of Britain’s links to extremism, the group has been supported by some British officials.
According to its website, Tony Blair has spoken of the HFB’s “success at promoting the positive achievements of the Hindu community,” and David Cameron, the Tory leader, has called it a “highly professional and authoritative voice.” The HFB’s 2006 annual ball was attended by Europe Minister Geoff Hoon and Home Office minister Tony McNulty.
Sir Ian Blair, the Met Police commissioner, attended the HFB conference in February where the allegations of “Muslim forced conversion” were made. At the gathering, Sir Ian promised to crack down on the supposed crime and said: “There is a feeling inthe Hindu community that we have not given them as much attention as other groups.”
In July 2006 another organisation linked to Mr Kallidai and the HFB, Hindu Aid, was given almost £140,000 of public money by the Department for International Development to “educate British Hindus about development issues.” Hindu Aid’s website describes it as a “British charity” dedicated to the relief of suffering. In fact, Hindu Aid is not a registered charity, but a limited company which has claimed exemption from the requirement to file detailed accounts.
The limited data on file at Companies House suggests that in 2005/6, the last year before the DFID grant, it had an income of only £2,500, suggesting that its ability to relieve suffering was limited. Hindu Aid’s website suggests some of its money is channelled via SEWA, a charity allegedly linked to the RSS and investigated by the Charity Commission after allegations that some of its funding had been diverted to back anti-Muslim violence.
SEWA was cleared by the Charity Commission, but the commission admitted it had not investigated its alleged RSS links or its complicity in the killings after SEWA said the allegations were untrue. Mr Kallidai is vice-chair and company secretary of Hindu Aid, and every other member of the management board, except one, is also a post-holder in the Hindu Forum of Britain. The two organisations share an office.
Mr Kallidai, the HFB and Hindu Aid refused yesterday to respond to questions about their links with extremism. They were also unable to provide examples of their allegations about the “forced conversion” of Hindu girls.
One expert said: “You might wonder how a man like Kallidai could become an official ‘integration commissioner’ or how his organisation could achieve the legitimacy within government that it has. What ministers are doing is making the same mistakeas they made with the Muslim Council of Britain they are taking those who shout loudest as representatives of their faith.”