UK Study claims 51% Hindu parents had their kids bullied at school citing rising Hinduphobia

19 April, 2023 | Anupam Shrivastav

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The findings published by Henry Jackson Society shed light on the varying themes and forms which anti-Hindu discrimination materializes in the classroom.

A recently published report by Henry Jackson Society has made fresh revelations about prejudice and discrimination faced by Hindus within UK’s educational system. The report examined the prevalence of discrimination against Hindu pupils in schools in the UK and found that it is present in the classroom. This is one of a kind report investigates discrimination against Hindus in UK schools. More broadly, the report covers alienation, bullying and antisemitism in faith-targeted hate incidents against various religious minorities in United Kingdom.

Hinduism is the third largest religion in the UK making up 1.7% of the population and aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of anti-Hindu hate in schools in England and the extent to which schools have the capacity to tackle it. To achieve this, a mixed-methods approach was employed, involving a freedom of information (FOI) request sent to schools, results from which were analyzed alongside a survey of Hindu parents.

The report has also suggested that majority of UK schools did not keep records of faith-based hate incidents or appeared to recorded very few incidents while only 19% of parents surveyed believe schools are able to identify anti-Hindu hate and Hinduphobia

According to the report 51% of parents of Hindu pupils surveyed reported that their child had experienced anti-Hindu and Hinduphobia hate in schools while several students were physically assaulted or had to switch schools citing anti-Hindu bullying in schools. A total of 254 parents chose to share details of racial incidents in UK schools. The study survey included questions like ‘To the best of your knowledge has your child ever experienced bullying relating to them being Hindu at school within the last five years?’ and ‘Do you think schools are able to identify anti-Hindu bullying?’

Report emphasized six common themes namely Anti-Hindu slurs, Far-Right/Xenophobia, Islamist Extremism, Linking Hindu Pupils to India, Poor Teaching, and Lack of School Provision as key reasons behind prevailing anti-Hindu sentiments in UK. Centre on Social and Political Risk also gave various recommendations in the study to reduce the religious hate against Hindus one of which was to sensitize education teachers to address misconceptions surrounding controversial issues. While inspections was cited as a necessary requirement for handling this sensitive and important subject.

The study further stated that failure to record bullying incidents in detail and address patterns that may be emerging could result in missed opportunities to build a safe and equal society, not just for the
Hindu community but for the safety and well-being of minority communities more broadly.

The study also claimed lack of adequate religious education teaching at the same time focused on the need for religious studies in England. NewsX also had a exclusive debate show focusing on the subject with Editorial Director Madhav Nalapat, former diplomat Suresh Goel and Devika Chopra among the panelists.

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