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News 2004
News ->Hindu Forum of Britain supported by major Political Parties


HINDU FORUM SUPPORTED BY MAJOR POLITICAL PARTIES
(26 May 2004)

Baroness Amos lights a ceremonial candle at the official launch of the Hindu Forum of Britain.British Hindus reacted enthusiastically when they heard Prime Minister Tony Blair's statement that the British Government would work closely with the Hindu Forum of Britain, the largest lobbying group for British Hindus. The official launch of the Hindu Forum of Britain (HFB) on Wednesday 26 May 2004, was co-hosted by the Lord Dholakia, Chair of the Liberal Democratic Party, Stephen Pound MP, Chair of the Labour Friends of India group and Peter Luff MP, Chair of the Conservative Parliamentary Friends of India group, at the House of Commons. It was attended by over 200 guests and included 40 MPs, many ministers, life peers, diplomats, community leaders, businesspeople and civil servants.

Stephen Pound MP, Chair of the Labour Friends of India is garlanded during the official launch of the Hindu Forum of  Britain.The Prime Minister said, "The success of British Hindus is now reflected in the manner in which the community has united to create the Hindu Forum of Britain. I am delighted that the Hindu community in Britain is working so closely with this Government. We welcome the formation of your national organisation and look forward to working with you closely in the future".

Shadow Attorney-General Dominic Grieve represented the Conservative party at the launch.The sentiments were supported by the opposition leader, Michael Howard, who stated, "For the Forum to have grown so quickly in such a short space of time is a substantial achievement, and a credit to all involved. Not only does today's event reflect the cross-Party support the Forum has attracted, but also the wide range of organisations involved. The Forum can truly represent the diverse needs and interests of the Hindu Community in Britain".

Sarah Teather, Liberal Democrat - MP for Brent East .The Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Charles Kennedy added, "Diversity is at the heart of Liberal Democrat principles and the contribution of the Hindu Community in our public life is very much appreciated. I wish you all the success in establishing a strong organisation working for justice freedom and peace in Britain and throughout the world."

The President of the Hindu Forum, Ishwer Tailor MBE reiterated, "For the Government's community cohesion agenda to be successful, it is of utmost importance that faith communities engage in purposeful dialogue at all times. The Hindu Forum is committed towards this ideal and will work in partnership with other faith communities and public bodies including government departments."

Lord Navnit Dholakia addresses the Hindu Forum of Britain.Lord Dholakia, President of Liberal Democrats commented in his keynote speech, "The Hindu Forum will help to maintain the unique identity of Hindus in Britain and ensure that our children do not grow up in a cultural vacuum." He was supported by his cross-Party colleagues, Peter Luff MP, Chair, Conservative Parliamentary Friends of India who said, "The Hindu voice must be heard more clearly in modern Britain and I am confident the Forum will play a major part in achieving that important goal."

Stephen Pound MP addresses the Hindu Forum of Britain.Stephen Pound MP, Chair, Labour Friends of India added, "The Hindu Forum has established itself as one of the most representative bodies of the community with its focus on broad-based membership and community consultation. The formation of this body will provide a nationally organised structure for British Hindus. It will enable greater participation of the community in decision-making bodies, policy formulation and social cohesion."

Ramesh Kallidai explains the focus of the Hindu Forum of Britain.Explaining the focus of the Forum, Ramesh Kallidai, General Secretary, explained, "We are keen to increase our membership base, consult broad segments of our community, communicate with stakeholder groups, and deliver on projects. Our ongoing dialogue with various government departments and faith bodies has resulted in positive feedback that will help us develop future projects of lasting benefit to the community."

Jyotsna Thanki, Vice President of the Hindu Forum of Britain (West Midlands).Jyotsna Thanki, Vice President (West Midlands) commented, "It is the Hindu community that gave us the mandate to form the Hindu Forum, and we are accountable to the community at large. This belief led us to organise our Dharma Yatra road-shows in eight cities reaching out to 250 organisations. This has now become the largest consultation exercise ever attempted for British Hindus." Hindu Forum advisors have already been appointed to the Crown Prosecution Service, Metropolitan Police, the Department for Works and Pension and other government bodies.

ABOUT THE HINDU FORUM OF BRITAIN

The Hindu Forum of Britain is an umbrella body with a broad-based membership of Hindu organisations from different regions and cultural backgrounds in Britain. At the core of the Forum's activities is a strong belief in the richness and diversity of the Hindu culture, its value system that encompasses respect for all beings and faiths, and a cultural heritage that facilitates community cohesion and coexistence.

The Objectives of the Hindu Forum are:

  1. To facilitate consultation and communication for identifying issues affecting British Hindus and coordinate methods for finding solutions thereof.
  2. To aid integration of British Hindus by supporting their social, cultural, educational, economic, democratic and physiological needs.
  3. To build stronger links between British Hindus and other faith communities in the UK in an attempt to establish friendship and trust in keeping with the multi-cultural multi-faith nature of British society
  4. To work in partnership with various government departments, units, service providers, non-governmental institutions and the media to assist in the process of nation building, community cohesion, community empowerment and capacity building
  5. To represent the Hindu community, through broad-based membership and widespread consultation at different platforms so that voice for the Hindu Community is heard.

For further information click on www.hinduforum.org

 
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