London mayor lauds Britain’s Hindu community


London : Lauding Britain's high-achieving Hindu community, London Mayor Ken Livingstone has said that he was proud that a large proportion of the community had chosen London as their home.

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Livingstone said that he would soon host a reception for young Hindu professionals to mark the contribution of the community to life in the capital. He is scheduled to visit India later this year.

Noting that the Hindu community was one of the most highly skilled and high-achieving communities, he said: "I am proud that a large proportion of the UK's Hindu community has chosen London as their home. I have also had the pleasure of working closely with Hindu organisations on a range of events celebrating Hindu culture including the London Mela and Diwali celebrations in Trafalgar Square.

"The strong ties that exist between London's Hindu community and India and the fact that it is one of the world's most important and rapidly growing economies make it a priority for me to ensure that both economic and cultural links with London are strengthened.

"This July sees the start of a three-month season celebrating Indian culture across the capital. I will also visit India later this year and plan to open mayoral offices in both Delhi and Mumbai."

According to Dhruv Patel, chairman of City Hindus Network, "Our people make a very significant contribution to London and we are perceived as a model minority, but we rarely receive much attention".

Meanwhile, Hindu groups here have planned a human chain to save Shambo, a sacred bull in a temple in Wales that has been tested positive for a routine tuberculosis test and is scheduled to be slaughtered. The Hindu Forum of Britain called on David Miliband, Environment Secretary to immediately intervene and stop a slaughter notice issued by his department on the bull based at the Skandavale Temple in Llanpumsaint, Carmarthen, Wales.

The current policy of the environment department is to kill any animal suspected of carrying Bovine TB.

On 3 May, the National Assembly for Wales issued the notice of intended slaughter with a deadline of May 14. Shambo has been isolated from other bovines and from contact with the public in a specially constructed shrine within the main temple

Ramesh Kallidai, secretary general of the Hindu Forum of Britain, said: Shambo is in a very healthy condition. If TB does develop in him, given appropriate care he can be expected to make a full recovery.

"As a responsible organisation, the temple has sought professional veterinary advice to ensure that robust measures are taken to isolate Shambo and minimise the spread of disease. Killing Shambo will violate our faith tradition and desecrate our temple. It goes against all accepted norms of our faith".