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APPG for British Gujaratis termed ‘divisive’

"We strongly object to an attempt to create APPG for Gujaratis and urge the concerned members to dissolve the same," FISI wrote.

Representative image (Image: Shutterstock)

British Indian organizations and peers in the UK have objected to the formation of the 'All Party Parliamentary Group' (APPG) for British Gujaratis, warning that the move could be divisive. The APPG which was set up in March 2023 intends to raise issues and concerns of the UK Gujarati community to ensure that their economic, health, social and cultural needs are reflected in Parliament.

The Friends of India Society International (FISI), UK, in a letter to the office bearers of the APPG, conveyed their objections on the creation of the group and urged the office bearers to focus on strengthening the existing APPG for India and the British Hindus.

"We fail to see any concrete reasons for its creation as the concerns raised are not separate from those of the British Indian community and hence the same can be addressed through APPG for British Hindus and APPG for India," the letter read. It emphasized that the move is instead an attack on the unity of the British Indian community and India which has been professing 'unity in diversity.'  "Such disharmonious and mala-fide attempts creating strife within the wider Hindu/Indian community needs to be discouraged," it said.

Raminder Ranger, a businessman, philanthropist and member of the House of Lords of the UK, tweeted that any organization that divides a community instead of uniting it has already defeated the object. "There are APPGs of Hindus and India unless, of course, we will have an APPG on Brahmins and Lohanas too?" he added.

According to a Times of India report, several other community organizations including the Bhadran Bandhu Samaj (UK), Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), and the Hindu Forum Britain have spoken against the formation of the APPG. The report added that the APPG co-chair Gareth Thomas has refuted objections stating that he wanted to raise in a "non-party political way some of the issues that are unique to the community."