A parliamentary candidate for Southall, whose sister was murdered in India, is calling for an open debate on the issue of violence towards South Asian women.
Jagdeesh Singh, the National Liberal Party prospective parliamentary candidate, has welcomed BBC documentary, India’s Daughter, which was broadcast in the UK on Wednesday night (March 4) despite being banned in India.
Mr Singh says that the documentary, which is about the 2012 fatal gang-rape of a student in Delhi, exposes a South Asian attitude to women which he says is also prevalent in Southall.
He has called on the MP for Southall to attend a debate with him to tackle the issue.
MP Virdendra Sharma has however turned down the invitation to participate but stands with him on his condemnation of women being treated as "second and third class citizens".
In December 1998, Jagdeesh’s sister Surjit Athwal, from Hayes, was taken to Panjaab (India) and murdered. In 2007, the mother-in-law and husband in the UK, who initiated and organised the murder at the hands of associates in Panjaab, were convicted and sentenced to life by UK courts.
Mr Singh said: “The murder of my sister epitomises the horrific concealment and secrecy which is widespread in the UK’s South Asian society.
"These collusive, killer attitudes are present in Southall – a capital of South Asian life. British born females like Surjit are at the mercy of rogues within the South Asian population in Britain.
“Tragically, outsourced murder of British South Asian’s like Surjit, is not a priority issue for British police nor government. Similar other British outsourced cases like Manjit Kular, from Hounslow, remain hanging in the air.
“The full gruesome spectrum of South Asian attitudes towards women - exposed in the BBC documentary - should be a powerful message to the British government. The treatment of women in India, is no different in levels of cruelty to the horrors of the ISIS Jihad.
“Southall encapsulates South Asian attitudes and society. Let’s have an open, inclusive dialogue on this crucial subject. Let’s break the silence and confront these deadly medieval attitudes.
My Singh invited Mr Sharma who he says is a keen supporter of India, to respond to the fact that the Indian state which claims to be the "world’s largest democracy", has immediately and comprehensively banned the BBC documentary.
Mr Sharma said: “I spoke last night on LBC about the shame that accompanies any association with the animals that perpetrated this heinous crime.
"It would be a tragedy to forget India’s Daughter, her memory is an example for anyone of what can happen when women are not valued highly enough.
"Too many view women as second or even third class citizens, and I will be the first to criticise anyone displaying such flagrant disregard for human dignity.
"I have been working with schools in Southall to discuss, with mixed gender groups, the dangers women and girls can face along with the warning signs and how to get help.
“I have been speaking about human rights abuses for many years already, and will continue to do so.
"If Jagdeesh has a particular issue then it would be best raised with his MP, and if they haven’t been able to help then I am happy to speak to him personally.
"Working for the residents of Ealing Southall since 2007 is my proudest achievement, and I look forward to doing it for a good while longer.“