This is the longer version of an interview with Baroness Flather, who became first Asian woman to join the House of Lords as a member. She is in conversation with Pervaiz Alam.
Baroness Flather of Maidenhead and Windsor is the great grand daughter of legendary Sir Gangaram, known as the architect of Lahore. A shorter version of this interview is available on our site.
ब्रिटिश संसद के ऊपरी सदन हाउस औफ़ लॉर्ड्ज़ में नियुक्त की जाने वाली एशियाई मूल की पहली महिला बैरॉनेस श्रीला फ़्लेदर के साथ परवेज़ आलम की बेबाक बातचीत।
This is one of the most controversial interviews Baroness Flather has given in the recent years. She criticises the conduct of some of her fellow peers, particularly, Lord Paul, Lady Uddin and Lord Bhatia who were suspended from the Lords for wrongly claiming expenses totalling tens of thousands of pounds after an inquiry in 2010.
In another remark, Baroness Flather has also criticised the British government’s decision to drop plans to recognise caste as an aspect of race in anti-discrimination legislation. While organisations such as the Hindu Forum of Britain and the National Council for Hindu Temples welcomed the government decision, Baroness criticised these organisations, including the member of parliament for Harrow East, Bob Blackman, for siding with the Hindu organisations.
The government’s decision has also been criticised by Dalit and equality groups and Labour and Liberal Democrat parties. The issue of incorporating caste discrimination into British legislation has been a matter of public debate for a number of years. Section 9 of the Equality Act, 2010, amended by Parliament in 2013, required the government to introduce secondary legislation to make caste an aspect of race, and caste discrimination a form of race discrimination, but allowed for further consultations. The government was urged to make the necessary changes by international bodies including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
In an interview with Pervaiz Alam for the London-based Cine Ink, a digital platform of news and views, Baroness Flather has repeated her highly controversial remarks over child benefits given to people of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin in the UK. She says after having two children the benefits must reduce and be linked with the number of children.
The first British Asian female peer, Baroness Flather is upset over the introduction of some aspects of Sharia Law in Britain. She thinks it’s regressive and dangerous for Muslim women. Lady Flather also said the Halal method of preparing meat in the UK were questionable. Why she should be forced to eat Halal, she asks.
In this long interview, Baroness Flather talks about her childhood, education, career and her great-grand father ‘Sir Ganga Ram’ who is considered to be the father of modern Lahore.
Baroness Flather shares her experience of working for ‘The Memorial Gates’, established for the benefit of the public, a memorial in the form of decorative gates to those inhabitants of the Indian sub-continent, the continent of Africa and the Caribbean who served in the Armed Forces of the Crown, whether by land, sea or in the air, during the World Wars 1914-18 and 1939-45″. Her efforts were lauded by all in the community.
This interview with Baroness Flather was recorded on 1 August 2018 at her residence in Maidenhead, UK.