About the Hindu Forum of BritainThe Hindu Forum of Britain (HFB) is the largest umbrella body for British Hindus with more then 420 member organisations from around the country. HFB is the first port of call from the central government and the most reported Hindu organisation in the British media.
HFB’s activities are broadly divided into three areas: public policy and community consultation for the government; capacity building and project development for the Hindu community; and developing good interfaith relations with other faith communities to build a cohesive and inclusive Britain. At the core of the Forum’s activity is a strong belief in the richness and diversity of the Hindu culture, its value system that encompasses for respect for all beings and faiths and a cultural heritage that facilitates community cohesion and coexistence.
Public Policy and community consultationHFB facilitates consultation and communication to support and influence public policy by providing broad and collective views of the Hindu community on a wide range of issues. HFB also identifies issues and requirements of the community nationally and regionally through its large network of member organisations and links with other Hindu bodies. Some of the consultation exercises conducted by HFB include responses to the Home Office policy on race equality and diversity, the Commission for Equality and Human Rights, QCA and Religious Education Curriculum, Home Affairs Select Committee on Terrorism and Community Relations, Ministers of Religion from Abroad and others.
Capacity building and project developmentHFB has identified capacity building as a crucial activity to accelerate integration and social inclusion of the Hindu community in Britain. This is undertaken through initial activities to identify gaps in the community capacity resulting in projects that seek to decrease the gap. Some of the current HFB projects include:
Parliamentary Internships – Increase the participation of young Hindus in the democratic process through an MP shadowing scheme and high-powered seminars and interaction between young Hindus and Parliamentary leaders.
HFB Religious Education Toolkit - Distribute Hindu religious education packs to all schools in selected Boroughs to enable them to teach Hinduism in a standardised way.
Hindu Security Forum at the Met - After the successful conclusion of the Hindu Security Conference, The HFB has set up a Hindu Security Forum with the Metropolitan Police.
Interfaith relations and community cohesion - HFB firmly believes that good relations between the faith communities in Britain will contribute to community cohesion and social inclusion, which are essential ingredients for peace and prosperity. HFB has established multilateral and bilateral dialogues with the umbrella bodies of the other faith communities and plays an active role in the Interfaith Network of the UK. HFB is also represented in the initial consultation on the new Commission for Integration and Cohesion announced by the Home Secretary. HFB has organised many special interfaith events involving different faith communities.
HFB DepartmentsTo manage the different projects and execute the various activities of HFB, there are many internal departments that are chaired by prominent members of the community. Each department is set up as a separate committee with its own team:
Secretariat and office – the nerve centre for communications, administration and policy implementation
Treasury – the management of all our funds, payments, income, budgets and human resources
Legal Advisory Committee – a panel of expert Hindu lawyers to advise HFB on legal and constitutional matters
Strategic Planning Committee – a panel of business persons who organise fund raising events for HFB
Media and Publications Committee - the public relations and media coordination unit of HFB
Membership Committee – a team of volunteers who communicate and cultivate HFB members
Events Committee – a team to manage cultural and other events organised by HFB
Interfaith - a team to establish multilateral and bilateral dialogues with the umbrella bodies of the other faith communities.
HFB Chaplaincy Board - Training and accrediting chalplains for placement in Universities, Prisons and Hospitals.
HFB’s Advisory Role
- Representatives of HFB are appointed to advise the following bodies:
- Race Hate Crime Forum
- London Criminal Justice Board
- London 2012 Forum
- Metropolitan Police Diversity Forum, Diamond Group and Purple Group
- DWP Ethnic Minority Employment Stakeholder Group
- DCA Electoral Policy Division
- Academic and Media Watch on Anti-Semitism
- Proposed Commission for Integration and Cohesion
HFB Organisational StructureHFB is run by a democratically elected and appointed National Executive Committee. The National Executive Committee has members from different regional and national organisations, members of the Board of Trustees, and representatives from the others.
HFB also has a Patrons Council comprising of prominent British Hindus and a Spiritual Commission comprised of leading spiritual leaders who act in an advisory capacity. The National Executive Committee elects the Management Committee comprising of the President, Secretary General, Vice Presidents, and the Treasurer who implement the policy formulated by it. Each member organisation of the Hindu Forum of Britain can also nominate a representative to the HFB General Council which meets at least once every year at the Annual General Meeting.