UK files reveal virginity tests on Indian women in 1970s

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by Blackwater, May 10, 2011.

  1. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    LONDON: Indian women were subjected to "virginity tests" in the 1970s before being allowed entry into the United Kingdom, a directive strenuously denied by Prime Minister James Callaghan in 1979 to then Indian prime minister Morarji Desai. These and other details have emerged from declassified British home ministry files.

    The tests, to check whether Indian women claiming to be brides or fiances of British subjects were indeed so, took place at the United Kingdom's missions in Delhi and Mumbai. The home ministry papers, according to the Guardian newspaper, reveal that entry clearance officers "sought medical opinion on the marital status of some female applicants".

    UK's foreign ministry officials are said to have confided to the Guardian that there were 73 cases in Delhi and nine in Mumbai. The Indian government angrily protested against the "humiliating and obscene" practice. The UK Border Agency, which now deals with immigration issues, stated, "These practices occurred 30 years ago and were clearly wrong."

    In the late 1970s, the women were subjected to intimate examinations by immigration officers, as the records put it, to "check their marital status". The British government assumed that a bride or a fiance in India would be a virgin; if it transpired an applicant was not a virgin, immigration could be refused.

    Virginity tests were banned in February 1979 after reports that a 35-year-old Indian teacher was put through the rigours by a male doctor at Heathrow. The idea was to determine that she was a genuine wife-to-be who had not borne children and a virgin.

    "This practice was appalling and degrading," said Indian origin British MP Keith Vaz. Lawyer Sarosh Zaiwalla said, "The British government owes an apology to the Indian community.'

    Reacting to the report, the UK's home office initially denied any internal examination. However, the woman told the Guardian that she signed a consent form for vaginal gynaecological examination because she feared she would otherwise be sent back to India. She asked to be seen by a lady doctor, but was refused.

    The now-released home office files record that after the incident became public, the woman was offered 500 pounds to ensure she didn't sue the UK government. The payment was "in recognition of the distress she was caused", but she also had to agree "not to initiate any proceedings against the home office".

    According to the Guardian, the home office at the time stressed the money was not a compensation, which would have implied immigration officials had acted improperly. Then home minister Merlyn Rees expressed his "deep regret", but did not extend an official apology.

    The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants here had demanded an apology. Its spokesperson said, "Whilst in 2011 we may no longer be virginity testing South Asian brides, the sad reality is that many migrant women continue to be denied equal treatment."
    :mad2::mad2::mad2::mad2:


    UK files reveal virginity tests on Indian women in 1970s - The Times of India
     
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  3. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    As far as i know Indian don't need visa to go to UK in 70's. Anyhow can these brits are sure that their future king wife Kate medellton is virgin?????:confused::confused::becky::becky::becky:
     
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  4. Param

    Param Senior Member Senior Member

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    Why are you confused? Why would they even expect a virgin? A 29 year old virgin in UK, US or anywhere in western Europe should be in the guinness book of world records.
     
  5. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    William and Kate were living in. If she still was a virgin, then there must have been a problem with William.
     
  6. Oracle

    Oracle New Member

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    What's with the thinking that a bride or a finance from India would be a virgin? Virgin Mary is not from India.

    And no test for men? No wonder why women still are the oppressed lot.
     
  7. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    India is a Commonwealth country... why would she even be subjected to this? Makes zero sense...
     
  8. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    Its their rule....dont leave your country then or be ready to face the rules of another.
     

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