UK Rioting: The Real Causes

News / Updates

Kul Bhushan has collected a few comments about the recent events in the UK

Lack of Moral and Spiritual Values

Watching the horror of rioting in Britain on TV, a number of Osho lovers were invited to share their thoughts on the root causes. Most of these were listed: Is it the recession? The lack of jobs? The government cuts on education and health? The simmering anger at the super rich? The bankers’ greed for the 2008 meltdown? The MPs cheating for their false claims? The weakness of the government to curb illegal immigration and bending over for the human rights of illegal immigrants?

They all agreed about these causes but, interestingly, looked deeper into moral and spiritual values as the main reasons.

Here the first responses:

Most press and politicians howl hypocritically about mindless thuggery and opportunistic criminality. However, in my view there are additional factors associated with not one but two generations of deprivation and marginalization. The parents themselves have had no firm ground to stand on, no familial, social, communal or cultural support network. When people accuse the rioters of trashing their own community they look blank and say, “what community?” Also in that unsupportive context parents have no authority, and families disintegrate so children grow up without clear boundaries and without inner direction.

The British Consciousness has to awake to its own role in the making of these events – and will they?

Rashid Maxwell, UK


The moral fibre of the people has been eroding for a long time. The family values have all but gone. The young, mostly unemployed, have no role models except for footballers and pop stars. And both these models have no compulsions about sex, drugs or morals. As Osho has reminded us, it is the basic lack of awareness in our lives that creates these problems that become bigger and bigger until they explode like this!

The looters come from all social classes: from a millionaire’s daughter to a university student to a social worker. I saw on TV a lady looter going in an expensive shoe shop, trying out the shoes she liked and walking out with them! In another case, the looters had lined up outside an electronics store, went in one by one to select the TV they wanted and walked out with it! The police’s duty is to save lives and not to catch looters.

The moral response of many Asians who do not want to hit back has been much appreciated here.

Chaman Lal Chaman, poet, broadcaster, London


It all boils down to the family unit and values breaking down. Single parenting is the new trend; and as a result, children are being neglected in every respect. The majority of youths in this country has been starved of love, care and compassion. Recent youth violence is also the result of absent fathers. A child needs to be nurtured in a loving, secure family environment. Youth today is frustrated, confused, and unguided.

Osho said that when a child is brought up in a joint family he is cared for and loved not only by his parents but grandparents, uncles and aunts and thus creating a solid base for the child to flower beautifully.

The past and present government policies are to be blamed. Immigration is totally out of control, especially the illegal immigrants who are draining the public services of schools, hospitals, colleges, cash benefits and so on.

Unemployment figures have reached sky high this year. This leads to frustration and crime. Burglaries are on the increase and so is mugging in the streets. Government cuts in education, policing, health is partly to be blamed as we have seen that there were not enough police force to cope with the riots! In the middle of a terrible recession some top people in the civil services and banking industry are giving themselves bonuses from £200,000 to £1 million a year when working class people are struggling to survive. I personally think the government needs to wake up and rethink their policies urgently before it is too late.

Renuka Bhatt, London


We are told that spending cuts are necessary to get the country back on its feet and the majority seem ready to support this … then war is declared on Gaddafi and millions spent in pursuing political ambition under the name of concern for the Libyan people.

As for the future of the UK … it is going to depend on global issues such as whether the economy does come out of the recession rather than fall back into another one! Will the Tories last another term? At least they are tackling the recession which Labour seemed incapable of doing.

Anand Samarpan


I personally think that these events are a symptom of a general problem with modern western civilisation. It’s a system based on greed, corruption, lies, egotism and materialism that can only be sustained by constant expansion. Inevitably there are groups that get left behind in this constant drive for more and it is generally these groups that have been causing the recent disturbances.

In regard to Indian people I hope that if some good can come from the recent events it will be to change peoples’ image of England and the western way. From speaking to people in Indian I really got the impression that they considered England to be some sort utopia. I tried many times to explain that all is not good and we have a whole host of social problems that they seemed to be completely unaware of. It seemed that people in India were striving for development without being aware of the side effects of this development and the cost in terms of the sacrifices they’d need to make. I’m no expert, but something I observed whilst in India was that the city of Bangalore which is one of the most rapidly developing cities in the country also has one of the highest crime rates. I was told by local people that those committing the crimes weren’t doing so in order to get food but instead to buy mobile phones. It seems that the motivations for these crimes are similar to the motivations of the looters in England.

I’ve included some quotes and statistics that I feel are relevant to the recent events:

“In general, the Western Europe of today conveys the impression of a troubled, unfocused, comfortable yet socially uneasy set of societies, not partaking of any larger vision.” Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard

“There is nothing more dangerous than to build a society, with a large segment of people in that society, who feel that they have no stake in it; who feel that they have nothing to lose. People who have a stake in their society, protect that society, but when they don’t have it, they unconsciously want to destroy it.” Martin Luther King Jr

Elliott Ford


“The number of young men, in the UK, on disability benefits up fivefold in twenty years”.

“More than 124 thousand male youths, aged 16 to 24, are claiming up to £125 ($200) a week for disabilities.”

Most of the disabilities are “unspecified back pain.” There is also asthma, for example. What makes me think of my uncle who lives in New York. He had asthma as a young man. That didn’t stop him of being a successful cardiologist today.

The poverty of the British youth looting and burning is, much more than being an economical one, is a spiritual poverty, moral poverty and poverty of ambition.

Ravi Somaiya, Leicester

What Osho says makes a lot of sense here … the old UK, that which prided itself on a colonial past, is dead and dying; this is something that a lot of people can not see or just do not want to face up to. Can there be a new UK, one able to face the future. The fact is that the UK has a lot of immigrants from countries that have been exploited and perhaps they will be able to help the UK find its’ place in the world today. To be frank though, when people start talking about morality and all that I feel wary. Love
Samarpan



Read the discourse where Osho talks about previous riots in England: England has No Future

Text by Kul Bhushan – first published in Osho World

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