Saturday, 18 May 2024

After Sikh lobbying and other group’s campaigns, including the National Liberal Party (see ‘The British Census and Identity’, it looks like the 2021 census will list Sikhism as a distinct ethnicity rather than only as a religion.
In the last census in 2011, more than 83,000 Sikhs refused to tick any of the choices in the question on ethnicity, rejecting options such as Indian in order to write “Sikh” in the space for “any other ethnic group”.
Prior to the last census English wasn’t recognised as a separate group but was so in 2011. Other groups have been recognised over previous censuses.
National Council member Jagdeesh Singh says “The outright opposition to a straight-forward and positive Sikh recognition as an ethnic entity and the pressure for Sikhs to call themselves ‘Indian’ instead, reveals a great deal of underlying pro-Indian mindset and, furthermore, the irritation felt towards a rising, aspiring, self-determining and self-identifying Sikh population.”
He added “The Sikh ethnic question is more than just about Sikhs. It is about out recognition for Dalits, Tamils, Kurds, Polish, English, Scottish, Welsh, Gujarati, Bengal and more; as expressed in the debate today. It is about positive equalisation and inclusion.”

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) will make the final decision but they are under a lot of pressure to make the change and we sincerely hope that it does. Indeed, although we desire integration and all those that make the UK their permanent home to see themselves as loyal citizens, we recognise that private identity and difference to be important.

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