is sikh' an ethnicity
About 76% of all Sikhs live in the north Indian State of Punjab, forming the majority (about two-thirds) of the population. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. An aggressive monitoring of this most distinguished ethnic minority justifies a separate category for them. Would Sikhs on the other side of the debate tick the ethnic category box if faced with it in black and white? “The Equalities Act 2010 has since replaced this previous legislation,” points out Hardeep Singh, of the Network of Sikh Organisations. Boxing Tonight: Joyce cannot afford loss to Dubois while there are no winners in Tyson vs Jones, Why the rules in Tyson vs Jones Jr will render the match largely meaningless, Why were chainsaws invented? London: Sikhs will not be recorded as an ethnic group in the 2021 UK census, as the community group has lost its long-drawn out battle in the London high court to challenge the ethnicity … “The tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, echoed this core value when he said: ‘Recognise the human race as one.’”. Retired High Court Judge in Uganda JUSTICE ANUP SINGH CHOUDRY weighs in on the issue. Others may have been affected by the ethnic cleansing of Sikhs in India in 1984. “Have the views of the 346,658 Sikhs who presumably ticked one of the existing ethnic categories [in the 2011 census] been sought?” she asks. However, this motive is considered disingenuous by critics. The Sikh ethnicity must be looked at in that context and there should be no hesitation in affording a separate category for the Sikhs in line with Pakistanis and Bangladeshis. “There are a number of reasons why adding ‘Sikh’ as an ethnic group to the 2021 census is a bad idea,” says Hardeep Singh. The census monitors the population as well as their demography. © 2020 Associated Newspapers Limited. Lord Singh also refutes the notion that the 1976 Race Relations Act protects Sikhs as an ethnic minority – another argument pushed by proponents of ethnic classification. This includes increased incidents of hate crime, bullying at school (because of children wearing turbans) and higher than average prevalence of certain ailments (such as diabetes and heart disease),” Mr Dhesi adds. While previous censuses have captured some data on Sikhs, “it was not fully reflective of the community at large and did not examine some of the intricacies of the lives of British Sikhs in a way that would be useful to stakeholders, including identity, discrimination and hate crime,” Mr Dhesi tells, The issue is also worrying Sikhs in other countries. This article examines the validity of their claim. “Indians would contain Sikhs. For instance, there is a "white" category, containing white British and Irish and other white ethnicities, followed by an Asian/Asian-British…, — RedTurbanRebellion (@TurbanRed) July 27, 2018. UNITED SIKHS today is proud to announce that the United States 2020 Census will include coding for Sikhs, which means that Sikh Americans will be counted as a separate ethnic group. This included Pakistanis, majority of whom are Punjabis in west Punjab, Pakistan. The writer is a retired High Court Judge in Uganda and Director of Gurbani Centre UK, a Sikh charity, British Sikhs may get ethnicity status in census – Report (Asia Samachar, 29 July 2018), US issues apology after Canadian minister told to take off turban at airport (Asia Samachar, 11 May 2018), Social Issues and Identity Threat of the Sikh Minority Community in Malaysia (Asia Samachar, 28 Dec 2015), [ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs / Punjabis in Asia. “It certainly isn’t what the Guru tells us is important… It just seems altogether destructive,” he adds. While previous censuses have captured some data on Sikhs, “it was not fully reflective of the community at large and did not examine some of the intricacies of the lives of British Sikhs in a way that would be useful to stakeholders, including identity, discrimination and hate crime,” Mr Dhesi tells i. Inaccurate, even. It just seems altogether destructive,” he adds. It is this collective make up that validates their case for recognition as an ethnic group like the Pakistanis and Bangladeshis. This is akin to the Scottish, Irish and Welsh who are nations within the UK. The issue is also worrying Sikhs in other countries. For me it doesn’t satisfy what an ethnicity is,” says Rosie Ginday, a patisserie chef whose mum is Sikh Punjabi. Specific information affecting them, elicited from the census reports, will enable the central and local government, health authorities and many other organisations to target their resources more effectively and planning support to help those issues in the Sikh community in the national interest. “All religions today are granted equal protection under law, so there is no need to undertake intellectual gymnastics to loosely define Sikhs as a group with ‘ethnic origins’.”. The Punjab, where my grandparents used to live, is one of a number of regions in India – some the size of a country – which have distinct languages, cultures and diets. You’re not comparing like with like. The Sikh Federation, which is a prominent supporter of ethnic classification, says thousands of public bodies only consider the ethnic category when it comes to … This would also protect the guiding principles of Sikhism. The apex court of this country ruled in Mandla v Dowell Lee that the Sikhs are not only a race but almost a nation, not withstanding the majority of them now live under the jurisdiction of the Indian Union. But what if the campaign is successful? The former Race Relations Act 1976 recognised the Sikh together with the Jews as a separate race. Many ticked ‘other’ and chose to write the word ‘Sikh’ instead. “I will continue to tick Sikh just as my religion not my ethnicity. Khalistan would encompass the Punjab, which straddles eastern Pakistan and northern India. Amid the rhetoric being pushed out by those in favour of ethnic classification, it is hard to turn a blind eye to the historical tension between Sikhs and other communities from the Indian Subcontinent and the extent to which this may have influenced the debate. Justin Mann, a white Sikh from Alberta, Canada, tells i he is “confused and concerned” about the direction the debate is headed. “Most importantly, how did the leadership of the 112 Gurdwaras consult their congregations before writing their letters of support? The Sikh Federation, which is a prominent supporter of ethnic classification, says thousands of public bodies only consider the ethnic category when it comes to providing services to different groups. Without proper consideration, the ONS could be faced with a rebellion that undermines their data-collecting efforts. For many years there has been a campaign for an independent Sikh state. However, the concept of Sikh ethnicity is peculiar in itself since the law in this country recognises their legal identity as a race, religion and national group. “Most Sikh organisations feel strongly that, in addition to inadequate monitoring of community numbers, allocation of resources by public bodies is not being undertaken to deal with issues specifically affecting Sikhs.”. “Information on Sikhs as an ethnic group has therefore not been systematically collected to ensure fair treatment and Sikhs have been more or less totally ignored when it comes to decision making and allocation of resources at every level,” said Amrik Singh, chair of the non-governmental organisation.
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