The Tribune – UK Sikhs seek recognition as ethnic group

Sujinder Singh Sangha

The recognition of Sikhs in Britain as a minority ethnic population and its monitoring, would provide a mechanism to analyse how Sikhs are faring in view of racial discrimination and hate crimes.

– Discrimination against Asian Black and Minority Ethnic (ABME) people is rooted in prejudice relating to the colour of skin, visible appearance, religion, culture, attire, language or origin

– Ethnic data influences the public decision-makings related to employment and services, the reliability of census data on the ABME people is essential for equality monitoring.

– Only a targeted counting and monitoring of Sikhs as a minority religious as well as ethnic population could enhance the census data.

– Some believe it may result in alienation and under-counting of Sikhs, as many may declare their ethnicity as Indian, Punjabi or another which may worsen the numerical position of Sikhs.

– The bid in Britain for Sikh ethnic identity and monitoring should be seen as integral to the Indian/ABME drive for social justice.

The Sikhs in Britain have relentlessly campaigned since the 1960s to have their basic rights established as a distinct religious minority. A natural next step for them is to seek recognition as a minority ethnic population by the census mechanisms of the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The ONS is being convinced to introduce an ethnic category for Sikhs, in addition to the religious one which already exists. The ONS is in the process of consulting and testing the 2021 national census questionnaire for approval by the parliament.

The national census data provides a count of all people and households every 10 years to enhance the provision of population statistics that allows a comparison of different groups of people.

The national population statistics are used to carry out research and assessment to develop policy, strategy and resourcing to address the changing needs and expectations of the stakeholding population. The nature of data influences the decision-making related to employment and services.

So, the reliability of census data on Asian Black and Minority Ethnic (ABME) communities is essential for equality monitoring. The evaluation of monitoring of outcomes indicates the effectiveness of equality measures applied to improve social justice.

The Sikhs have requested the ONS to amend the census questionnaire by adding the Sikh ethnic category alongside the religious one to enhance the provision of data. They have also mobilised the parliamentarians to support them.

A news report in The Tribune, Chandigarh (“100 UK MPs back non-Indian ethnic identity move for Sikhs”, September 20, 2017) noted “New Delhi is unlikely to be amused if the demand (for Sikh ethnic identity) is granted; which means such an outcome has the potential of seriously impacting bilateral relations between India and Britain.”

This view takes the issue to a different level as outlined by the newly elected MP Tanmanjit Singh Dhesi: “The Office of National Statistics (ONS) gave guidance in 2003 and 2011 to public bodies — including education, health service, local authorities and police — to only use ethnic group categories in the census for the monitoring purposes.

Hence, the community’s focus on getting a Sikh category…would be useful for stakeholders, such as those concerned with Sikh identity, discrimination and hate crime…Sikhs are a legally recognised ethnic group (Mandela V Lee, 1983) protected from discrimination under law.”

MP Preet Kaur Gill, who chairs the resurrected All-Party Parliamentary Group for British Sikhs (APPGBS), has written to the ONS, hoping for a positive response on the inclusion of a Sikh ethnic tick box in the Census 2021.

She has alerted the ONS that failing that, the Sikh community may resort to legal redress or seek a change when the parliament is asked to approve the census 2021 questionnaire.

The ONS, 2017, has carried out an ethnic question test involving the Sikhs in Wolverhampton and Hounslow. The indications are that the response level was a low 11.2% and 15.5%, respectively.

There is no indication that the religious affiliation and ethnic group questions are capturing different populations. All respondents who selected Sikh ethnic group also selected Sikh as their religious affiliation.

However, no one would like a re-run of the 1980s. Had the House of Lords not accepted the appeal for overturning Lord Denning’s ruling, the Sikhs would have had to take up the matter politically to seek an amendment to the Race Relations Act 1976… Section (3) which defines a racial group by reference to colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origins.

The impact of Lord Denning’s ruling and press publicity gave many employers an unfair advantage and discriminatory expectation that the turban-wearing Sikhs can be asked to remove turban and not wear a beard.

The House of Lords 1983 ruling rejected the High Court’s verdict and made any discrimination against Sikhs on the grounds of wearing a turban illegal.

The Network of Sikh Organisations (NSO), of which Lord Indarjit Singh is the director, believes that the campaign for ethnic identity is misguided. It may result in alienating many and could cause an under-counting of Sikhs in Britain as some may declare their ethnicity as Indian, Punjabi or another which may worsen the numerical position of visible Sikhs.

The Sikh Federation of UK (SFUK), whose activists are campaigning for the inclusion of Sikhs as a separate minority ethnic community, disagrees with the NSO.

Lord Singh argues that to call Sikhs a distinctive ethnic minority would be against the Sikh Gurus’ teachings that all humans are of the same race, man-made divisions based on caste or ethnicity are divisive and false.

He also points out that the monitoring could give legitimacy to discriminate against turban-wearing Sikhs, as large employers could pass the ethnic test with a few Sikhs.

However, the academic and functional definitions of ethnicity qualify Sikhs in Britain to be a minority ethnic population for counting and monitoring purposes, especially in view of over 50 years of campaigning against  discrimination and unfairness.

The ethnic identity and ethnic monitoring is a mechanism of assessing the effectiveness of affirmative actions, or analogous programmes by recording the ethnic background of the recruits.

The recognition of Sikhs in Britain as a minority ethnic population and its monitoring, would provide a mechanism to analyse how Sikhs are faring in view of racial discrimination and hate crimes.

Only a targeted counting and monitoring of Sikhs as a minority religious as well as ethnic population could enhance the census data and the eligibility for monitoring.

The writer is former principal & chief executive of a leading UK Further Education College
I used to work with Sujinder Singh when he was Principal of Stockton Riverside College and I was the national development officer of Faiths and Beliefs in Further Education (FBFE)

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/comment/uk-sikhs-seek-recognition-as-ethnic-group/480139.html

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The News – Moot reaffirms faith in liberal Pakistan, opposes mainstreaming of militants

Murtaza Ali Shah

London-UK, 15 October 2017. The Pakistani government has been urged to take responsibility of all its citizens and protect their fundamental rights enshrined and guaranteed in the constitution of Pakistan.

The call was made at the second annual “Pakistan: The Way Forward” conference organized here under the banner of South Asians Against Terrorism and for Human Rights (SAATH), co-hosted by US-based columnist Dr Mohammad Taqi and former Pakistan ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani.

Several prominent liberal and progressive intellectuals, human rights and social media activists and public figures spoke during the conference on their vision of a liberal and democratic Pakistan.

The speakers debated at length the policies of Pakistani government in many areas including domestic and international and expressed concerns at the current affairs of things, calling on the authorities to change course.

The speakers said that the space for free thinking and honest debate has shrunk and advocates of liberal, secular, progressive ideas and pluralism have come under attack from extremist groups.

Many speakers pointed out that the human rights situation has gone worse in the whole South Asian region including India, Bangladesh and Afghanistan where right-wing forces have taken control of decision making at the cost of vulnerable sections of the society.

They said that that while Pakistan has seen tremendous improvement in many areas over the last many years, it was not right that many groups and communities remained under threat and human rights denied to them.

The speakers expressed concern at attempts to mainstream extremist and banned organisations and made reference to the electoral gains two candidates made in NA120 by-election in Lahore.

Rashed Rehman, senior editor and human rights advocate, told this scribe that these groups posed direct and clear threat to the democratic system of Pakistan.

“It’s a dangerous development that these groups are being brought into politics. These groups don’t believe in democracy at all.”

It was discussed that to establish a true democracy in Pakistan, the federating units must be given maximum powers and the National Finance Commission Award should be giving more resources to provinces for local development as well as devolution of power.

The conference agreed that Pakistan needs a new national narrative, based on progressive ideas and detaches from religious extremism and militancy. Many participants complained that media has been used to issue fatwas on the dissenting voices.

Husain Haqqani told this scribe that those critical of current government policies are as patriotic as anyone else and they only wanted a pluralistic and progressive Pakistan.

He said that while the views of the liberal thinkers and intellectuals are open for criticism but it was not right that the dissenting voices were termed anti-Pakistan and agents of foreign forces.

He said growing intolerance posed threat to Pakistan and played out against Pakistan’s interests at the global level.

A joint declaration called on Pakistan government to listen to fresh ideas espoused by broad-minded Pakistanis and end relying on ideas peddled by the right-wing elements.

The declaration said that a “steady diet of conspiracy theories” had harmed Pakistan and it was time to revisit such policies which encouraged reactionary forces.

It said that a only a pluralist Pakistan at peace with itself would have a positive global and local image and for this purpose the decision makers should engage with those who believe in a liberal, secular and progressive vision of Pakistan.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/237158-Moot-reaffirms-faith-in-liberal-Pakistan-opposes-mainstreaming-of-militants

The Tribune – Mayor Sadiq Khan to visit India, Pakistan to promote London

London-UK, 10 October 2017. London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced on Tuesday that he would visit India and Pakistan this year to promote the British capital as a destination of choice for trade and cultural ties.

Khan, whose grandparents were born in India and parents migrated from Pakistan to the UK, said he was “very excited” to become the first senior British politician in recent times to visit both the countries at the same time during the six-day, six-city tour planned before the end of this year.

“As someone whose grandparents were born in India, and whose parents moved to London from Pakistan, I feel a deep affinity for the subcontinent,” said Khan.

“What excites me most about this trip is that I know it can deliver real benefits for Londoners. Benefits in terms of business and trade, jobs and investment, and in terms of cultural and technological exchange,” he said.

While the complete itinerary of the visit is still being finalised, the mayor and his team will cover Delhi, Mumbai and Amritsar as part of the India leg of the tour and Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi in Pakistan.

The mayor described the visit as an “important mission” as there are many areas in which London can work with its counterparts across India and Pakistan, in business as well as tackling some of the “biggest challenges” such as air pollution and climate change on a city-to-city basis.

“In London we are a beacon of tolerance, respect and diversity, which I will try my best to demonstrate,” he said, when asked if he would intervene on the issue of tensions between India and Pakistan.

On Brexit, the senior Labour Party politician said that just because the UK has voted to leave the 28-member European Union (EU) does not mean that London is closed to talent from around the world.

“I am passionate about showing that my city will always be open to engaging with partners from around the world. While the government cannot engage in trade talks until Brexit negotiations are ongoing, there is no reason why we can’t work on closer relations with the rest of the world,” he said.

Highlighting that India remains the third-largest international student market in London, Khan said that he is keen to give “confidence” to Indians that the city remains open to their talent.

“World leaders like (Mahatma) Gandhi, (Jawaharlal) Nehru, (Mohammad Ali) Jinnah and (Zulfikar Ali) Bhutto have all studied in the UK.

“My message will be that the underlying reasons have not changed and that I will continue to lobby the government on getting a good deal for London,” he said, pointing out that the capital had not witnessed any lack of investment from India and Pakistan since the Brexit vote last year. (PTI)

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/diaspora/mayor-sadiq-khan-to-visit-india-pak-to-promote-london/480110.html

Sikh Federation – Cabinet Office Minister needs to improve his understanding of the legal status of Sikhs

London, 11 October 2017. Yesterday Preet Kaur Gill MP challenged the Cabinet Office Minister Rt. Hon. Damian Green in Parliament on the failure of public bodies to monitor Sikhs as part of the Race Disparity Audit. His response showed his lack of understanding of the legal status of Sikhs as an ethnic group as well as a religion.

Preet Kaur Gill the Labour MP from Birmingham, Edgbaston and the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for British Sikhs asked:

“Why have Sikhs, who are recognised as a separate ethnic group in legislation, been excluded from the audit? Will he put that right by ensuring that Sikhs are not further discriminated against and that the 2021 census will include a Sikh ethnic tick box?

Damian Green replied: “Religion is not routinely collected in many of the 130 data sets, so it would be impossible to include. It is not a question of excluding any particular group.”

This demonstrated the Minister who must in the next few months recommend to Parliament the Census 2021 questions does not understand the legal status of Sikhs as not only a religion, but also as an ethnic group.

Watch the relevant clip from the debate using the link below:

Gurjeet Singh
National Press Secretary
Sikh Federation (UK)

Posted by:
Sikh Federation
<sikhfederationuk@yahoo.co.uk>

Searchlight Magazine – Sikhs Against the EDL oppose invitation to Mohan Singh to speak at the Football Lads Alliance rally on Saturday in London

Balwinder Singh Rana

Ilford, 5 October 2017. The Sikhs Against the EDL are saddened to learn that Football Lads Alliance have again invited Mohan Singh, from Sikh Awareness Society, to speak at their rally on Saturday, 7 October, in London.

When he spoke at their last protest rally in June, also in London, Mr Singh made a very anti-Islam speech, when he said, “We’re talking about radical Islamic extremism”, while he paid lip service to the terrorist attack on the Finsbury Park mosque where one worshipper was killed and many others injured.

A little while before that, Mr Singh had also spoken at a demo in Manchester with the racist former EDL leader Tommy Robinson.

Ironically at the time some far-right supporters were accused by a Sikh volunteer group for the abuse they had suffered while feeding some homeless people. The Independent newspaper reported, on June 13, far-right protesters have been accused of abusing Sikh volunteers as they tried to feed the homeless in Manchester.

Members of the Sikh Sewa Organisation said they had to flee from Piccadilly Gardens for their own safety after “EDL members” became abusive towards them.

In the early days of the EDL another young Sikh, Guramit Singh, from Nottingham, had become the spokesperson for the racist and anti-Muslim EDL and in that position he was fond of misquoting Sikh teachings to spread hatred against Muslims (eventually he was imprisoned, in 2013, for six-and-half years for a botched armed robbery).

The Sikhs Against the EDL organisation was launched in 2010 in response to the growing influence of Guramit Singh and some others amongst some Sikh youth and the organisation quickly gained support from many Sikh temples and other organisations around the country.

Soon after Guramit Singh left the EDL after the organisation issued him with an ultimatum to resign or face excommunication.

Balwinder Singh Rana, spokesperson for the organisation, said, “Tommy Robinson, an ex-member of the British National Party (BNP), a fascist organisation, an ex-leader of the racist and islamophobic EDL, has not changed his spots. He is still trying to involve Sikhs into his vile activities of division and hatred.

However, the Sikhs will not fall for his lies and from actions of his supporters in Manchester its clear for everyone to see that they are not friends of Sikhs.

We shall keep informing our people that they should keep away from these racists and fascists because they are using old tactics of divide and rule.” We have always known that today their target is the Muslims and tomorrow it will be us.

He also added that Islamophobia spread by the likes of Tommy Robinson had resulted in a terrorists attack upon the innocent people outside the Finsbury Park mosque. That terrorist attack, just like the other recent terrorist attacks, should be condemned by all decent people.

The perpetrators of these attacks do not represent any individual communities and no blame should be put on any community. Instead, whether we are Sikhs, Muslims, Christians, Jews, and people of all other faiths and none, and whatever race and colour, we should all come together to defeat these monsters who seek to cause divisions and hatred.

The Sikhs Against the EDL would be joining Stand Up to Racism and others to leaflet the Football Lads Alliance rally in London on Saturday, 7 October.

http://www.searchlightmagazine.com/2017/10/sikhs-against-the-edl-oppose-invitation-to-mohan-singh-to-speak-at-the-football-lads-alliance-rally-on-saturday-in-london/

Birmingham Mail – Tributes paid to community leader Sewa Singh Mandla OBE who has died aged 90

Mr Sewa Singh Mandla’s high-profile battle against civic authorities in the 1970s lead to landmark legislation recognising Sikhs as a distinct ethnic and racial group

Amardeep Bassey

Birmingham, 7 October 2017. A prominent Midland community leader who successfully campaigned for a change in the law to allow Sikhs to wear a turban at work and school has died at the age of 90.

Mr Sewa Singh Mandla’s high-profile battle against civic authorities in the 1970s lead to landmark legislation recognising Sikhs as a distinct ethnic and racial group.

A retired lawyer, Mr Mandla was a long serving volunteer at the Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha sikh temple [Gurdwara] in Handsworth, Birmingham, and was awarded an OBE last year.

It was presented to him by the Queen during her 90th birthday honours list in recognition of his 50 years legal, human rights and community voluntary service in West Midlands.

Mr Mandla was born in Kenya in January 1927 and moved to Birmingham in 1955 to practice law becoming one of the first non-white solicitors to work at Birmingham magistrates court.

The grandfather-of-six hit the national headlines in 1978 when he complained that a local private school had discriminated against his son Gurinder by not allowing him to wear a turban in class.

A House of Lords panel later agreed saying: “We find it impossible to believe that Parliament intended to exclude the Sikhs from the benefit of the Race Relations Act and to allow discrimination to be practised against the Sikhs.

“We agree with the noble and learned friend that Gurinder Singh cannot comply with the school rules without becoming a victim of discrimination.

“The discrimination cannot be justified by a genuine belief that the school would provide a better system of education if it were allowed to discriminate.”

Winning legal recognition as a distinct ethnic and racial group paved the way for Sikhs in the UK to become exempt from wearing crash helmets and hard-hats on construction sites and to freely wear turbans in the workplace and schools.

Last night tributes poured in on social media describing Mr Mandla as a “pioneering campaigner” and “selfless servant of the community.”

A spokesman for the Sikh Network said: “Mr Mandla’s passing will be lamented, he distinguished himself as an equal rights pioneer.

“The Sikh community is indebted to his tenacious fight against the shim of a school and the courts upheld our right to freely wear turbans.

“Mr Mandla will be remembered as a man of principle and a role model to all of civic society.”

Professor Upkar Singh Pardesi, Vice Chair of Nishkam Civic Association, said “The Sikh and wider community in Birmingham and the region has lost one of the longest serving lawyers, an active volunteer, and role model for spirituality.

“Mr Mandla shone and become a legend for his ability to successfully fuse his professional work in law with spirituality to make a difference to Sikh and wider communities in the UK.

“Mr Mandla’s perseverance to take the issue of turbans worn by Sikh pupils in schools is a testament of his dedication to fight for a just cause. He had an extraordinary passion and flair for serving the community in the pursuit of making a difference.

“His perseverance to follow through projects and tasks was one of his outstanding qualities.”

Mr Mandla is survived by a son Gurinder, daughter Tina and six grandchildren.

http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/tributes-paid-community-leader-sewa-13731215

BBC News – Vijay Mallya: India tycoon faces new money-laundering charges

London, 3 October 2017. Indian drinks tycoon Vijay Mallya, who is charged with committing fraud in India, has been re-arrested in London.

He appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday afternoon, after India issued new charges of money-laundering against him.

Mr Mallya denies any wrongdoing. The allegations are linked to the collapse of his airline, Kingfisher.

The 61-year-old left India in March 2016 more than Rs 1 billion (£755m) in debt, after defaulting on bank loan payments.

He was released on police bail after the hearing.

Mr Mallya’s monetary affairs are being investigated by India’s Central Bureau of Investigation, and the Enforcement Directorate – which handles financial crimes.

He was originally arrested and bailed in April after India asked for his extradition in February.

The mogul has rejected claims that he fled his home country over circling creditors, saying outside court: “I have not eluded any court. If it is my lawful duty to be here, I’m happy to be here”.

Mr Mallya is a flamboyant figure previously dubbed “India’s Richard Branson” and the “King of Good Times” for his lavish lifestyle.

He built his fortune from Kingfisher beer, before branching out into Indian cricket and Formula 1 racing.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-41480692

Express & Star – Tipton school bans boy from wearing Sikh bangle

An eight-year-old boy has been banned from wearing his Sikh bangle to school as it is considered to be jewellery and against its uniform policy

Richard Guttridge

Tipton, 2 October 2017. Kaiden Singh was told by teachers at Summerhill Primary School in Tipton he would not be allowed to wear his Kara – a silver [steel] bracelet worn by many Sikhs as a symbol of faith and one of the religion’s ‘five Ks’.

The school is now facing a backlash from Kaiden’s parents and The Sikh Federation which insists the pupil has a legal right to wear the bangle.

Headteacher Kerry Rochester said his parents signed an agreement stating they accepted the school’s uniform policy and that a meeting had been planned for this week to discuss the matter further.

Kaiden’s father Sunnie Singh claimed his son was told to remove the Kara when he started at Summerhill last month.

The Sikh Federation has waded into the row and warned the school could be in for a legal battle if it does not change its stance, citing a case in Wales in 2008 when a 14-year-old girl won a High Court discrimination claim after being told to remove her Kara.

Bhai Amrik Singh, chair of the Sikh Federation UK, said: “Summerhill Primary School in Tipton may not be aware of the legal ruling. We suggest the school headteacher and governors urgently reverse their decision as legal advise will confirm eight-year-old Kaiden Singh has the legal right to wear his Kara to school.

“If this case ends up in court it could cost the school hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayer money and also see a few heads role in senior positions at the school.”

Miss Rochester said: “Our school uniform policy does state no jewellery, only ear studs if a child has pierced ears.

“All parents are made aware of this when they send their children to our school. And, as with all parents, Kaiden’s mum and dad signed the school’s agreement form accepting our policies when he started in September.

“We are a bit taken aback by this because we do consider religious items and we had arranged to meet Kaiden’s parents on Wednesday to discuss the matter with them.”

https://www.expressandstar.com/news/local-hubs/sandwell/tipton/2017/10/02/tipton-school-bans-boy-from-wearing-sikh-bangle/#37GYKWig3SMgxi4B.99

Sikh Federation UK – The case for a separate Sikh ethnic tick box

We agree this discussion is getting rather tedious. One final attempt to try and explain the situation to a tiny minority that:

– fail to accept the legal position in the UK with respect to Sikhs;
– did not bother responding to the ONS official consultations in 2015 and 2016, it sounds to many directly involved,
including those to make the final decision like a case of sour grapes; and
– do not want to acknowledge ethnic group status practically gives added protection and rights.

Does UK law recognise Sikhs as an ethnic group?

The Equality Act 2010 says you mustn’t be discriminated against because of your race. Race discrimination is when you’re treated unfairly because of one of the following things:

Colour

Nationality

Ethnic origin

National origin

The law says an ethnic group is a group who share the same history and cultural traditions. In addition, the group may share one or more of the following things:

the same language
the same religion
the same literature
the same geographical origin
being an oppressed group
being a minority

The courts have ruled that Sikhs are an ethnic group. Hopefully those reading the above will have a better understanding of the legal difference between ‘ethnic origin’ and ‘religion’ that may be a subset.

The 5:0 ruling in the Mandla case in 1983 by the Law Lords was in part due to the evidence given by Indarjit Singh supporting the argument Sikhs were a ‘racial group’ with reference to ‘ethnic origins’.

15 years ago on 27 November 2002 Indarjit Singh with Joginder Singh Vedanti (the Jathedar of the Akal Takht at that time) sitting next to him giving evidence to a Lords Select Committee specifically stated: “I was the person who gave the main evidence in that case” so “Sikhs fitted into this box of ethnicity.”

To be fair Indarjit Singh also in effect admitted to committing perjury when he told the Lords Select Committee “it was a fudge at the time” and “I was not happy with it”.

Seva Singh Mandla has strong views about the struggle he went through and knows the exact ins and outs of the case and who did what. He wrote about it almost 10 years ago (see attached) and supports what we are trying to achieve for Sikhs today.

This was a historic legal victory for the Sikhs in the UK in 1983 that Sikhs across the globe envy as it has given Sikhs in the UK some of the rights other Sikhs have been unable to secure in the countries in which they live. No Sikh in their right mind should now be publicly arguing against the legal right that Sikhs have secured in the UK.

The Network of Sikh Organisations (NSO) / Indarjit Singh wrote to the office bearers of the APPG for British Sikhs to challenge them on their support for the Sikh community for a separate Sikh ethnic tick box.

The APPG Chair Preet Kaur Gill MP wrote to Indarjit Singh on 21 September, but only Indarjit Singh knows why he is refusing to share the APPG response on GLZ or other discussion forums.

The NSO claims to link up 130 Sikh organisations, but has been unable to explain why the NSO or any of these 130 organisations missed the opportunity to respond to the ONS consultation in the summer of 2015 or the follow up survey of stakeholders that ended on 30 November 2016.

Incompetence should be no reason to create a public fuss now and amusingly suggest the need for ‘wider consultation’.

Religious tick box and ethnic tick box in the census

We already have a religious tick box for “Sikhs” and for those with doubts our advice has always been all Sikhs should continue to tick this box, even though the question is optional and around 20 million did not complete this question or indicated no religion at the last Census in 2011.

Unfortunately, this almost certainly included tens of thousands of Sikhs and from local research carried out it suggests the number of Sikhs from the religious question is a poor proxy as it may understate the numbers of Sikhs by as many as 200,000.

The Sikh Federation (UK) and the Sikh Network are meeting the ONS this week to consider the research that strengthens the case for a separate Sikh ethnic tick box for the mandatory ethnic group question in the Census 2021.

The choice Sikhs currently have for the mandatory ethnic tick box are “Indian, Pakistani etc.” The consistent instructions by ONS for the last 15 years to public bodies for monitoring purposes is to use the ‘ethnic’ categories in the census.

If you follow Indarjit Singh’s logic he is not concerned Sikhs are forced to tick the “Indian” ethnic tick box and not have a separate “Sikh” ethnic tick box. He perversely thinks a Sikh as opposed to an Indian ethnic tick box disadvantages visible (turban wearing) Sikhs when it is clear that without a Sikh tick box it disadvantages all Sikhs.

Using a practical and very relevant example that was recently in the news is the House of Lords is only required to consider how many ‘Indian’ Lords it has, so if we lose the two (turban wearing) Sikh Lords through retirement of those aged over 80 this will be on no concern.

However, if the House of Lords had to consider how many ‘Sikh’ Lords it has, this would become an issue that would need to be addressed.

We rest our case that is accepted by over 150 MPs that represent hundreds of thousands of Sikhs and millions of non-Sikhs.

Gurjeet Singh

Posted by: Sikh Federation
<sikhfederationuk@yahoo.co.uk>

Sikh24.com – British Airways refused water to turbaned Sikh lady on flight

Sikh24 Editors

London-UK, 29 September 2017. A young turbaned Sikh woman has alleged discrimination on a British Airways flight while traveling to Delhi, from Vancouver via London.

She posted her complaints on her Facebook page, highlighting that she was first not served water and later not served food, when other passengers were being served.

She then had to make specific requests after being ignored, before she was served. She lodged a complaint with British airways, once landed and shared her experience online.

Harsharn Kaur hails from Mohali, Chandigarh, and is a deputy producer at ABP Sanjha, a prominent Punjabi media channel.

She later shared, “While the flight from Heathrow to New Delhi was very comfortable and there were no issues but quite a few Punjabi passengers shared their similar past experiences with me”.

Upon arriving in New Delhi, she was then interviewed by Indian news channels, where she shared her feelings and experiences during the flight. She is yet to receive a reply from British Airways.

http://www.sikh24.com/2017/09/29/british-airways-refused-water-to-turbaned-sikh-lady-on-flight/#.Wc7MstFx3IU