The Census 2021 is not to determine if we are an ethnic group – we already are and that’s how we have identified ourselves for well over five centuries!
- We simply need to assert it in Census 2021.
In the 2011 Census 83,362 Sikhs proudly identified their ethnic group as being Sikh in keeping with our “Quomi traditions.”
Nationality, Racial and Ethnic definitions are different. So, Sikhs from different racial and nationality backgrounds all belong to the same ethnic group.
For example, Sikhs can hold different nationalities like:
- Canadian, British, Malaysian, Indian etc; Sikhs can be from different racial groups (these have some biological commonalities – DNA strands, physical features, health predispositions etc) like Panjabi (aryan), Caucasian (while), African, Chinese, Aryan etc. But the Ethnicity is the same as it is defined on characteristics (see below).
Definition of Ethnic Group:
For a group to constitute an ethnic group it must regard itself, and be regarded by others, as a distinct community by virtue of certain characteristics.
Some of these characteristics are essential; others are not essential but one or more of them will commonly be found and will help to distinguish the group from the surrounding community.
The essential conditions are:
- A long-shared history, of which the group is conscious as distinguishing it from other groups, and the memory of which it keeps alive;
- A cultural tradition of its own, including family and social customs and manners, often but not necessarily associated with religious observance.
- In addition to the above two essential characteristics the following characteristics are, relevant:
- Either a common geographical origin, or descent from a small number of common ancestors;
- A common language, not necessarily peculiar to the group;
- A common literature peculiar to the group;
- A common religion different from that of neighbouring groups or from the general community surrounding it;
- Being a minority or being an oppressed or a dominant group within a larger community, for example a conquered people (say, the inhabitants of England shortly after the Norman conquest) and their conquerors might both be ethnic groups.
A test set out by Richardson, J. In the County Court is similar and summed up as:
“A group is identifiable in terms of its ethnic origins if it is a segment of the population distinguished from others by a sufficient combination of shared customs, beliefs, traditions and characteristics derived from a common or presumed common past, even if not drawn from what in biological terms is a common racial stock. It is that combination which gives them an historically determined social identity in their own eyes and in the eyes of those outside the group. They have a distinct social identity based not simply on group cohesion and solidarity but also on their belief as to their historical antecedents.”
It is easy to see how Sikhs by virtue of the above are a distinct Ethnic Group (Quom) regardless of nationality or race.
The Challenge over next three weeks:
- Educate every Sikh as to their identity.
- Overcome confusions being caused by some over ethnicity being Panjabi or that Sikhs are only a faith or that stating that Sikhs are Quom or Ethnic Group is somehow being anti national. You can have Indian nationality but still have Sikh ethnicity.
- Sikhi is the Dharm (faith, belief, religion) but Sikh is is also an ethnic group: “a Quom”.
- Panjabi is the mother tongue and heritage language even if you don’t speak it enough.
- Due to work and social networks. Only a few years ago “A” Level Exams were being taken off by the Boards as only a few people were taking the exam. Similarly, almost ever mainstream school has stopped offering Panjabi as a modern language to GCES and ‘A’level pupils. If we loose our language we loose our culture and identity.
- Denying mother tongue and ethnicity is a betrayal of self and ancestry.
Form can be completed online and on paper. It is the law it has to be completed
Why is it important to answer the three questions in a particular way?
The data is used for resource allocations, research, policy development etc. If Sikhs are only classified as a religion, we will be joined up with other Asian/Indian groups and our specifics will be lost. To be counted we have to ensure that we are counted both as a faith and ethnic group (Quom).
The area of historic Panjab has many racial groups due to invasions. There are genetic commonality and it could be arguing that Panjab is a nation of many races. It could be also argued that most Panjabi’s are from 2/3 races and there are many cultural similarities. However, is not an ethnic group.
How did Sikhs evolve into a Quom/Ethnic Group?
It started with Guru Nanak Sahib Ji’s sharing the message being revealed to him. Each successive Guru Sahib added towards the development of distinct peoples. Introduction/promotion of Gurmukhi script was a departure from Farsi and Sanskrit; Manji’s became administrative bases (internal governance structure); battles and establishment of Sri Akaal Takhat Sahib Ji gave further form to state within a state for distinct people’s; battles and inauguration of the Khalsa sealed the evolution leading to Khalsa Raj 1, Genocide, Khalsa Raj 2 and 3, campaigns leading to SGPC and removal of diluting practices of other beliefs were by specific people cementing the identity further.
Sikhs were at the Roundtables with Indian leaders in their own right to discuss British exit. Sikhs as peoples campaigned for Panjabi Suba and experienced the genocide of 1984-1995 as peoples. It is clearly evident from images from the Kissan Mocha that we are a distinct People’s.
Punjabi Suba, which was essentially to safeguard Panjabi language and identity, was turned into a Sikh movement. 58,000 people were arrested at a huge personal cost (including loss of jobs, pensions etc) 250 died / killed. In 1955, Darbar Sahib was attacked as part of preventing the peaceful campaign.
Recognise the human race as one and that all humans originate from same light so none are good or bad. Sikhi reject caste and other divisions that oppress and discriminate. Sikhi supports meritocracy and equality with a God centred life.
However, it does not deny that Quom’s evolve. Being a Sikh Quom does not mean we reject principles of equality of the human race or anti-discrimination etc. In fact, we champion them whilst maintaining and protecting our own identity as Peoples.
- Brief yourself and educate the extended family and social circles.
- Contribute through media
- Help to connect with those who are on the fringes of the community.
- Everyone from the Sikh heritage background is one of us-together we are a single living organism called the SIKH Panth; called the SIKH Quom.
- Cut one and we all bleed.
We have seen this in action when Sikhs are bullied or attacked anywhere in the world or when Sikhi/Sikh are brought into disrepute.
We feel and act together because we are united in the ONE.