Census questions on ethnicity and gender | Letters

Census questions on ethnicity and gender | Letters

It would be wrong to define Sikhs as an ethnic group in the 2021 population survey, says Randhir Singh Bains; being trans is not a matter of sexual orientation, says Paul Brownsey

Your leading article (The census has to hold a mirror that reflects the whole nation, 10 October) pointed out the danger of misusing census data for political purpose. Yet this is precisely what some British MPs have taken it upon themselves to do.

Last month, two MPs of Sikh faith fired off a letter – signed by their 140 colleagues – to the head of the Office for National Statistics, asking him to introduce a separate tick-box for Sikh ethnicity on the 2021 census form. This is despite the fact that the Sikhs are not an ethnic group. How can they be when their “ethnicity” is shared by Muslims and Hindus too? Like their Hindu and Muslim counterparts, they are, and will continue to remain, Punjabis. Any attempt to describe them as anything other than Punjabi would be tantamount to redefining the term “ethnicity”.

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