British Sikh MP Preet Gill is busy tabling parliamentary questions as some Sikh groups are lobbying MPs in an orchestrated bid to overturn the Office for National Statistics (ONS) recommendation not to have a Sikh ethnic tick box in the 2021 UK census.
The Sikh Federation (UK) (SFUK), Sikh Council UK, All-Party Parliamentary Group for British Sikhs (APPG) for British Sikhs, of which Gill is chair, want the box to be included in the response to the question “What is your ethnic group?”.
On December 14, 2018, the ONS recommended that Sikh would remain as an option in the religion question but not be added to the ethnicity question “because this would not be acceptable to a proportion of the Sikh population”.
ONS said it reached this conclusion having undertaken qualitative and quantitative research between 2015 and 2018, to explore whether to add Sikh under ‘Asian/Asian British’ in the ethnicity response box, which has Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Chinese, or whether to add it under ‘Other ethnic group’ next to ‘Arab’.
Infuriated by the response, Sikh groups launched a year-long campaign #MakeSikhsCount2021 to get the tick box included in the secondary legislation, which the government will put before the Parliament in the form of a Census Order later this year.