The President of Bradford’s oldest Gurdwara has labelled some findings from the national UK Sikh Survey as untrue, stating there is greater cohesion amongst everyone in British society.
Upon its publication last month, the survey showed that almost one in five Sikhs (18 per cent), from the questioned 4,500 faith members, said they had suffered some sort of discrimination in a public place over the past 12 months.
However, Ranbir Singh, President of the Guru Gobind Singh Gurdwara, on Leeds Road, argues that the number should in fact be much lower.
Having held his position inside the temple for over a decade, he simply said the statistics were ‘not true’.
“I have been living in this country for the past 40 years now and I have never suffered any sort of discrimination anywhere, in any place,” he said.
“Britain is one of the best countries in the world and me and my family have never had any problems.
“I have been the president at this Gurdwara for the last 14 years also and have heard very few reports of any type of discrimination throughout all that time.”
Mr Singh vehemently denies the findings and says the only time he hears of bad news, is when bad actions are done.
“If you are doing nothing wrong, nobody will say anything to you in this country, I am sure of that,” he added.
“If I am doing something wrong then the law in this country is very simple, I won’t get away with it and people will know about it. They will not, however, treat me differently because I am a Sikh.”
Despite his contradicting views to the figures revealed about discrimination, Mr Singh does agree with other data highlighted in the survey.
One such statistic is the 89 per cent of Sikh respondents, aged 16 or over, who described their nationality as ‘British’.
“I’ve been living in this country for the past 40 years and I do still have an Indian passport,” he said.
“However, I must say that I do feel that I am British. I am living in this beautiful country and am proud to be British.
“I think everybody has to feel this way because it is a great place to live.”
The UK Sikh Survey is the largest and most comprehensive specific study to date of the views of Sikhs in the UK.
It was developed and managed by the Sikh Network to devise better statistical evidence on a range of issues that concern the British Sikh community where there was a knowledge gap.
Further ‘identity’ statistics from the UK Sikh Survey 2016 showed that:
- 69% of all Sikhs (living in the UK) were born in the UK
- Over 91% of Sikhs in the UK have British nationality
- 19 out of 20 Sikhs reject being described as ‘Indian’ or ‘Asian’
- 93.5% of Sikhs would welcome the inclusion of a separate ethnic tick box for Sikhs in the Census
• More than 94% of Sikhs would welcome a Statutory Code of Practice for the 5Ks and Sikh turban