Smile When You Call Me That

Hey I feel marginalized and neglected and I yearn – I yearn, I tell you, I yearn and burn and pine – to be understood as a community. Won’t someone please understand me as a community? It would make me so happy. Just once in awhile? On weekends maybe? Or during the World Cup?

Hindus…feel neglected and marginalised and yearn to be understood as a community…[They] do not want to be described as “Asian”, according to a big study of the community…The report, Connecting British Hindus, to be published in the Commons today, was funded by the Government and carried out by the Runnymede Trust and the Hindu Forum.

Connecting British Hindus. Connecting them to the community. The Hindu community – not the Asian community – no no – Asian community right out, not to be connected to. The community in ‘the community’ is the Hindu community and not some other kind, else there will be yearning and feelings of neglect. See – if it were called the Asian community, then no one would call it The Community in that thrilling way, whereas if it’s called The Hindu Community, people will. See?

Note the funding by the Hindu Forum. That’s those nice people who got the Husain exhibition closed down. Another reactionary religious ‘forum’ claiming to speak for the whole ‘community’ and being taken at face value by a major newspaper.

Sunny at Pickled Politics notes some bad methodology in that ‘study’:

The survey was carried out through people in focus groups that the Hindu Forum personally invited and an online survey only promoted through their website. The report does not acknowledge there might be a bias towards more religious Hindus than simply cultural Hindus because of this. Not only that, the survey doesn’t actually ask if respondents prefer a Hindu identity over an Asian identity. It asks vaguely interconnected questions and does not pose the question – Do you prefer being described as Hindu or Asian? The Hindu Forum has an obvious interest in promoting this viewpoint because, like the MCB and other religious organisations, they want people to be identified by religion rather than race. That would mean more government/media attention (and money) would go to faith than race groups. Of course, being ‘Asian’ is a very, very vague label that totally ignores the diversity of Asians. But that is a good thing in my opinion because it means less people can speak on our behalf. In fact why not just refer to us as Britons and do away with “community leaders”?

Gosh, there’s a radical idea!

3 Responses to “Smile When You Call Me That”