Sikhs being counted as separate ‘ethno-religious’ group in US census

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By Arul Louis
New York, Sep 8 |
In a break from the US constitutional separation of state and religion, the administration of President Donald Trump has introduced Sikhs as a distinctive group to be counted in the ongoing census and not as Asian Indians.

Because of the legal prohibition against asking questions about religion, Census Bureau officials said they consider Sikhism a “cultural” or an “ethno-religious” identity.

Sikhism does not appear as a category to tick off on the census forms that US residents are legally required to fill out, but Sikhs can tick off the “Other Asian” category and write in their religion as a sub-category instead of listing themselves under Asian Indian or other listed racial and ethnic identities, according to the Census Bureau.

But while anyone can write-in any religious or ethnic or linguistic identities beyond the categories that appear on the form, only Sikhs and some others are given a code that will allow them to be tabulated separately when the 2020 reports are made.

“‘Sikh’ will be included as a distinct detailed population group within the ‘Asian’ racial category, and not classified as ‘Asian Indian’ as it was in the 2010 Census when it was viewed as a religious response,” according to the Census Bureau.

The bureau did not say where Sikhs who were not of Asian origin, like many members of the Sikh Dharma of the Western Hemisphere, who are racially White, can write-in their separate identity.

“The Census Bureau included ‘Sikh’ codes as part of the draft 2020 Census code list within the 2018 Census Test Redistricting Data Prototype,” it said.

Asian Indian appears as one of the ethnic or racial categories that can be ticked off on the form along with Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese.

Pakistanis do not have a category to tick off on the form, but the form suggests that they can write in their ethnicity under “Other Asian.”

The provision for Sikhs to write in their identity was publicised in January.

Rachel Marks, the chief of the bureau’s racial statistics branch, explained to Newsday how they got around the ban on religion questions by classifying Sikhism as an “ethno-religious” category rather a religion.

She told the newspaper that while the census is prohibited by law from soliciting information on religion, Sikhs fall into the ethno-religious category because their religion is “intertwined to become more of a cultural identity”.

The Census Bureau has been working with the Sikh community during the past decade, she told Newsday and “they told us they really needed this, to be counted separately”.

The effort to count Sikhs meshes in with the move to count various ethnic groups that had been swept under the general categories of White, Black or “Other Asian.”

In a statement to the newspaper, Marks and Census Bureau’s Race and Ethnic Research Director Nicholas Jones, said the Census Bureau is “committed to producing data for detailed race and ethnic groups, including distinct detailed groups like the Sikh, Irish, Jamaican and hundreds of other populations”.

Marks told Newsday that there was a precedent for counting “ethno-religious groups” and cited the Amish, a reclusive Christian sect that eschews most modern technologies.

New York City has launched a video in Punjabi language to reach “Sikhs, who are predominantly Punjabi language speakers”.

Vishavjit Singh, a Sikh community advocate and artist who wore a “Sikh Captain America uniform” is featured in the video which the city broadcast as public service announcements on local Punjabi TV channels, the city said.

Appealing to illegal immigrants, City Census Director Julie Menin said: “We thank Vishvajit Singh for making sure his community knows that there is no immigration or citizenship question on the census and that all responses are completely confidential and cannot be used by anyone, including law enforcement, your landlord, or ICE (Immigration Customs Enforcement agency).”

City Census Deputy Director Amit Singh Bagga recalled that his father had suffered “painful discrimination” after 9/11 and said: “There can be no more important exercise for all of us Sikhs to participate in than that which truly allows us to be seen, heard, and respected – and that is the census.”

“If we are not counted, we will be invisible when it comes to the dollars and cents that come right into our communities for schools, hospitals, roads, and more – not to mention that we will be deprived of representation that truly reflects the needs and priorities of our communities,” he asserted without explaining how funds can be allocated on the basis of religion or “etho-religious” identity as the budgets do not channel money explicitly for such groups or how legislative constituencies can be gerrymandered for Sikhs.

(Arul Louis can be reached at arul.l@ians.in and followed on Twitter at @arulouis)

Source: IANS

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Meet Gurmeet singh Shunty A New Superhero With Turban

Meet Gurmeet singh Shunty A New Superhero With Turban

In the last year, the whole world was struck by a large pandemic. The year 2020 came with a pandemic called coronavirus which affected the whole world badly. Coronavirus in India resulted in great downfalls in health, economy, unemployment, and so on. Lakhs of People Lost their lives, jobs, and their loved ones. The whole year was very disturbing for each section of society. Coronavirus in India resulted in great downfalls of health, economy, unemployment, and so on. The whole year passed with a large Tension and fear for all the peoples. In the hard times of coronavirus spread, a lot of peoples came out and helped the person in need and It is one of the very few positive effects of Covid-19.

During the blast of the Covid-19 pandemic in the world our volunteers have demonstrated an exceptional display of solidarity across the world and our society. However, this is also the year which witnessed the world coming together to fight coronavirus. The year with its share of trials and tribulations threw up some exemplary work being done by organisations and individuals in this difficult time as the pandemic spread, a new breed of warriors with an indomitable spirit stood up bravely against it to take on the challenge head on.

In the hard times of lockdown, a lot of peoples came out and helped the person in need and It helped the society to live again with a hope of being helped in bad time. During the Large spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in the world our leaders of the society have demonstrated an exceptional display of solidarity across the world and in our society too. They did a Great work in every aspect needed at that time, from Responding to calls for help from their local communities to help them by going on roads, they are everyday heroes who came as a preserver for them.

They do wear masks and face shields to protect themselves and spread awareness in the society to follow each rule and regulation. We can say that there are many things which has spread faster than the coronavirus during the pandemic, it has been the noble works, fearless steps, selfless service and recognition of Gurmeet Ji and his supporters who continued to work day and night to save other’s lives. He also set up camps and volunteer help alongside highways and by roadsides, just to provide relief and support the migrant workers going back to their places all over India.

Among the Great hidden heroes who worked day and night to fight during lockdown, one such person is Gurmeet Singh shunty ji, who is the ex general secretary of delhi sikh gurudwara committee.Being at such great post he always learned to do sewa and that teaching has been always with him which dedicated him towards the society to work for the people of his own nation and humanity. Gurmeet Ji worked 24×7 , without caring of himself. He is the person who have been stepping in to help during the pandemic and they all have been a portrait of selflessness and optimism to this society.

Gurmeet Ji believe that our selfless acts or Sewa in any form must be done to save humanity, Sewa require a true heart and helping nature which will bring both helper and victim happy. During the tough times of coronavirus, Gurmeet Ji and his volunteers came out of their comfort zones to help lakhs of migrants workers who wanted to go back to their hometown during the COVID-19 lockdown. So in that  time  when the world undergoes such vast pandemics which affects all the person Whether it’s a small or large donation of money, resource or humanity, each things matter.

During the tough times of coronavirus, when everyone was thinking of themselves First, Gurmeet Ji and his volunteers came out of their comfort zones to help lakhs of migrants workers who wanted to go back to their hometown during the COVID-19 lockdown.Despite of being older in age,He did not let himself to be inside house and watch news of the suffering surroundings but he helped as many people as he could during the crisis by arranging food, buses, trains and most importantly by giving a warmth of love and care.He created a large team just to help the peoples in problem and inspired many others to do so. We can say that there are many things which has spread faster than the coronavirus during the pandemic, it has been the noble works, fearless steps, selfless service and recognition of Gurmeet Ji and his supporters who continued to work day and night to save other’s lives by risking his own and his family’s health. They didn’t even meet their family members and specially children for months,for their Safety and some even spend nights in their vehicles and outside home to assure that the virus doesn’t spread further to their loved ones and family members. Government took various steps to save our nation from the bad impacts of corona spread and one of them was lockdown. Lockdown was done to stop the spread the corona in nation but it resulted in great losses.when lots of People were on Roads, lots have nothing to eat and some were not having anyone for their care, without any money and food thousands of People covered thousands of kms on their feets, with their families and whatever they had earned in their lifetime, there comes some unknown super heroes of our society who helped them selflessly.

Their faces get rashed by the mask marks, they continuously took medicines to save themselves and others too. They maintain distance from their own members in order to help other persons to reach their destinations. In the bad times we get to know about many such People and These are the people who are helping in restoring humanity’s faith by coming up with novel ideas and their great works which inspires whole society to come ahead. That was the time when a number of labourers, their children and other family members were forced to return back to their places but Gurmeet Ji risked his life to save theirs.He started his service with providing cooked food as langar sewa and later switched to dry rations too, with the objective that people in need should not go to sleep on an empty stomach and they must not loose their hearts and continue their journey with less problems. It’s very hard to find such person in this crucial time when everyone put themselves first but Gurmeet Ji believe in his teachings and said “our panth has taught us the lesson of jan sewa, and we will continue this legacy till our last breathe.”

All the people who helped any of the person in need will be in their memory for forever as they made them believe on brotherhood and humanity in such a Crisis. It is beleived that in when some person get trapped in trouble even your shadow leave your side but the persons like Gurmeet Ji taught each and every person of society that we Must help each other to maintain love and care in society which will make then believe in the existence of god. If God has given you the power and resources to help others you must move forward as your one step can change anybody’s life.Gurmeet ji said that “our great sangat give us the teachings of sharing whatever less or more you have and These teachings which I started learning since my childhood inspired me to help my brothers and sisters of this society. ” He further added that he feel so happy and blessed that he could be the reason of anyone’s little smile. He requested everyone that even Your small step can save someone’s life and make them beleive into humanity and brotherhood.He started his service with providing cooked food as langar sewa and later

 

switched to dry rations too, with the objective that people in need should not go to sleep on an empty stomach and they must not loose their hearts and continue their journey with less problems.

He also set up camps and volunteer help alongside highways and by roadsides, just to provide relief and support the migrant workers going back to their places in UP, Bihar and even farther. It was clearly seen during the pandemic when thousands of people were going towards their villages with their small children and had nothing to feed them, at that time Gurmeet Ji provided them food ,water and other necessary items which brought  beautiful smiles and tears of happiness in their eyes as they never expected that in this crucial time there could be someone who will act as a survival medium for them.

At that time many warriors came in the front line to help the society. Despite being senior in age Gurmeet singh Shunty ji, was the Person who came out of the house when everyone was locked. He was standing in the crowd to help them reach their houses and made  very hard decisions at the right time.

We need to Recognise these Heroes so that they could work more and more for the welfare of this society. We need to Recognise these unsung Heroes so that they could work more and more for this society as “this society is all about give and take.”  They have given millions of smiles and its our time.They must be appreciated for their noble works to boost such works of brotherhood. They have given millions of smiles and its our time to pay them back.

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