LONDON: Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims in Britain feeling more British than the British!
Well, that’s true.
According to a study by the University of Manchester, religious minorities such as Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims feel more British than the British themselves.
According to the study – titled `Who Feels British?’ – which is a deep analysis of the 2011 Census in Britain, Sikhs top every group in Britain in describing themselves as British. As many as 62 percent Sikhs in Britain call themselves British.
Among other south Asian groups, 57 per cent Muslims and 54 per cent Hindus also describe themselves as British, but only 15 per cent Christians feel they are British.
Most Christians – along with the Jews – say they would prefer to call themselves English, according to the study by Manchester University’s Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE).
In fact, as many as 65 per cent Christians and 54 per cent Jews in Britain say they are English. So it means three-fifths of the British population do not identify themselves as British.
Among various ethnic groups, 72 percent Bangladeshi, 63 percent Pakistanis and 58 percent Indians describe themselves as British.
On the contrary, 72 percent Whites and 47 percent mixed ethnic groups call themselves English, according to the study.
Interestingly, the study shows the majority in Britain prefer to call themselves English at a time when the government is talking about promoting British values.
“Indeed, the distinction between British and English identities continues to confuse not only tourists, but policy makers – but it’s something we all need to understand more fully,’’ says lead researcher Dr Stephen Jivraj.
According to him, “If you believe what you read in the newspapers, Muslims are less likely to feel British than anyone else. In fact, the opposite is true.
“For many non white residents, including Muslims, this feeling of Britishness is probably partly a result of the citizenship process: they are surely less likely to take their Britishness for granted.
“Our findings are at odds with the present and previous Government’s emphasis on encouraging ethnic minorities and new migrants to accept ‘British’ life and ‘British’ values.”
So `Englishness’ trumps `Britishness’ in a nation called Great Britain. Shouldn’t it be called Great English?