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British Hindus say no to 'Asian' tag

Majority of Hindus in Britain want to be called British Indian, Hindu or even desi according to a survey.

india Updated: Jul 12, 2006 13:28 IST

Majority of Hindus in Britain do not like to be described as Asian, but want to be called British Indian, Hindu or even desi, according to a survey.

The survey, 'Connecting British Hindus', to be published in the British parliament on Tuesday, showed that 80 per cent of the respondents prefer to be called British Indian or British Hindus, rather than be identified under the British Asian tag along with others from Pakistan, Bangladesh or Sri Lanka.

British Hindus also voiced concern over a "general assumption" that any brown-skinned Asian person was Muslim and said they feel "neglected, marginalised and misunderstood," according to the survey, carried out by the Runnymede Trust and the Hindu Forum of Britain.

The survey, which questioned about 800 Hindus of different backgrounds and ages, found that some often felt "misunderstood and excluded" from discussions on race.

It suggested that Hindus should be supported in playing "a fuller role" in British society through the promotion of Hindu culture and beliefs, community engagement and creating more leadership opportunities.

The survey report urged Prime Minister Tony Blair to ensure that his government include Hindus in work undertaken to tackle racism in Britain.

Britain's 700,000 Hindus are the country's third largest faith group after Christians and Muslims.

"This is historical and pioneering attempt to document the feelings, aspirations, fears and contributions of Britain's Hindus," Ramesh Kallidai, Secretary General of the Hindu Forum of Britain, said about the report.