Sunday, August 17, 2014

Community spirit? Sikhs and Lord Suri

The very notion of a community leader promotes the idea that ethnic or religious identity defines an individual's views on all other matters

It turns out that Ranbir Singh Suri isn't a leading representative of the Sikh community; he's just a Sikh bloke. How easily we become confused. In fact Lord Suri, who was ennobled last week, is many things beside being Sikh. He's been a magistrate for more than a decade, he's the chairman of a very successful jewellery company and a long-term donor to the Tory party. 

 According to the Sikh Federation UK he also has about as much to do with Sikh community organisations as Lord Alan Sugar. Lord Suri is, however, a leading representative of another misunderstood group: "community leaders". 

 This is not a status Lord Suri claimed for himself. The title is almost always awarded by a second party, usually the government or the media. In Lord Suri's case it was a No 10 spokesperson who described him as a leading figure in the British Sikh community and an official citation which represented him as "former General Secretary of the Board of British Sikhs" – a group which folded more than 20 years ago after holding a few meetings.

with thanks : Independent : LINK : for detailed news.

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