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On the back of recommendations in a recently released race report commissioned by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson which called for the term BAME – Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic – to be discontinued as it was no longer helpful and even demeaning, iGlobal launched the to add the British Indian voice to this debate.
The aim of the snapshot month-long survey that iGlobal ran last month was to get the pulse of the community on how they feel about the term and categorisation.
“Use of the term BAME, which is frequently used to group all ethnic minorities together, is no longer helpful. It is demeaning to be categorised in relation to what we are not, rather than what we are: British Indian, British Caribbean and so on.
“The BAME acronym also disguises huge differences in outcomes between ethnic groups. This reductionist idea forces us to think that the principle cause of all disparities must be majority versus minority discrimination.”
This excerpt from the , whose recommendations are currently under consideration by Downing Street, was the starting point for this exercise.
The outcome of the survey of around 800 respondents is clear: a resounding YES to ditching this historic and offensive tag, so often used by politicians and the media.
Do you want the term BAME to be history? Yes = 75.9% No = 24.1%
Do you find the term BAME offensive? Yes = 63.1% No = 36.9%
Do you want BAME to be replaced with British Indian to describe your ethnicity? Yes = 84.4% No=15.6%
“The result of iGlobal’s survey is categoric. The community is large enough and proud enough to want to be able to determine its own identity – as British Indian. It’s time for politicians and the media to respect the wishes of British Indians and ditch the offensive BAME tag,” said Manoj Ladwa, Chairman and CEO of the India Inc. Group, publishers of .
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“I identify myself as Indian and not Asian,” said , an active community leader as founder of the Voice of Dogras platform, with reference to the survey.
“For too long the Global Left had tried to box in people in their created identity to create their narratives,” said T.V. Mohandas Pai, Chair of Manipal Global Education, as he welcomed the survey.
“The ‘BAME’ acronym can obscure too much, and has done for a long time,” says Sunder Katwala, Director of the think tank British Future, whose own research has found that most ethnic minority Britons slightly prefer “ethnic minority” as an umbrella term in favour of BAME.
Katwala was referring to a headline point being made by – in his former role as a think-tanker at the Policy Exchange in 2015.
“Let’s make things fairer on race – because the progress we have made on race hasn’t met the rising expectations of the generation to come,” notes Katwala.