The use of the term "South Asian" to refer to Sikhs in Canadian media and academia is not only inaccurate but also a symptom of systemic racism. This practice reflects a historical attempt to assimilate Sikhs into a broader, homogenized group of people from the Indian subcontinent, which denies Sikhs their unique cultural identity and heritage as a distinct Quam and civilization.
Sikh Canadians have made immense contributions to Canadian society and culture, and it is crucial to recognize and respect their cultural heritage. The use of the term "South Asian" undermines Sikh Canadians' agency and diminishes their rightful place in Canadian culture.
As a society, we should reject this discriminatory practice and celebrate the richness and diversity of our multicultural heritage. We need to foster a more inclusive and enlightened approach to cultural identity that acknowledges and honors the unique cultural identities of all Canadians, including Sikh Canadians.
It is time to move beyond outdated practices that exclude and marginalize certain groups and embrace a more inclusive and equitable society. We must strive to ensure that all Canadians are treated with respect and dignity, regardless of their cultural or religious background, and create a society that truly values and celebrates diversity.