Free Press Journal

Britain’s Hindus feel more at home in suburbs: book    


London: Britain’s Hindu population has been embracing suburban life in search of bigger homes and better schools, according to a new book. According to ‘People and Places: A 21st century atlas of the UK’ authored by Danny Dorling and Bethan Thomas, the large majority of Hindus in Britain are of Indian-origin and tend to be an aspirational community that feel more at home in the suburbs.

More than one in four people living in the northwest London suburb of Harrow are Hindu while in Redbridge, northeast London, the figure is about one in six. Figures show that the biggest increases in the Hindu population between 2001 and 2011 were in Harrow and Brent in north London, Hillingdon in west London, Oadby and Wigston in Leicestershire and Watford in Hertfordshire.

There were also increases in other outlying areas like Welwyn and Hatfield in South Buckinghamshire, Hertsmere in Hertfordshire, Epsom and Ewell in Surrey and Windsor and Maidenhead.

Sundip Meghani, a solicitor, told ‘The Times’ in reference to the findings, that the “Hindu community is aspirational and educational attainment is a big deal.”

“The Gujarati mentality is one in which you make your home wherever you land, and you make a damn good go of it, ensuring your kids and grandchildren do even better,” Meghani said.

“There are a number of things that are absolutely crucial to Hindu Gujarati.

One is family and not just immediate family but cousins, aunts and uncles. At the same time a huge priority is education and academic success and then achieving affluence and a decent lifestyle. The importance of family means they will never move too far away from relatives,” he said.

The number of British people identifying themselves as Hindu rose from 0.6 million in 2001 to 0.8 million in 2011, according to the last census data used by the book released last month.

Harrow and Brent in London and the city of Leicester were identified as the top three locations where Hindus are based in greatest concentrations