Friday, 4 March 2011

The Census and Vishvapani

An illustration of the importance of the 2011 census for Buddhism in Britain was given from this morning's "Thought for the Day" slot on the Today program. The speaker was Vishvapani, a Buddhist. Now regular listeners to the Today program may have noticed that we don't get a Buddhist "thought for the day" very often.

The BBC allocates the number of slots roughly in line with the proportion  of each affiliation acording to the latest census. So,in terms of faith background, 78% of presenters were Christians, 8% Jews, 4% Muslims, 4% Sikhs, 3% Hindus and 2% Buddhists. Relative to the 2001 census of population of the UK, and excluding those with no religious affiliation or none stated, Christians were under-represented as presenters (93% being their expected share, given Thought for the Day’s current brief).

By contrast, Jews, Sikhs, Hindus and Buddhists were over-represented in leading Thought for the Day, with the representation of Muslims nearly right in terms of the census (although their numbers have increased considerably since that time).

If you meditate, value compassion and live your life by the principals extolled by the Buddha and want to hear more excellent talks by Vishvapani "Tick the Box for Buddhism" in the census on March the 27th.

You can listen to Vishvapani's talk on an "ethical foreign policy" and the events in North Africa in our Audio Section under the Thought for the Day page.


  1. Good grief!! If it means having to listen to more of Vishvapani's platitudes, I'll definitely be recording "Jedi" this time

  2. But Johan, if lots of us "tick the box" the Beeb will have to get MORE Buddhist speakers.