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I chose Canada because of the wonderful and helpful Canadians I had met along my life's journey so far. They were extremely nice, kind and tolerant of my language difficulties when first coming from India in 1989 and helped me learn to speak and read English very quickly.
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As a Sikh myself, I admit to reacting to Sajjan's appointment as defence minister with some pride. He was considered a decorated, brave warrior and a role model. As a government minister he came across as a member of cabinet the prime minister could rely on to do their job and get results. This makes his graceless fall all the more disappointing.
In a historic move demonstrating commitment to democracy and human rights, the Ontario Legislature passed a motion to recognize the 1984 anti-Sikh violence as genocide. The term genocide is politically charged and because of this it is rarely used. But, in this instance, acknowledging what happened in 1984 was genocide was truthful, sincere and healing.
The poster marks Sikh Heritage Month in Canada.
If some of our fellow Canadian brothers and sisters are living in fear of being attacked, verbally or physically, because of their identity, we need to do better as a nation, and M-103 is a step in the right direction.
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"We were thanking them, they were thanking us."
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"I mean, people don't realize, but the name 'Sikh' actually means 'to learn.'"
Is an historical apology meaningless if those who were wronged are no longer around to receive it? In the case of the Komagata Maru, the passengers, politicians, immigration officials, and crew have all passed away. Yet, what does remain is the injustice.
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A few years ago I decided to embark on a backpacking trip across Europe for two months. Towards the end of my travels, I found myself at the Sisteen Chapel in Rome, Italy. As I was standing there, enchanted by this insanely crazy masterpiece, I felt a soft whisper perk the tiny hairs on the back of my neck.
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While premier Wynne and her 72-person delegation meet with India's heads of state to talk trade and visit the country's picturesque backdrops for photo-ops, they do so while simultaneously ignoring India's abysmal track record on human rights, systemic inequity and institutional racism.
I remember so distinctly staring around at the room of Toronto Star editors and the people around me, including my own fellow interns, and I remember the exact moment of realizing that everyone in that room, except me, was white. I often believe its all too easy when you exist as a member of the "other," like a minority community like ours, for someone to cling to the idea of being the "first one," the "only one" and achieve what they can in the world for themselves and then go home with the pride of that recognition and nothing else. What if instead of believing there are limited seats to the table, we all chose to add more chairs?
As a Punjabi male born into a Sikh family I am really disgusted by these acts of violence which go against everything I was taught as a Sikh. It is our call of duty to protect the marginalized, oppressed, vulnerable, and weak and advocate for equality, humanity, dignity, and respect for all.
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This week, Canadians observed the National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism. For Sikh Canadians and Jewish Canadians alike, the Day of Remembrance has particular resonance. That our two communities have shared experience in facing terrorism was pointedly on display during the 2008 Mumbai attack.
GUEST CODE: Thanks to our multicultural society, you may find yourself at a wedding this summer that celebrates in ways you aren't familiar with — and we're here to help. Each week, the HuffPost Canad...