His son is having a different experience than he did growing up.
“In the Sikh tradition we celebrate our shared humanity, the connection between us all and the idea that we are all one."
He runs along New York City streets partly so people can see him.
Canadians can be judgey when it comes to politicians' appearances. Stephen Harper was fat-shamed over his fondness for root beer. Chrystia Freeland takes heat for often wearing the same dress. And if Tom Mulcair's beard was a topic for the last federal campaign, it's certain Singh's beard, tuban, and kirpan -- all tenets of his faith -- will be the subject of discussion at the coffee shop, the ice rink, and on talk radio.
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.
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.
Discrimination still exists and the racist posters that surfaced across the University of Alberta campus this week were a reminder of that fact. The posters featured a picture of a Sikh man and disparaging captions targeting Sikh values. As a turban-wearing Sikh, the hatred and ignorance that motivates such material is very close to home for me and the broader Sikh community.
Simply put, sports has a way of connecting people. When you throw on your team colours, you're no longer a Sikh, Jew, Christian, White, or Black. You're simply a fan. And the only thing that matters in that moment is realizing the dream of seeing your team lift up the trophy one day and host a parade on your home streets.
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?
YouTube stars Lilly Singh and Kanwer Singh, better known as Superwoman and Humble the Poet sit down with Raji Aujla to talk about the process of creating their viral music video, #Leh.