"if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen
the side of the oppressor." - Desmond Tutu.

City of Burnaby proclaims Jallianwala Bagh massacre centenary Featured

 

The Burnaby municipality made a proclamation in recognition of 100 years of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre on Monday, April 8.

The proclamation was read out by City Councillor Sav Dhaliwal on behalf of Mayor Mike Hurley, in the presence of several members of the Indo Canadian community at a public meeting held at Edmonds Community Centre.

On April 13, 1919 close to 1,000 people were killed at Jallianwala Bagh, a public park in Amritsar in British India when the troops opened fire on peaceful demonstrators who had gathered in protest against repressive laws and the arrests of the leader of passive resistance movement against foreign occupation.

Dhaliwal himself is of Indian origin and was instrumental behind the proclamation. Burnaby is the first municipality in BC to make such a proclamation. Notably, Dhaliwal was also instrumental behind similar proclamations in recognition of the birth centenary of Bhagat Singh in 2007 and 100 years of the Ghadar Party in 2013. Bhagat Singh was a towering Indian revolutionary who was executed for assassinating a British police officer, while the Ghadar Party was a group of radical activists who believed in an armed rebellion against the British Empire.

The proclamation made by Mike Hurley declared April 13 as “Commemoration Day”.

It was later presented to community activists who have been trying to keep the history of Jallianwala Bagh massacre alive in Canada. Among them were Mehak Punjab Dee TV producer Kamaljit Singh Thind and Professor Mohan Singh Memorial Foundation Sahib Thind. Both individuals had started a campaign to put pressure on the British government to make a formal apology for the bloody incident.

Others present on the occasion were Dr. Raghbir Singh Sirjana, who is an authority on the history of Ghadar Party, former Burnaby School Trustee Baljinder Kaur Narang, and the members of Indians Abroad for Pluralist India which had lobbied for the proclamation.

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