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

BC proclaims Sant Teja Singh Day Featured

 

The provincial government has honoured an anti-racist activist and scholar, who exposed the conspiracy to relocate Indian immigrants to British Honduras.  

A proclamation has been signed to declare July 1, 2021 as “Sant Teja Singh Day” by the Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing and the Lieutenant Governor.  

Sant Teja Singh was a towering spiritual leader of the Sikh community who fought for the equal rights to the immigrants, especially those who began coming to BC from India during the end of the nineteenth century. This was the time when India was under British occupation, and most immigrants started arriving to this part of the world as British subjects in hopes of a better livelihood. However, they had to endure blatant racism, not allowed to bring in their families, or the right to vote. The authorities who wanted to keep Canada as a “white man’s land” adopted several policies that were aimed at discouraging permanent settlement of Indian immigrants in BC.  

As part of these measures, a conspiracy was hatched to relocate Indian immigrants to Honduras.  

Sant Teja Singh came to know about such plans. He alerted his community and helped in mobilizing people against it.  

The community’s resistance forced the government to abandon the idea.   

Every year, the Sikhs commemorate Sant Teja Singh Day on July 1. Gurdwara Sukh Sagar Sahib, Khalsa Diwan Society in New Westminster has been in the forefront of this tradition.  

Recognizing these efforts of the community, the BC government has officially proclaimed July 1 as Sant Teja Singh Day.  

Significantly, the proclamation describes Singh as “a humanitarian, scholar and tireless advocate for Sikhs in Canada who dedicated his life to challenging inequality, fighting for a just society and serving without discrimination in accordance with the tenets of Sikhism”.  

The development comes when the BC government is already on the way to bring anti-racism legislation in the light of growing bigotry and hate.  

 

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Last modified on Tuesday, 29 June 2021 03:05
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