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

Nirmal Singh Gill’s picture unveiled at Surrey-Delta Gurdwara Senior Center Featured

Close to the 24th anniversary of the murder of a temple keeper who died in the line of duty while defending the place of worship, his portrait was installed during a brief ceremony held on Saturday, January 8.

Nirmal Singh Gill was killed in a violent attack by white supremacists on January 4, 1998 at the Surrey-Delta Gurdwara.

On Saturday, anti racist activists came together for the unveiling of his picture right inside the senior centre located in the temple premises.

Among those present were former Neo Nazi and anti-hate educator Tony McAleer, and the first turbaned Sikh RCMP officer Baltej Singh Dhillon. Dhillon not only endured racism both within and outside the force, but had also investigated Gill’s murder.

Imtiaz Popat, the cofounder of Coalition Against Bigotry, who has made a documentary on Gill, was also in attendance. All three individuals paid tributes to Gill and emphasized that it was important to keep his story alive to fight back against racism that refuses to die. They also urged the senior centre to be renamed after Gill, who laid down his life while resisting a racist attack on the temple.

The Gurdwara President Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who did the unveiling amidst Sikh religious slogans of victory, also spoke on the occasion. The ceremony took place on the sidelines of celebrations of the birth anniversary of the tenth master of Sikhism, Guru Gobind Singh, who had denounced bigotry and called for the entire humankind to be treated as one race. The picture was sent from Toronto by Gill’s grandson, Paramjit Singh Sandhu, who couldn’t make it to the event due to a death in his family.

 

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