May 23rd has been declared Komagata Maru Remembrance Day by The City of Vancouver. The City of Vancouver has apologized for the discrimination the Sikhs, Hindus, and Muslims had to face in aboard the vessel.
The Premier of BC, John Horgan, has also issued a statement on Komagata Maru Remembrance Day regarding the wrongs the South Asian community had to face saying Sikhs, Hindus, and Muslims should have been welcomed but instead they were turned away and that we still have a lot of work to do in creating a more inclusive society.
What was the 1914 Komagata Maru incident, and why did #VanCityCouncil apologize this week for their role in it? Listen to passengers’ descendants and families tell the story of what happened this #KomagataMaruRemembranceDay.— City of Vancouver (@CityofVancouver) May 23, 2021
Watch the full video here: https://t.co/yzaXuqoMxF pic.twitter.com/9ZCV27Cx4d
It’s unimaginable how the 376 Sikhs, Muslims & Hindus aboard the Komagata Maru felt when turned away from their new home. Instead of being greeted with compassion, they were met with racism.— John Horgan (@jjhorgan) May 23, 2021
107 yrs later, we still have work to do in building a more welcoming BC for everyone.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also issued a statement regarding the wrongs against the South Asian community. Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan also took to Twitter to share his thoughts on the anniversary of Komagata Maru.
On the 107th anniversary of the Komagata Maru’s arrival in Canada, we remember the victims of this dark chapter in our history. We must also remember that diversity and inclusion are our strengths - and we must never repeat the injustices of our past. https://t.co/qruxktUOwJ— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) May 23, 2021
#OTD 107 years ago, 376 passengers of South Asian descent aboard the Komagata Maru were refused entry into Canada.— Harjit Sajjan (@HarjitSajjan) May 23, 2021
The discriminatory laws of the day did not break the resolve of the South Asian & Sikh community in Canada- they continued to fight for equality.
Learn more here⬇️ https://t.co/ph55cJfonQ
The City of Vancouver has issued an apology for its racist role in denying entry to 376 passengers aboard a ship that was forced to return to India over a century ago.
Mayor Kennedy Stewart says discrimination by the city had "cruel effects" on the Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims aboard the Komagata Maru, which arrived in Burrard Inlet on May 23, 1914.
This morning, #Vancouver City Council formally apologized for its role in the 1914 Komagata Maru incident.— Kennedy Stewart (@kennedystewart) May 18, 2021
The Council of the day officially supported the discriminatory laws that forced passengers to remain on board for 2 months before the ship returned to India. #vanpoli https://t.co/rLlUoKn9yX
Federal officials refused to allow the South Asians to stay in Canada, saying they were flouting immigration laws even though they were British subjects who were forced to stay aboard the ship in poor conditions, often without food and water.
Stewart says that on June 19, 1914, city council went on record saying it was opposed to the admittance of "Hindus and other Asiatic races" into Canada because they'd be a "serious menace" to civilization, both economically and socially.
This will be the first Komagata Maru Remembrance Day marked by the City & I want to recognize the hard work of the community and descendants in making this happen.— Kennedy Stewart (@kennedystewart) May 18, 2021
We need to recognize painful parts of our past so we can keep trying to be better today and in the future.
The passengers were forcibly turned away on July 23 that year and 19 of them were killed in skirmishes with police when they returned to India, while others were jailed for being political agitators.
Stewart has declared May 23 as the annual Komagata Maru Day of Remembrance, saying he and councillors sincerely apologize for the city's historic role in supporting Canada's laws and the repercussions that followed for the passengers and their descendants.
Photo courtesy of City of Vancouver.(Twitter).