When Justin Trudeau said, “Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh” (Wonderful Lord’s Khalsa, Victory is to the Wonderful Lord.) it resurrected the faith not only Sikh community but in sensible inclusive politics. He apologized for an event happened in 1914 and it was a remarkable gesture.
The 1900 census reported that 2050 people from India settled in the North American continent, mainly the Punjabis who had settled in Canada.The same year Canada admitted 400,000 Europeans, and the racism started.
In 1907, The Asian Exclusion Act was passed to avoid Asian migration to Canada.
In 1914, Gurdit Singh Sandhu, a well to do businessman set sail with 375 other passengers from Hong Kong to Canada in a Ship named Komagata Maru.When the ship reached Vancouver, it was not allowed to dock by The Premier of British Columbia.
People of the Indo-Canadian origin started holding a protest, threatening to leave Canada if they were not allowed. Only twenty returning residents, and the ship’s doctor and his family were granted admission to Canada.The issue went to court but the court ruled that it had no jurisdiction to interfere in the matter. A navy ship forced Komagata Maru to depart for India on 23rd July, 1914.
On 27th September, 1914, the ship reached Budge-Budge (Kolkata).The British wanted to arrest the leaders of the passengers and identified 20 people including Gurdit Singh Sandhu, who were freedom fighters.
When the people resisted arrest, police fired at the passengers and 19 persons were killed and Justin Trudeau apologized for it in 2016.
Many will say that this is done to attract vote bank of Sikhs which now runs in millions in Canada. Well ! there is more to it then just vote bank politics , this is the moral and ethic values of Canadian PM which made him to do this apology, if he wish he could avoid this very easily . Very few politicians have courage to do this.
However in India we witnessed heinous riots, 1984, 2004 to name few. Will any of the Indian politics courage to apologize for those riots?