The Tragedy of Komagata Maru

by: Puran Singh (Dr.), Canada

  • ₹ 350.00 (INR)

  • ₹ 315.00 (INR)
  • Hardback
  • ISBN: 0-9881616-0
  • Edition(s): Dec-2015 / 1st
  • Pages: 200
  • Availability: In stock
The Tragedy of Komagata Maru narrates the true story of the suffering and struggles of Sikhs. When their ship, the Komagata Maru, was not permitted to dock at the Vancouver port, it was kept a mile away in the deep Canadian water. Baba Gurdit Singh, a Sikh businessman chartered a Japanese ship with 376 passengers on board (mostly Sikhs from India), to challenge the continuous racist legislation and policy of the Canadian government. The ship arrived in Vancouver on May 23,1914 and for two months, the Khalsa Diwan Society and Sikh leaders fought legal battles against the government. They even appealed to the higher authorities in Ottawa and London, but to no avail. The passengers were humiliated, tortured and left with no choice but to leave the Canadian water and return to India. When they arrived at Budge Budge, British police told them to disembark and board a special train to Punjab. However, the passengers resisted and then the British police responded with open fire. Many of the exhausted passengers were killed or seriously injured, but some were able to escape. The author of this work consulted original documents, confidential files from Vancouver, Ottawa and national archives in order to submit his research thesis. All these sources helped him understand, as well as analyze the Canadian government's policies and the efforts of the Sikh community to confront and fight economic discrimination, racism and colonialism.

Preface / 9

Acknowledgements / 15


  Purpose and Scope

Chapter I

  Hisiory of the Indian Migration (1897'1920) / 27

  1. Early Migration of the Sikhs / 28

  2. Immigration Laws and Prejudices / 37

Chapter II

  Komagata Maru TragedY (1914) / 62

  1. Chartering of Komagata Maru and Gurdit Singh / 63

  2. Departure of Komagata Maru from Hong Kong / 68

  3. Arrival of the Komagata Maru in Vancouver / 72

Chapter III

  Legal Battles / 81

  1. The Canadian Bureaucrats and their Tactics / 82

  2. Court of Appeal / 89

  3. Intimidation and Torturing / 97

  4. The Ship Turned Away / 107

Chapter IV

  Aftermath of the Tragedy / 117

  1. Assassination / 118

  2. Budge-Budge Episode and Governmental Enquiry / 135

   3. Canadian Enquiry Commission / 151

Conclusion / 159

Appendices / 163

 1. Tables - Immigrants population / 163

 2. List of passengers / 168

 3. Leaders of the passengers on the Komagata Maru / 180

 4. Members of the Ship Committee / 181

 5. Members of the Shore Committee formed by the Sikhs of Vancouver / 182

 6. List of those who were killed at Budge_Budge / 183

 7. List of the Arrested passengers / 185

 8. The wording of two plaques at Vancouver / 186

Bibliography / 187

Index / 195

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