UPDATE: After receiving a massive amount of emails, it has been clarified that these comments were not made by the mayor but coined by the reporter responsible for writing the article. A message from the editor can be found here. Thank you to all for remaining vigilant and forcing an explanation from the mayors office, and a thank you to the mayor for proactively clarifying that these words were not her own.
It’s a yearly festivity, where they come together, plan, coordinate and execute. If you’re thinking about Vaisakhi, well…your sort of right – but a little wrong.
Every year, the BC Media, elite and politicians have made it an annual event to attack and attempt to discredit the Sikh community – specifically one of Canada’s largest celebrations of Vaisakhi in Surrey BC.
Well Viola! Yet again, this years Nagar Keertan in Surrey has become the center of attention with an alleged onslaught of false reporting and accusations made by the media and politicians. To make it worse – the mayor of Surrey has now targetted the community by referring to the Nagar Keertan as a pest, by stating “I’ve had enough of this hornet’s nest called Vaisakhi” – Racist much?
Well check it out, the mayor/media have attempted to justify their behaviour and attack on the community by reporting and claiming that the organizers had agreed not to enter certain floats with certain images – Well, wheres the agreement? And since, when do the following individuals count as terrorists?
- Jaswant Singh Khalra
- Sant Jarnail Singh
- Bhai Amrik Singh
- General Subeg Singh
- Bhagat Singh
- Baba Thara Singh
- Gurjant Singh Budsingwala
Seriously, if Jaswant Singh Khalra a man who spoke in parliaments around the world or Bhagat Singh a man celebrated as a hero by the Government of India itself, are terrorists – then extraducial murders and imperialist/colonial rule, must be okay!?
Truthfully, enough is enough! Students, activists, elders, comrades and supporters it’s time we show our solidarity against these targeted attacks by responding with the electronic might of the metaphorical pen and start typing. Tell they Surrey Mayor your shocked and concerned about her comments and email her the following letter.
Subject: The Hornets Nest that is 500,000 Canadian Sikhs.
Early this morning, a local newspaper quoted the mayor of Surrey, Dianne Watts as saying that she has “had enough with this hornet’s nest called Vaisakhi.” Perhaps out of ignorance or out of sheer arrogance, the statement will forever tarnish the image of Surrey’s Mayoral office as it begins a vehement campaign of disparagement and discrimination against the Canadian Sikh community.
Every year, the city of Surrey is livened as over a hundred thousand Sikhs and their non-Sikhs counterparts parade through the street inspiring to stand in solidarity for the celebration of the birth of the Khalsa. This birth, unknown and fallen deafly upon the ears of the Mayor, is more than just a hornets nest. The Birth of the Khalsa represents a centuries long struggle to free millions from the shackles of spiritual and political slavery, empowering them to take up defence of the defenceless, providing institutions and spaces for equitable engagements without the onerous caste ridden ideologies that discriminated against them putting them on par with the swine and foul that lined the villages of Panjab. This was the pinnacle of a social, spiritual and political revolution that drastically changed the dynamics of Indian society and created such a shift in the paradigm that would forever change the mosaic of India for centuries to come. This was the day of Vaisakhi.
Uncouthly, Mayor Watts has taken an issue that may have had legitimate concerns and expediently turned it into an all out discriminatory attack against the Sikh community. This clumsiness not only reflects in her unfortunate and hurtful words, but her constant statements that Gurdwara Sahib Dasmesh Darbar had provided her and her office assurances that no so called ‘controversial’ floats would be present. The Gurdwara Sahib Dasmesh Darbar has made no such formal arrangements with the Mayor.
The Canadian Sikh Coalition demands that Mayor Dianne Watts provide substantial evidence that the organizers of the parade had provided written and formal agreements with her and her office that no so called controversial floats would be allowed. It is without doubt that any float that is allowed to enter the parade is firstly inspected by the RCMP. The Canadian Sikh Coalition would also like legal clarification as to how the City can run a religious festival under it’s parameters of a clear and distinct separation from church and state. Lastly, the Canadian Sikh Coalition is deeply troubled that blatant lies are being propagated suggesting that the floats contained pictures of Talwinder Singh Parmar and the two Sikhs who assassinated Indira Ghandi. The floats did not contain the images of these individuals. It is incumbent of Mayor Watts that she clarifies why she stated otherwise.
If these statements are not made clear and if they continue to persist, the Gurdwara Sahib Dasmesh Darbar will have no other recourse but to publicly denounce Mayor Watts and ensure that the Sikh community does not support Mayor Watts in any capacity. Most importantly, Mayor Watts will always be seen as an individual with a predisposed bias against the Sikh community.