Monday November 19, 2018
Home Indian Diaspora Canada’...

Canada’s Sikh officer who fought for right to wear turban honored

1
//
Photo: Flickr

Vancouver: Baltej Singh Dhillon, who made the history after being appointed the first turbaned Sikh officer in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), was honored at an annual event held to eradicate racism on Saturday.

Organized by Spice Radio in partnership with Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, it was second annual Raise Your Hands Against Racism campaign that was launched on the occasion of Martin Luther King’s birth anniversary last year.

Dhillon’s appointment in 1990 had stirred lot of controversy as it led to quite the racist backlash with rightwing groups openly opposing his recruitment. However, he won the fight despite many challenges and hostility.

Dhillon told HT that the RCMP will soon have turbans for commissioned Sikh officers like himself which means uniform rules are going to be amended to accommodate turbaned officials.

Dhillon is the first individual to be honored as part of the anti-racism initiative that was started by Spice Radio CEO Shushma Datt, a seasoned broadcaster in the local South Asian community. She has announced that each year trailblazers like Dhillon will be recognised and honoured for standing up against discrimination in any form.

The campaign coincides with the festival of Holi and participants are encouraged to dip their hands in color and leave their handprints on a sheet of white paper along with a statement against racism at different locations across Greater Vancouver.

People from different ethnicities thronged to all these locations in Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey and White Rock to participate in the campaign. The volunteers wore t-shirts carrying slogan #HandsAgainstRacism. The campaign location in Surrey, with a sizable Punjabi population, remained a crowd puller where Indo-Canadian MLA Harry Bains also showed up.

Both Vancouver and Surrey municipalities made proclamations recognizing the campaign.

At the opening event held at Roundhouse Community Center, prominent South Asian scholar Suresh Kurl spoke about the significance of Holi and its relevance in the fight against racism. Shiamak Davar dance team and a team of drummers led by popular radio host Gurp Sian performed on the occasion.

Source: Hindustan Times

  • Shriya Katoch

    Such bravehearted people that protect our culture in foreign borders should truly be rewarded .

Next Story

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg To Testify Before a US-Canada ‘Grand Committee”

Joining forces with Canada — and perhaps other countries — seems designed to prod Zuckerberg and persuade him to change his mind.

0
facebook, U.S. Politicals ads
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a House Energy and Commerce hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington about the use of Facebook data to target American voters in the 2016 election and data privacy. VOA

Parliamentary committees in Britain and Canada on Wednesday urged Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before a joint hearing of international lawmakers examining fake news and the internet.

Damian Collins, the head of the U.K. parliament’s media committee, is joining forces with his Canadian counterpart, Bob Zimmer, to pressure Zuckerberg to personally take part in hearings, as he did before the U.S Congress and the European Parliament. The so-called “international grand committee” session would be held Nov. 27 and could include lawmakers from other countries.

Facebook, Child nudity, Iran
A protester wearing a mask with the face of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is flanked by two fellow activists wearing angry face emoji masks, during a protest against Facebook policies, in London, Britain (From archives) VOA

“We understand that it is not possible to make yourself available to all parliaments. However, we believe that your users in other countries need a line of accountability to your organization — directly, via yourself,” the pair said in a letter to Zuckerberg. “We would have thought that this responsibility is something that you would want to take up.”

Social media companies have been under scrutiny in Britain following allegations that political consultancy Cambridge Analytica used data from tens of millions of Facebook accounts to profile voters and help U.S. President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign. The committee is also investigating the impact of fake news distributed via social media sites globally.

Facebook, India, Fake News
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers the keynote address at a Facebook developers conference in San Jose, California. VOA

Collins has been irate with Facebook for sending Zuckerberg’s underlings to his committee’s hearings while the leader of the Silicon Valley company declined invitations to attend. Joining forces with Canada — and perhaps other countries — seems designed to prod Zuckerberg and persuade him to change his mind.

Also Read: Twitter Still Remains A Hotbed For Account Spreading Fake News: Study

“No such joint hearing has ever been held,” the pair wrote. “Given your self-declared objective to ‘fix’ Facebook, and to prevent the platform’s malign use in world affairs and democratic process, we would like to give you the chance to appear at this hearing.” (VOA)