Komagata Maru Monument Unveiled

Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney speaks at the unveiling of Komagata Maru monument.

The Khalsa Diwan Society (KDS) of Vancouver was joined by Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney in the unveiling of a monument honoring the Komagata Maru freighter incident of 1914. The monument was unveiled July 24 in Vancouver.

The monument is a project of KDS, funded in large part by the Community Recognition Program who contributed $667,407.

The Community Historical Recognition Program was launched in 2008 and has provided funding for historical events that affected Canada’s minority populations.

The Canadian government officially apologized for the events of the Komagata Maru incident in 2008.

The 376 Indian passengers of the Komagata Maru should have been allowed to settle in Canada as British subjects. Instead, they were denied entry into the country due to a presumption of anti-British sentiment and violation of a continuous journey law (the ship stopped in Hong Kong instead of traveling directly from India).

After sitting in Coal Harbor for weeks, the freighter returned to India where passengers were bombarded with an assault from British soldiers. Approximately 20 people were killed, both passengers and soldiers.