Continuous Journey – Ali Kazimi
Vancouver in 1914:
o White Canada forever
Day 1: May 23 1914.
Hindu invaders in Komogata Maru.
People from India refer to themselves as Hindoostan.
o Dominion immigration agent
o As Canada’s west coast gatekeeper has enormous power.
Gurduwat is known for suing people. Here he is fighting for more than his
interest. Travelling with his 9 year old son.
Guduwat doesn’t know that Reid is the tip of the iceberg.
o Conservative and member of the parliament.
Like passengers on ship, Indians on shore are Sikhs.
Guru Govind Singh
o Made keeping hair mandatory
o Gave them one name: Singh
o Gurduwara: community center and temple
Jack Uppal’s father Dhillip Singh tried helping the passengers.
o In Vancouver the Sikh community was struggling to fit in.
o Sikh but Muslim.
J. Edward Bird:
o The only lawyer willing to take on this case.
o This small Indian group decides to do something.
Komogata Maru used to be a German ship. Not a single European was
turned away. Then it was sold to a Japanese and the Sikh people are
stuck in a limbo.
Authorities did everything to stop Indians from settling here.
Anti-Asian drives. Canada was still stuck in the empire. We don’t conduct
our own foreign policy.
Unlike Chinese and Indians (who had no leverage) who couldn’t come,
Assumption that all British subjects were equal among the empire.
In 1908: Prime Minister Laurier asked Mackenzie…?
Climate of Canada isn’t suited to India so they shouldn’t be allowed here.
Canadian Pacific Line: directly from India to Canada. Government wanted
o Food supplies for passengers are running low. Does not let him
meet with Bird and Ottawa helps out in not letting him.
Kirpal Gill: nephew of passenger who told story. Day 4:
o Government responsible for damage. Gurduwar sends message to
Reid about information he needs. Reid passes it on to his boss.
o Komogata Maru will have to turn back by Japanese owner and not
May 31 1914:
o Komogata Maru departure seems like it’s going to happen.
o People are celebrating because of Reid’s strategy.
o Have a few days to get $15000.
o Priest of Sikh temple: Balwat Singh.
o One man for secret intelligence.
o His targets are Balwat and Balgat Singh.
Ghadar: Indian army veterans and Sikhs.
Sikhs helped British. Were well rewarded. Owned nearly 40%. Favorite
sons of the British by world war.
Didn’t have the right to vote in Canada. Had to do laboring tasks.
Oppressed at home. No peace abroad. We strangers have no country of
$5000 raised but not enough to take over. Need $10000.
Main object of our coming is to tell British how to rule Indians there.
Officers being hurried from South Africa.
Most of the men have connection with army. They write to them but no
o Japanese Canadian fisherman helping to get food to the ship.
o Cold summer in Ottawa. Robert Borden never supported Asians.
He is letting the government settle things.
o The only good Indian was a dead Indian.
June 10 1914
o Reid’s plan is unraveling.
o Shore community pulls it off. They play the balance
June 20 1914
o Gurduwan Singh no longer takes control of he ship.
o H.H. Stevens and mayor call a public meeting.