Gurpreet Singh refuses Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal

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Today, I received a message from one of our contributors, Gurpreet Singh, saying he's turned down an award that many others are bragging about winning.

Singh, also a talk-show host on Radio India, had been offered a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal from Newton–North Delta NDP MP Jinny Sims.

But he let me know that he didn't want it—and not out of any disrespect for Sims, the fiery former president of the B.C. Teachers' Federation.

Once again, Singh has proven that he doesn't just run with the pack.

Here are five reasons why this immigrant from India decided that he didn't need to pin one of these medals on his chest to prove what a great Canadian he is:

• He hates the monarchy and wants an elected constitutional head of state in Canada.

• The Queen represents a colonial empire that brought destruction to India and Canada.

• The Queen did not apologize for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre ordered by Brig.-Gen. Reginald Dyer in 1919, even though she visited Amritsar in the Indian state of Punjab where the atrocity occurred.

• A nurse of Indian origin committed suicide after being accused of breaching the Royal Family's privacy by leaking news of Kate Middleton's condition during pregnancy.

• The Queen and her Governor General have not shown compassion toward Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence and the indigenous peoples.

Singh's decision comes in the same month that writer Naomi Klein and singer Sarah Slean rejected the same offer.

Meanwhile, Council of Canadians chair Maude Barlow reportedly mailed her medal back to Gov. Gen. David Johnston because of his initial refusal to meet with Chief Spence.

Awards are often grossly over-rated. It's nice to see that some folks are trying to make use of these baubles to educate people rather than simply wrapping themselves in glory.

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ruth renwick

Jan 24, 2013 at 8:28pm

Good for him..i used to be a monarchist but after watching Docs and learning of the abuse of power and human unkindness in this monarchy..not quite happy about it now..Still love Downton Abbey tho.

Chimo

Jan 24, 2013 at 9:07pm

Who cares!

Sid Tan

Jan 24, 2013 at 10:03pm

I accepted the Queen's Diamond Jubilee because it would be discourteous to Don Davies, my Member of Parliament who recommended me. Indeed I thank him and Victor Wong of Chinese Canadian National Council who nominated me. In fact I had thought of not accepting but decided on accepting and returning at a strategic time. That time will come when the many medal recipients in the Chinese head tax/exclusion redress struggle deem it appropriate. The medal could be viewed as acknowledgement recipients are worthy allies and foes. The symbolism to not receive or receive and return is just timing of the grandstanding. I plead guilty in advance!

Terrence Debassige

Jan 25, 2013 at 7:21am

Grand Chief Patrick Madahbee of the Union of Ontario Indians also refused the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal.

sukhy

Jan 25, 2013 at 8:09am

Who Cares!!!! Millions of people would care- those whose countries and identities have perished during the colonialism - the so called empire building --- times. He is one journalist, in the community who stands by his principles. He walks the talk. Congratulations, to Gurpreet for not declining the offer!

NAA

Jan 25, 2013 at 8:58am

He hates the Monarchy yet immigrated to Canada. Despises the role of the Monarchy yet wants the Queen to intervene with Chief Spence. Without the Monarchy Canada would not exist. Finally the suicide of the nurse in London, was not caused solely because of the Royal incident. I can respect his decision, however his reasoning confuses me and seems to be wrapped in hypocrisy.

Tanya

Jan 25, 2013 at 10:47am

Good for him for not being so selfish and for acknowledging all the bad, racial and cultural genocide that the British Monarchy has done to first nations people and many other people across this entire planet!! We need more selfless people like him!! =)

Elizabeth Pitura

Jan 25, 2013 at 12:36pm

Gurpreet Singh is a wonderful human being!

Raghbir Blaspuri

Jan 26, 2013 at 1:08pm

Gurpreet
u r right.And u dod right step thanks...............
Blaspuri

judy

Jan 26, 2013 at 5:16pm

So, if I have a beef with something I should just have a protest until the Queen intervenes? Give your head a shake...

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