Hundreds of Sikhs protest for human rights at Vancouver Art Gallery

The north lawn of the Vancouver Art Gallery was a sea of umbrellas this afternoon.

That's because hundreds of human-rights protesters showed up on a rainy day to support a farmer named Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa, who's been on a hunger strike in Mohali, India, since November 14.

Khalsa's protest was also featured this weekend on CNN.

He's going without food to draw attention to six other men: Gurmeet Singh, Lakhwinder Singh, Lal Singh, Shamsher Singh, Waryan Singh, and Gurdeep Singh.

They're all in jail in India after being convicted of crimes during the struggle in the 1990s for an independent Sikh homeland called Khalistan.

Three of the six have been implicated in the assassination of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh.

A pamphlet handed out at today's protest highlighted murderous rampages in 1984 on Sikhs in India following the assassination of then-prime minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh boydygaurds.

The pamphlet also mentioned the massacre of Muslims in the Indian state of Gujarat in 2002 and more recent attacks on Christians in India.

The message from the protest was that Sikhs, Muslims, and Christians are not alone in being persecuted—demonstrators also noted that lower-caste people, known as Dalits, and the indigenous people are also being marginalized.

Some of the demonstrators arrived at the protest on buses, which are ordinarily used by the Sikh Academy to transport students.

Comments (14) Add New Comment
Harinder singh bapla
It has been 38 days since Bhai gurbaksh singh Khalsa started his hunger strike, please give us more coverage. Thank you for the news. In India there is a huge number of Human Rights violation only for Christians, Muslims, and Sikhs.
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Harinder Singh Sohi
The issue is a human rights one, their prisoon terms are over long time ago. Years have been passed and they still in jails. I am failed to understand that why they are still in jails as their jail terms are over.
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Neeraj Sumer
Thanks for covering this story. Unfortunately we do not hear much about the plight of the aboriginal and lower-caste people of India, who have suffered for centuries.
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Pinky Kaur
Thank you so much for covering this story! The whole Sikh community's been trying very hard to get Indian media coverage on this, but they have remained ignorant. We as a community appreciate it a lot that some Canadian media outlets have shone light on Bhai Gurbaksh Singh's campaign. Hopefully this will make some sort of impact on India.
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Jas
Thanks Mr.Smith for covering this story. You did a great job of providing accurate information and representing minority voices in Canadian media well. Thanks for helping to bring human rights abuses in India to light! :)
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Gurveer Singh Bhapa
The issue is a human rights one, It has been 38 days since Bhai gurbaksh singh Khalsa started his hunger strike, please give us more coverage. Thank you for the news. Thanks for eberyone guys who come and support bhai shaib gurbaksh singh ji khalsa. Thanks Bolai So Neehal, Sat sree Kal
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Reality not fantasy
It has been exactly 28 years and 6 months since Sikh terrorists blew up Flight 182 murdering 329 innocent people in what is still the single largest act of terror in Canadian history. The act was perpetrated by Sikh terrorists based in Canada seeking to establish a rogue state called Khalistan. Three of the six prisoners are implicated in the murder of a gobernment minister. Is the Geprgia Straight fully aware of the acts and crimes of murder comitted by the imprisoned men? Or is the Georgia Straight just blindly reportin on a hunger striker because it feels good to do in a multi-culty love fest/ suburban white guilt touchy feely kinda yum yum way?
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OMG!
OMG! Do you mean that there is discrimination in India!! I didn't think that even occurred outside of Canada.
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RUK
@Reality not fantasy

Don't be hatin.' This is a big demonstration and a newspaper ought to show pictures and describe the event.

The Straight regularly publishes editorials by Gurpreet Singh, who is clearly no fan of Khalistani violence if you read his stuff regularly. He is regularly bashed for it in the comments section. I think he is awesome.
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human rights for all
I have to say that once I also thought sikhs were terrorists, and admit that I was abit racist towards them.The media always protrays them in a very negative way and so people just follow these views. I was born in the UK and slowly found myself associating with some sikh people and wanted to know more about them, so I did my own research and actually found them to be very loving, caring and most humble human beings, we should not judge by the actions of a few people who corrupt and I also did my own research about Air India and found their was a big cover up by the Indian government, some people even believe that this was the doing of the indian government. You can research yourselves and find out. please don't judge and for this cause I think there should be more coverage, as this person who has been on a hunger strike for 40 days now, this is truley a miracle that he is still alive.
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Ghandiorama
Uhh .... lots of Canadian problems need to be solved first before even acknowledging this .... sometimes when you try and smash the state to create a new country ... people die and end up in prison for life .... go figure ...
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Vern
And they all get away with mayhem, murder, disruption, etc.
All in the name of freedom, with no regard to the people who are free.
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Hardeep Sidhu
President of India, release Sikh Prisoners, with Rs 10 Lakh ...



beforeitsnews.com/.../president-of-india-release-sikh-prisoners-with-rs-10-l...

3 hours ago - President of India, release Sikh Prisoners, with Rs 10 Lakh Compensation, NRI's & IOC President Vikram Bajwa. Monday, December 23, 2013 ...
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bal
@ghandiorama
A little context is needed here. The land in today's northern India actually belonged to the Sikh community. They had their own country. It was mischeviously taken away from them in 1947 when this new country called india was created. India is not an old country, rather canada is twice as old. Sikhs have not signed the Indian constitution and have just wanted to have their land back. Thus they have not been trying to create a new country rather get their country back from a country which is occupying their land and violating their basic human rights. Most people who do not have a lot of knowledge about India think it has existed forever, and that is not true. India was only created in 1947 by taking Sikh land away. Prior to 1947 Sikhs had their own country. They have only been trying to what anybody else would do when their land is taken away and their human rights violated but the Indian government does not want anybody to know or talk about this. The truth about India is finally starting to come out.
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