Today, the Vancouver Sun published a list of 100 influential Indo-Canadians who are making a difference in B.C.
It was a refreshing alternative to what we often see in the media.
Some might object to the term Indo-Canadian over South Asian, which is more inclusive of people who trace their roots back to Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
I was struck, however, by some of the people who were left off the list.
Here are just a few names of people whom I feel are deserving of greater recognition and who should have been on any list of 100 influential people of South Asian descent in our community:
* Aga Khan University president Firoz Rasul and his wife Saida Rasul, who has done so much for Simon Fraser University
* successful actor Veena Sood, who has donated her time for charitable endeavours and who has been a role model for young people of South Asian descent
* B.C. Supreme Court Justice Janice Dhillon, who has an outstanding reputation for dealing with technically complex cases
* retired SFU sociologist Hari Sharma, who has been a mentor to so many young activists of South Asian descent
* Burnaby's popular Sav Dhaliwal, the only city councillor on the Burrard Peninsula of South Asian descent
* Romi Chandra, a leading activist in the gay community and a pioneer in developing gay-straight alliances
* Suresh Kurl, a member of the National Parole Board, a long-time senior civil servant, and a pioneering columnist with the Link newspaper
* Am Johal, Jagdeep Mangat, Imtiaz Popat, and Harjap Grewal, four intelligent and committed social activists who often challenge conventional thinking in our community
* Immigration lawyer Zool Suleman, who has given up countless hours of his time to raise awareness about racial profiling and to volunteer as the cochair of the mayor's working group on immigration
(Here are some others who weren't on the Sun's list: lawyers Ravi Hira, Palbinder Shergill, and Narindar Kang; Vancouver police Chief Jim Chu's executive officer, Insp. Steve Rai; writer and poet Phinder Dulai; CBC broadcasters Sudha Krishna, Salma Nurmohamed, and Meera Bains; political scientist and political activist Shinder Purewal—to name just a few others.)
Then there are Indo-Canadian media figures who didn't make it such as Radio India's Gurpreet Singh, and editors Raj Paul Dhillon and Rattan Mall, who are stirring up all sorts of controversies and in their own ways. contributing to the betterment of our region.
(Disclosure: Johal, Singh, and Raj Paul Dhillon have all contributed to our paper, as have some of the people on the Sun's list, such as Harsha Walia and Itrath Syed. Many, many years ago Sharma wrote for the Straight.)