I sometimes think of Georgia Straight contributor Gurpreet Singh as a therapist of sorts.
That's because he helps Canadians face up to some difficult issues, particularly when it comes to the dangerous consequences of religious fundamentalism.
Today, I'll speak at the launch of his new book, Fighting Hatred With Love: Voices of the Air India Victims' Families, which includes some of his articles that have appeared in the print and online editions of the Georgia Straight.
Fighting Hatred With Love features stories about several people whose lives were irrevocably changed when a bomb exploded on Air India Flight 182 off the coast of Ireland on June 23, 1985.
Lata Pada, a celebrated Toronto dancer who lost her husband and two teenage daughters, is among those highlighted, along with Bal Gupta, the long-time spokesperson for the families. The book also profiles Major Singh Sidhu, a Vancouver resident who was entirely apolitical until his sister, nephew, and niece were blown up on the plane.
Through it all, Singh shows how terrorism has failed to break the human bonds, noting how the Irish people have taken the Air India victims' families into their hearts.
The book sends a powerful message against religious communalism—a fight Singh has been waging for years, sometimes at great personal risk.
The public is welcome to attend the book launch, which starts at 1:30 p.m. in Room 128 of the Fir Building at the Surrey campus of Kwantlen Polytechnic University (12666 72 Avenue).
Fighting Hatred With Love is available through Asian Publications and the Punjabi Book Fair (8910 Scott Road, Surrey).
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