Canadian Baisakhi parade to glorify Indira’s killers


Vancouver : With a radical Sikh temple in the city of Surrey here insisting on displaying the floats of the assassins of former Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi and Gen A.S.Vaidya, the former Indian Army chief, at Saturday’s parade, the city mayor has decided to stay away.

Support TwoCircles

The politicians who had participated in a similar parade last year by the Dasmesh Darbar Sikh Temple had faced flak.

Surrey mayor Dianne Watts said she would stay away from this year’s event as the organisers insisted on displaying the floats of “shaheeds (martyrs)” during the parade.

Respecting the city’s huge Sikh population, the mayor said she would walk alongside the participants but would not join the organisers in stage events.

The floats bearing Sikh gurus, hymns, and other figures are quite common in Baisakhi parades in North America. The parade in Surrey is one of the largest in North America, attracting more than 100,000 people.

Watts said she was very disappointed by the decision of the organisers to honour the perpetrators of violence at the parade when a vast number of participants wanted it to be a cultural event.

Interestingly, only two weeks ago the organizers had promised to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) that no such floats will be displayed at the event.

But at a meeting last week they said such floats will be part of the parade.

A local newspaper quoted Dasmesh Darbar Sikh Temple trustee Satinderpal Singh Gill as saying that the parade will include floats of the assassins of Indira Gandhi and Gen Vaidya who supervised the 1984 army action in the Golden Temple.

Even before the parade begins, the photos of Sukha and Jinda and other victims of “Sikh genocide” by the Indian government are already on display in the temple’s parking lot.