Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced funding to the Khalsa Diwan Society for two projects to commemorate the Komagata Maru incident.
In 1914, the Komagata Maru arrived in Vancouver harbour carrying 376 passengers of Indian descent – all subjects of British India – and was prevented from docking in the Vancouver port. After a two-month standoff in the harbour, the ship went back to India where, in an altercation between the passengers and British soldiers, several passengers and a number of soldiers died.
“The story of the Komagata Maru is an event in our history that did not do us proud. Prime Minister (Stephen) Harper was the first Prime Minister in Canadian history to apologize to the Indo-Canadian community for it.”
The Khalsa Diwan Society will receive $82,500 to work with the Vancouver Parks Board to determine a location and design of a monument to commemorate the Komagata Maru. It will also receive $104,000 to develop the first phase of a museum.
“Canadians of South Asian origin have made enormous contributions to building Canada,” said Minister Kenney.
The monument to the Komagata Maru will be a replica of the ship and will include the names of all the passengers, photographs and a descriptive plaque. Its proposed location is in a public park near where the ship was anchored in 1914. The museum, located on the grounds of the Khalsa Diwan Society, will also be accessible to the public.