Apology over Komagata Maru incident acknowledges historical sense of exclusivity

I am grateful that our government takes a deep moral stance.

Letter writer Fred Perry maintains that “it makes no sense to apologize for a mistake made more than 100 years ago” (May 6 Inbox, The Leader). He asks why Trudeau should ask forgiveness, on behalf of the Canadian people, for the Komagata Maru incident.

I believe that Mr. Perry’s question deserves an answer.

If you think in terms of how you and your immediate family had no hand in the incident, then the argument is valid.

However, I am grateful that our government takes a deeper moral stance. A majority of us who are alive now have benefitted greatly from the racist policies of our country. The Komagata Maru incident is not just about a ship full of South Asians turned away from Vancouver in 1914, but about the racist, exclusionary attitude that it perpetuated and which we have never fully dealt with.

In a much deeper sense, this apology acknowledges not only a wrong done to a few Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus way back when, but that we, as Canadians, are prone to embrace privilege, and that compassion is often dismissed for the sake of protectionism.

I personally have greatly benefitted from the fact that my ancestors denied many people their human rights. I support Trudeau’s apology.

Bart Begalka, Cloverdale


Justice delayed is justice denied

Re: “It makes no sense to apologize for a mistake made more than 100 years ago.”

I feel proud. I feel proud because Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is apologizing for the Komagata Maru incident.

So what if it happened 100 years ago? Justice delayed is justice denied.

I am a 16-year-old girl. Why people are against this, I do not understand.

All that was asked was an apology. Not money or anything. The apology makes sense to me. Why be negative? It’s a 100 years late, but at least it’s happening.

Amitoj Chahal

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