Village Thatha Nawan,
District Kapurthala, Punjab
Sahib Singh Thind was born in the village Thatha Nawan in the District Kapurthala, Sultanpur Lodhi in 1961. He immigrated to Canada along with his family in 1983. He and his family were excited about starting their life in this country, however there was a language barrier. Slowly though everything fell into place. Sahib Singh even joined a bhangra team to remain connected to his culture.
Sahib Singh and his organization worked day and night to get justice for the Komagata Maru incident. Their organization has been around for about 28 years and they have accomplished a lot. The Gadhri Babiyan Dha Mela, an annual fair held in honour of those who have suffered, has been held in Surrey 22 times. To begin with, Sahib Singh and the organization educated people on this issue. They then proceeded to make and sign multiple petitions with the goal to get an apology from the government of Canada. The petition stated that a formal and official apology was needed in the parliament because that is where the injustice occurred. In 2009, Steven Harper apologized for this in a park to which Sahib Singh stood up and rejected. He stated that the Chinese, Japanese, and First Nations people were apologized to in the parliament and that the Sikh community wanted this too.
When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau started his campaign, he promised that the government would apologize within 90 days of being elected. In 2015 he came back and told everyone that he was going to keep his promise if he was elected. After he was elected, the government of Canada finally apologized in the House of Commons in 2016. According to Sahib Singh many people from the Punjabi community tried to shut down the petition and some even tried to get what they wanted by trying to bribe people. Despite this set back, Sahib Singh is very proud of that fact that their supporters didn’t sell themselves because it was a long fight.
Presently, the goal of Sahib Singh and his organization is to pay tribute to those who were imprisoned and killed during the British rule. Their aim is re-name the islands that the British named to the names of those that sacrificed themselves. Sahib Singh is thankful to all of the supporters that helped made all of this possible. He is also thankful to his organization and everyone that supported him. Sahib Singh wanted to pay a tribute to his wife who passed away four months ago by completing their mission. He is very thankful that she stood by his side and supported him.