OTTAWA – Canada Post has unveiled a new stamp to mark 100 years since a ship full of mostly Sikh passengers was turned way from Canada and sent back to India, where they were jailed or killed.
The Komagata Maru arrived in Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet on May 23, 1914, carrying 376 British subjects, primarily Sikhs from India’s Punjab region, as well as a number of Hindus and Muslims.
The ship was denied permission to dock and only a handful of passengers were allowed to stay in Canada, with the rest remaining on the ship as it was escorted out of Canadian waters two months after its arrival.
When the ship arrived in India, 19 of the passengers were shot and the rest were imprisoned.
The international-rate stamp features an image of the Komagata Maru, with a group of men in Sikh turbans in the background.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper delivered an apology for the Komagata Maru incident in 2008, and the B.C. legislature passed a motion apologizing on behalf of the province the same year.