Hobbies Interests Lifestyle > Punjabi Stars

Meva Singh: A Real Canadian Hero

(1/1)

Nek Singh:



Bhai Meva Singh came to Canada in 1906, a time when thousands of new Sikh immigrants from Punjab were coming to Canada - [as a matter of right, being citizens of the British Empire] - looking for greener pastures and a better life.
Like many other Sikh-Canadian pioneers, Meva Singh too was employed in the lumber industry and worked at Fraser Mills. In his spare time, he did seva at the gurdwara.
                                                     


He had arrived in Canada at a time when racism against non-white immigrants was at its peak. As a newcomer, his found the natives less than welcoming. Local newspapers portrayed the early Sikh immigrants in a negative fashion. They were refused rental accommodations and were not allowed to purchase food from local grocers.


No social organizations endeavored to help the Sikhs. Local politicians were even spewing venom against them, despite the fact that they were equal British subjects. In addition to this, in 1907 Meva Singh witnessed the taking away of voting rights from Sikh immigrants by the legislature in British Columbia.


Like many Sikhs of the time, he witnessed the anti-Asian riots of 1907.  In 1908, he lived through the Canadian government’s mischievous plan to rid Canada of all new Sikh immigrants by sending them to the British Honduras. In that same year, he saw  the implementation of the racist Continuous Passage law and the hardships it caused Sikhs who were planning on bringing their families from Punjab in hopes of starting a new life in Canada.


The infamous law had effectively banned all immigration from the subcontinent.


The negative attitudes of the press, the public and the politicians, in addition to the anti-Sikh immigration policies of the Canadian government, had a negative effect on the local Sikh population. After 1908, the Sikh population of British Columbia started to rapidly decline. By 1910, a population which had reached around 6000 in 1908 was reduced to about 2200.


Despite these unsavory experiences of racism and hostility, Meva Singh decided to stay in Canada. He  - like many other Sikh immigrants of his time - worked hard and made a positive contribution to the development of British Columbia.


After a few years of relative calm, the Komagata Maru incident occurred. Meva Singh was reminded of how racist and intolerant Canadian society was. It must have been difficult for him to see would-be Sikh immigrants who were also British subjects not being allowed to domicile in Canada, which was but a mere part of the British Empire at that time.


For Meva Singh, the turning point came on September 15, 1915 when he saw a man named Bela (who worked as an informant for the Canadian immigration department) enter the gurdwara on West Second Avenue, Vancouver, and shoot two devout Sikhs: Bhai Bhag Singh and Bhai Battan Singh.


Like the entire community, Meva Singh was devastated by this event.


Soon after this, he started receiving threats from Inspector Hopkinson and his East-Indian agents who were working for the immigration authorities. Meva Singh was threatened that if he didn’t give testimony in favour of Bela, that he - Meva Singh - would also be murdered.


Meva Singh didn’t waver. He testified in court and spoke the truth. He told the court that Bela had shot Bhai Bhag Singh and Bhai Battan Singh from behind, without any prior provocation.


After giving this testimony, Meva Singh Ji was threatened once again by a mole named Babu who worked for Inspector Hopkinson. This time the threat was even more severe. Meva Singh was told that the next time he was seen walking the streets of Vancouver, he would be shot dead.


Hearing this threat outraged Meva Singh. He realized that not only were his co-religionists and he being severely oppressed in Canada, they were now being told that they didn’t even have the right to speak the truth. It was then that Meva Singh decided to die a death of a martyr rather than live the life of an oppressed person.


Meva Singh held Inspector Hopkinson responsible for the murder of the two Sikhs in the gurdwara because the killer was working on Hopkinson's direct orders.


Hopkinson was to appear in court on October 21, 1914 to testify in favour of the killer Bela. Meva Singh went to court that same day and shot and killed Hopkinson. 


After shooting Hopkinson, Meva Singh dropped his weapon and immediately surrendered to the authorities.


He was put on trial. He was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging.


In his to the court Bhai Meva Singh said: “My religion does not teach me to bear enmity with anybody, nor had I any enmity with Mr. Hopkinson. He was oppressing poor people very much. I, being a staunch Sikh, could no longer bear to see the wrong done both to my countrymen and the Dominion of Canada. This is what led me to take Hopkinson’s life and sacrifice my own life. And I, performing the duty of a true Sikh and remembering the name of God, will proceed towards the scaffold with the same amount of pleasure as a hungry baby goes towards his mother.”


On January 11, 1915 at 7:45 am, Bhai Meva Singh was executed in New Westminster. Four hundred Sikhs stood outside and braved the rain and cold weather to receive Bhai Meva Singh’s body. They took out a procession through the city and cremated the body of the martyr at the Fraser Mills with great pride and honour.


Sikh-Canadians have continued to celebrate the legacy of Bhai Meva Singh every year since 1915. Annual mela and divans are held across British Columbia, as will be the case this week.


 

ƁΔƘΓΔ:

--- Quote from: ~ ਨੇਕ ਸਿੰਘ ~ on January 13, 2012, 01:09:01 PM ---Hopkinson was to appear in court on October 21, 1914 to testify in favour of the killer Bela. Meva Singh went to court that same day and shot and killed Hopkinson. 


After shooting Hopkinson, Meva Singh dropped his weapon and immediately surrendered to the authorities.


He was put on trial. He was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging.


In his to the court Bhai Meva Singh said: “My religion does not teach me to bear enmity with anybody, nor had I any enmity with Mr. Hopkinson. He was oppressing poor people very much. I, being a staunch Sikh, could no longer bear to see the wrong done both to my countrymen and the Dominion of Canada. This is what led me to take Hopkinson’s life and sacrifice my own life. And I, performing the duty of a true Sikh and remembering the name of God, will proceed towards the scaffold with the same amount of pleasure as a hungry baby goes towards his mother.”

--- End quote ---

Udham Singh ne b edi karke dikhaia
shabash oh punjab deo shero
iss story te film ban ni chaidi

Nek Singh:
yup bro film banoni chahidi aa..

Navigation

[0] Message Index

Go to full version