& Jarnail Singh
|A Journey with the Endless Eye|
Stories of the Komagata Maru incident
The Komagata Maru steamship with 376 Indian passengers arrived in Canada’s Vancouver Harbor on 23 May 1914. Many of the passengers were ex military men who had made sacrifices for the British empire in wars and expected no problem in immigrating from one British colony to the other. But to their utter dismay Canadian Immigration imprisoned them in their own ship, refused water and food and forced them back in humiliation after two months. When they reached at the Indian port of Budge Budge Ghat near Calcutta the British-India police fired on them killing several and injuring many more. A Journey with the Endless Eye narrates the Komagata Maru tragedy in words and art. The incident with its 100th anniversary falling this year, continues to inspire efforts for a just society in Canada. It has become a symbol of struggle against injustice anywhere.
Ajmer Rode has published books of poetry, drama, prose and translation in Punjabi and English. Most of his poetry is included in his 1000-page book Leela (co-author N. Bharati) critically acclaimed as an outstanding work of 20th century Punjabi poetry. Ajmer is considered founder of Canadian Punjabi drama and his full length play Komagata Maru was recently digitized and published on-line by Canada’s Simon Fraser University.
Jarnail Singh is an artist, illustrator, designer, photographer, and art journalist. He resides in Surrey, British Columbia after immigrating to Canada in 2000, and has become the most popular and sought after artist of Punjabi origin in Canada. He continues the tradition of portraying Sikh Gurus and historical events. As well he has done much to capture the images of Punjabi folklore disappearing fast.
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