In April 1914, the ship ‘Coma Gata Maru’ started its voyage off the coast of India. When did the 376 passengers on this aircraft put together themselves to endure the ache of the separation of their family members? When the moisture in his eyes diminished, he started to mirror the dream for which he was leaving his house and crossing seven seas.
These vacationers have been strolling away from house with the dream of settling in a brand new land for a cheerful and cozy life.
Among the many passengers who left Punjab through the British rule have been 337 Sikhs, 27 Muslims and 12 Hindus. Twenty-four of them have been allowed to set foot on Canadian soil, however the 325 passengers didn’t ship and have been pressured to return to India the place an accident awaited them.
Among the many unlucky passengers have been 20 who misplaced their lives on their return.
There was no journey ban or imprisonment of any sort by the British at the moment. After an extended voyage, the Coma Gata Maru was anchored off the coast of Canada, three miles from the port. It turned out that they weren’t allowed to enter Canada. The ship’s captain determined to hunt authorized assist and, after session, sued the authorities via a lawyer.
This was a time when racial discrimination and all types of discrimination have been frequent in as we speak’s developed and civilized societies. In Canada particularly, the so-called ‘White Canada’ motion was in full swing on the time, saying that Canada was solely the homeland of whites, and that tons of of Indians have been being hated by racists.
The lawyer of the Indians additionally began receiving threats from racists. Nonetheless, the lawsuit was settled out of courtroom and the passengers have been in a coma. After the ship ran out of meals and groceries, the flip got here to starve and the passengers fell in poor health.
Passengers couldn’t deal with this issue for a very long time and returned safely. Thus the ship sailed for India, the place a brand new destiny befell its passengers.
When the ship reached the coast of Kolkata, India on September 27, it was intercepted by armed guards and shot on the passengers as fugitives and rebels from the Punjab. Twenty passengers died. Authorities on the time believed the lads have been rebels in opposition to the “treasonous celebration” that was lively in North America in these days.
The incident is harking back to one of many worst intervals of racial discrimination and prejudice in a democratic and human rights nation like Canada.
There’s additionally a monument to Coma Gata Maro and its unlucky passengers in West Bengal, which was inbuilt 1952. It was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru.