Hi! My name is Erin! I’m in grade 10 and apart of this cool program at school called PLP. This post is about the legacy of the Komagata Maru. What was the Komagata Maru? Why is it relevant to our lives today? Keep reading to learn more!

The Komagata Maru

In 1914 a ship with 376 passengers sailed from India to Vancouver Canada. Canada wanted Canada to be white Canada. There were a lot of immigrants from India as both India an Canada were under the British Empire. Canada didn’t like all of these people coming from India. They tried to make up laws to keep Indian immigrants out. As they were apart of the British Empire they couldn’t directly say that Indian immigrants weren’t allowed, so instead came up with a law saying that you could only come to Canada if you made one continuous journey stopping no where from your country of origin. At the time it was impossible to make one journey from India to Canada. The Komagata Maru was a ship coming from India to Canada. They tried to make one continuous journey. They spent three months at sea but when they got to Canada they were not allowed off the boat. They were forced to stay on the boat for another three months. Canadians would come see the anchored boat with all the people on it like it was some tourist attraction and they would laugh at them. They were denied supplies like food and water. The Canadian government wanted them to leave. The Punjabi community that was already in Canada brought food, water and supplies to the boat for all the people. After three months of the boat being anchored the Canadian government forced it to leave. As the boat stopped in china and japan on the way here it was not one continuous journey, therefore illegal.

This is a photo of the journey they took from India to Canada

The Komagata Maru was forced to leave. When the ship returned home to India, the police were there and started firing at them. They tried to arrest the captain of the ship and ended up killing some people. There wasn’t an actual Canadian apology until 2016. That was pretty recent in our lives. I think the apology taught us about the Komagata Maru. I had never heard of it until this project. I think its a very significant part of history and should be taught in every classroom. The Komagata Maru Incident was a very racist incident. Canada was very racist. There is still a lot of racism going on today. There are museums today to teach us about the Komagata Maru but there aren’t very many artifacts. I don’t think anyone really knew at the time that it would be a significant event and part of history.

Asian Immigration Milestones 20th Century

Thank you for reading my post. What are your thoughts? Feel free to share in the comments below.