NDP MPs Screen Widow Colony To Mark Remembrance Of 1984 Massacre Of Sikhs In India

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By R. Paul Dhillon

OTTAW –New Democrat MPs Jasbir Sandhu (Surrey North) and Jinny Sims (Newton-North Delta) hosted a film screening of “The Widow Colony”, n Tuesday evening as part of the remembrance week of the 1984 massacre of Sikhs in New Delhi India in the aftermath of the assassination of PM Indira Gandhi.

The Widow Colony is a heart-wrenching film depicting the lives of Sikh widows following the November 1984 massacre in New Delhi, where 30,000 Sikhs were killed.

“This is a powerful film and we’re honoured to share it with our colleagues,” said Sims. “The film has been showcased at prestigious film festivals in Canada, India, the US and the UK. We’re happy to bring it to Parliament hill.”

The Widow Colony explores the suffering of the widowed women, their battle for justice and their struggle for survival. It gives viewers the chance to hear uncensored, unbiased and raw first-hand accounts of what really happened in the November 1984 massacre. Most importantly, the film helps clarify the communal misconceptions behind the tragedy and creates constructive dialogue amongst all communities.

“Clearly, the Sikh community is still going through trauma and needs to heal. We all want to work together and seek justice for the victims and the families,” said Sandhu.

In 2009, the British All-Party Parliamentary Human Rights Group hosted the screening of The Widow Colony, where MPs commended the film for being informative and honest.

The party also recognized the greater tragedy of the 1984 massacre with Sandhu reading the following statement on behalf of all New Democrats:

“It is with great sorrow that I extend my sympathies on the 27th anniversary of the tragic pogroms of 1984 that targeted Sikh men, women and children.

“The New Democratic Party of Canada stands in solidarity with the Sikh community, demands justice for the survivors and an explanation for why and how this community was targeted by organized mobs.

“The victims and survivors of 1984 cannot sit idly by, waiting for the Indian government to recognize their plight and frustration. Rehabilitation and support for the broken families, especially the trauma the widows and children experienced, must be prioritized. The negligence of the police must be examined. The truth and those guilty must be brought to justice.

‪”These are not demands – these are obligations of a democratic government to its citizens.

‪”Remembrance is the tie that binds us to our past as it guides us for the challenges of the future.

‪”Lest we forget.”