"Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh.” -Justin Trudeau
The Canadian Prime Minister is the one true bae.
In this short video message to the public shared on Daily Sikh Updates on Facebook, Justin Trudeau wishes everyone a happy start to the Sikh Harvest Festival and says just how important the Sikh people have been in the broader Canadian family.
To further understand diversity within any community, it is important for everyone to have a place at the table when discussing important subjects. The more diverse voices are shared, the more diversity is celebrated and included. When diversity is celebrated, communities become stronger and more unified because diverse backgrounds, experiences, and beliefs are the building blocks to a more just future. Recently, the Canadian Cabinet was declared the most diverse government in Canada’s history with the inclusion of 4 Sikh Canadians and other individuals from all different walks of life. Celebrating diversity is taking this achievement one step further and exploring the opportunities a culture or group of people have to offer.
Prime Minister Trudeau is going the extra step by celebrating Vaisakh in a genuine way and embracing cultural inclusivity. He also invited all Canadians to join together.
He even tweeted at the Sikh Community!
Vaisakhi, also known as Baisakhi, marks the Sikh New Year. In 1699, the Sikh community, known as the Khalsa or brotherhood of saints, soldiers was established. The religion was formed to fight against tyranny and oppression. Those who follow the Sikh faith wear the five K's, or articles of faith, and follow a set of principles that outline hard work and honesty, sharing with the needy, and remembering God throughout the day. Vaisakhi is an annual harvest festival marks the celebration of the faith’s existence and hopes for a good agricultural year to come.
The Prime Minister called on all Canadians to share in Khalsa ideas moving forward. These include fairness, respect, and equality for all regardless of race, creed, religion or gender.
Since Trudeau took office, he has made it his mission to bring people together.
Trudeau also understands that to build a better future you have to understand the complexities of the past.
Earlier this week he announced that he will offer an apology to Indians, Sikhs, and anyone affected by the Komagata Maru incident. In 1914, 376 immigrants were seeking asylum in Canada to escape Punjab violence, but the Canadian government denied entry and sent the ship of refugees back to Calcutta where many died.
“An apology made in the House of Commons will not erase the pain and suffering of those who lives through that shameful experience, but an apology is not only the appropriate action to take, it's the right action to take and the House is the appropriate place for it to happen," Trudeau said.
Other politicians should follow Trudeau’s example. He wasn’t alive in 1914 and he didn’t commit this grave injustice, but he understands that his position of power was built on the events of the past. For a country to ever fully move forward, it has to fully reckon with its past.
Trudeau is showing the world that Canada is ready to move forward, embracing and celebrating all the cultures that call this country home.
Happy Vaisakhi! (it starts the 13th!)