'Singh' ban denounced
After a storm of complaints from Sikhs, Ottawa reverses New Delhi office's 10-year decree that `the names Kaur and Singh do not qualify for the purpose of immigration to Canada'
Jul 26, 2007 04:30 AM
One of the most common surnames in Canada, imbued with religious significance for millions of Sikhs around the world, is now, after yesterday's reversal of a 10-year policy, deemed acceptable by the Canadian government.
Note - Singh becoming one of the most common surnames in Canada is a recent achievement. A disproportionate amount of Canada's recently arrived immigrants come from India, particularly the Punjabi region where most of India's Sikhs can be found. In Quebec the surname Nguyen, with Patel following on its heels, is on the verge of becoming more common place than Trembley. This is illustrative of what is wrong with Canada's immigration policy. It is replacing, and displacing, the established domestic demographic with a recently arrived foreign one. This is not nation building.
For the past decade, Indian immigration applicants with the surname Singh or Kaur were told by the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi that their names, too common to process quickly, would have to be changed.
Twenty-four hours after the World Sikh Organization raised the issue, Citizenship and Immigration Canada yesterday announced it was dropping the policy, calling the whole thing a misunderstanding based on a "poorly worded" letter.
It's not known how many people have been affected. Liberal MP Ruby Dhalla (Brampton-Springdale) says in the past three years she's received about 500 complaints from constituents whose family members were told to change their names when applying to immigrate.
The New Delhi immigration office is one of the busiest in the world. Immigration Minister Diane Finley refused to comment, but according to statements from the department, the policy asking for a different name was meant to help speed up applications and prevent cases of mistaken identity due to the commonness of Singh.
Note - I believe Diane Finley. Sikhs are a politically active force here in Canada and they vote in numbers and in blocks. They almost always vote Liberal because the Liberal party is seen as the "immigrant party" which means it is the party most likely to relax Canadian immigration laws and citizenship requirements as well as increase Canada's immigration targets. To the point, the Liberal party is the Sikh party of choice because it allows the unfettered influx of Sikhs into Canada. This "ban", if you want to call it that, was practiced when the Liberals were in power. Why would the Liberals want to anger a portion of the electorate that, due to settlement/colonial patterns in Canada coupled with Canada's "first past the post" elections system, are effectively "the vote" in many federal ridings and can hand the Liberals seats? The Liberals have gone out of their way many times to court Sikh votes. This "ban" doesn't make sense. And Ruby Dhalla is a Liberal herself and is of Indian ancestry. Why is it an issue for her now when the Conservatives are in power? This is shameful race-baiting politics and yet another incident of one of Canada's minority groups insulting the host population by calling them racists. Shame on them.
But for those Sikhs who choose to be baptized, or initiated into the orthodox order of the faith, their previous surname is dropped for Singh or Kaur to symbolize unity and to remove names used to identify social standing within India's caste system.
Note - The caste system in India is derived from the Hindu religion and it effectively excludes over 25% of India's population from economic and political activity as well as exposes these people to daily human rights violations. This is why India is not a model for Canada and this is why Hinduism in un-Canadian.
"If you have to change your name to come here, we have to ask ourselves, `Are we really celebrating all the great things that are hallmarks of this multicultural country?" said Dhalla, whose riding has one of the largest Indo-Canadian populations in the country.
Note - This is why Dhalla got elected. Indo-Canadians are just as conscious of race as anyone else is and may be even more so. Indo-Canadians, like any ethnic minority group in Canada, will, if given the choice, vote for their own. This was made most apparent in the election of Usal Dosanjh as interim B.C. premier. When then disgraced B.C. premier, Bill Van Der Zandt, resigned from office the then ruling NDP party needed to elect a new leader to fill Van Der Zandt's place until the next provincial election. During the run up to the election new members may be signed up to join the political party where they then vote for a new party leader. The B.C. NDP party experienced an incredible increase in the number of members from the Indo-Canadian community many of whom were courted by Dosanjh's wife. She understood quit clearly that these Indo-Canadians will vote for her husband and they did. Usal Dosanjh became the first Indo-Canadian premier in a clear case of a disgraceful and racist ballot stuffing by the Indo-Canadian community in British Columbia. "Whites need not apply." Fortunately the NDP lost the provincial election including Dosanjh who even lost his own seat. I guess it was because of racism.
When asked why the immigration department's policy in New Delhi hadn't been challenged before by politicians, lawyers or the public, Dhalla said she has brought it up to immigration officials.
But she admitted the issue had never made it to the floor of the House of Commons.
"At least not to my knowledge."
Read the whole article here.
This story is a non issue if we consider the fact that there are more Sikhs in Canada then anywhere else in the world outside of India. It seems this "ban" hasn't hindered the Sikh colonization of Canada one bit. I don't know why there are so many Sikhs in Canada but if we are to be frank the behaviour of Sikhs in Canada has been less than admirable. They have continuously been at odds with Canadian laws and culture yet Sikhs expect Canadians to be tolerant and accommodating towards them.
Ruby Dhalla doesn't represent Canadians (though I do suspect she desires to become Prime Minister one day). She is the Ottawa representative of ex-pat Indians and Indians yet to immigrate here. Around 75% of Indo-Canadians were not born in Canada thus making them predominately a foreign people who are Canadian only on paper. A sizeable number of them live in Dhalla's riding and it is they who got her elected. She is the Indian and Non Resident Indian (NRI, the Indian government's recognition of ex-pat Indians) representative in Ottawa and this is my issue and concern: that ethnicity is increasingly becoming a major factor in Canadian politics. It seems Ottawa is well on its way to reflecting the UN where ethnic factions elect representatives to the House of Commons to press their concerns on the rest of the nation. Canadian politics, in conjunction with Canadian society, is being divided along ethnic and racial lines.
One does not necessarily need to be a member of a specific ethnic like Ruby Dhalla to be a tool of an ethnic group. Jim Karryganis, a Scarborough Liberal MP, has made himself a tool of the Tamil lobby because Tamils form a sizeable number of his constituents and by cow-towing to this group Jim can guarantee to be elected year after year. In fact the Tamils, like the Sikhs, have immigrated to Canada in such large numbers (due primarily to Canada's generous refugee system via fraudulent refugee claims) that they form the largest Tamil community outside of Sri Lanka even though India is literally across the street. Tamils can swing the vote in six federal ridings. This is why the Liberal Party failed to list the LTTE as a terrorist organization.
What is becoming apparent is that ethnic communities are not interested in assimilating. They are interested in appropriating Canadian society to fit their economic needs and this includes our political system. An ethnically exclusive national Chinese party was launched in B.C. earlier this month. How long will it be before the Sikhs do the same or the Muslims for that matter? One Bloc Quebecois is one too many. How will Canada survive if our political system is rendered ineffective by ethnic politics?
This is why I support restrictive immigration policies that limit the influx of people from one region or country. A disproportionate number of immigrants to Canada come from India and China making a mockery of any claims to a diverse immigration system. South Asians and Chinese are of such large numbers in Canada that their forays into Canadian politics reveal that they are not interested in co-operating to form a better Canada but are more interested in making Canada better for them. This is divisive and intrusive and it is colonialism in the guise of multiculturalism. And above all it is wrong!