DELTA North MLA Ravi Kahlon made the following statement on the Sikh Nation Blood Drive in the House:
NOVEMBER 1, 1984. It’s a day and a moment that haunts the people of the Sikh community. Indira Gandhi had been assassinated, and Sikhs became the scapegoats for the assassination. Elected officials were involved. Attackers had voter lists, school registration forms and ration lists. They went street by street, house by house, attacking homes which had identified Sikhs.
For four days, organized groups systematically destroyed Sikh places of worship, homes and businesses. There are reports that up to 5,000 people were killed. However, this is a conservative estimate. Men, women, and children. Muslim and Hindu families hid their friends and neighbours for days. Turbans and long hair made children targets, and parents had to make the difficult choice to cut their hair in order to survive. It was well documented that police watched as innocent people pleaded for help. Many elected officials that were involved walked free and many have received promotions.
How does a community respond to such injustice? They give blood, in order to save lives in honour of those they could not in 1984. As a tribute to the events of 1984, a small group of B.C. citizens started the Sikh Nation Blood Drive. The first blood donation clinic in 1999 took place in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. It has now grown to include clinics across Canada, the U.S., Australia and other locations worldwide. The campaign has saved 120,000 lives and currently is Canadian Blood Services’ largest partner in life. This campaign expresses peace and invites people from around the world to participate in this humanitarian campaign. Today, I would like this House to join me in thanking them for their efforts.