Introduction

'The ceaseless flow of the river fascinated Maluka. The smooth silent movement of the water made him feel at home, for the Fraser was much like the Sutlej gliding through the plains of the Punjab. It was much easier to become intimate with the river than with the unknown people in a strange country."

~ from Maluka by Sadhu Singh Dhami

Rivers, water, journeys and a sense of home bind all immigrants to writing the story of Canada. The authors of that story may change over time to include new perspectives that were previously marginalized but this ongoing, continuous journey reflects how we see Canada and define what it means to be Canadian. One of the benefits of retelling the story of the Komagata Maru today is that it allows us to build upon the work of previous generations to make sense of one of the most symbolic moments in Canadian history.

The story of the Komagata Maru resonates beyond 1914, linking to freedom movements in India and the right to vote for South Asians in Canada. It addresses how we build communities, understand official multiculturalism, how we remember our past and develop multiple connections. Here you will find collected for the first time rare government documents, newspaper articles, academic texts, videos....and even a diary.

One of the unique features of this website is the active attempt to reframe traditional perspectives of this story to include a variety of Canadian Indian voices. This helps for a nuanced and multilayered look at history, while also communicating the lived realities of Canadians - and those striving to be Canadians - over 100 years ago.

You can access the information on the website in a variety of ways. The headings at the top of the screen organize the content thematically across different types of media and texts. If you are looking for a specific type of resource, use the left hand column to search through the various documents, visuals, or videos we have curated.

Another way to navigate through our site is the Interactive Timeline. Here we have visually and chronologically arranged the major moments in the Komagata Maru story according to five major regions. Scroll through the timeline and click on major moments to learn more about South Asian Canadian history and delve into the primary source documents of the Komagata Maru. You can also use our 'Search Box' to type in keywords, names, or specific themes to navigate our collection.

Our desire is to create a comprehensive portal for understanding the Komagata Maru incident through a variety of materials such as government documents, oral histories, private archives, artistic endeavours, and interviews. This endeavour is our attempt to contextualize the Komagata Maru through a variety of perspectives and see how the ripples of that "incident" still affect us today.