Sundar Singh, Dr. (1882- )

Dr. Sundar Singh was a prominent spokesperson for Sikhs and South Asians in Canada between 1909 and 1915. He was born in the Amritsar district of Punjab in 1882, took medical training in Britain, and entered Canada at Halifax in March 1909, where Canadian immigration officers were less vigilant in screening immigrants from India than their counterparts in British Columbia. He made his way directly to Vancouver and stayed there unchallenged until November 1910, when Inspector Hopkinson discovered how he had entered the country. In January 1911 he was ordered deported because he had come by indirect journey. He threatened to appeal and the immigration department chose not to proceed. In 1911 he published a number of issues of the Aryan in English and in 1913 to 1914 he produced the Sansar in Gurmukhi and English. He was a member of a delegation to Ottawa in 1912, petitioning for immigration rights, particularly for women; he undertook a one-person mission to Ottawa in 1914 on behalf of the passengers of the Komagata Maru. Neither mission was successful and his relations with militants in Vancouver became so bad he relocated to Toronto. By 1916 he had disappeared from public view.

Sources: I.M. Muthanna, People of India in North America. Part First (Bangalore: Printed at Lutus Printers, 1975); Hugh Johnston, Jewels of the Qila: The Remarkable Story of an Indo-Canadian Family (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2011); Library and Archives Canada, Immigration Files, RG 76.