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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

The Voyage of the Komagata Maru

The Sikh Challenge to Canada’s Colour Bar, Expanded and Fully Revised Edition

Released to coincide with the 100-year anniversary of the arrival of the Komagata Maru, this expanded and fully revised edition will stand as the most thoroughly researched account of the notorious Komagata Maru incident. The event centres on the ship’s nearly four hundred Punjabi passengers, who sought entry into Canada at Vancouver in the summer of 1914, only to be chased away by a Canadian warship. This story became a symbol of prejudicial immigration policies, which Canadians today reject, and served to fuel the emerging anti-British movement in India. It deserves the careful re-examination it gets in this thoroughly updated edition that provides a contemporary perspective on a defining moment in Canadian, British Empire, and Indian history.

268 pages

Table of Contents


Introduction: South Asian Emigrants and the Empire

1 Exclusion: A Hidden Policy

2 Education: A Political Awakening

3 Encouragement: Disputing the Law Successfully

4 Departure: A Punjabi Emigrant Ship from Hong Kong

5 Arrival: Stopped at Canada’s Gateway

6 Delay: Stalling by Officials

7 The Court of Appeal: Canada’s Policy Upheld

8 Force: The Police Repulsed

9 Intimidation: Facing a Navy Cruiser

10 Return: A Tragic Homecoming

11 Arrest and Detention: The Aftermath of the Budge Budge Riot

12 Surrender: Gaining National Attention in India

13 Assassination: An Ending and a Beginning

Postscript: After the Komagata Maru



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