Sukhjinder Dhillon guilty of discrimination,
asked to pay $2,000 to each passenger
leaders must stop reverse racism
Surry, Aug 16, 2005
broadcaster on Surrey-based Radio India.
The now News Paper
Now that a human rights tribunal has found an Indo-Canadian
taxi driver guilty of using racial slurs against two
aboriginal passengers, the community leaders should
wake up to stop this "reverse" racism -
an issue that needs an immediate attention.
The tribunal found Sukhjinder Dhillon guilty of discrimination.
Dhillon's taxi company in Prince George has also been
asked to pay $2,000 to each passenger. The incident
occurred last year, when Dhillon picked two aboriginals
from a bingo hall. He wanted them to pay for the ride
up front. When they refused to do so, Dhillon asked
them to get out of the taxi and used racial slurs.
To some it may be a small incident. But imagine if
the taxi driver was white and the passengers were
Indo-Canadians. The Indo-Canadian leaders would have
raised a storm.
This isn't an isolated case of racial prejudice of
one minority group against another. Some Indo-Canadian
boys in Vancouver, following an exchange of racial
slurs, lynched Mao Jomar, a boy from the Philippines.
Earlier, a couple of incidents of caste prejudices
within the Indo-Canadian community came to light.
A prominent Indo-Canadian power lifter, Sammy Toora,
was humiliated by a person belonging to the upper
caste group. They both worked for a private security
company. His colleague had written derogatory remarks
about his "lower caste" on a company register.
Elsewhere, a Sikh religious school in Surrey had denied
admission to a Hindu boy in the higher grade because
he had refused to wear a turban like his Sikh classmates.
Apart from these incidents of racial and religious
prejudices, the misuse of race card is also a cause
of worry. Recently, a Sikh boy in Richmond hoaxed
about a hate crime. He alleged that five white males
pounced on him, used racial slurs and then chopped
off his hair. For days, the police was groping in
the dark for answers. Later, the boy retracted the
story and admitted he had chopped his own hair. He
did not want to sport long hair according to his parents'
wishes. He was looking for an excuse to get rid of
Seven years ago, another Sikh boy had cooked up a
Earlier, in an unrelated case, a Muslim couple of
Indian origin had complained that a bus driver had
mistreated them because of their race. They complained
that the driver did not let them sit in the bus. The
investigation later revealed that this was a false
story. The couple attempted to travel with an old
ticket - the real reason the driver denied them entry
into the bus.
The Indo-Canadian leaders who had fought against
racism in the past should now look at these challenges
with a fresh perspective. Canada has changed. The
federal government has appointed its first black female
Governor General. In the 1990s, Ujjal Dosanjh was
the first Indo-Canadian premier in Canada. Herb Dhaliwal
was appointed the first Indo-Canadian federal minister.
Racism isn't only what the majority caucasian population
has been doing in the past. Today, the minorities
who enjoy equality and fair treatment are also indulging
in the acts of racism. The Indo-Canadian leaders should
wake up to the challenge of reverse racism before
it's too late.
Gurpreet Singh is a broadcaster on Surrey-based Radio