The South Asian community won the right to vote in British Columbia on April 2, 1947 and to commemorate this historic day bg an event was organized on April 1st by Dr. Hari Sharma Foundation. The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Vinod Mubayi.
At this event south asian community leaders such as Raj Chouhan, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia; Dr. Vinod Mubayi, co-editor of monthly Insaf Bulletin; Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, Professor Emeritus, University of British Columbia and Chetna Association of Canada, a community-based society whose objective is to raise awareness about the caste-based discrimination.
The event, held in Surrey, British Columbia, was attended by over 100 people including Rachna Singh, Minister of Education; Harry Bains, Minister of Education and Jagrup Brar, Minister of State for Trade.
In the year 1907 South Asians living in Canada were denied the right to vote in Canada. This, in spite of the fact that South Asians had a formidable presence in Canada beginning in 1897. Forty years of lobbying, community rallying, fundraising and protesting finally resulted in the South Asian’s gaining the right to vote in 1947.
In 1947, South Asians were given the right to vote, therefore permitting their entry into British Columbian political life. In the late 20th Century many South Asians transitioned from living in rural areas of the province into living in urban areas as the economic vitality of the forestry industry declined.
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