Tensions in Punjab reverberate through B.C.
Tensions in Punjab, including an internet shutdown and mass arrests as police hunt for a Sikh activist, have rekindled old fears among some British Columbians with ties to the Indian state.
Sim Sidhu was born in B.C. but grew up hearing stories of media blackouts and enforced disappearances from his father, who left Punjab in the aftermath of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
“I listened to my dad and I thought the world had changed since then,” Sidhu told Postmedia News on Wednesday. “And then boom! I wake-up and the internet is gone and there’s talk about disappearances.”
The Langley teacher, who began posting information about the Indian farmers’ protests on his Instagram account a couple of years ago, expects his father will worry about his decision to speak out about how the current tensions in Punjab are affecting British Columbians.
“After one of my posts exploded on the internet, my dad called me … He said, ‘My dear son, stop making posts, because they will get you,’ ” said Sidhu, 28. “I was born-and-raised in Canada, and I can’t really imagine living with the fear that is ingrained in my parents.”
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