| Canada | 3 April 2017 | Asia Samachar |
Sikh Heritage Museum of Canada (SHMC) has released its annual poster with the countryís first prime minister facing off its current defence minister, with a message certain to uplift the Sikh community in Canada and abroad as well.
The poster has the photos of Canada’s first prime minister Sir John. A. Macdonald and now serving defence minister Harjit Singh Sajjan.
In 1867, Macdonald had penned a private letter shortly after Queen Victoria signed the BNA Act, in which then soon-to-PM had said ‘send me an army of Sikhs’.
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“It’s a significant historical anecdote for Sikhs, and how far the reputation of Sikhs preceded them across the Atlantic…In 2017, we have an army led by a Sikh,” reads an entry at the SHMC Facebook page.
In the letter, Macdonald wrote: “War will come someday between England and the United States and India can do us yeoman’s service by sending an army of Sikhs Ö across the Pacific to San Francisco and holding that beautiful and immortal city with the surrounding California ó as security for Montreal and Canada.”
The idea of Canada invading San Francisco was ‘perhaps tongue in cheek’ on Macdonald’s part but reveals the prime minister to have a mischievous streak, according to a note on the museum’s website.
“It’s a significant historical anecdote for Sikhs, and how far the reputation of Sikhs preceded them across the Atlantic. It is a reminder of how we were viewed as a people, as far away as even North America prior to our arrival here,” the note adds.
Harjit was one of the four Sikhs made Federal ministers when the Justin Trudeau-led Liberal Party won the general elections inNovember 2015. Harjit had served Canada as both a soldier and a police officer. He is a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Canadian Armed Forces and a combat veteran, having served in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Afghanistan.
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