SINGH, Gurpreet




Author Tags: Punjabi

Since his immigration to Canada in 2001, Georgia Straight journalist and Radio India broadcaster Gurpreet Singh has interviewed relatives of the 329 people killed on Air India Flight 182 on June 23, 1985.

The first-ever bombing of a 747 jet remains the largest mass murder in Canada’s history and the worst fatal disaster to occur over a body of water.

Intending to write a book with the working title of Canada’s 9/11, Singh published a preliminary study, Fighting Hatred With Love: Voices of the Air India Victims’ Families (2012 $9.95) distributed locally by Asian Publications of Surrey and published by Punjab-based Chetna Parkashan.

Singh’s interim work was launched at a memorial ceremony held at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in July. He has voiced criticism of the South Asian community in B.C. for failing to fully ‘adopt’ the terrorist attack as a distinctly Canadian story, instead preferring to view the event within a broader South Asian perspective.

According to his website, "Gurpreet Singh is a newscaster and talk show host with Radio India in Vancouver. Before immigrating to Canada in 2001 he worked with The Tribune, Chandigarh, India. After completing his Masters degree in journalism from Panjab University, he started his career as a journalist with Indian Express in 1996. He has been working with Radio India since 2001 and has freelanced for Surrey Now, Georgia Straight, South Asian Post and People's Voice. He occasionally writes for India based publications, like The Hindustan Times, Frontline and Daily India Post. He is currently working on a book tentatively titled, Canada's 9/11: Lessons from the Air India Bombings."

978-81-7883-962-2

Having researched the Komagata Maru Incident, Singh self-published Why Mewa Singh killed William Hopkinson?--Revisiting the murder of a Canadian Immigration Inspector (2013).

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Other B.C. Books about Air India Flight 182:

The Death of Air India Flight 182 (W.H. Allen 1986) by Province reporter Salim Jiwa examined India’s political tensions within the context of the disaster only one year later after the debris had settled in the Irish Sea.

Loss of Faith: How The Air-India Bombers Got Away With Murder (M&S 2005) by award-winning Vancouver Sun reporter Kim Bolan appeared in the wake of the acquittal of Sikh leaders Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri. It also examines the same-day, terrorist explosion at Tokyo’s Narita Airport that killed two baggage handlers for Air India Flight 301.

Jiwa also co-wrote Margin of Terror: A Reporter’s Twenty-Year Odyssey Covering the Tragedies of the Air India Bombing (Key Porter 2006), with Donald J. Hauka, adding information about the 20-year Air India investigation and the 19-month trial that resulted in a verdict of not guilty for the accused in 2005.

In Children of Air India (Nightwood 2013),
Renée Sarojini Saklikar examines, among many things, why 9/11 resonates more strongly with most Canadians than the Air India disaster of June 23, 1985 that killed 329 people, making it Canada's worst mass murder. The accused were acquitted after a 20-year investigation. Her poems subtitled "un/authorized exhibits and interjections" explore individual loss within public trauma. Unstated in promotional materials, Saklikar, a graduate of SFU Writers Studio, is also the wife of Provincial NDP leader Adrian Dix.

Inspired by her family’s history, Padma Viswanathan’s novel The Ever After of Ashwin Rao (Random House 2014) is set almost twenty years after bombing of the Air India flight from Vancouver that killed 329 people off the coast of Ireland. As the long trial of two terrorist suspects is underway, Ashwin Rao, an Indian psychologist trained in Canada, returns to interview people who—like himself—lost loved ones on the plane. His "study of comparative grief" unexpectedly leads him into a deep association with one family in particular.

[BCBW 2013] "Sikh" "Air India"