Mission Diwali celebration cancelled in wake of Punjab incidents

Scripture desecrations, death of Sikh activists change tone of usually-exuberant holiday

  • Oct. 30, 2015 1:00 p.m.

Local youth sing and dance at the Diwali event last year in Mission. This year's Diwali event has been cancelled in response to international incidents.

Mission’s main Diwali celebration, on Nov. 3, has been cancelled. The cancellation is in response to a series of troubling incidents in Punjab, India, including a series of alleged desecrations of the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy scripture, and the deaths of two Sikh activists in police-involved shootings.

“We condemn the incidents in Punjab, and we are in support of the community,” said Sanjay Gulati, the executive director of Mission Community Services.

The now-cancelled Mission event was to take place at the Clarke Theatre at Heritage Park Centre, with performances, an indoor marketplace, and a free dinner.

A story on the upcoming Diwali celebrations was included in Friday’s Mission Record, which went to press prior to the event’s cancellation.

In response to the Punjab incidents, Sikh Diwali events have been halted worldwide —the usually-exuberant festival of light will be observed this year a “Black Diwali,” a solemn observance without the usual festivities and fireworks. The Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab the centre of the Sikh faith has also cancelled its Diwali celebrations, which usually attract thousands.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Man in mid-20s killed in targeted shooting in Abbotsford

Location of shooting the same as where innocent bystander Ping Shun Ao killed in 2015

Fraser Health asking taxpayers for millions more in health care capital funding

Health authority wants Fraser Valley taxpayers to triple annual contribution to $5.75 million

Downtown Mission: Ready to revitalize

With the bidding process underway, construction could start by mid-March

‘Compassion club’ operator loses bid to have pot-trafficking charges thrown out

Bob Woolsey of Mission argues that laws were not valid at the time of alleged offences

Location eyed for possible collector well

New estimate puts price tag of new water source at $81 million

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

Vancouver hoping free public Wi-Fi expansion will drive tourism dollars

Mayor Gregor Robertson says expansion bolsters its “leading Smart City” status

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Liberals’ 2-year infrastructure plan set to take 5: documents

Government says 793 projects totalling $1.8 billion in federal funds have been granted extensions

Workers shouldn’t be used as ‘pawns’ in minimum wage fight: Wynne

Comments from Kathleen Wynne after demonstrators rallied outside Tim Hortons locations across Canada

John ‘Chick’ Webster, believed to be oldest living former NHL player, dies

Webster died Thursday at his home in Mattawa, Ont., where he had resided since 1969

Giants fall in six-round shootout

Visiting Victoria squad beats Vancouver 4-3 at Langley Events Centre

World’s fastest log car made in B.C. sells for $350,000 US

Cedar Rocket auctioned off three times at Barrett-Jackson Co., netting $350,000 US for veterans

Bad timing: Shutdown spoils Trump’s one-year festivities

Trump spends day trying to hash out a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

Most Read