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 Featured Title
The Voyage of the Komagata Maru, expanded edition
The Sikh Challenge to Canada's Colour Bar, Expanded and Fully Revised Edition
Hugh J.M. Johnston  

$29.95 Paperback
Release Date: 5/1/2014
ISBN: 9780774825481    

268 Pages


About the Book

A century has passed since the Komagata Maru arrived in Vancouver. Its arrival was a direct challenge to Canada’s immigration laws, which barred immigrants from India -- yet the nearly 400 Punjabi passengers on board the ship had been promised equality with all other British subjects, and they arrived to claim that right. For two months, the passengers were harassed by immigration officials and endured extreme physical hardship, until finally they were forced to return to India. Once forgotten, today the incident is a strong symbol of policies that Canada now rejects.

The Voyage of the Komagata Maru is an extensive revision, reappraisal, and expansion of Hugh Johnston’s authoritative history of the Komagata Maru incident, first published in 1979. This updated edition draws in new research -- exploring the legal issues surrounding the incident and delving deeper into the motives of the passengers and their leaders and supporters -- and revisits the previous edition’s assessments in light of insight gained over the intervening decades.

Now expanded by more than 50 percent, The Voyage of the Komagata Maru is still the only comprehensive historical account of the Komagata Maru incident -- a story of immigration, empire, politics, and human rights, which Canadians increasingly recognize as a critical moment in this country’s history.

About the Author(s)

Hugh J.M. Johnston is a professor emeritus in history at Simon Fraser University. Among his publications are two other books on Punjabis in Canada, The Four Quarters of the Night: The Life Journey of an Emigrant Sikh and Jewels of the Qila: The Remarkable Story of an Indo-Canadian Family.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Introduction: South Asian Emigrants and the Empire
1 Exclusion: A Hidden Policy
2 Education: A Political Awakening
3 Encouragement: Disputing the Law Successfully
4 Departure: A Punjabi Emigrant Ship from Hong Kong
5 Arrival: Stopped at Canada’s Gateway
6 Delay: Stalling by Officials
7 The Court of Appeal: Canada’s Policy Upheld
8 Force: The Police Repulsed
9 Intimidation: Facing a Navy Cruiser
10 Return: A Tragic Homecoming
11 Arrest and Detention: The Aftermath of the Budge Budge Riot
12 Surrender: Gaining National Attention in India
13 Assassination: An Ending and a Beginning
Postscript: After the Komagata Maru



"Written with deep knowledge and sensitivity, this book authoritatively documents a defining moment in the history of Canada and the Indo-Canadians. A must-read for those engaged in the pursuit of equality and harmony in an increasingly diverse Canada."

-- The Honourable Ujjal Dosanjh, PC, QC, human rights activist and former premier of British Columbia

"Every Canadian should read this book. It captures a very important part of Canadian history and a pivotal incident that occurred in 1914 ... My grandfather was in Canada when the Komagata Maru arrived, and he would be proud of the way that Hugh Johnston has presented this event."

-- The Honourable Herb Dhaliwal, PC, community leader and former federal minister

Sample Chapter

Sample Chapter [PDF]

Related Topics

Other Ways To Order

In Canada, order your copy of The Voyage of the Komagata Maru, expanded edition from UTP Distribution at:

UTP Distribution
5201 Dufferin Street
Toronto, Ontario
M3H 5T8

Phone orders: 1(800)565-9523 or (416)667-7791
Fax orders: 1(800)221-9985 or (416)667-7832

Ordering information for customers outside Canada

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