Quiet Resilience / by Avnish Nanda

In the equivalent of 20 years of formal education, including degrees in political science and law, I have never been taught a lesson regarding the incident of the Komagata Maru being turned away from Canada’s shores.

I am expecting this remote silence will continue in the formal education of my own children.

There are many lessons to be learned from what happened 100 years ago. The paramount lesson I want to instil to my son from the Incident is a simple: never underestimate the achievements that spring from resilience.

The message to Indians entering Canada 100 years ago was a thunderous “no, thank you.”

As days turned into weeks that rapidly became months, the migrants on the Komagata Maru dealt with their conditions in quiet resilience.

They did not riot. They did not disband. They did what we treasure in Canada’s just society: they sought the rule of law.

In the hundred years since the Incident, the strength of their resilience is reflected in the actions that have occurred in Indian pioneers since. The migrants may have ultimately “lost” and travelled back the Pacific, but their fight laid the foundation for the rise of future Indian pioneers that continue to erect pillars in Canada. From serving in military combat, leading in commerce, innovating in technology, and as reflected through this site – continuing the advocacy and development of the rule of law – the seeds laid in quiet resilience continue to blossom in often arduous conditions.