08 March, 2021

BC's New Man For The Millennium

Clean ways, and a huge Indian diaspora, make Ujjal Dosanjh Canada's first provincial premier

BC's New Man For The Millennium

A bright-eyed Punjabi immigrant left his gulli danda and India behind to work in a Canadian sawmill in British Columbia (BC) in 1968. And just a little over 30 years later, Ujjal Dosanjh holds the highest job in the province, that of premier.

Turbaned Sikhs broke into spontaneous bhangra to dholak rhythms at the formal political convention in Vancouver, minutes after Dosanjh was declared victorious in the seven-month leadership battle in the western province of British Columbia. The exultant dancers were celebrating not only their Punjabi brother’s achievement but also the fact that he is the very first Indo-Canadian ever to have become a province premier, equivalent to a chief minister in India.

The celebrations were echoed at the other end of the world, in the new premier’s native village of Dosanjh Kalan in Punjab. "We couldn’t have asked for a better start to the new millennium," says Surinder Singh, a cousin. "Ujjal has done his village, parental state and country of birth proud."

The western province Dosanjh represents is home...

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