Saturday, June 24, 2017

Air India 182: How much does Canada care about the worst mass murder in its history?

Until Sept. 11, 2001, the 1985 bombing of Air India flight 182 was the deadliest terrorist attack anywhere, ever. It remains the worst mass murder in Canadian history.

On June 23 of that year, 329 people were killed, including 280 Canadians and 86 children. The flight left Toronto, then Montreal bound for London, then India. It disappeared from radar off the coast of Ireland where the search for survivors and answers began. The attack was planned by a group of B.C. Sikh separatists led by a preacher named Talwinder Singh Parmar.

Dr. Chandrima Chakraborty, a professor of English and Cultural studies at McMaster University, says that when the bombing happened it was not considered by the Canadian government and the public as a Canadian tragedy.

When then-Prime Minister Brian Mulroney placed a call to Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, he expressed condolences for India's loss.

Chakraborty is an editor of the newly published anthology, Remembering Air India: The Art of Public Mourning. She spoke with the CBC's Conrad Collaco about the worst mass murder in Canadian history and how it is perceived today and in the years since the bombing.
23/06/17 CBC News