Saturday, February 08, 2020

They lost family in the Air India bombing. Now they’re grieving for Iranian-Canadians

Vigils and tributes for the 57 Canadian victims of last month’s Iran plane crash left Lata Pada reflecting on her own loss.

Pada’s teenage daughters, Arti and Brinda, as well as her husband Vishnu, were killed in a 1985 Air India plane crash that left 268 Canadians dead.

“The circumstances were almost similar,” the Mississauga, Ont., woman said.

“You just get on every flight like it’s the most ordinary thing to do. It’s full of people happily travelling … nobody ever thinks of not reaching your destination.”

On June 23, 1985, Air India Flight 182 left Toronto heading to New Delhi, India. Unbeknownst to the 329 people on board, there was a bomb planted on the plane. As the plane approached Ireland, the bomb went off, causing the plane to explode in mid-air over the Atlantic Ocean.

Losing a loved one — or sometimes an entire family — is impossible for most to comprehend.
But the Kiev-bound plane shot down in Iran on Jan. 8, killing all 176 passengers on board, is disturbingly familiar for the families of those who died in the Air India disaster.
Many remaining family members say they somewhat understand what Iranian-Canadian families are going through. Dealing with grief on a public stage can be a complicated and scarring experience.

“All they have is memories,” said Chandrima Chakraborty, a cultural studies professor at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont.
08/02/20 Olivia Bowden/Global News
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