Jagmeet Singh : The Colour of Politics – The Fifth Estate

thank you so I'm a social media guy and if it doesn't happen in social media it's like it never happened oh my god don't forget jealous I speak French Punjabi I understand that Hindi no dude I fully support same-sex marriage we need to have safe injection sites we need to focus on harm reduction okay so you got policy ideas but do you not advance I do you get the impression that that the white media seems hit by a kind of exotica do you think Canada is ready for a seat we're not worried about this this question of is you can read a separatism these are not questions that we would ask you know if someone who had a had to Irish descent in this edition of the Fifth Estate David common tells the inside story of junk meat Singh's campaign [Applause] jug meet Singh is like a boxer before a match in this ring he's the underdog last to enter the race and outside of Ontario if you know him I am proud to announce that I am running to be the leader of the New Democratic Party in Canada but the young Polish newcomer has plenty of swagger bold for a man now learning he's up against the party establishment Singh is about to hold his first press conference at his side two key confidants who will guide him to victory longtime friend and now press secretary Omni ball II okay ready along with Jack Layton's former speechwriter Willie Blum I'm thinking you might have some questions only minutes in there's a heckler ranting about religion it was it was almost sounded violent so in that moment what I'm thinking is the safety of jig meet the safety of others in the room and how do we deescalate the situation as quickly as we can it's off-camera but close enough that his team ends the news conference so when I when I kind of give this signal she she wrapped up the questions and we took him through to her pathway in the back through the kitchen into another room she's a thing but that is exactly what jug meat wants to do uncomfortably okay tell him I think I can diffuse it this would be an early glimpse of his style embracing confrontation to disarm Effie but his team is nervous yeah you don't want that to become the story yeah even if you're very good at it there's other things we want to get out there it would become a recurring theme of the campaign more questions about religion would follow and in many ways Singh has been preparing for them his whole life right around when I was seven I started keeping my hair and wearing kind of like a kids version of a turban and and that's around the time where I started facing more and more because bullying based on the way I looked and I remember that distinctly and that being kind of an ongoing thing and it really makes you feel like you know there's something wrong with you for being used something that you can't change it's not like you can change the color of your skin so it really gives you this sense of shame about who you are but the positive side of it was that I became more sensitive to unfairness around me once I started experience it experienced it myself I noticed that I wasn't alone joke meet Singh was born in Ontario but early on his father moved the family to Newfoundland to finish medical school the tallest here that's jug meat with his sister munch oat and brother gratin big brother took me to me was someone who was always looking after me he was someone who at one part of my life I think it's fair to say he almost took on the role of a father figure but something else was happening to at home Singh's father was suddenly sick couldn't work with money drawing up he was up to the eldest son I was the only person earning money in the family the only person that was paying for the bills and I know a bit of what it's like to have that pressure of not being able to or the pressure of knowing that if I don't work there's not going to be we're not gonna be able to afford food he relieved that pressure with mixed martial arts even had dreams of becoming a professional but then took up law close friend I'm neat though was sure he was destined for politics he is the guy that everyone in our community looks at as an older brother he's the guy you go to for advice so he's someone that we all look up to we all connect you and everyone respects it was a rapid ascent within a few years he'd be elected in Ontario then rising to become deputy leader of Ontario's NDP Montreal's Pride Parade a big platform and marching just steps in front of Singh the man he needs to upstage Justin Trudeau Singh is a threat to the Liberals especially in the diverse suburbs of Toronto and Vancouver key to any majority Singh may look relaxed but he has a problem here in Quebec at the heart questions about the role religion plays on his politics concern coming not just from the right but from the progressive left most people left concerned with them are concerned because of the fact that he's showing his religion and it's having an impact on its political vision Ellen boos Evy is the parliamentary bureau chief for the d'avoir for most people it's really a question of what's the place of religion and you have to take this in the broader context of how Quebec feel about religion in general we have we've had all this revolution tranquila in the 60s and although Quebecers like to to see this as their great moment and approve that they're so progressive revolution trunk it was as much as catching up with the other provinces as anything else so people are really concerned and they're really suspicious of anybody who pretends to be religious and and do politics and I would just be careful eight and uh and sometimes they sound sometimes they sound the same so I just be careful to enunciate team jug meat has a plan for Quebec and it starts with brushing up his French yeah ready set go Maxime is a nice as an honor that's easy alright alright getting sharper and sharper indeed but he's also learning the lesson of Quebec discomfort with over religious symbols including his own miss Amy Genesee pas assez boo boo Quebec accept emotional bond even de cerca server become angry a a just we can can keep that Ashley man Bella who I may not have the same identity in terms of my visual appearance but it should my values these are values that the people of Quebec really believe it and I want to show that I share that same connection that I get those same values and in fact those are my values and that connection is a far stronger connection than any sort of dissimilarity that might exist because of my my visual appearance these are some of the people that have made us achieves historic fundraising there may be trouble in Quebec but Ontario is a different story take us over it take it over the top and we have to make sure it's known that whatever I'm alright I'm kind of cool but more important than me is a team it's all of you that make this possible so thank you my kids all leadership races are about signing up new members what's our goal then when we make a member will return what are we trying to do what are you trying to inspire well that's a huge honor with just days remaining team jugni will sign up 47 thousand more than the parties ever seen all you're too young though to sign up to that his strength is leading to much greater confidence all this work is to sign up the first phase is to sign up new members there is a near constant presence on Facebook and Instagram and a willingness to stretch the usual boundaries even jokingly casting the daughter of his field director as campaign manager but as his momentum grows on social media another event shared globally will put singh on the map it's it's okay so what what this is what this is we don't want to be intimidated by hate we don't want hatred to ruin a positive event right we don't want hatred to ruin a positive event so let's show people how we we treat someone with love we welcome you we welcome you we welcome you we love you I wasn't angry in the moment I felt I felt more concerned about the people in the room and I didn't want this to create a a bad taste in the mouths of people young people were in the room I didn't want them to feel upset so it's really concerned about the people in the room we're not worried about this it was a transformational event catapulting him from the campaign to national and international celebrity recognized not for the woman's attack but for Singh's response and someone asked the question well you know were you prepared for did you prepare yourself for this event or did you prepare yourself for for this happening I'm like no no I didn't prepare myself but in a way your whole life prepared you for this moment and I thought you know that's right a guy faced much more aggressive situations physically aggressive situations where I actually had to defend myself the next morning Singh is on the west coast what's up everybody we are on a sea plane this is the home stretch I have to do it again in Instagram so this is the beauty of Nanaimo take a look at it look at its glory lovely well jugni chairs an enormous amount of his life on social media there are aspects that he keep private is there a partner that you have in your life that you would share with us at this time at this point I can either confirm or deny it this year in just weeks Singh has come to dominate that is clear in the final debate matched against more seasoned competitors he's at ease and on the offensive question is do you support the continued prosecution of people just because they have mental health issues do you support the continued prosecution of people because they're poor do you support the continued prosecution of Noah addicted no then let's call for a move to decriminalize I will turn it over to I will turn it over to geet we can talk later and without further ado I will introduce two techniques [Applause] Singh is on a roll in the final days comfortably working rooms of supporters but even here he's dogged by a perennial question do you think Canada is ready for you for for a seat you put me in front of people I will win them over I'm confident but I always have some evidence they did some polling and it said that majority of Canadians already there was a recent poll that came out about three weeks ago and said the majority of Canadians are ready to vote for Prime Minister that had a turban and a beard so thank you very much that is an issue that just won't go away in a country that celebrates diversity there is a continued infatuation with difference you get the impression that that the white media seems hit by a kind of exotica huge old Assange is the former premier of BC it shouldn't be treated as something to explore let's explore jig meet Singh's faith or his turban or let's explore his color and and I just think that that's wrong I mean that you know let's talk about his politics let's talk about where he stands formed if you know talk about it but you know talking about this extra nonsense is absolute nonsense for jugni Singh the personal is political have asked me about what's the story about how I got into politics let me tell you the real story as you'll see the attacks decades ago in India which would propel his rise they use their power in position to commit a barbaric act of genocide against their own citizens you count on the Fifth Estate for investigative journalism that matters the Fifth Estate team often counts on you the viewers for tips that lead to some of the best investigations I have a store 3,000 canary histories to send your tips email fifth tips at cbc.ca or go to the show website to find out other ways to get in touch campaign and time for a break jug meet Singh is attending the wedding of close friend and campaign advisor Omni Valley the bride and groom are emphasizing how sick teachings will be central to their lives for jugg needs Singh this is an opportunity to explain what was central to his political beginnings people have asked me about what's the story about how I got into politics let me tell you the real story singh's own political awakening began with a meeting of friends discussing a horror on another continent decades earlier we were sitting down and talking about what we could do to make sure that we had support at a political level for all issues of human rights and justice and particularly this case of genocide he's talking about the events of 1984 in India following the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards government tolerated mobs murdered at least 3006 Singh was just five at the time but the memory has rippled through his community and would lead Singh and his friends to activism we had grown up in a community that had been so deeply impacted and there was so much trauma in our community people we saw her parents we saw our friends families who all had lost someone someone had been picked up by the police in Punjab and disappeared it started with activism joining protests in the Toronto area and soon moving to the political arena when we started talking about these things 1984 the Sikh genocide it came to a point where we you know we felt like it it needed to be addressed politically there was a conversation that took place at a certain point which was the decision to say we are now going to go from our grassroots activism and extend that into political activism but where and how the group went political shopping starting with Ontario's liberals I believe is Dalton McGuinty at the time said something like well 1984 was a long time ago the conservatives at the time didn't really even want to acknowledge what we were saying and there was really only one political leader that stood up and defended us and that was Jack Layton in 2011 Singh would be elected as a new Democrat to Ontario's legislature where he took on a number of provincial issues but recognition of 1984 would never be far from his mind I move that in the opinion of this house the government of Ontario should recognize the state organised violence like perpetrated against the six throughout India as a genocide his activism has left some in the Indian government seething he's been blocked from visiting the country major Indian newspapers suggests Singh's Ryze is supported by those in Canada who want a separate six state why is it that folks in India always see you and others as separatists I don't know you'd have to ask them is it something that I believe in very firmly though as a human rights activist as someone that's a Canadian we know very clearly that everyone has a right to determine their future when you say you support it what what do you support the rights for every human being to have that that ability to determine their future self-determination is a right that I support and the United Nations supports it is a careful answer not endorsing six separatism not rejecting it leaving Singh open to more questions and can you be the leader of a federal political party and support a movement for dismemberment of India I think that's a question that foreign policy people might be interested in a Sikh himself former BC Premier you Joe desange thinks Singh can't have it both ways to say that another country or have sympathies for the division of another country based on religion I think it's just wrong you can't be a secular for Canada and a non secular for India that nexus of politics Canadian and simcha and the history that comes with it we'll continue to follow Singh through this campaign and beyond mid-september online voting is about to start so today is a last pitch for the four candidates and Singh is confident before he takes to the stage scene has a ritual high energy music a last-second motivator Singh has received the most endorsements has raised the most money has signed up the most new members there is no question he has the momentum it is evident on his face and here embracing his mother Wow thank you thank you very much coming up the last-minute scramble for votes [Applause] there's always more to our stories you can keep up with the fifth estate by subscribing to our weekly newsletter we'll tell you what we're working on and share updates on past stories sign up on our website at cbc.ca slash fifth [Applause] after months on the road under the pressure of a campaign jug meet Singh has a moment to unwind okay so you got policy ideas but do you not advance I do just like high fives like this just straight up yeah I just straight up okay well I see you doing that yeah the celebration of Sikh weddings goes on for days Singh just managed to make it to this final event next you'll find out if all his hard work has paid off hey Chuck gotta have to check my phone here literally 12 minutes we got 12 minutes till the to the results come out you know I called up my brother and I called up my sister I said this is a historic moment this is a moment you need to sit down with my nieces and nephews your kids and tell them what's about to happen jug meet Singh hopes this will be a walk towards a wins already seated his camera-shy parents on the other side campaign manager Michael hey for a man who normally exudes confidence today Singh looks nervous to win one of the four candidates needs to take more votes than the others combined many believe it won't happen on the first ballot in fact in the party's history it's only happened twice for Jack Layton and the party's founder Tommy Douglas as the numbers were coming in I was I was trying to count them in my mind but I was so excited that my mouth all of a sudden just disappear [Applause] [Applause] soon as that final number came out before Jimmy we knew that we had gotten over 51% [Applause] I don't have the words I don't have the words to capture this journey [Applause] I want to inspire people to feel like they belong in this country that everyone should feel empowered in their ability to to get involved in in politics in leadership and community activism because there's a lot of barriers that still exist a lot of a lot of people don't see themselves reflected in leadership let me say it's an incredibly profound honor thank you it was an impressive achievement for a visual minority person to achieve this kind of win on the first ballot and you know that's a tremendous achievement in addition to actually handling that heckler in a very admirable fashion so he has some great qualities to be a leader pretty crazy I think all of us realize where much of this started which is Hartman blew Louise Peete basement recently get together and just talk about how we wanted to organize and mobilize and change the world and where we are today these are many of the core friends who a decade ago launched a jug meet sing into politics this all started with what no resources no experience no rhyme or reason no one even to like guide us it was literally just knuckleheads coming together that journey began as young activists advocating for SiC issues now they don't want to be defined by it their horizons reaching further it's our job to make sure that we do our best to fight against people who want to put us in boxes you know or putting meat in a box or make him you know responsible for like you know a whole community or something like that where other people aren't put the same standard of course there has never been a prime ministerial hopeful like Judd meat Singh and for the best friend he began that journey with Singh now carries the hopes of a generation we're in a situation now where we've actually realized one of our goals which is which is to have to meet in a position where you can run for Prime Minister of Canada right you know I hope in 10 years that there's another you know there's another group of 10 that are sitting at a table like this talking about the magic that they created we pretend

Maurice Vega

48 Responses

  1. Exactly your community,no religion in politics!!! and for that I would never vote for him we need strong leaders not religious preachers, religion has harassed people kind for far to long we want real leaders not religious political ideology party leaders.

  2. Man.. this guy is an inspiring being and a very genuine epitome of Sikh. But he has to answer that question.. You cannot be secular for one state and non secular for another. Being an Indian sikh, i must say that we have been at the end of major atrocities and impacts that plague us till now from the 1984 riots, preparators of whom still roam freely in the street. Those innocent human lives lost still demand a voice for justice no doubt. They must be brought to full justice of law and with immediate effect. But again, the fact that i being from India itself do not want a separatist state for the sake of our people, and have somebody in Canada pitch for it as my right doesn't appear correct. Many other sikh people might be of the other view but at the end of the day, we being the warriors and having a rich history and culture that was created by being part of a multi lingual and multi cultural place that is India, and were known as its protectors should not put such demands now. Rather it's high time now to bring our own people to justice

  3. politics isnt for the meak….no one should be judged on skin colour race…etc….but on his policies .I do not agree with his policies ..but he seems fair minded and open to questions……that is the main thing

  4. Canadian pm. Not really. Religion and state must be kept apart. I know now or later where it I'll go…

  5. Veerji TERE ch GURU DA SAROOP vikhya je tusin padded te GURU DA KHALSA thale na lagan deyo WAHEGURU JI

  6. Jug-meet brings a plethora of Colorful Turbans to the Canadian Political Landscape, the importance of which is not lost on the sophisticated voters of Ethnic Enclaves that our policy of Multi-Culti Diversity has fostered.

  7. I am so thankful to CBC for letting the whole Canada know about the 1984 Sikh Genocide by the government.

  8. sikh and islam are totally different traditions .. islam is abrahamic (closer to christianity and judaism) … while sikhi is dharmic (closer to hindu, jain and boudha)

  9. he cant be secular in canada and extrimist is india! he has got charm but he should clear his stand regarding his relationship with india

  10. This man knows how to fool the Canadians. Respect outsiders give them citizenships give them jobs give them land but never make them the head of your house.

  11. I'm Muslim and I support and love my Sikh Brothers and Sisters… i love Sikh Community… #Sasriakaal

  12. Interesting to learn that this Lion of the Punjab found his courage and motive from the horrendous act of majoritarian India – the genocide of a minority.

  13. Nothing but respect for this guy. He’s been through a lot and especially the fact that he refused to take off his turban and he kept going amidst the racism and discrimination. Strong brother over here ??

  14. An awesome Indian version of Justin Trudeau… we are gonna pay for their immigration and refugees policies in the next 50-70 years! God bless Canada!

  15. He's Sikh and Sikhs are more like Muslims both carry violent ideologies , yeah !!! You can say that he's good guy but all bad guys pretend to be good.

  16. Don't like when outsiders comment on Sikhs in India, as if we are unhappy. Sure, we have had some difficult times right from the times of our Gurus, but rest assured there are more happy and patriots in India than there will ever be in Canada. And I am not just talking about Sikhs. Our problems are our business, so please try not to remotely control our emotions. If something is really bothering you about India, then come down here and be part of the change. Otherwise don't even comment on what we feel and esp. what we don't. WKK WKF

  17. Sikhs must feels proud…. And it's only and only by the helping hands of Christianty and Jewish… If we throw out of Christian nations they knew their value among Arab and their hometown country… It's better to remember the helping hand of Christianity…. .

  18. One day it will happen,,,,,lion will rule but with respect and honesty, that's the message of Sikh guru s,,,,,sukpreet Singh artist

  19. Jagmeet Singh has clarity of thought but his support for the Referendum2020 shows immaturity, since this referendum has been initiated by SFJ (a separatist organisation) without constitutional approval of either India or Pakistan. How can a leader of a Canadian Political Party support an unconstitutional vote?

  20. @13:38 the brave lady speaks volumes of Canadian minds, she is speaking this from the century old experience of being a religious persecuted spiritual person by religion of West Asia, which plagued Europe and overtook the journey along with colonial rule…
    It's not just a simple question…it's ideology that eaten up cultures, people, country, languages, spirituality…respect to the lady…
    Has god rendered people enough sane to rise above and vote a guy who look different and non-religious spiritual person….time will tell…

  21. West asian religions are a bit judgemental. Most Canadians are religious, but time is changing this country rapidly.
    Jagmeet is a spiritual person.
    I am hopeful god is opening people to be more spiritual, less religious…time will make people cool and kill judgements…un jour viendra que nous serons cool Canadian.

  22. Sikhs are not Muslim nor are they Hindu if you want to educate yourself in the basics of the Sikh faith watch this video 🙂 to clear misunderstandings https://youtu.be/ln3LE9T8BEE

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