Poet Rupi Kaur Rejects Washington Diwali Invite Over Palestinian ‘Genocide’
OTTAWA (IANS) – Indo-Canadian Sikh poet Rupi Kaur has declined an invitation for a Diwali event November 8 which is being hosted by Vice President Kamala Harris.
“I decline any invitation from an institution that supports the collective punishment of a trapped civilian population—50 per cent of whom are children,” Kaur, 31, wrote in a statement.
“I’m surprised this administration finds it acceptable to celebrate Diwali, when their support of the current atrocities against Palestinians represent the exact opposite of what this holiday means to many of us,” the author of “Milk and Honey” said. She implored other South Asians in the US to hold the Biden administration accountable in the wake of the spiraling civilian death toll.
Kaur has been outspoken on India related issues too. She has been vocal in support of farmers there and criticized the Modi government for its farm laws. During the continuing recent spat with Canada, her Twitter account was blocked in India.
Kaur, who immigrated to Canada from Punjab at the age of four with her parents, said: “We must not be tokenized by their photo-ops. When a government’s actions dehumanize people anywhere in the world, it is our moral imperative to call for justice.”
Among Sikhs, Diwali is celebrated as Bandi Chhor Divas (Day of Liberation), commemorating their sixth guru, Guru Hargobind Sahib, who helped free 52 fellow political prisoners from unjust imprisonment by a Mughal emperor.
“I have always used this day to reflect on what it means to fight for freedom against oppression. Today, the American government is not only funding the bombardment of Gaza, they continue to justify this genocide against Palestinians regardless of how many refugee camps, health facilities, and places of worship are blown to bits,” Kaur wrote.
Her collections have sold over 11 million copies and have been translated into over 43 languages. She was also regarded as “writer of the decade” by the New Republic and recognized on the Forbes 30 under 30 list.
In 2022, Kaur released her fourth book, “Healing Through Word”.