Biography commemorates life of prominent Canadian human rights activist Gurcharan Singh Bhatia

Gurcharan Singh BhatiaTHE book Truth, Love, Non-Violence: The Story of Gurcharan Singh Bhatia tells the story of a prominent Indo-Canadian human rights activist and member of the Order of Canada.

Written by Edmonton journalist and poet Alexis Kienlen, the book explores the life of Bhatia, following him from his youth in a turbulent India during the partition where 67 of his family members were murdered, through to his immigration to Canada and eventual installation in Edmonton, Alberta, where he founded several organizations and community initiatives to assist newcomers and to promote multiculturalism and his vision for a more tolerant, peaceful and integrated Canadian society.

Among the highlights covered in the Truth, Love, Non-Violence: Bhatia’s experience as a young man in India surviving partition, his years as one of the first Sikh immigrants to the prairies, his time on the Canadian Human Rights Commission, and his many contributions to Canada.

The book was launched on June 18 to a crowd of over 135 attendees and featured an introduction from Gene Zwozdesky, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, who said about reading the book: “When I worked with Gurcharan on the 50th anniversary of the United Nations in 1998, I observed the passion he had for human rights. What I didn’t realize—until now—is that he had also lived it.” Bhatia and Kienlen also spoke and read from the book. More readings in the Edmonton area are scheduled for the fall.

Copies of Truth, Love, Non-Violence are available for purchase at Copies for review are also available. A portion of the proceeds from all sales of the book will go to Edmonton community initiative Daughters Day.

Daughters Day was co-founded by Bhatia and takes place at the beginning of September every year. It celebrates women of all ages and ethnicities as integral to the solution of ending violence against women across the globe. For more information about Daughters Day, go to