Episode 5: Big Dog, Little Dog or The Khutha Bundha

Spy games. This week The Nameless Collective analyzes declassified government documents regarding a New Year’s Eve gathering in Vancouver’s Chinatown. Names are called, lines are drawn, traitors identified. The year is 1913.

Nameless Collective Podcast South Asian History Vancouver

Milan, Naveen and Paneet also attempt to put names to the nameless in a photograph from Harnam Kaur’s cremation, and speculate on who is present in the photograph and why they were there. The photograph sets the scene for the key characters involved in the Ghadar movement and the Komagata Maru episode and its aftermath.

We’ve provided a list of the photographs and documents discussed in the episode below, so you can follow along and discover new stories along with The Nameless Collective.

Your Guide to Episode 5 of The Nameless Collective Podcast:

Vancouver South Asian History

Cremating the remains of Harnam Kaur. Source: The Kohaly Collective via SFU Komagata Maru Journey.

1. An annotated photo of Harnam Kaur’s cremation (best viewed on a desktop computer – try right click and click on “Open Image in New Tab” to see the image larger).

2. Harnam Kaur’s funeral procession, from Canadian Sikhs (Part One) and the Komagata Maru Massacre by Kesar Singh. Vancouver South Asian History

3. Hindoo Religious Procession from 1905.

Vancouver South Asian History

4. The Gangstas of Granville or The Beeba Boys: Baboo Singh, Bela Singh, Ganga Ram and Rattan Singh. Could the dapper gentlemen below be the original Beeba Boys?

Vancouver South Asian Sikh History

A 1908 photo of the 400 block of Granville Street, shot from West Hastings Street. Retrieved from http://komagatamarujourney.ca/node/3279.

5. Statements by Baboo Singh and Bela Singh.

South Asian History Vancouver South Asian History Vancouver

6. Declarations of Sikh Tyranny: Chajoo Ram states that Baboo Singh is “the bigger dog.”Vancouver History South Asian History Sikh History

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The Nameless Collective Podcast is a Canadian History podcast produced by Jugni Style and Manjot Bains, with additional sound engineering by Devinder Singh. The show is hosted and researched by Naveen Girn, Milan Singh and Paneet Singh in Vancouver, Canada. Music for the podcast is by WiseChild, featuring Keerat Kaur.

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Photographs & Documents Referenced in Episode 5 of The Nameless Collective Podcast:

(1913, December 27). Copies of the declarations [of Sikhs re tyranny] (see p. 121). Page 4. Retrieved from http://komagatamarujourney.ca/node/569.

Canada. Department of Immigration (1914, June 18). Statement[s] made by Bela Singh [and Babu Singh] at the Immigration Office, in the presence of: Detective Crewe, Dominion Immigration Agent Reid, Inspector Hopkinson and Asst. Imm. Agent Howard, on the 18th day of June, A.D. 1914, at the hour of 4.15 o’clock in the afternoon. Page 1. Retrieved from http://komagatamarujourney.ca/node/10913.

“Hindoo Religious Procession Vancouver,” 1905. Vancouver Public Library Archives.

Kazimi, A. (2011). Undesirables: White Canada and the Komagata Maru: An Illustrated History. Douglas & McIntyre.

Singh, Kesar (1989). Canadian Sikhs (Part One) and the Komagata Maru Massacre. Retrieved from komagatamarujourney.ca/node/558.

Timms, Philip T. (1908). [View of the 400 block Granville Street from West Hastings Street]. Retrieved from http://komagatamarujourney.ca/node/3279.

Unknown. “Cremating remains of Hasanam Koor.” Komagata Maru Journey. N.p. 2 February 1914. Web. 28 June, 2017.