A large number of Punjabi students, studying in different pockets of Canada, have raised their voice on different social networking platforms against a Toronto-based Punjabi radio channel host and a caller who criticised international students from Punjab in a recent radio show.
Students expressed their anger by writing their views on social media and by making their response videos.
Their siblings, cousins and relatives here in Punjab are busy pacifying them by suggesting them to ignore such statements against them and concentrate on bigger goals for which they went to Canada.
Majority of the students have shared their videos, featuring statements made against them in the radio show, followed by story of the struggle that they had to face for being an international student.
In the video of the said radio show, a woman calls up host Joginder Bassi to share her complaints against the increasing number of Punjabi students and suggested banning them.
Reacting to her views, Bassi said that international girl students from Punjab are clever as their only aim is to find a boy with permanent residency so as to get married to them and become a Canadian citizen.
A student Harman Singh from Jagraon who is currently studying in Montreal and is in Canada since the past few years said, “It was not expected that a radio show can be so shameful, where people can make any kind of statements. I was shocked when the RJ said that girls from Punjab, instead of concentrating on studies and career, come here to make a match with a Punjabi boy with permanent residency to attain citizenship.”
“Why do people forget that we worked hard to get admission in Canadian colleges and universities, where we pay lakhs of rupees for every semester? Besides that, we do all kinds of odd jobs to arrange the fee money for the next semester,” he said.
Gaganpreet Singh who hails from Ludhiana and is a Toronto-based student said, “One must think before speaking, but some people are just mindless. Why do they forget the struggles Indian students have to face? Before pointing a finger at us, why can’t the Punjabi community settled here first look at their own children who are not even connected to their roots and hardly respect their elders? Besides, the students coming to Canada are also helping to boost Canada’s economy, as they pay so much for every semester.”
“When we apply for permanent residency, we join a force of productive citizens since we have the degrees and rich work experience,” he added.
Meanwhile, there are also videos where students have appealed to all, to remain calm. These videos state that bad apples are everywhere and ignoring them is the best solution.
The radio host Bassi shared on his Facebook page that he has received hate calls from students for the said statement.
On Friday, by inviting one of the students to his show, Bassi appealed the students’ community to shed away their anger as no statement was made to hurt them.
Bassi remained unavailable for any comment on the issue despite repeated attempts.