The Undocumented Trial of William C. Hopkinson by Paneet Singh
The Undocumented Trial of William C. Hopkinson revisits the Vancouver Provincial Courthouse in October of 1914 and re-examines the trial of Mewa Singh, who is put on the stand to answer for the assassination of prominent Canadian Immigration Inspector, William Charles Hopkinson – an act which he openly admits to committing. Along with being the closing chapter of the infamous Komagata Maru story, the assassination of Inspector Hopkinson was the culmination of a simultaneous transnational struggle seeking independence for colonized British India, and a struggle for civil rights for South Asians living on the West Coast of North America. An unexpected defense from Mewa Singh’s attorney takes the proceedings from an open-and-shut case, to a surreal debate of conscience. Drawing inspiration from historical events and documents, The Undocumented Trial blurs the lines of reality to create an analytical historical dialogue to explore political and sociocultural themes.
Keywords: Sikh, Vancouver, South Asian, History, Political, Intercultural, Immigrant, Migrant, Komagata Maru, Human Rights, Canada, Racism, Discrimination