• Associate Sponsor

Who is Jagmeet Singh?

Jagmeet Singh, who led the fundraising campaign of the party since joining the race last May, won the decisive first-ballot victory over three other candidates by receiving 53.6 per cent of the vote on Monday.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Published: October 3, 2017 10:40 am
jagmeet singh, who is jagmeet singh, canada, New Democratic Party, canada New Democratic Party, canada democratic party, sikh, sikh man canada, sikh man jagmeet singh, who is, world news, indian express news Jagmeet Singh (Photo – Reuters)

Jagmeet Singh, a 38-year-old Sikh lawyer, became the first non-white politician on Monday to head a major political party in Canada. Singh was elected the leader of the country’s New Democratic Party (NDP) to lead it into the 2019 election against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals.

Born in 1979 in Scarborough, Ontario, to immigrant parents from Punjab, Singh obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of Western Ontario in 2001 and a Bachelor of Laws degree from York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School in 2005. His first tryst with politics was during his law school days, when he campaigned against rising tuition fees. He was called to the bar in 2006, where he began working as a criminal defence lawyer in the Greater Toronto Area.

Singh has often spoken about being bullied and targeted for his “funny sounding name, brown skin, and long hair”.

“I also realized I wasn’t alone. I saw kids around me — kids no less capable, no less worthy of respect and dignity—who were not in a position to follow their dreams, simply because their families couldn’t afford it. That struck me as incredibly unfair,” his statement on his website states.

He spent years defending refugees and immigrants, and entered politics in 2011 by running as an MPP with the NDP in Bramalea-Gore-Malton, Ontario. He has also served as the Deputy Leader of the Ontario NDP.

In September this year, Singh gained global attention after a video from his campaign event, ‘Jagmeet and Greet’, went viral on social media. The video showed a woman heckling Singh about the Muslim brotherhood and the Sharia law, after interrupting his speech. Singh ignored the racial comments hurled at him and tried to diffuse the situation saying, “We are not going to be intimidated by hatred.” He countered the woman with his campaign motto of ‘love and courage’.

Earlier this year, on Canada’s Multiculturalism Day, Singh had tweeted about how he felt “there was something wrong” with him and how his “turban and beard evoked a reaction in every room” he went. Known for his sharp dressing style, Singh talked about fashion becoming his “social armour”, which insulated him from some of the negativity he faced.

In an interview with American magazine GQ in February this year, Singh elaborated on how his personal style — his colourful turbans and tailor-made three-piece suits — became a part of his political brand.

Singh, who led the fundraising campaign of the party since joining the race last May, won the decisive first-ballot victory over three other candidates by receiving 53.6 per cent of the vote on Monday. He has been touted by supporters as someone who could bring new life to NDP, which has struggled since its former leader Jack Layton passed away in 2011. In the general election that year, the party had made historic gains, but lost almost a million votes — mostly to Trudeau’s Liberals — four years later.

After the victory, Singh tweeted, “Thank you, New Democrats. The run for Prime Minister begins now,” officially launching his campaign “to be the next Prime Minister of Canada.”

For all the latest Who Is News, download Indian Express App

  1. A
    Oct 3, 2017 at 5:53 pm
    I have lived in Canada during Khalistan Movement and I have friends still there. The Sikhs in Canada - are Khalistani or pro-khalistani. So don't rejoice about this. Actually Indians who are supporting him in Canada should be concerned about him. There is no reason to feel positive/proud about turban or beard or Kirpan. If you are living in country then you should follow culture there. It is no different than Burkha or skull cap
    1. A
      Aakash P.
      Oct 3, 2017 at 4:19 pm
      We hindus support you and we are 100 if you want to open cases about sikh killings by congressis . All culprit should be jailed and their leader given maximum punishment.
      1. K
        Oct 3, 2017 at 2:19 pm
        NDP under this liberal lawyer is lost. If he talk of terror free Canada, he will get my and family's vote but he is supportive of unbridled intake of hardline terrorists from Syria, Rohingya (Myanmaar) and middle east. He stands No Chance of winning from his cons uency. NO Vote. He shall form a strong manifesto on economy and immigration and that is the only way to win elections in Canada. I see Conservatives bouncing back and Liberal back to backbenches. NDP distant third under Mr. Singh
        1. W
          W C
          Oct 3, 2017 at 4:24 pm
          Individually m ulsims are good. But as a community their only goal is to convert people. by force, or dawa or marrying other religion girls and to make is lam only religion in the world. In kur an it is specifically written as this. So ANYONE WHO TAKES SUPPORT OF RADICAL M USL IMS for their own short term goals ARE SURE TO BE DISAPPOINTED IF GOD FORBID THEY DOMINATE US. Winston Churchil has said " An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."
        2. D
          dilawar singh
          Oct 3, 2017 at 12:53 pm
          Editor somehow tried to created a Muslims angle into it but failed. Also actually story about jagmeet is he was denied Visa several times by Indian authorities because he wants to open the case of 1984 Sikh mass killings.
          1. s
            Oct 3, 2017 at 12:03 pm
            He is a Khalistani. The current PM has invited all islamist from mid-east and the [could be] future PM is a khalistani!!!!! Good luck Canada!
            1. D
              Oct 3, 2017 at 4:21 pm
              Being a Khalistani is billion times better than being a brothel running brahmin.
            2. Load More Comments