Sutey Ahir

Sutey Ahir has a lifelong history of fighting against caste oppression both in India and in Canada.
In India,  Sutey was an active member of the DS4-Dalit Shoshit Samaj Sangharash Samati, founded by Manyawar Kanshiram.  He also participated in a bicycle rally, “Jaat Todo Samaj Jodo” (Break Caste, Unite Society), which proceeded from Kashmir to Delhi.  One of his most significant achievements was his leadership of a campaign in support of a communal pond, a place for holding water for all parts of his home in village Bath Kalan, District Jalandhar, Punjab, India. The upper caste people of village were against the project, and subsequently labelled Sutey a “terrorist,” and registered a complaint with the local village authority.  The government intervened and found a solution that was acceptable and in the interest of the entire village.
In Canada, Sutey has fought against caste oppression by educating his colleagues at work.  He was a board member and secretary of Royal City Taxi.  In one situation, Sutey faced caste-based slurs.  He lobbied and, as a result, the offenders apologized in writing. Based on his life experiences, Sutey would like to see caste added as a protected category to discrimination policies in Canada.
Sutey is also one of the founders of the Indian Buddhist Society and served as a President of the Society for more than five years.

Short Promotional Video 1: How did caste influence your life in Canada?

Short Promotional Video 2: How did casteism influence your decision to migrate to Canada?

Full Interview:

“Caste in Canada”

About the project. 

Banner image: Collage of photographs, from left to right, interview of Surjit and Manjit Bains with Dr. Anne Murphy (courtesy of Jai Birdi); the Guru Ravidas Sabha Vancouver (courtesy of Anita Lal); Kamaljit, participant in the project; portrait of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar by Raghavendra Rao Karkala, now in the collection of the University of the Fraser Valley Library (acrylic on canvas); Mohan Lal Karimpuri, author and activist; Vipasna Nanal, project participant and video interview editor.