The sister of murdered Paviter Bassi has made a moving plea about our 'culture of silence'
By Barfi Culture Team
22nd April 2018

The sister of 21-year old Paviter Singh Bassi, brutally murdered in Brampton city a few weeks ago, has made a heartfelt and important plea on social media about the 'silence in our community'.

The poet Rupi Kaur, also from Brampton, added that "rage of young Punjabi men" also needed to be debated and called out. She was echoed by Kiran Rai, also a Brampton-based artist and YouTuber.

Barfi Culture is highlighting these comments to spark a wider much-needed debate about the culture of violence in our communities.

On March 19th this year, police officers in Brampton responded to reports of an assault and found Paviter Singh Bassi suffering from life-threatening injuries. He was rushed to a Toronto Trauma Centre but passed away the day after.

The murder of Paviter Singh sent shockwaves through Canada's Sikh community.

Three men have been arrested so far in connection with the incident and the police are appealing for more witnesses and / or any video footage of the incident.

The young man was called a "community hero" by locals and a vigil was held a week later. The funeral took place at the end of March.

But his family say the bigger problem is the 'culture of silence' around such violence, and how it helps such criminals.


Bali Kaur Bassi wrote:

"Bad things happen to good people. If you’re out spreading rumours about my brother because you’re trying to isolate yourself from the situation, then you live in a bubble. Yes I’m angry and yes I want justice. I don’t need your prayers, I need change. Ask yourself why has this happened in our community?"

"Why did this happen in broad daylight, off a busy street? Why have only 3 people out of many been caught? Why did these men (animals) feel so entitled to end my brothers life? Why do so many people know what happened but aren’t saying anything? If you’re not asking these tough questions, then you’re a part of the problem."

"If you’re spreading rumours, then you’re a part of the problem. If you’re not sharing the appeal poster and putting it up in your local business, you’re a part of the problem. If you know what happened and you don’t want to disrupt your life and inconvenience yourself slightly to tell the police, you’re a part of the problem."

"The animals involved are using this culture of silence to their advantage. The opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference. And indifference is not giving a fuck."

So if you’re not with me fighting for justice then you’re against me and a part of the problem."


Rupi Kaur wrote in response

"i second all of the above. the rage young punjabi men feel and inflict on innocent people (whether it’s their mothers sisters girlfriends or other men their age) is a huge problem in our community. and has been for a very long time."

"and this violence will only continue to happen as it has for years. innocent people will continue to be targeted. mothers will continue to lose their sons if those that know something don’t speak up."

"if we as a community help bring justice for paviter...only then are we moving toward a direction where we can begin dismantling this rage and ego in punjabi men (don’t @ me w “not all punjabi men”. i know that. but we’re talking about the violent ones right now and i know farrrrrrr too many). do the right thing. speak up."

"as my sister @kay__ray put it: we’re living in the midst of ‘call-out’ culture. y’all calling out everything else. don’t shy away now."

"call out the killers. the ones who watched. and the ones who laughed about it. only then can we move toward a future where there’s less violence and more hope. where it’s less lives lost and more kindness. we control a large part of the results of this case."

"we must hold ourselves responsible. so let’s make the right calls."


Kiran Rai added:

"you know deeply i feel this. i am tired of seeing / hearing people talk about how messed up things are but have no desire to be the ones to do something about it. this isn’t new. and this isn’t another story for us to talk about. these are our sisters. our brothers. our friends. cousins. daughters. sons. i want to see more action. and you know what?"

"i am calling out punjabi men. we need you now, more than ever. to stand up. to speak up. no more of this dismissive behaviour. why are our men so angry?"

"why are we doing absolutely nothing about it? why are so many families silently dealing with the consequences of that abusive / violent behaviour?"

"we need to do better. and it’s time we start talking about it. not behind closed doors."


See the Justice for Paviter website for more.
If you know more on this incident call: Peel Crime Stoppers Anonymous Line 1-800-222-TIPS (8477)

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