‘A journey of a lifetime, one that crosses oceans and cultures. Ujjal Dosanjh’s memoir is personal and political, and above all, an inspirational story.’—Rajdeep Sardesai
Born in rural Punjab just months before Indian independence, Ujjal Dosanjh emigrated to the UK, alone, when he was eighteen and spent four years making crayons and shunting trains while he attended night school. Four years later, he moved to Canada, where he worked in a sawmill, eventually earning a law degree, and committed himself to justice for immigrant women and men, farm workers and religious and racial minorities. In 2000, he became the first person of Indian origin to lead a government in the western world when he was elected Premier of British Columbia. Later, he was elected to the Canadian parliament.
Journey After Midnight is the compelling story of a life of rich and varied experience and rare conviction. With fascinating insight, Ujjal Dosanjh writes about life in rural Punjab in the 1950s and early ’60s; the Indian immigrant experience—from the late 19th century to the present day—in the UK and Canada; post-Independence politics in Punjab and the Punjabi diaspora— including the period of Sikh militancy—and the inner workings of the democratic process in Canada, one of the world’s more egalitarian nations.
He also writes with unusual candour about his dual identity as a first-generation immigrant. And he describes how he has felt compelled to campaign against discriminatory policies of his adopted country, even as he has opposed regressive and extremist tendencies within the Punjabi community. His outspoken views against the Khalistan movement in the 1980s led to death threats and a vicious physical assault, and he narrowly escaped becoming a victim of the bombing of Air India Flight 182 in 1985. Yet he has remained steadfast in his defence of democracy, human rights and good governance in the two countries that he calls home—Canada and India. His autobiography is an inspiring book for our times.