Sikh man recounts double tragedy of his wife death on the bombed Air India flight

Two decades ago, Air India flight 182 was bombed over the Atlantic ocean.

The main suspects were militant Sikhs devoted to creating a homeland independant of India, and protesting the Indian army storming the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

Kalwant Mamak is a Sikh-Canadian who lost his 42 year old wife in the bombing. She was going to India to visit her sick father. He describes in some detail how his life was impacted: he could barely cook, his son did not hug his mother out of embarassement at the airport, and more.

Of special note is how he was met with hostility from other victims family members when he was flying to identify his wife's body, because he was Sikh, with turban and beard. The tragedy of his wife's death kept his focus away from that though.

Mamak, who flew to Ireland to identify his wife's body, told of being regarded with hostility by relatives of other victims.

A number of people on the same flight "were associated with the accident, tragedy," he said, "and I, being a Sikh, was being pointed out — was classified as being one of them."

"One of whom?" he was asked.

"The people that brought down the plane. I was so miserable at the time that things didn't bother me too much at that time, because I was going through too much pain of my own."

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