January 2021 \ Diaspora News \ INDIAN ACHIEVERS IN NORTH AMERICA
Punjab-born Raj Chouhan elected Speaker in British Columbia

Punjab-born Raj Chouhan took oath as the Speaker ...

  • Mr Raj Chouhan

Punjab-born Raj Chouhan took oath as the Speaker of British Columbia, Canada, becoming the first Indian to occupy this post anywhere outside of India. Chouhan, who came to Canada from Gauhar village near Ludhiana in 1973, was Deputy Speaker in the outgoing assembly. He is the five-time MLA of the New Democratic Party (NDP) which retained power in last month’s election, winning 57 seats in the 87-member House. “It is difficult to describe how thrilled I am with this honour. The feeling has yet to sink in,” Chouhan told IANS after he took oath in December.

“This is the first time that an Indian-origin person, and a Punjabi and a Sikh, has been elected Speaker anywhere in the world outside of India (maybe except the Caribbean). I am humbled. “When I landed in Canada in 1973, I never imagined that one day I will contest elections because we were a very small community and there was so much racism in those days. Today I have reached this milestone because the pioneers of our community paved the way for us.