Canadian poet Rupi Kaur declines Diwali invitation by Biden administration

| Updated: 08 November, 2023 3:43 pm IST

NEW DELHI: Renowned Canadian poet Rupi Kaur has declined an invitation from the Biden administration to attend a Diwali event, citing her opposition to the U.S. government’s support for Israel during its military campaign in Gaza. In a social media post on X (formerly Twitter), Kaur expressed her reasons for turning down the invitation.

“I received an invite from the Biden administration for a Diwali event being held by the VP on November 8. I decline any invitation from an institution that supports the collective punishment of a trapped civilian population—50% of whom are children,” Kaur wrote in her tweet.

Kaur, who is of Sikh descent, also issued an official statement reaffirming her stance, saying, “I implore my South Asian community to hold this administration accountable. As a Sikh woman, I will not allow my likeness to be used in whitewashing this administration’s actions.”

The statement further read, “I refuse any invitation from an institution that supports the collective punishment of a trapped civilian population — 50% of whom are children.” The poet called for global solidarity in condemning actions by any government that dehumanizes people worldwide. She urged people to unite in demanding a humanitarian ceasefire, reinforcing her commitment to justice and human rights.

“When a government’s actions dehumanize people anywhere in the world, it is our moral imperative to call for justice. Stand with the world and demand a humanitarian ceasefire,” she added.

Rupi Kaur’s decision to decline the invitation reflects her principled stand against policies and actions she believes infringe on the rights and well-being of marginalized communities worldwide, particularly in conflict zones like Gaza. This decision has sparked a conversation on the intersection of art, politics, and activism, resonating with those who share her concerns.

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