Indian-born Canadian poet Rupi Kaur rejects White House’s Diwali invite over Israel’s Gaza assault
The Milk and Honey writer said she was surprised that the US administration was celebrating Diwali while its support for the “atrocities” against the Palestinians represented the “exact opposite” of what the festival meant.
Indian-Canadian poet Rupi Kaur. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)
INDIAN-BORN Canadian poet Rupi Kaur has recently said that she turned down an invitation from the White House to take part in the upcoming Diwali event. The 31-year-old, who was born in Hoshiarpur in India’s Punjab state, also slammed the Joe Biden administration citing its support for Israel amid its current assault in Gaza.
The Milk and Honey writer said she was surprised that the US administration was celebrating Diwali while its support for the “atrocities” against the Palestinians represented the “exact opposite” of what the festival meant. She said that “Diwali is the celebration of righteousness over falsehood and knowledge over ignorance”.
Kaur, who had migrated to Canada with her parents at the age of three, started her journey as a poet in 2009 and rose to fame on Instagram. Also an illustrator, photographer and writer, Kaur came up with her best-seller book Milk and Honey in 2014 although she has written other books such as The Sun and Her Flowers, Home Body and Healing Through Words. She did her education at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.
In a statement posted on X on Monday (6), Kaur wrote, “I have always used this day to reflect on what it means to fight for freedom against oppression.” He condemned the US government citing the United Nations’ statistics that 70 per cent of those killed in Gaza are women and children.
“We have seen Israel use white phosphorous bombs, which Amnesty International says must be investigated as a war crime,” Kaur added.
Addressing her South Asian community, Kaur urged them to “hold this administration accountable”.
“As a Sikh woman, I will not allow my likeness to be used in whitewashing this administration’s actions. I refuse any invitation from an institution that supports the collective punishment of a trapped civilian population- 50% of whom are children,” she said.
“Call our reps and say- stop the genocide,” she concluded.
In later parts of the statement, Kaur also encouraged others to “sign petitions, attend protests, and boycott.”
Netizens seemed to be divided over Kaur’s post which garnered nearly 10 million views at the time of writing this report.
One user wrote, “Thank you for speaking out. need more people like you in the world.”
Another said, “Thank you from Gaza.”
Some didn’t agree with her reasoning as one user asked, “What difference it makes?”
Another said, “Have you considered that being invited to the WH gives you a unique privilege to build bridges with people you may disagree and that diplomacy is how we bring an end to violence?”