Ujjal Dosanjh- 33rd Premier of British Columbia


Sonchirri Multimedia Magazine: Featuring Men of Punjabi Origin Series


Ujjal Dosanjh: The Honourable Ujjal Dosanjh PC,QC,LL.B 
Member of the Canadian Parliament for Vancouver South In office 2004–2011
Canadian Minister of Health In office July 20, 2004 – February 5, 2006
33rd Premier of British Columbia In office February 24, 2000 – June 5, 2001
Member of the British Columbia Legislative Assembly for Vancouver-Kensington In office 1991 –2001
Attorney General of British Columbia In office August 16, 1995 – February 29, 2000
British Columbia's Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism and Human Rights In office May 10, 1995 – February 29, 2000
British Columbia's Minister of Government Services In office April 10, 1995 – August 16, 1995
British Columbia's Minister Responsible for Sports In office April 10, 1995 – August 16, 1995

Ujjal : The Word itself means "bright"

Ujjal Dev Singh Dosanjh was born in 1947 in Dosanjh Kalan village of Jalandhar District in Punjab and grew up hearing stories from his grandfather about Kamagatu Maru, the gurdwara reform movement and about Mahatma Gandhi and Nehru. Dosanjh gained an early interest in politics from listening to debates between his father, a follower of Jawaharlal Nehru and the populist Indian National Congress, and his grandfather, a former Indian freedom fighter and socialist. Dosanjh wanted to pursue an education in political science, but his father wanted him to be a doctor. So in 1964, at the age of 17, Dosanjh left India for the United Kingdom and came to Canada four years later. Dosanjh has a B.A. in political science from Simon Fraser University, and a law degree from UBC. Along the way, he was a millworker and the assistant editor of a Punjabi newspaper. He also taught English as a Second Language to new Canadians at Vancouver Community College. He established his own law practice in Vancouver in 1979. He has a long track record as a human rights activist. Dosanjh and his wife Raminder have three sons.


A prominent moderate Sikh in Vancouver, Dosanjh spoke out against violence by Sikh extremists who advocated Khalistani independence from India. As a result of these views, in February 1985 he was attacked in the parking lot of his law office by an assailant wielding an iron bar. Dosanjh, 37 at the time, suffered a broken hand and received 80 stitches in his head.


He was targeted again, on 26 December 1999, while he was a member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, when his constituency office was broken into and a Molotov cocktail left burning on a table.


He served as 33rd Premier of British Columbia from 2000 to 2001 and as a Liberal Party of Canada Member of Parliament from 2004 to 2011 including a period as Minister of Health from 2004 until 2006 when the party lost government. As a member of the Official Opposition from January 2006 until 2011, Dosanjh variously has been the critic of National Defence. In January 2003, he was awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman (Expatriate Indian Honour) from Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in New Delhi.

Mr. Dosanjh has recently released his memoir: “Journey After Midnight”

(Please note: We intend to add profiles of the noted men of Punjabi origin into this series. We obtain information from various internet sites, books, magazines and people. If anyone claims for any information to be untrue based on proofs, we shall take it down upon notification)