A ceremony took place at the Vishnu Mandir in Toronto, Canada, where the statue of the revered Martyr Tikalal Taploo was unveiled. This momentous occasion, attended by distinguished guests, marked the first international unveiling of the statue of Tikalal Taploo, an iconic figure whose legacy continues to inspire generations. The unveiling was done by Dr. Budhendranauth Doobay, Founder of Vishnu Mandir; Shiban Krishan Bhat, Senior Council at Counsel General of Toronto; and Arun Taploo, Founder of AKT Foundation and nephew of Martyr Tikalal Taploo.
While statues of Martyr Tikalal Taploo stand proudly in four places in India, namely Bangalore, Hyderabad, Faridabad, and Delhi, this unveiling in Toronto signifies its first international placement, underlining the global significance of his enduring message of justice, unity, and secularism. Martyr Tikalal Taploo, known for his unwavering commitment to justice, unity, and secularism, was commemorated through heartfelt speeches that celebrated his enduring legacy. The event highlighted his fearless pursuit of justice and his selfless dedication to serving the community.
The ceremony commenced with a moving speech by Arun Taploo, reflecting on Tikalal Taploo’s life and
his relentless struggle for justice. Arun shared real-life examples of his experiences with his uncle,
including an unforgettable speech delivered by Tikalal Taploo in 1977 that left an indelible mark on all
who were present. He reminded the audience of his uncle’s commitment to his beliefs, his selfless
pursuit of justice, and his readiness to face numerous arrests and threats with unwavering courage.
Arun Taploo also unveiled a dream close to the hearts of the Taploo family – the vision of creating a
memorial that not only honors Tikalal Taploo’s legacy but also showcases his essence as a remarkable
human being. This memorial would serve as a testament to his enduring values and inspire generations
to come, embodying the principles of justice, unity, and secularism that Tikalal Taploo stood for
throughout his life. Arun Taploo’s heartfelt words resonated deeply with the audience, reinforcing the
significance of preserving and celebrating the remarkable life of Martyr Tikalal Taploo. He concluded his
speech with ‘Let us all unite and radiate hope for a better world – a world that belongs to everyone.
Shiban Krishan Bhat, Senior Council at Counsel General, Toronto, welcomed the attendees and honored
Martyr Tikalal Taploo’s dedication to peace, unity, and justice. He recounted Taploo’s courageous stand
against terrorism, highlighting his free legal aid to the needy. Bhat stressed the importance of continuing
to draw inspiration from Taploo’s values for a more inclusive society.
Bhushan Bhat, Ex-President of Kashmiri Overseas Association Canada (KOAC), expressed gratitude for
the opportunity to speak about Tikalal Taploo, praising his commitment to secularism, wisdom, and
vision. Bhat underscored Taploo’s kindness and his encouragement of unconventional professions,
urging the audience to salute Lalaji for his enduring legacy and inspirational qualities.
Satish Thakkar, Chair of Canada India Foundation (C.I.F), spoke of the honor of witnessing Pandit Tikalal
Taploo’s story being placed on the Wall of Peace at Vishnu Mandir. He emphasized the importance of
inner peace and universal laws for communal harmony, drawing inspiration from Tikalal Taploo’s
example and encouraging others to serve their communities.
Hari Panday, President & CEO of PanVest Capital, shared his military service experience and expressed
solidarity with the suffering in Kashmir. He cautioned against being misled by new narratives in the
global system and stressed the importance of self-defense. Panday offered respects and prayers for the
departed soul of Tikalal Taploo.
Ashok Bhan, Senior Advocate at Supreme Court, India, expressed deep gratitude to Dr. Doobey for
honoring Tikalal Taploo on the Wall of Peace. He highlighted Taploo’s dedication to a political cause and
his efforts to bridge cultural connections between Kashmir and India. The speech ended with a solemn
reflection on the tragic event that left a profound impact on the community and India as a whole.
Dr. Nina Taploo introduced the final speaker, Dr. Budhendranauth Doobay, as a respected figure in the
community, known for his service in cardiology and his extensive philanthropic contributions globally.
Dr. Budhendranauth Doobay expressed deep concern and sorrow for the situation in Kashmir and the
lack of government response to the plight of Kashmiri Pandits. He elaborated the the idea of creating a
memorial to commemorate the Exodus-like events in Kashmir, urging the community to come together
and contribute to this effort. Dr. Doobay called for support from both the Indian government and the
Canadian Indian community in pursuing this goal, emphasizing the importance of preserving historical
memory and paying tribute to Pandit Tikalal Taploo.
The unveiling of Tikalal Taploo’s statue at Vishnu Mandir in Toronto marked a historic moment of
international recognition for his remarkable legacy of justice, unity, and secularism. It is a testament to
the enduring impact of his life and values that continue to inspire people worldwide.