This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Canada-India Relations

"Is Canada home to Sikh extremists trying to pump fresh air into the dying embers of the so-called Khalistan movement that seeks the breaking up of India to create a separate Sikh country in Punjab?"
"Are there such anti-India Sikhs in the federal cabinet and the Liberal Party and its Ontario wing?"
"Mainstream Canadians outside the circus of identity politics could care less about the wholesale buying and selling at ethnic vote banks, but it’s time they should. India is no longer that far-away country of 1985 when Air India 182 was blown out of the sky by Sikh extremists, killing 268 Canadian citizens among the 325 murdered over Ireland."
"Today’s India is not just a beacon of democracy in a sea of tyrants that govern much of Asia and Africa, but its economy is booming, as is the trade between our two countries. Fears expressed by New Delhi can no longer be ignored. If they are, it will be our loss in Canada."
"It is also intriguing that the banner men of Khalistan in Canada and the Ontario legislature keep feeding young Sikhs about the immense injustice committed on the Sikhs of Delhi in 1984 when tens of thousands are said to have been killed by roaming mobs. This is done to stir hatred against Hindus in Canada and India."
Tariq Fatah, journalist, Toronto Sun
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visits the Ottawa main Sikh Temple to mark Diwali or the Festival of Lights Wednesday November 11, 2015.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visits the Ottawa main Sikh Temple to mark Diwali or the Festival of Lights Wednesday November 11, 2015.
Canada's globe-trotting, ingratiating, smiley-face, sunny-ways Prime Minister is off to India on a trade mission. It is also, some hint, an opportunity to demonstrate to the large numbers of voting Sikh-Canadians how dear to his heart their votes are. Canada now has the distinction of having four Sikh-Canadians in the federal cabinet and a Sikh Canadian as leader of the federal New Democratic Party. Canada's Minister of Defence, Harjit Sajjan is a Sikh, as is Industry Minister Navdeep Bains, Tourism Minister Bardish Chagger and Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi.

The Government of India appears to feel that among that four and Jangmeet Singh, the leader of the NDP, there are sympathizers and enablers of the militant Sikh Khalistan movement. Canada realized its worst act of terrorism with the plot emanating out of a group of Vancouver-area Sikh separatists when they conspired to place bombs aboard an Air India passenger jet heading for India with Canadians of Indian origin. A former Sikh premier of British Columbia, Ujjal Dosanjh, vehemently spoke out against Sikh extremist violence and became the victim of a viciously violent beating.

In 2001, Indo-Canadians represented 2.4 percent of the Canadian population at 700,000 in total -- comprised of both Hindus and Sikhs. The separatist Sikh Khalistan movement in India itself appears to be quiescent, the movement waning with little desire now to effect a separate Khalistan state for Sikhs. Abroad, however, particularly in Canada, it appears the embers are being kept alive and burning by impassioned Sikhs who remain committed to the elusive Khalistan, still prepared to achieve their goal through any means.

When last Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with Justin Trudeau at one of the international meeting venues, he asked very particularly that Canada commit to ensuring that no further flare-ups among militant Sikhs occur. Now they are set to meet again on February 23 along with India's president, in Delhi. When Prime Minister Modi asked for Trudeau's cooperation in Davos last month it was with the knowledge that several gurdwaras in Canada had barred Indian officials from entering their premises.

And the reason appears to be that many of the gurdwaras across Canada are in the process of stirring their followers up with reminders of the injustices Sikhs faced in the past by the majority Hindu population of India, restively agitating for conspiratorial action promoting Sikh separation anew. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has accused Canada's Sikh population of planning new violence against India. That a Sikh assassinated Indira Gandhi, the third prime minister of India, is not easily forgotten in official Indian circles.

"There seems to be evidence that there are Khalistani sympathizers in Trudeau's cabinet", the Chief Minister Singh is reported to have informed Outlook India magazine.

Mr. Singh, according to the Hindustan Times, the largest English-language newspaper in India, was slated to guide the Trudeau entourage at the Golden Temple in Amritsar. Punjab Chief Minister Singh pointblank refused a meeting with Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan last year, not only suspecting, but accusing him of supporting the pro-Khalistani movement advocating for an independent Sikh state. Despite Sajjan's and Amarjeet Sohi's denials, Singh meant to discuss the matter with Trudeau.

It appears that Canadian diplomacy is being put on a back burner, however, since Trudeau's office has stated that Trudeau has decided not to meet with Amarinder Singh, a decision that Prime Minister Modi may consider a slight too far, looking askance at the entire purpose of the state visit, purportedly on trade considerations, with no time left over for both countries to discuss matters of security where the host nation considers the visiting nation a hotbed of violent insurrection.

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