Summary: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s about the protest by Indian farmers before his Elections shortly on India was ‘unwarranted.’ The Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did a historical mistake by commenting on other Nation’s internal affairs that too democratic protest by our Indian Farmers for their grievance good or bad. The MEA has responded to Tradeau’s statement saying that he was ill-informed.
Though PM Trudeau’s comments appears to be aimed at Canada’s influential Indian-origin diaspora, he is guilty of going soft on anti-India and pro-Khalistan activists in Canada during his tenure. India Intelligence agencies have raised concern with their Canadian counterparts about the anti-India activities in Canada at the behest of Pakistan’s ISI.
India is Multi Ethnic, Multi Religious and Multi Language Country with numerous ideas, Ideologies living in unity in diversity. It is a living Laboratory for Democracy and liberal Globalization way. However recent statement by Canada PM Trudeau before his Elections shortly on India was ‘unwarranted.’ Participating in a Facebook video interaction to mark Gurupurab or the 551st birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh religion Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Ottawa has conveyed its concerns about the protest by Indian farmers to New Delhi. Trudeau said: “The situation is concerning and we’re all very worried about family and friends”.
The Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did a historical mistake by commenting on other Nation’s internal affairs that too democratic protest by our Indian Farmers for their grievance good or bad. External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said “Ill-informed, unwarranted, pertaining to the internal affairs of a democratic country.” PM Trudeau’s comments appeared to be aimed at Canada’s influential Indian-origin diaspora. PM Trudeau is accused of softness on pro-Khalistan activists in Canada during his first term. Below are some analysis on it.
On India there are various actors, associations, groups, nations, organization who are trying to defame, break the mantra of India. In that regard Canada is also one Country where Anti India forces are present. Canada is home to over 1.2 million Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) who comprise more than 3% of its population. The highly educated, affluent and industrious PIOs, one of the largest immigrant groups in Canada are well integrated with the mainstream and also active politically. The Diaspora is well represented in federal Parliament and provincial legislatures. In the present House of Commons (elections held on 19 October 2015), there are 21 MPs of Indian origin (up from 9). Four PIOs now hold Cabinet berths (up from two of Ministers of State in the last Cabinet)
The two-way trade has increased from C$ 4.2 billion (US$ 3.21 bn approx.) in 2010 to C$8.02 billion(US $6.05 bn approximately) in 2016, but does not reflect the true potential. India accounts for only 1.95% of Canada’s global trade.
Anti-India Activities in Canada
The activities happening in Canada is worrisome to India as the Ontario Provincial Parliament adopted a resolution moved by the Harinder Malhi, terming the 1984 anti-Sikh riots as ‘genocide’. Subsequently, Mr. Trudeau himself showed up at the Toronto ‘nagar kirtan’ where Khalistani flags and pictures of slain Sikh terrorists were displayed.
Some Gurdwaras display pictures of terrorists, presented as ‘martyrs’. Processions and events are regularly organised where fiery speeches are delivered, objectionable tableaux displayed and even kids made to brandish unsheathed swords. Clearly, an attempt is afoot to radicalize the Sikh (Canadian) youth, while the state looks the other way. Gurdwara funds are being misused with some finding their way into wrong hands in India. Also a new brand of Sikh militancy has surfaced in Punjab educated, suave, clean shaven and mostly millennial young men and women from families radicalized through social media by Khalistani groups active abroad especially Canada, these young Sikhs are recruited to kill specific targets set by their handlers.
India Intelligence agencies have always raised concern with their Canadian counterparts about the anti-India activities of some pro-Khalistan extremist groups and individuals operating in Canada at the behest of Pakistan’s ISI. They had even openly threatened Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, Congress leader Ravneet Singh Bittu to name few.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh even had given a clear message to Canada and the Sikh community that the Canadian soil should not be allowed to be used for promoting extremism against India and hoped the government in Canada was “alive to what is happening”. The view and warning in Canada is also clear to its Prime Minister that “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.”
The Shocking news was few Indian diplomats were barred from entering any Sikh temple anywhere in Canada. In his bilateral meeting with Trudeau on the sidelines of the recent World Economic Forum meeting in Switzerland, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked Trudeau to curb the rise of pro-Khalistan groups in Canada.
At last one can say that India Canada relations are not really impressive at present but bridges can certainly be built. After Canada imposed sanctions on India after Nuclear Tests in 1998, the relationship had soured. Canada’s failure to put a tab on anti-India Forces in Canada by taming Khalistan groups is another pain point. Improvements in bilateral trade (which have breached $16 billion annually twice), investment in water, air, infra, real estate, clean energy, cyber-security, bio and pharma can go a long way in building a strong relation between the two.
Who can forget the Indian Students studying in Canada as destination? Who will be the symbol of our friendships? After all, Canada is also Multi Religious, Multi Ethnic, Multi Language country like India. We are destined to sail in same boat. However, the Canadian PM should not see India from narrow perspective of elections as India itself is a Subcontinent which stands for peace love and togetherness.