Canada has found itself entangled in a web of controversy, due to the dubious actions of Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), a pro-Khalistan organisation that has once again ignited concerns over terrorism on Canadian soil. Even more concerning is the apparent apathy displayed by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the face of this unsettling situation.
At the centre of this alarming debacle is the shocking threat made by SFJ’s legal counsel, Gurpatwant Pannun, who, it’s worth noting, has been designated as a terrorist in India. In a video that has gone viral, Pannun brazenly urged Hindus of Indian origin to leave Canada, accusing them of supporting India and, in his distorted worldview, “promoting violence” by celebrating the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a controversial Khalistani leader.
The audacity of such a demand is baffling and deeply concerning. In a multicultural society like Canada, where diversity and inclusivity are championed values, such blatant discrimination and intimidation should be met with unequivocal condemnation from the highest echelons of leadership. However, Justin Trudeau’s tepid response to this grave threat is deeply troubling.
Trudeau’s assertion of a “potential link” between Indian government agents and Nijjar’s killing without concrete evidence raises serious questions about his diplomatic judgement. This unfounded claim not only strained diplomatic relations but also created an atmosphere ripe for escalation. It is incumbent upon the leader of a nation to exercise caution and responsibility when making such accusations, especially when the consequences could be dire.
Moreover, the impact of SFJ’s actions extends beyond mere rhetoric. Vandals associated with the so-called Khalistan referendum in Canada have been linked to a spate of temple desecrations, further exacerbating tensions. The petition before the Canadian House of Commons to recognise Hinduphobia as a form of discrimination is a reflection of the growing concerns within the Indian community.
Vijay Jain, a spokesperson for Canadian Hindus for Harmony, voiced the palpable fears of his community, drawing a chilling parallel to the 1985 Khalistani bombing of Air India flight, a tragedy that still haunts Canadian history. With Trudeau’s rhetoric potentially fanning the flames of discord, the memories of that horrific event become painfully vivid.
Canada’s reputation as a bastion of tolerance and diversity hangs in the balance as it grapples with these complex issues. It is high time for Justin Trudeau and Canadian authorities to take a decisive stand against the divisive actions of SFJ and unequivocally protect the rights and safety of all its citizens, regardless of their ethnic or religious background. Canada’s legacy as a nation that embraces pluralism is at stake, and it must not falter in the face of terrorism and bigotry.