‘No country for Hindus’ is a phrase often used to refer to the sad state of affairs about the habitation of Hindus all around the world. Except for India and a few other places where Hindus have made their marks, most countries have turned out to be unsafe for them. Now the hate for Hindus has percolated to hate for Indians as well.
Modi government’s advisory on staying in Canada
Recently the Modi government cautioned Indians about their Canadian adventure. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) noted that hate crimes, sectarian violence and anti-India activities have been on the rise in Canada. MEA also looked apprehensive about Indians getting any kind of Justice from Canadian authorities. Apparently, despite the requests for investigation by Indian authorities, not a single culprit has been punished.
The Government is not hoping that the situation will improve in the future either. Asking Indians to stay in close connection with authorities, MEA advised, “Indian nationals and students from India in Canada may also register with the High Commission of India in Ottawa or Consulates General of India in Toronto and Vancouver through their respective websites, or the MADAD portal madad.gov.in. Registration would enable the High Commission and the Consulates General to better connect with Indian citizens in Canada in the event of any requirement or emergency.”
— Arindam Bagchi (@MEAIndia) September 23, 2022
Canada’s situation is alarming
To be frank, the cautionary note by the Ministry came a bit late. Indians being unsafe in Canada is not a new phenomenon. The anti-Hindu sentiments prevailing in Canada were covered by the veil of Canada’ being a pro-migrant and pro-minorities narrative. Indeed, Canada is largely a pro-migrant community, because without immigrants their economy would collapse.
However, it would be a mockery of the lexicon to term Canada as a fully pro-minority country. They are pro-minority only for a few selected minority groups like followers of Islam and Sikhism. In fact, the Trudeau government loves Islamists so much that Toronto District School Board (TDSB), formerly known as English-language Public District School Board No. 12 before 1999, cancelled a book event by Nobel Prize-winning author Nadia Murad, who was formerly a sex-slave to ISIS. According to the authorities, the book documenting her tortuous life in ISIS captivity is Islamophobic.
Problem for Hindus
Given the fact that followers of Islam comprise nearly 4 per cent of the Canadian population, the favourable treatment is understandable. However, the situation becomes puzzling when you look at the percentage of Hindus and Sikhs in Canada and the way both communities are treated. According to the 2019 Census, Hindus comprise 1.7 per cent of the population while Sikhs are lesser in number with only 1.4 per cent of the population following the religion.
Clearly, the population ratio is comparable and that is why the differential treatment meted out to Hindus in Canada is a cause of concern. Places specific to Hinduism have been attacked in the recent past. In 2013, three windows of a Hindu Mandir were smashed with a baseball bat. Within a few years, the anti-Hindu sentiments got reflected in coordinated attacks on various Mandirs.
Mandirs are target
Maa Chintpurni Mandir, Brampton, Hindu Heritage Centre, Mississauga, Gauri Shankar Mandir, Brampton, Hindu Sabha Mandir in Brampton, Shri Jagannath Mandir in Brampton and Hamilton Samaj Mandir in Hamilton are some of the places where incidents of vandalism have been reported in the public domain.
Even during the Truckers protest, Mandirs were not spared. Media reports indicate that at least half a dozen Mandirs had been harmed. Recently, a video went viral on social media. The Video was shot in Toronto, Canada and the place in the video is the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir. The Mandir has been subjected to vandalism and there are clear attempts to erase its identity.
Khalistanis doing the damage
The appalling fact is that common Canadians are not believed to be engaged in anti-Hindu attacks. Numerous surveys indicated that Canadians consider Hindus in high regard and their acceptance is only increasing. In a 2016 survey, 54 per cent of Canadians said that they won’t have problems marrying Hindus. The intriguing thing is that 67 per cent said that they had extremely little understanding of Hinduism.
It is clear that the guilt does not lie with the average Canadian. In fact, hate for Hindus is coming from a subcontinent rivalry. It is Khalistanis who are the main perpetrators of anti-Hindu attacks. It was manifested in a recent attack on BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir as well. Anti-India and anti-Hindu slogans like ‘Khalistan Zindabad, Hindustan Murdabad’ were seen graffitied on the walls of the Mandir.
Trudeau government is enabling Khalistan
These attacks have the covert support of Justin Trudeau as well. Trudeau’s coalition partner Jagmeet Singh is a hard core Khalistani. Not only him, but even people belonging to Trudeau’s party such as Harjit Singh Sajjan, the minister of international development in Trudeau’s Cabinet, is also one of them. Captain Amarinder Singh did not hold back in criticising Trudeau’s Ministers for their explicit support of Khalistan.
The attacks on Hindus are one of the reasons why the official statistics around hate crime incidents in South Asian Communities saw more than a 33 per cent increase in 2020. Despite that, the Trudeau government is busy providing cover to the radical elements in his Cabinet.
Referendum for Khalistan
Without that it is not possible for Khalistanis to hold a referendum in Brampton, Ontario. It was in fact aided by a research institute.
Recently, a Quebec based Research Institute on Self-Determination of Peoples and National (IRAI) published a report titled “From Golden Temple to Punjab Independence.” The report endorsed the demand for a nationwide referendum about Khalistan in India.
In other words, it gave institutionalised support to the referendum aimed towards spreading recklessness and anarchy in Punjab and other areas. Khalistanis have openly expressed their agreement about use of violence for their cause. They are just showing us a glimpse of the future by attacking Hindu Mandirs.
It won’t be long before other Indians who stay there for studying become the main target. Government’s advisory has come a bit late but the situation is still not fully out of control.
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