When the legendary Police officer KPS Gill led an onslaught against Khalistanis, he never thought that the movement would ever resurrect. But it has. Adding insult to injury, a foreign government is overtly supporting its rise. Resultantly, Hindu Mandirs are getting targeted and very few bat an eye.
Pro-Khalistan slogans in Mandir
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. Moreover, anti-India and anti-Hindu slogans like ‘Khalistan Zindabad, Hindustan Murdabad’ are seen graffitied on the walls of the Mandir.
The act has been condemned by various public figures including Brampton mayor Patrick Brown, Brampton South Member of Parliament Sonia Sidhu, Chandra Arya, Member of Parliament, and MP Ruby Sahota. The Indian High Commission has asked Canadian authorities to punish the guilty for this crime. The commission tweeted, “We strongly condemn defacing of BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir Toronto with anti-India graffiti. Have requested Canadian authorities to investigate the incident and take prompt action on perpetrators.”
We strongly condemn defacing of BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir Toronto with anti-India graffiti. Have requested Canadian authorities to investigate the incident and take prompt action on perpetrators. @MEAIndia @IndiainToronto @PIB_India @DDNewslive @CanadainIndia @cgivancouver
— India in Canada (@HCI_Ottawa) September 15, 2022
Support by Trudeau and Jagmeet Singh
Despite the incident drawing criticism from all quarters, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has not uttered a word condemning the offenders. Not only him, even his coalition partner Jagmeet Singh, who is supposed to protect Indian heritage in Canada, has not spoken a word about it. There is a reason behind this concerted silence. Whatever was written on the Mandir has both the active and tacit support of Jagmeet Singh.
Singh is in fact the catalyst behind the rise of Khalistani sentiments within the Sikh Community, both inside and outside Canada. Apparently, he is more methodical in his approach than the Khalistnais of old. Old order Khalistanis were less systematic in their approach and mainly believed in rampant violence to make governments succumb to their demands. For this purpose, they created mayhem in Punjab during the 70s and 80s. In Canada, they bombed Air India Flight 182, an Air India flight operating on the Montréal-London-Delhi-Bombay route.
Trudeau can’t survive without Jagmeet
However, violence was met with counter violence and attempts failed in gaining institutional support. Jagmeet Singh, being born in the city of Serial killer Paul Bernard, probably learned a few tricks from him. He took a more democratic route and was cautious in his early years. He utilised these years to build a solid political base for himself in Canadian politics. Jagmeet, in fact, became the first person from a minority background to lead a major political party in Canada and has lead Canada’s left-leaning New Democratic Party (NDP) since 2017.
To explain the NDP in one sentence, it is enough to say that it is the reason for Justin Trudeau being in power in Canada. Trudeau’s liberal party could not win full trust of the masses. That’s why they now are in a coalition government with Jagmeet’s NDP. In other words, Trudeau has to toe Jagmeet’s line, no matter what kind of demand he puts to the front. Now, Jagmeet is an open backer of Khalistan and it won’t be a hyperbole if we call him an ‘openly anti-India’ person.
Jagmeet- An open backer of Khalistan
In June 2015, Jagmeet Singh appeared on the stage of a Khalistani rally in San Francisco. The rally had posters of Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale. The rally also carried display signs like “India out of Sikh Homeland,” and “1984 Sikh Genocide Independence.” In his speech there, Jagmeet accused India of committing Genocide against Sikhs.
In early 2016, he was seen in London with pro-Khalistanis Shamsher Singh, co-founder of National Sikh Youth Federation (NSYF), and Harwinder Singh Mander. Jagmeet’s friends in London were seen endorsing religious superiority by claiming that Sikh culture, language, and ideals are top-notch. Shamsher Singh in fact explicitly said that they want a sovereign nation and are ready to take up violence for the same. Jagmeet Singh’s support for Khalistan is so blind that he refused to accept that it was Khalistan that bombed the Air India Flight.
Openly mocking India
Despite being aware of the dirt on Jagmeet, Trudeau still decided to go ahead with his coalition politics. As soon as the NDP came to power, Jagmeet started to institutionalise the Khalistani movement in Canada. He is believed to be aided by the presence of Harjit Singh Sajjan as the Defence Minister of Canada. Captain Amarinder Singh had openly called Sajjan a Khalistani sympathiser.
Knowingly or unknowingly, with the chances of the former being higher, Trudeau started catering to their demands. In May 2016, Punjab Police told Canadian government to nab a dreaded Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. He was running a terror camp near Mission city in British Columbia. Nijjar wanted to create terror in Punjab through bombings. It took 2 years for the Canadian Police to take action against the lookout. Even after that, in a cruel joke, the Police set Nijjar free within 24 hours.
Trudeau compromised Canada’s relations with India
Later the Canadian government’s intentions became clearer in official documents. In 2019, Trudeau government published a report titled ‘2018 Public Report on the Terrorism Threat to Canada.’ The report focused on threats from internal terror for Canada. In the report, there were certain references to Sikh extremism and Khalistan. But, soon Jagmeet took action and the Khalistan reference was removed from the report.
Resultantly, the Trudeau government’s popularity among nationalist Modi government went downhill. It did not help his cause that during his India tour, he refused to meet Captain Amarinder Singh, an openly anti-Khalistani chief Minister of Punjab. Trudeau too met with similar negligence by Indian authorities and treated only with diplomatic formality.
Farmers protest removed the veil
The main reason behind the farmers’ protest gaining momentum in India was not unpopular clauses in farm bills. It was the Khalistani elements spread all across Canada, who saw this as an opportunity to break India into factions.
They poured millions of Dollars to keep the protest alive, and helping it continue for more than a year. Think about it. Farmers have their own farm to grow their crops. They won’t waste a year in Delhi, leaving their crops behind, waiting to be compensated.
Then came the Canadian Prime Minister with open support for these forces. Expressing his concern about the protests, he said, “Let me remind you, Canada will always be there to defend the right of peaceful protest. We believe in importance of dialogue and that is why we have reached out through multiple means directly to Indian authorities to highlight our concerns.”
Hindus and India are main targets
“Canada will always be there to defend the right of peaceful protest,” said Trudeau, who showed no remorse in launching an offensive against the truckers protesting in Canada.
Apparently, even Truckers’ protest became an opportunity to create anti-Hindu havoc in the country. During the protest, Mandirs were vandalised with Murtis desecrated. Cash, jewellery, and donations were also stolen from them.
The first such incident was witnessed when truckers were galvanising for the protest. On the 15th of January 2022, these miscreants wreaked havoc in Shri Hanuman temple in Brampton, Greater Toronto Area (GTA ) city. 10 days later, they vandalised Maa Chintpurni Mandir in the same city.
After the 25th January incident, it became a routine affair for Pujaris and Bhakts to worship Bhagwan amidst fear of attacks. Mandirs were targeted one after another. Media reports indicate that at least half a dozen Mandirs were harmed by Khalistanis. The incidents took a brief halt after Trudeau’s suppression of Truckers protests, but not permanently.
The greater meaning behind attack on Mandir
The latest attack on Swaminarayan Mandir is just the indication of Khalistani sentiments taking a monstrous shape. Why am I saying this? The reason is that the Trudeau government is on the verge of recognising Khalistan as an independent nation.
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 fact, Khalistanis are conducting a mini version of their referendum plan in Canada’s Gore Meadows Recreation Centre in Brampton. Rallies comprising thousands of cars are being organised to garner support.
ISI and Khalistanis are together
This time around, the demand for Khalistan is endorsed by Pakistan’s ISI as well. Veteran journalist Terry Milewski published a report titled, ‘Khalistan: A Project of Pakistan.’ In it he explained how the Pakistani ISI is providing funds and manpower to revive the Khalistani movement in Punjab. The report also elaborates on how Canadian authorities provide a safe haven to the people connected with ISI.
It is sad to see a country that enjoys the reputation of being one of the nicest countries on planet Earth openly supporting seperatism in other countries. Under PM Modi, India would not have much problem in suppressing such sentiments, which is not supported by local Punjabis as well. However, it is Trudeau who has to decide whether he is ready to hamper long term ties with India.
21st century India may, for a moment, forgive for the gravest of crimes, but not for separatism and other anti-national activities.
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