Thursday, October 28, 2021

Are India-Canada Relations Turning Frosty Over Khalistan Movement?

Have India-Canada Relations Soured Over the Khalistan Movement? The India-Canada relations that were once on positive notes have suddenly turned chill. The reason for the chilly India-Canada relations is believed to be the Khalistan Movement and Trudeau’s support for the same. 
The first evident mark of the same was the absence of Indian PM Narendra Modi at the airport at the time of Canadian PM Justin Trudeau’s arrival in India. Modi, who is usually very active on social media, ade the chilly winds clear by not sending out a welcome tweet also thereby raising a question over the status of India-Canada relations.

Khalistan Movement: A Reason for Concern for India-Canada Relations?

The Indian government has sent out clear signals over its displeasure regarding Trudeau’s support for the Khalistan movement and the threat it poses to the Indian unity. However, the matters seem to be more grave than just Trudeau’s support. The Indian government is reportedly concerned over the unity of Sikhs in Britain, US, and Canada and their coming to positions of power which could, in turn, pose a threat by challenging the abuse of civil rights of the Sikhs in India.

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The Indian government has also raised concerns over the revival of Sikh militancy, however the same has been termed as an exaggeration by many. The Sikhs have been over the last few years rising to powerful positions in the governments of Britain, US and Canada. In 2015, as many as 20 Sikh MPs were elected by the Canadian government making it the highest number ever. In Britain too, two Sikh MPs were elected last year who took up Khalistan issues the moment they took office.

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While none of the MPs of any of the important states has so far taken up the task of separatism, it still is a concern for India. The last few weeks alone have seen more than 100 gurudwaras in the West banning Indian government officials over the arrest of Jagtar Singh Johal. While so far there hasn’t been any concerning act of separatism, the Indian elite remains alert as it sees the demands by Sikh as a sign of separatism.

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