The Khalistan movement in Canada and the convoluted dance Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been performing around it has been making headlines all around the world. The recent outburst by the leader of the Khalistan movement, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, targeting Hindu-Canadians has rightly provoked outrage. Chandra Arya, an Indo-Canadian lawmaker, epitomized the sentiment of many when he highlighted the “glorification of terrorism” and the disturbing trend of Hinduphobia in the country.
However, it’s essential to note, as Mr. Arya does, that the majority of Sikh Canadians do not support the Khalistan movement. Sikh and Hindu Canadians share deep-rooted familial, social, and cultural ties, a testament to the nation’s integrated diaspora. To target one community, as the Khalistan leader has done, is not only an affront to India but a blow to Canadian values of unity, diversity, and inclusivity.
Then why does the Trudeau administration not distance itself more vehemently from such elements? The answer lies in the complex political interplay between the Trudeau-led Liberal Party and the NDP, helmed by Jagmeet Singh. Singh’s ascent, marked by his association with Khalistani politics, created a competitive dynamic where Trudeau saw Khalistani votes slipping from his grasp. The 2021 elections solidified this dynamic, making Trudeau’s government dependent on NDP support.
This kind of dependency is a treacherous terrain for any democracy. While domestic politics is a game of numbers and alliances, it should never come at the cost of a nation’s international standing. Michael Rubin’s metaphor of Trudeau as an “Olympic hole digger” is apt. America’s silence, juxtaposed against Trudeau’s allegations about India, speaks volumes. If the U.S., with its vast intelligence apparatus, does not corroborate Trudeau’s insinuations, it leaves one to wonder whether these are founded in fact or mere political expediency.
It’s worrying that a nation as respected as Canada would potentially compromise its relationship with a global powerhouse like India for short-term political gains. It’s a reminder that sometimes, diplomacy and international standing can become casualties in the aggressive pursuit of domestic political advantage.
As Canada grapples with its internal politics, one hopes that cooler heads will prevail, and the nation will recognize that transient political gains should never outweigh lasting diplomatic ties. The world watches and waits.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of Khalsa Vox or its members.