By: Vaibhav Singh
Early, in the April of 2017, Narendra Modi and Justin Trudeau met in the G-20 summit in Hamburg, discussing the matter of Sikh extremists seeking forward for the ” referendum 2020 “, for the Sikh diasporas worldwide, to vote for an independent Khalistan.
The Indo- Canadian relationships- have been going on very well since the last decade. The reiterated meetings of the officials from both the countries have resulted in a settlement of trade and economy between both the nations. Though there had been a cold blood , but things are going on well now as Indians being the second largest immigrant population in Canada and contributing more than 3% of their total population. The Indians have also been a significant vote bank in the country.
Though the two countries share a strained relationship because of the vehement of the Sikh extremists and Sikh Diasporas present in Canada. The Sikh extremists want to establish a separate country for Sikhs called Khalistan, which means ” the land of pure “. The Khalistan movement has been as old as the Indian independence. After the separation of Pakistan from India, the Sikh leaders wary of their people and demanded for a Sikh majority state. The government denied their proposal, only to provoke violent protests from Punjabi people. The Government finally agreed to their demands, creating a Sikh majority state and separating the other parts of Himachal Pradesh and present day Haryana. The Sikh leaders demanded for more autonomy , but the govt refused their demands.
The matter of Khalistan had drawn too much heat in the past, that, the holiest place like Golden temple had to witness the salvo of hundreds of people and the murder of our former Prime Minister India Gandhi by her Sikh guards. This hostile situation then led to the slaughter of Sikh people in Delhi in 1984, which was termed as genocide by a politician in Ontario assembly , which was interpreted as the support for Sikh extremists.
There has been actions of Khalistanis support and sympathy. Many leaders from Canada and India have shown sympathy towards the Khalistanis , who actually have given growth to Sikh militants. Akali Dal, which is the most prominent Sikh political party around the world, decry the idea of a separate nation, therefore they are not convinced with Khaliastan’s thoughts. Even the current Canadian defence Minister Mr . Sajjan and Science and Innovation Minister Mr. Navdeep Singh Bains sympathize with Khalistanis, because of which, Capt Amarinder Gill snubbed both of them last year and refused to meet. The matter became more tense last year, when Trudeau attended khalsa day parade, which was organised by the most radicalised gurdwaras in Toronto. In addition to that , felicitation of a politician’s parade last year in Ontario involved the floats depicting Sikh militants like Bhindranwale and Amreek Singh, who fortified the Golden temple and were sieged in the operation blue star, as heroes. But the Canadian Prime Minister made sure that Canada doesn’t support any violent actions of extremism and will seriously condemn any actions of this sort. Maybe the issue will take on a later stage on 23rd February 2018, when both the Prime Ministers will meet.