Questions about Sikh extremism in CANADA !!
……… Another question that lingers is what, exactly, Harper is doing to assuage Indian concerns about Sikh extremism in Canada. Harper made it clear that he can’t abolish freedom of speech. So, if Sikh separatists advocate peacefully for their own state, fine.
But the Indians allow the same in their own country. They argue, instead, that Harper could and should do more to slap down MPs — from his own and from other parties — who happily attend events where Sikh assassins and bombers are celebrated as heroes.
Many Indians, and many Indo-Canadians too, would like to see a clear message that, no, it’s not OK to smile and wave while the parade goes by, honouring the killers who machine-gunned Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi in 1984.
Look at it from our point of view, they say. We saw Conservative MP Nina Grewal at the 2007 Vaisakhi Day parade in Surrey, bringing greetings from Harper as the floats went by, adorned with pictures of Talwinder Singh Parmar, the mastermind of the Air India bombing. The worst mass-murderer in Canadian history was being celebrated as a martyr. And Grewal never uttered a word to condemn it. The government never uttered a word to condemn her.
Now, say Harper’s Indian critics, we pick up the paper and see Harper eating samosas on his plane to India. On his right hand sits Nina Grewal. Is Canada really shoulder-to-shoulder with India on this, as Harper claims?
And is this an irritant that makes the trade talks that much tougher?
More unanswered questions.
PHOTO (below) – Young men wear International Sikh Youth Federation T-shirts at a Vaisakhi Parade, April 7, 2007, in Surrey, B.C. The ISYF is banned as a terrorist organization by the governments of Canada, the U.S., the U.K. and India. (CBC)
MLA Dave Hayer stated that “we should not be showing any support for any criminal, any terrorist, any person that promotes hate or violence.”…We can celebrate peace, harmony, respect and democracy in our culture and our religion without showing killers as heroes.” (Vancouver Sun, Apr.11, pgA7)