India Summons Canadian Envoy Over "Khalistan" Slogans at Trudeau Event

India Summons Canadian Envoy Over "Khalistan" Slogans at Trudeau Event
Image copyright: Pool/Pool/Getty Images News via Getty Images (2017)

The Facts

  • India on Monday summoned the Canadian deputy high commissioner over the use of a Sikh separatist chant at an event attended by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Sunday.

  • Criticizing Canada's apparent tolerance for separatism, India said slogans like "Khalistan zindabad," raised in Toronto, affect bilateral ties and foster violence.

The Spin

Narrative A

Canada is taking a strong moral stand against India's transnational repression of Sikhs. Violations from censorship and the targeting of Sikh activists, to manhunts and even assassinations have been carried out against this minority on Indian soil in recent years. While India continues autocratically labeling dissent as terrorism, Trudeau should continue to provide a platform for free speech to these separatists.

Narrative B

Trudeau must stop whipping up discontent with his Indian counterparts. By refusing to take a hardline against pro-Khalistan extremists who willingly incite violence, he is jeopardizing Canada's diplomatic future with the nation. This is not about freedom of speech, but about protecting the safety and social stability of the Sikh and wider Indian diaspora in Canada.

Narrative C

Canada has been home to Sikh separatist elements since the 1980s, and all that time, the country's immigration policies have been exacerbating extremist risks. High immigration rates fosters isolated communities, as well as posing integration challenges and security threats. Trudeau needs to take more action to address these problems and show resolve against decades of failing immigration policy.

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