Indira Gandhi tableau: Jaishankar slams Canada for ceding space to separatists
India on Thursday hit out at Canada for ceding space to separatists and extremists elements after visuals surfaced on social media of a float in the Canadian city of Brampton that reportedly celebrated the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
At a media briefing, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said Canada allowing anti-India elements to operate from its soil is not good for the bilateral relationship as well as for itself. “I think there is a bigger issue involved. And the bigger issue involved really is the space that Canada has continuously and frankly we are at a loss to understand other than the requirements of vote bank politics, why anybody would do this,” he said.
“Because if you look at their history, you would imagine that they learn from history and they would not like to repeat that history. It is not only one incident, however, egregious it may be,” Jaishankar said. “I think there is a larger underlying issue about the space which is given to separatists, to extremists, to people who advocate violence and I think it is not good for relationships and not good for Canada,” he added.
A video has emerged on social media that showed a float depicting the assassination of Indira Gandhi. It was reportedly part of a parade that was organised by some Khalistani elements in Brampton.
Canadian High Commissioner in India Cameron MacKay tweeted that there is no place in Canada for “hate or for the glorification of violence”. “I am appalled by reports of an event in Canada that celebrated the assassination of late Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. There is no place in Canada for hate or for the glorification of violence. I categorically condemn these activities,” he said.
On some Indian students facing difficulties in Canada over charges that they did not study in the colleges they applied for, Jaishankar said India has taken up the issue with Canadian authorities. “If there were people who misled them (the students), the culpable parties should be acted upon. It is unfair to punish a student who undertook education in good faith,” he said.
The external affairs minister said the Canadian prime minister has also made a statement in the House of Commons on the issue. “We are in touch with Canada on the issue,” he said.
(With agency inputs)