The made-in-Canada Khalistan fracas : The Tribune India

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The made-in-Canada Khalistan fracas

Western strategic objective could be to puncture the G20 balloon, deny India the leadership of Global South

The made-in-Canada Khalistan fracas

ground reality: The Khalistani cause is driven by the diaspora, with absolutely no support in Punjab. AP/PTI



Rajesh Ramachandran

ONLY a rogue state could have named and branded a senior diplomat guilty, thereby throwing him to the wolves who had killed a Prime Minister, a Chief Minister, a former Army chief, bureaucrats, police and Army officers, hundreds of politicians and thousands of innocent people. By pointing a finger at an Indian Police Service officer of the Punjab cadre without a shred of publicly available evidence, the Canadian Government has proven that the Western alliance does not believe in the rule of the law, or at least not for the Brown Man. This officer and his family will now have to be guarded round the clock for many years to come, and for what?

There are reasons to believe that Trudeau was not being reckless, nor was he talking out of personal peeve. He was playing the knave’s role assigned to him by the Five Eyes.

After the initial outrage over Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's irresponsible statement about “credible allegations” linking agents of the Indian Government with the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, there are now reasons to believe that Trudeau was not being reckless, nor was he talking out of personal peeve. He was playing the knave’s role assigned to him by the Five Eyes or the English-speaking empire. For had that not been the case, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan would not have condescended to deny any “special exemption” to India, fully and blindly endorsing and sanctifying Trudeau's allegation.

And unsourced stories have begun to get planted in the Western press, as expected, claiming that Trudeau had human and signals intelligence, which allegedly includes Indian diplomats talking to each other in Canada. Apparently, one of the Western allies has helped Canada marshal this evidence. So, the plot has thickened as it unravels; the “bombshell” allegation against an Indian official or officials was never about Trudeau's bruised ego. It was a Western move against India. But the question that begs an answer is: What is the strategic objective of such a debilitating blow to India's standing in the world?

It is but a truism that the West would like to deal with a weaker, less aspirational and less assertive coalition government in New Delhi. But if the allegation is meant to deal an electoral blow to PM Narendra Modi, it would have the exact opposite impact because now the White Man has actually given voice to a regular Modi bhakt’s greatest dream — ghar mein ghuske marna — on tackling terrorists. In fact, Modi is sure to get another term if he does an Osama-like operation in Karachi or wherever Dawood Ibrahim hides, with or without any “special exemption”. Indian public opinion, particularly after the 26/11 Mumbai attack, is unshakeably against terrorists and terror havens.

Then, the Western strategic objective could also be to puncture the G20 balloon, deny India its legitimate leadership of the Global South and paint the picture of the slowly recovering sick man of Asia. But again, to what effect? For, such a brutal blow to its pride would only make the middle class wary of getting into a re-colonising embrace with the West, driving clueless into the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor. For, Khalistani terrorists and Khalistani separatism are unlike any other radical cause in India. This is entirely driven by the diaspora, with absolutely no support in Punjab. The Canadian argument of freedom of expression gets exposed in Punjab as an agenda for freedom of extermination, implemented through its official asylum policy for terrorists.

Canada has offered asylum to butchers, among others, who had segregated and pulled people down from buses and trains to shoot them for an externally funded and fuelled cause. The Khalistan map never had the capital of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s empire, Lahore (now in Pakistan), thereby clearly exposing the Western-aided Pakistani plot to balkanise India. And it is not as if the people have not voted for non-violent secessionists in India. Even in a 2022 bypoll to the Lok Sabha, the foremost secessionist leader of Punjab was elected to Parliament when voters got angry with the mainstream parties. But when their anger subsided, the same people made another secessionist candidate lose his security deposit. This is real freedom of expression. And Punjab has it in plenty.

It is in this context that Punjab has to rethink spending all its money on sending its children to Canada. The Tribune has made a rough calculation (the Punjab Government, unfortunately, does not have readily accessible data) of capital flight to the tune of Rs 68,000 crore every year from Punjab. This is only 60 per cent of the total outgo, which could be about $10 billion. The total India-Canada bilateral trade in goods is just $9 billion. Indians are selling their property to send children to Canada, thereby driving property prices down and wasting money that will never come back because these children are expected to settle abroad, save and spend there, unlike the earlier generation of migrants whose remittances drove up real estate prices and prosperity.

Worse, Indian students double up as cheap labour — washing, scrubbing and doing laundry for the hosts (things they never did at home) while spending their parents' last penny enriching Canadian universities. Eventually, they become the most hardworking citizens of Canada. Meanwhile, back home, the taxpayer gets nothing other than terrorists, gangsters and their political patrons who remind Indians that if India does not vote against Russia or does not obediently take sides with the West, it will be counted among the pariah states.

It is inconceivable that a Western nation has condemned an Indian diplomat without a fair trial, just as it is still incomprehensible why Canada allowed Talwinder Singh Parmar and co-conspirators to blow up Air India Flight 182 with 329 people aboard. If all that the Canadians or Americans have against the Indian official are some WhatsApp chats, they better not make them public. All of India talks on WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram and FB Messenger. Finally, Indians might wake up to build their own messaging services with servers within the country. Till then, Modi would do well to build some universities.

#Canada #G20


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