ONTARIO’S NDP MPP Jagmeet Singh has been refused a visa to India and Indian Consul-General Akhilesh Mishra told The Globe and Mail newspaper in an email that the Indian government didn’t have to provide any justification or explanation about it.
He wrote that those who seek to undermine Indian democratic institutions and foment contempt for them “are only misusing the pretext of human rights to pursue their insidious agenda of disturbing the social fabric of India and undermining the peace, harmony and territorial integrity of India.”
Singh, who is the MPP (as MLAs are called in Ontario) for Bramalea-Gore-Malton, apparently angered the Indian government by referring to the massacre of Sikhs in India in 1984 as “genocide” and condemning the attack on the Golden Temple by the Indian Army in 1984.
In fact, all three federal parties criticized the Indian government earlier this month for the 1984 events and India’s failure to get justice for Sikh victims.
The Globe and Mail reported: “Mr. Singh submitted his application for the Indian visa in November last year. Sources say his passport was returned to him on Dec. 8 without the visa, which surprised him since he had visited India in January and February. When asked by Mr. Singh at the time, Indian diplomats in Toronto would not detail any reasons for his not being given the visa.”
Mishra told the newspaper that the “processing of visa applications does not depend on ‘statements made by the applicant or his or her support for human rights.’ … India fully respects freedom of expression, and indeed cherishes plurality of opinion and welcomes constructive criticism.”
But the fact is that is exactly what the Indian government is doing: trying to suppress freedom of expression in Canada.
All political parties must speak out against this blatant attack on Canadian values.
Sikhs were fearing such attacks after the Hindu nationalist Modi became prime minister and appointed former IB (India’s Intelligence Bureau) chief Ajit Doval as the new National Security Advisor because of his past role involving Sikh militants in India and Pakistan.
He took part in Operation Black Thunder in 1988 to flush out Sikh militants who had occupied the Golden Temple in Amritsar.
He worked in the Indian High Commission in Pakistan from 1983 to 1987 and Sikh sources in Canada claim that he infiltrated Sikh groups in that country.