Indian-origin MP Chandra Arya on Thursday asked the community to maintain composure, be watchful, and report instances of Hinduphobia in light of a recent video by a Khalistani leader threatening and requesting that they leave the nation and claiming that Hindu Canadians are “soft targets.”
Threats posed by Gurpatwant Singh Pannu against Hindus
Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, a leader of the banned Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) and a designated Khalistani terrorist in India, advised Indo-Canadian Hindus to leave the nation after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s claims, shocking and terrifying the community.
“I have heard from many Hindu-Canadians who are fearful after this targeted attack. I urge Hindu-Canadians to stay calm but vigilant. Please report any incident of Hinduphobia to your local law enforcement agencies,” MP Arya urged in a lengthy post on X (formerly Twitter) on Thursday.
The Sikh and Hindu populations in Canada are tied by familial ties and other forms of shared social and cultural affinity, according to the Hindu MP, who claimed that Pannun is attempting to incite the Hindu-Canadians to retaliate and split the two communities.
Canadian Sikh brothers and sisters do not support the Khalistan movement.
“Let me be clear. Vast majority of our Canadian Sikh brothers and sisters do not support the Khalistan movement. Most Sikh Canadians may not publicly condemn the Khalistan movement for several reasons but they are deeply connected to the Hindu-Canadian community,” according to Karnataka-born Arya. He claims that Pannun’s “direct attack” on Hindu-Canadians is a step up from recent attacks on Hindu temples and public celebrations of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s murder by terrorists.
He said that if a white supremacist attacked any group of racialized Canadians and demanded that they leave our nation, that would be considered outrage in Canada. He added, “But apparently this Khalistani leader can get away with this hate crime,” Arya further added that the community’s prosperity cannot be understood by the anti-Hindu groups, adding that because Hindu Canadians maintain a “low profile, they are considered a soft targets.”
Personal encounters of the Lawmaker
Arya cited his own experience when he said that he had been attacked numerous times for hoisting a flag depicting the adored Hindu symbol Aum atop the Canadian Parliament hill.
“Two well-organised groups claiming to represent their faiths have been attacking Hindu-Canadian community leaders, Hindu organisations and even me. For over ten months, I have been attacked for raising a flag with our Hindu religious sacred symbol Aum on our parliament hill,” the Hindu parliamentarian stated. There have been Hindu immigrants to Canada for 100 years.
The neighbourhood is home to immigrants from Southeast Asia, Africa, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. Hindu population in Canada increased from 1.0 to 2.3 percent (almost 830,000 individuals) between 2001 and 2021, according to Statistics Canada’s report on the 2021 Census.
In Canada, November is observed as Hindu Heritage Month. Arya’s stern remark was made in response to Pannun’s announcement that demonstrations against the Indian High Commissioner Sanjay Verma will be held on September 25 in front of the consulates in Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver.
On October 29, Pannun’s SFJ will run a poll in Canada asking citizens if Verma was to blame for the death of Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June of this year outside a Sikh temple in Surrey.
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