US-based Hindu Policy Research and Advocacy Collective (HinduPACT) has stated that it stands with the people of Canada during these trying times and has urged Canadian PM Justin Trudeau to respect the rights of the Canadian people to peacefully protest. The right to peaceful protest is fundamental in any democracy and the promulgation of an Emergency Order to quell the voices of dissent sets, for the first time, a tragic precedent for Canada.
HinduPACT Executive Director Utsav Chakrabarti said, “I would be remiss if I didn’t start by recognizing the news coming out of Canada about the protests and the draconian measures being taken to counter them. The situation is concerning, and we are all very worried about our family and friends.”
HinduPACT has also urged Trudeau and New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Jagmeet Singh not to conflate the ‘Swastika’, an ancient and auspicious symbol for Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and many indigenous communities around the world, with the ‘Hakenkreuz’, a 20th century Nazi symbol of hate. Both Trudeau and Jagmeet Singh have made statements in the recent past, accusing protesters of “waving Swastikas”.
This misrepresentation will lead to hate crimes against Hindus and Sikhs, the advocacy group stated. In the past month alone, six Hindu temples were vandalized, desecrated and looted in Canada. A prominent member of the Canadian Hindu community and a recipient of the Order of Canada, Aditya Jha while speaking to HinduPACT said, “I appreciate the gravitas of Indian leadership, that they have stayed away from commenting on protests by truckers in Canada. In contrast, PM Justin Trudeau has behaved immaturely by constantly commenting on protests in India, with very little knowledge and understanding”.
Speaking about NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, Jha added: “He is openly supportive of Khalistani extremists, makes alliances with radical Islamists, and is a politician who wants to be in India, but accidentally ended up in Canada. He doesn’t know much about the Sikh Panth either. But the problem today is that politics has become so shallow that any well-spoken minority is given a platform as long as they can speak good English.”