Separatism sikhism: Jagmeet Singh denies defending terrorism

News 14 March, 2018
  • Photo Boris Proulx
    Jagmeet Singh

    QMI agency

    Wednesday, march 14, 2018 13:01

    Wednesday, march 14, 2018 13:01

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    OTTAWA – in the Face of revelations that he participated in 2015 at a gathering of the sikh glorifying a violent separatist, the leader of the New democratic Party (NDP), Jagmeet Singh defended himself on Wednesday morning to support terrorism.

    In June 2015, the politician, who was then a member of provincial parliament in Ontario, took part in a rally for sovereignty at San Francisco, where guests called for the creation of a State independent sikh, revealed Tuesday evening, the daily newspaper the Globe and Mail.

    Video footage of the event posted on social networks and viewed by the daily toronto show a photo of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, the leader of an extremist group murdered by indian forces during the assault on the golden Temple in Amritsar in 1984, was displayed on the stage.

    “I condemn all acts of terrorism anywhere in the world, regardless of who is guilty and who the victims are. Terrorism can never be considered as a way to advance the cause of one group or another. Terrorism only leads to suffering, pain and death,” said Jagmeet Singh, a sikh practitioner, in a statement released Wednesday morning.

    This is not the first time that the NDP leader is facing the issue of terrorism sikh. Toe-to-toe on the issue of the glorification of terrorists by some members of the sikh community, it had to condemn last October, the bombing of the Air India flight 182 in 1985 and who has made the deaths of 329 people.

    Question politically-charged

    The delicate question of separatism sikh in canadian politics was highlighted in February when the trip of the prime minister Justin Trudeau in India. His government, composed of four ministers sikhs, is accused by representatives of the indians of complacency towards the separatists fighting for the independence of the Punjab and the creation of the State of Khalistan.

    The issue divides the indian community in the country, many sikhs are sympathetic to the cause of independence, while a majority of Indians condemn it.

    According to the census of 2016, Statistics Canada, there is 1 370 000 Indians in Canada, of which 455 000 sikhs. Their high concentration in the regions of Toronto and Vancouver can shift many constituencies, which makes their vote particularly coveted.

    This situation requires, as Justin Trudeau has done it a few times during his stay in India, the party leaders to condemn terrorism while showing himself to be favourable to the diversity of opinion concerning the separatism sikh.

    Walking and speech

    In a speech punjabi spoken at the rally, Mr Singh accuses India of genocide against the sikhs, according to a translation of the Globe and Mail. It is also seen to take part in a walk where float many banners pro-independence.

    The chief néodémocrate explains that he has been invited on this day to express themselves, “as the defender of the rights of the person”.

    “I have long been a defender of peace and human rights, in Canada and around the world. […] The genocide of sikhs in 1984 in India has been an episode of horrible in which several thousands of sikhs were killed mercilessly, while other thousands have gone,” he says, recalling that Ontario has recognized in 2017 these events as a genocide.

    Jagmeet Singh is said to have been a witness of injury caused by this persecution within the sikh community. “My approach has always been to give space to these emotions in order to be able to pass through, but it was never to tolerate acts of violence,” he says.

    The leader of the NDP, however, has reiterated that he respected the principle of self-determination of peoples recognized by the Charter of the united Nations. “This is not up to me to decide the future of India. I am neither a citizen nor a politician of this country. Self-determination means respecting the opinions, regardless of the country, of a people as to the choice of his own path,” he says.