PIL Watch Group is watching with concern serious developments in Canada in recent months and the statements of Union Ministers and even opposition MPs; also the corporate press which is working overtime to damn India-Canada relations. The Indian government has expressed concern over violent incidents which have taken place in the recent past in Canada. The Union External Affairs Minister wants the Canadian government to bring an end to violent protests and take action against separatists. For the sake of argument we concede that electoral gain could be a reason for the Canadian government to protect the interest of Punjabi migrants.
To take a high moral stance the Indian state would have to first rectify its own grave errors in letting Dalai Lama and his followers to stay as guests of honour even as they demand independence of Tibet from China which is a sovereign independent country. They had entered India illegally without any visas. Followers of the Dalai Lama indulge in violent political protests including self-immolations for their demand right in Delhi. BJP MPs have openly sided with Tibetan protesters at the National Protest Site, Jantar Mantar, New Delhi. The Dalai Lama is being treated as a ‘ghar jawai’. Is the Indian government trying to garner Buddhist votes in India and by inference majority Hindu votes since 1959? The Indian Government will have to stop the Dalai Lama from engaging in politics from the sovereign soil of India. It is only then that the Union External Affairs Minister’s statement will carry any weight, otherwise the two governments – Indian as well as Canadian – are seen to be indulging in realpolitik.
P.S. Sahni & Shobha Aggarwal
PIL Watch Group