After demonstrations in support of the farmers’ protest in India passed off peacefully in Canada, India’s missions in the country have launched an outreach campaign on the issue, and pointed out that comments like the one from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “have encouraged gatherings of extremist elements in front of our high commission and consulates in Canada that raise issues of safety and security”.
The protests against the new farms laws in India led to similar events, including a car rally outside the Indian consulate in Toronto. However, an unsigned note circulated as part of the messaging campaign said, “There are elements within the protesters who are using these protests to support terrorist activities and secessionist movements like Khalistan and Kashmir.”
Pro-Khalistan groups such as Sikhs for Justice and Shiromani Akali Dal-Amritsar Canada have also joined the agitators in Canada.
The note also said, “While the entire nation has sympathy for the farmers and their cause, the use of this platform to fuel secessionist voices will not be tolerated by the people of India.”
In a rebuke to Canada’s ruling dispensation, which echoed the statement and demarche from the external affairs ministry in New Delhi, the note stated, “The prime minister and senior ministers from the Canadian government and other leaders have spoken on the issue, given the compulsions of their domestic politics.”
It pointed out that discussions between representatives of protesting farmers and the Indian government are still being held. It also noted that the impact of these reforms could include seeing “India’s agriculture and food processing industries transformed”.
The note is part of the Ottawa-based high commission’s “intense outreach” to political and diaspora leaders in Canada, according to an Indian official.
It also pointed out that Canada is “one of the most strident critics” of India’s minimum support price (MSP regime, and other agricultural policies at the World Trade Organization (WTO. “In this context, the recent comments by the Canadian leadership are at odds with Canada’s aggressive posture at the WTO towards India’s agricultural support to its farmers,” it asserted.