IBNS: Most Sikhs settled in Canada are not interested in buying anything from the shops opened by the Khalistanis, who are failing to find sufficient ground to push forward their separatist agenda.
The consulting editor of Khalsa Vox recently travelled to parts of the two prominent provinces of Canada, Ontario (ON) and British Columbia (BC), to get a feel of the so-called Khalistan movement that periodically finds space in the media reports from abroad. Requests to some managers of the Khalistan market in Toronto and Vancouver to grant an on camera audience turned futile.
In BC’s Surrey, this correspondent contacted manager of Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara, Harjit Singh, to seek an audience with the members of the management of the Sikh temple once headed by late Hardeep Singh Nijjer, India’s designated terrorist.
There was no response to the request. In ON’s Toronto City, a similar request was made – through a journalist friend – to Bhagat Singh, a son of Lakhbir Singh Rode (nephew of Jarnail Singh Bhinderanwale), chief of the International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF). Later the journalist conveyed what Bhagat Singh said: “I will not talk to the Indian media.” Efforts to feel and understand the Khalistani perspective thus failed.
In order to have feel of ground realities, this correspondent decided to meet a cross section of the Sikh Diaspora in parts of Canada.
In ON’s Brampton City near Toronto, a very successful group of Punjabis engaged in the trucking business, employing over 100 young Sikh immigrants, viewed the Khalistan movement as a sheer waste of time. The three partners of the company were unanimous in saying: “They (Khalistanis) have opened shops to collect money by misguiding people who do not have much work to do”, adding “Why don’t they go to Punjab to fight it out where Khalistan is to be made.”
In ON’s Markham City, a retired Sikh Army man minced no words when he said that ‘saare ujjad ikthe hoye ne’ (they all are illiterate people)…’dharm de naam te Gurdwarea vich baith ke siasat krr rahe ne’ (in the name of religion, sitting in Gurdwaras, they are playing politics).
A radio host in Toronto informed Khalsa Vox that the majority of the Sikhs in Canada do not like their (Khalistanis) activities but, as they are a small violent group, none wants to take a risk. “There are divisions within the separatists, each accusing the other of being ‘touts’ of Pakistan or the Indian agencies,” the radio host disclosed. Such accusations linking Gurpatwant Singh Pannun of Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) to Indian agencies are too common to hear. Pannun is the one who spearheads the Referendum 2020 voting exercise abroad.
In BC’s Kelowna City, this correspondent hired taxis as many as 8-times in three days of stay.
All the drivers were young Punjabi Sikhs. During the short duration intra-city journey, none of the drivers expressed solidarity with the Khalistan movement.
These drivers originally hailed from villages falling in Bathinda, Hoshiarpur, Faridkot, Gurdaspur, Ludhiana and Jalandhar districts. Only one seemed to be a fence sitter as he said, “I am not inclined towards activities of Khalistanis per se, but the topic needed to be discussed at length to reach at a conclusion.
A granthi at a Gurdwara in Montreal expressed his dismay as the management had put up pictures of some of the slain “terrorists” in the ‘langar’ hall in the basement of the Sikh temple.
He strongly opposed suffixing the word ‘shaheed’ with the name of Deep Sidhu, founder of ‘Waris Punjab De’, who died in a road accident while travelling with his girl friend.
A group of high-earning Punjabi IT professionals working in Canada’s capital city of Ottawa reacted very candidly when asked to give their views on Khalistan: “Bhaji chhado, kehdia fizool gallan vich pe gaye ho…chalo glass chuko’. (Brother, leave it. Why are you getting into a trash topic…pick up your glass). Even after the evening get-to-gather, the young boys next morning did not exhibit any interest in the subject. Apparently, life for them was too good in a land of opportunities and they had no time for a non-issue.
Picture and Text credit: Khalsavox.com