Jagmeet Singh criticized by Indo-Canadians for condoning Sikh separatism
Jagmeet Singh, the leader of Canada's New Democratic Party, has sought to get the Canadian Parliament recognize the 1984 anti-Sikh riots as "genocide", inviting criticism from Indo-Canadians for trying to promote a divisive agenda. In a statement to the press, Singh said that labelling the riots as genocide would be the "right thing to do". Notably, this isn't Singh's first controversy with Sikh separatism.
Jagmeet Singh criticized for his "politics of hate"
Singh's latest attempt to classify the 1984 anti-Sikh riots as "genocide" invited sharp criticism from Azad Kaushik, president of the National Alliance of Indo-Canadians (NAIC). Kaushik hit out at Singh's "politics of hate and bigotry" and said that it would bring "more harm than good". Kaushik also made it abundantly clear that any such move would be opposed by the NAIC in the Parliament.
Singh's actions will hurt relations with "friendly" India
"The Indo-Canadian community rejects the demand of NDP leader Jagmeet Singh to have the 1984 Sikh riots declared as 'genocide' and...such attempts will hurt Canada's relations with a friendly country like India with which great potential for business and trade exists," added Kaushik.
Videos surface showing Singh condoning Sikh separatism
Recently, videos surfaced showing Singh condoning Sikh separatism. The first was from a San Francisco rally in 2015 where Singh is seen speaking from a platform with a poster of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale - considered to be the father of Khalistani terrorism - in the background. The second showed Singh in a "sovereignty" event hosted by a hardline separatist outfit in London in 2016.
Singh had moved a similar motion earlier
The videos aren't all. When Singh was a member of the Ontario provincial parliament, he had moved a similar motion there in 2016. The motion was defeated due to opposition from the ruling Liberal Party. In 2017, Liberal Party member Harinder Malhi moved a similar motion and cited Singh while introducing it. The motion was passed, and has led to tensions in Indo-Canada ties.