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World
02 Jan 2018

Ontario gurudwaras 'bar' Indian officials for their 'interference'

Indian officials too 'interfering' for Ontario gurudwaras

The management of over a dozen gurudwaras in Canada's Ontario is annoyed with officials representing India.

The reason? Apparently they "interfere" too much and have an "agenda of undermining the autonomy of Sikh institutions and organizations".

Considering this, the gurudwaras have decided to bar their entry, unless they are visiting with a personal purpose.

The decision was taken under the Trespass to Property Act.

In context

Indian officials too 'interfering' for Ontario gurudwaras
India was only starting to revisit previously shunned gurudwaras

Trends

India was only starting to revisit previously shunned gurudwaras

Some years ago, many Canadian gurudwaras, hubs for Khalistani activists, were considered out of bounds for Indian officials.

But newer migrants didn't have much to do with the movement; hardcore advocates also decreased.

As moderate elements started taking over the management, the government too launched an outreach program.

PM Narendra Modi's 2015 visit to the Ross Street Gurdwara was symbolic of the new trends.

Decision

'Presence of Indian officials makes Sikhs uncomfortable'

But in just a few years, Indian officials seem to have upset Ontario's gurudwara managements. "The Indian government interferes too much in the community," they unanimously agreed, saying presence of Indian officials makes Sikhs "uncomfortable".

The decision was taken at a meeting in Brampton's Jot Parkash Gurdwara on December 30.

Pro-Khalistani activists and hardline activist groups have welcomed the move.

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Last year, Ontario Assembly passed motion calling Sikh riots "genocide"

Past

Last year, Ontario Assembly passed motion calling Sikh riots "genocide"

In early 2017, the Ontario Assembly became Canada's first state legislature to pass a motion describing the 1984 anti-Sikh riots as "genocide".

Later, PM Justin Trudeau was seen at a Khalsa Day event where militant leaders were glorified; the legislators who moved the anti-India resolution were also present.

The Indian government had lodged strong protests with Canada both times.

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