Is Canada safe?
tensions of the political kind
I am visiting my dad in India after my trip to Germany. Wherever I go and whoever I meet I am asked whether I am safe in Canada. Safe? It is the recent spat between Canada and India on a killing that happened in Vancouver. I am asked whether there are Punjabi’s running around in the streets in Canada with swords drawn killing people. What an imagination fueled by the Indian news media which has nothing sensational to report on and is making a large deal of a fringe issue.
One of the separatist groups which wants Punjab to leave India has a large base out of Canada. India has of course branded them to be terrorists because it is convenient to stop any democratic process from happening. The leader of this group was shot dead in Vancouver by what Canada calls supported by folks in the Indian embassy.
This has led to the problem of a political spat between the two countries with tit-for-tats and political upmanship of playing to the masses on both sides. India on its part has stopped issuing Indian travel visas to Canadians and is booting out a bunch of diplomats. Justin Trudeau needs the support of the NDP which happens to be headed by a Punjabi-Canadian, so the dance goes on.
I am sure this will die down in the next few months and hope that saner heads will prevail on both sides. However, the cultural perceptions and stereotypes created by the media to their advantage in how to sell their content were really strange for me to watch.
Meanwhile the real everyday problems for the everyday Canadian and Indian lives on… largely unattended and replaced by such exotic fanfare instead.
India suspends visas for Canadians as row escalates - https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-66851964