Ontario officially recognises Sikh genocide, and India calls the decision “misguided”

Note – the featured image is of a separate protest by Sikhs in regards to recognition of the genocide of 1984.

The Government of Ontario province in Canada on Friday passed a motion in the Legislative Assembly to officially recognise the 1984 anti-Sikh riots as “Sikh genocide”.

The motion was brought forward by Liberal Member of the Legislative Assembly Harinder Kaur Malhi (Brampton-Springdale), which received support from all three provincial parties.In advance of the successful vote, the motion read aloud stated, “That, in the opinion of this House, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, should reaffirm our commitment to the values we cherish–justice, human rights and fairness–and condemn all forms of communal violence, hatred, hostility, prejudice, racism and intolerance in India and anywhere else in the world, including the 1984 genocide perpetrated against the Sikhs throughout India, and call on all sides to embrace truth and reconciliation.”According to Jatinder Singh Grewal, the Director of International Policy for Sikhs for Justice, an official recognition of genocide offers great comfort to Sikhs who call Ontario home. It remains, however, the first step towards broader recognition and healing. “All Sikhs applaud Ontario today and give thanks to Premier Kathleen Wynne and Liberal MP Harinder Malhi for hearing us, appreciating the evidence that exists and officially recognizing that the murder of tens of thousands of Sikhs was an attempt at genocide. We will continue to press upon other governments here in Canada and globally to stand with us in Ontario on the side of justice.”

See a video of NDP MP Jagmeet Singh give a speech about the motion here, via Sikh Siyasat.

India took strong exception to the motion from the Legislative Assembly of Ontario that called the 1984 anti-Sikh riots ‘’genocide’’, adding that it had conveyed its views on the issue to the political leadership of Canada.

‘’We reject this misguided motion which is based on a limited understanding of India, its Constitution, society, ethos, rule of law and the judicial process,’’ External Affairs Minister Gopal Baglay said when his reaction was sought on the passage of the motion.

New Delhi, it is learnt, is quite unhappy since the motion was moved by a Member of the Provincial Parliament (MPP) belonging to the ruling Liberal Party of Ontario, which had moved a similar motion last summer. The Ontario Assembly, thus, became the first legislature in Canada to carry a motion that described the 1984 anti-Sikh riots as “genocide”.

 

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