India’s External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar, strongly criticized Canada for hosting an event that celebrated the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Addressing a press conference, Jaishankar expressed concern about the space given to separatists, extremists, and individuals advocating violence in Canada, emphasizing that such actions have a negative impact on the relationship between the two countries.
Jaishankar expressed bewilderment over the event, questioning the motives behind it, beyond what he referred to as “vote bank politics.” He highlighted the larger issue of providing a platform for separatists, extremists, and proponents of violence, which he deemed detrimental to bilateral relations and not in Canada’s best interest.
The External Affairs Minister’s comments came in response to an event held in Canada that glorified the assassination of Indira Gandhi, who served as India’s first and only female Prime Minister from 1966 to 1977 and again from 1980 until her tragic assassination in 1984. Gandhi was shot dead by two of her own bodyguards at her official residence on October 31, 1984.
Cameron MacKay, the High Commissioner for Canada in India, also expressed his condemnation of the event through his official Twitter handle. MacKay stated that he was “appalled” by the reports and stressed that hate speech and the glorification of violence have no place in Canada. He categorically condemned the activities associated with the event.
The controversy surrounding the event has sparked concern over the promotion of violence and the impact it may have on bilateral relations between India and Canada. The Indian government has raised objections to Canada’s apparent tolerance of separatist and extremist elements within its borders.
The incident serves as a reminder of the need for countries to foster relationships based on mutual respect, understanding, and the condemnation of violence. It is crucial for nations to prioritize the promotion of peace and harmony in the face of divisive ideologies that can strain international ties.
As condemnation grows and discussions continue, it remains to be seen how this event will impact the bilateral relationship between India and Canada.