So, India is expanding its temper tantrum over Canada expressing concerns over the suspected role of the Modi government in the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. To a certain extent, this is a “meh, so what?” kind of move, but on other fronts its more significant and an indicator of the Modi government’s larger agenda.
One could infer from the level of outrage coming out of India that in fact the Canadian government’s expressed worries that in fact the allegations have some merit. It’s very much a case of “India doth protest too much” - if they really had nothing to do with this Nijjar’s murder a few months ago, then why such a public temper tantrum?
Part of it, no doubt, has to do with the Khalistan movement to create a “Sikh homeland”. The idea of a Sikh homeland isn’t new - it’s been rattling about for decades, and was very much the driving force behind a bombing launched from within Canada back in the 1980s. I don’t particularly want to spend a pile of time rehashing the Air India bombing here, I mention it to draw attention to the somewhat fraught relationship it created within Canada regarding the Khalistan movement.
Canada’s government might well be more reactive here in part because of the fallout from the Air India bombing - which many still feel has never been fully resolved in our courts. There have been a few cases brought to trial, but many in the Canadian public felt the outcomes were deeply unsatisfying. Canada would be naturally sensitive to any action which would appear to be an escalation of violence relating to the Khalistan movement taking place within its borders. A repeat of the Air India bombing is hardly a desirable thing.
I won’t attempt to go deep into the Khalistan movement and the politics around it - I simply lack the background knowledge to do the subject justice. What I can remark upon is the Modi government’s propensity for passing arbitrary laws with deliberately discriminatory consequences. The BJP party is described as “Hindu Nationalist”, and over time we have also observed Modi becoming increasingly authoritarian.
To be frank, ever since Trudeau’s disastrous trip to India in 2015/16, my trust of the Modi government has been very low. It was fairly obvious that Modi participated in setting a political booby trap engineered by Harper through the IDU. Subsequently, numerous second-rate conservative politicians have attempted to polish their image with junkets to India as a result of the Modi government inviting them to visit. So, on that alone, I am suspicious of the Modi government’s actions here.
It’s entirely possible that this is a setup so that the CPC here can spend the next year or so making itself out to be “the reconcilers” where India is concerned. India gets to play the “offended party” with its nose out of joint, and effectively cuts the current Canadian government out of the picture, making any diplomatic progress impossible. Then the CPC can rail on about how Trudeau simply doesn’t have the standing on the world stage to be taken seriously …blah blah blah… I think you get the picture.
Then, when in 2024/5 when a new government is elected (presumably CPC, or so the plotters imagine), India suddenly stops being hostile … mostly because an IDU-aligned government is in power, and the newly elected Conservative government gets a nice little “slam-dunk” win on the world stage to set its credentials in.
From Modi’s perspective, it’s a win too, because he gets to deal a blow to a movement that he sees as a political danger with relative impunity.
That might be a bit of a reach, but I don’t think it’s all that far off the mark. We already have evidence of close ties between Harper and Modi, and it’s fairly clear that they’ve collaborated on schemes to bolster conservative fortunes in Canada.
[Update: 21/09/23 17:00]: Well, it seems that Canada does have “the receipts” that implicate the Indian government. The whole thing just got a lot harder for the CPC to leverage credibly.