Why Canada Opposes MSP To Indian Farmers In WTO But Its Prime Minister Comes Out In Support Of 'Farmer Protests'

by Anand Walunjkar - Dec 5, 2020 12:30 PM +05:30 IST
Why Canada Opposes MSP To Indian Farmers In WTO But Its Prime Minister Comes Out In Support Of 'Farmer Protests'Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau with their children at Golden Temple in Amritsar. (Sameer Sehgal/Hindustan Times via GettyImages)
Snapshot
  • Canada had taken a completely contradictory view on the MSP issue in the WTO and had taken on India, asking it to reduce subsidies and had challenged its defence of MSP to staple crops of rice, what and pulses.

Justin Trudeau has a history of misadventures when it comes to India. His disastrous India trip, which was outlandishly reduced to a costume party and embarrassing bhangra was scarred by an invitation to a convicted member of a Sikh extremist group, Jaspal Atwal, on the Canadian PM’s tour.

Swarajya had already predicted that relations between India and Canada could go south in his second term. This time, he has extended support for the farmers' protest in India, which has raised serious questions on the diplomatic front, but if we scratch the surface, it has its roots in Canadian domestic politics.

The Justin Trudeau government has indulged in appeasing the Sikh separatist movement ever since he took oath in his first term and boasted that he had more Sikhs in his cabinet that Narendra Modi.

Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh, in 2017, had refused to meet the then Canadina Defense Minister, Harjeet Sajjan, citing the latter's support to separatism in Punjab.

But then, in the 2019 elections, Trudeau got competition from an ultra-leftist Jagmeet Singh, leader of the NDP, which as fate turns out now, supports the re-elected minority Liberal government headed by Trudeau.

It was then evident that the Trudeau government would be bound to dance to the tunes of Jagmeet Singh, who has had a history of supporting the Khalistani movement himself.

He had earlier refused to blame the Khalistani terrorists for the 1985 Air India bombing that killed a majority of Indo Canadians. In this video, he is seen quite vocal supporting the Referendum 2020 movement for Khalistan.

All these, for a bunch of Sikh votes, which comprise about 1 per cent the population of Canada, but are highly influential in key constituencies.

There is also the factor of Referendum 2020, on the issue of Khalistan, which was fuelled from the gurudwaras of Toronto and Vancouver and has been planned since years for 2020, but did not take place probably due to Covid and obviously because of absence of any substantial ground support from India.

So, when the farmers' protests began from Punjab to Delhi, such elements latched on to the momentum and tried to hijack the protest.

The ‘Sikhs for Justice’ forum behind the referendum idea has reportedly announced a $1million grant to farmers if they carry forward the Khalistan movement.

This was evident when one of the protestors, actor Deep Sidhu, openly supported Bhindranwale along with various other protestors.

Canadian politicians, in order to please the Sikh vote bank, spoke in favour of the farmers' protest, starting with NDP leaders Jack Harris and Jagmeet Singh who pressured Trudeau to be vocal on this issue.

Perhaps, in order to appease them, the Prime Minister was triggered into speaking in favour of the farmers' protest which was considered a poke in India's internal affairs and was quickly rebuked by the Indian authorities.

This, when Canada had taken a completely contradictory view on the MSP issue in the WTO and had taken on India, asking it to reduce subsidies and had challenged its defence of MSP to staple crops of rice, what and pulses.

And also, when at a time it is looking towards India as an emerging market, the position of Prime Minister Trudeau looks hypocritical.

The only logical explanation for this bizarre stand is that, perhaps, Justin Trudeau has valued domestic political compulsions more over diplomatic necessities.

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