India’s extremist nationalism abroad

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In recent days, a serious diplomatic incident has cast a shadow over the relationship between India and Canada, highlighting the concerning consequences of Hindu extremist nationalism promoted by the Modi regime. This incident reveals that the grave repercussions of suppressing minority religions and ethnic groups within India are now extending far beyond its borders, even reaching North America.
Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has seen a surge in extreme Hindu nationalism, which has given rise to domestic unrest and discord. This, however, is not an isolated issue confined to India’s borders; it has far-reaching implications that affect the global community.
One of the most visible manifestations of this turmoil is the resurgent Khalistan movement, which seeks an independent Sikh state. While this movement was active from the 1960s to the 1980s, it faced brutal suppression by Indian security forces. Consequently, some of its leaders and supporters sought refuge in Western countries, where they have regained influence and established a presence.
Recently, the Khalistan Referendum voting center in Malton, Ontario, saw over 42,000 Canadian Sikhs congregating following the assassination of prominent pro-Khalistan leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada. Canada hosts the largest population of Sikhs outside of Punjab, India, and has witnessed numerous protests that have strained relations with India.
Nijjar was a significant figure for those advocating for Khalistan, serving as the head of the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurudwara in Surrey, a suburb of Vancouver. His death has raised concerns, with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledging “credible allegations” of Indian government’s involvement in the assassination.
In an interview published on these pages, Cheng Xizhong, Visiting Professor of Southwest University of Political Science and Law, has observed that the Modi regime’s promotion of extreme nationalism, which predominantly reveres Hinduism, has inadvertently revitalized separatist movements. Modi’s response to these movements has been heavy-handed, exemplified by the complete mobile internet shutdown in Punjab in April this year during the attempted arrest of a Sikh separatist leader.
It is evident that the Modi regime’s actions are not limited to suppressing minority religions and ethnic groups within India but are also spilling over onto the international stage. The consequences of this aggressive nationalism pose a growing concern, not only for India but for global peace and stability.
The world must remain vigilant in monitoring and addressing the escalating diplomatic tensions between India and Canada, while also encouraging dialogue and understanding among diverse communities both within India and abroad. The repercussions of failing to address these issues may extend far beyond the immediate diplomatic incident, potentially impacting the harmony of nations worldwide.