The disaffection brewing between India and Canada over Khalistani has deepened and taken a turn. The latest casualty is the Indian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (UK), Vikram Doraiswami. Ambassador Doraiswami, who was on a tour of Scotland, was denied entry into the Gurdwara, situated at Albert Drive in Glasgow.
The incident came to public attention after a video of it went viral on social media through the ‘Sikh Youth UK.’
The footage of the incident showed where two men stopped the ambassador from moving. Thereafter, a pro-Khalistani activist helped him advance beyond the line in an effort to block him from accessing entry.
In the video, a man could be heard criticizing the Canadian government, claiming that Sikhs are being attacked and hurt in Canada. He questioned the sincerity of the government’s admonishing that they were playing the games. He added that the Canadian Prime Minister (PM) has openly condemned India and expelled Indian diplomats,” the man is heard saying in the video.”
After the incident in Gurdwara, Glasgow, the Indian government contacted London, protesting against the treatment meted out to its High Commissioner and requesting immediate security for him.
There has not been an official report from the UK authorities on the incident. However, available information from intelligence agencies claims that it was an amplified situation, sensationally created by Khalistani extremists not only for publicity purposes but also to push wrong narratives and whip up sentiments among sympathizers.
In a media conference in the U.S., Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, the Indian Minister for External Affairs, weighed in on the event at Gurdwara, asking representatives of countries present what they would do if faced with similar circumstances.
“How would you react if you were in my shoes? If it were your diplomats, your embassy, and your people, what would be your reaction?” He queried.
While questioning President Justin Trudeau’s statement justifying the protests carried out by the Khalistani, claiming that they were marches in support of freedom of speech, Amb. Jaishankar stated that Canada need not teach India.
Amb. Jaishankar said, “We don’t need to learn from other people what freedom of speech is about, but we can tell people this. We don’t think freedom of speech extends to incitement to violence. That, to us, is the misuse of freedom; that’s not the defense of freedom.”
Recently, the powerful Gurdwara group, the Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), weighed in on the Gurdwara incident, calling out the authorities and people of England.
The secretary general of the SGPC, Gurcharan Singh Grewal, said, “People of England, they are upset with the illegal arrest of Jaggi Johal. That is the reason all of this is happening. We want to ask the Indian Embassy that any kind of tension should not be created. If something like this has happened with an ambassador in a Gurdwara, it affects the reputation of Sikhs.”
He stated that the SGPC does not support intimidation of the ambassador and does not support violent handling of ambassadors.
The SGPC is an Indian-based organization established to take care of the Gurdwara, including their security, religion, and finances.