New Delhi: Canadian civil society, human rights, and faith community organisations have appealed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to take diplomatic measures in response to the “systematic discrimination and violence inflicted upon vulnerable minorities in India”.
In an open letter, addressed to Trudeau, they said “grave human rights concerns” with regard to India have not been publicly addressed in Canada’s diplomatic and trade relations with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government.
“The Canadian government has a legal and moral responsibility to raise its voice and urge the BJP government to uphold its international obligations and protect the rights of all its citizens,” the letter said.
Over a hundred protestors from several cities, including Montreal, the Greater Toronto Area, and Ottawa converged in Ottawa on Sunday, August 20, to shed light on the “urgency of addressing human rights violations in India and combating the rise of Hindutva (Hindu supremacist) extremist ideologies in Canada”.
Protestors proceeded to Parliament Hill and then to the Prime Minister’s Office to symbolically deliver a joint letter with over 80 organisational signatories, including the South Asian Diaspora Action Collective, South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy, Alternatives International, Canadian Council of Indian Muslims, Hindus for Human Rights—Canada, Indian Civil Watch International, International Council of Indian Muslims, Justice for All Canada, SADAN – South Asian Dalit Adivasi Network- Canada, among others. The protest was organised by an alliance of 20 diaspora organisations and diverse community partners from across Canada.
The protest demonstrated that the concerns for minority rights and equality extend beyond borders, serving as a reminder that collective action remains essential in safeguarding these values, said a press release issued by organisers.