IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


9th June, 2023 International Relations

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  • Around 700 Indians, mostly from Punjab, are facing deportation from Canada due to fake documents provided by their immigration agent.
  • A parade held in Brampton, Ontario, Canada included a controversial tableau that depicted the assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Deportation of Indians from Canada over Fake Documents

  • Around 700 Indians, primarily from Punjab, are facing deportation from Canada due to fake documents provided by their immigration agent.
  • Punjab Minister of NRI Affairs, Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal, sought the intervention of Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, who assured assistance from the Ministry of External Affairs and the Indian High Commission in Canada.
  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has assured that each case will be evaluated individually, and the affected individuals will be given an opportunity to present their case.
  • The issue came to light in March when the affected individuals applied for permanent residency and were informed by the Canadian Border Security Agency (CBSA) that their college admission letters were fake.

Reasons for Action Delay:

  • It is unclear why action was taken months after the matter came to light in March.
  • The affected students have been protesting outside the CBSA headquarters since May 29, engaging in an "indefinite sit-in" to protest against their deportation.

Details of the Case:

  • The affected students obtained admission offer letters from a Jalandhar-based agent named Brijesh Mishra, who is now facing a police case and has gone missing.
  • Mishra's firm, Education Migration Services, charged the students large sums of money to process their documents and provided them with forged admission offer letters.
  • Many students were asked to switch colleges upon arrival in Canada, as Mishra claimed that the original college's seats were filled or suggested another college would be a better fit.
  • The affected students were unaware that their offer letters were fake because they generally trust their agents and do not verify the authenticity of the documents.
  • Changing colleges after arriving in Canada is allowed, so the students informed the relevant authorities about their new college details.

Actions Taken:

  • The license of Mishra's agency has been canceled, and the Jalandhar police have filed a case against him and two accomplices.
  • The role of Canadian embassy officials who granted visas based on the fraudulent letters is also being investigated.

Parade in Canada Depicting Indira Gandhi's Assassination

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  • A parade held in Brampton, Ontario, Canada, included a tableau depicting the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
  • The tableau showed a female figure in a blood-stained white saree with turbaned men pointing guns at her, accompanied by a poster reading "Revenge for the attack on Darbar Sahib."
  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar expressed disapproval and questioned the space given to separatists, extremists, and advocates of violence in Canada.
  • Congress leader Milind Deora condemned the parade and emphasized the need for respect for a nation's history and the pain caused by the assassination.

Khalistan and Canada:

  • Khalistan, the movement for a separate Sikh state, has been a global movement since its inception.
  • Canada has been considered a safe haven for Khalistan supporters and individuals accused of terrorism in India.
  • Canada's Sikh population, which accounts for 2.1% of the country's population, is the largest Sikh population outside of India.
  • Not all Canadian Sikhs support Khalistan, but the movement finds resonance within certain sections of the Sikh diaspora.
  • The movement's support within the diaspora is rooted in historical events and lack of connection to the current realities in Punjab.
  • Support for Khalistan has dwindled over the years, but a small minority continues to advocate for it to maintain political influence.
  • Geo-political factors, such as support from countries like China and Pakistan, play a role in keeping the Khalistan movement alive.

About Khalistan Movement

Background of the Khalistan Movement:

  • The Khalistan movement aims to establish a separate Sikh state called Khalistan.
  • The movement originated in the 1970s and 1980s in Punjab, India.
  • The first declaration for a separate Sikh state was made in the United States in 1971.

Support for Khalistan in the Sikh Diaspora:

  • The movement finds resonance among certain segments of the Sikh diaspora living in countries like Canada, the US, and the UK.
  • The diaspora includes individuals who chose to leave Punjab, particularly during the peak of the movement when the Indian state took strong actions against Khalistani separatists.
  • Memories of the past and historical grievances have kept the movement alive among some members of the Sikh diaspora.

Resonance of Khalistan within the Sikh Population in India:

  • Support for Khalistan within the Sikh population in India has significantly diminished over time.
  • Ground realities in Punjab today differ from the circumstances during the peak of the movement.
  • The movement is sustained within the diaspora due to a lack of connection to the current situation in Punjab.

Role of External Support for Khalistan:

  • The Khalistan movement has received material support from external sources, including countries like Pakistan and China.
  • Chinese-made RPGs were found in the possession of Khalistani militants during the insurgency in Punjab.
  • Some countries tolerate, subsidize, and assist the Khalistan movement as a means to destabilize India.

Canada as a Hub for Khalistan Supporters:

  • Canada has been considered a safe haven for Khalistan supporters and individuals accused of terrorism in India.
  • The Canadian Sikh population, particularly in places like Brampton, has been associated with the Khalistan movement.
  • Canadian politicians have faced criticism for pandering to Sikh extremists due to their significant voting power.

Condemnation and Concerns:

  • The Indian government has consistently expressed concerns about anti-India activities and urged Canada to take action against such activities.
  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar condemned a parade held in Brampton, Canada, which depicted the assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
  • Many individuals, both within India and abroad, have called for universal condemnation and a united response against extremism.


Q) Canada hosts one of the largest Indian diaspora, this has led to regionalisation of Indo-Canadian politics. Discuss. (250 words)