Thursday, June 1, 2023
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Are the Sikh protesters becoming powerful across the globe?

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sikhs, sikh, sikh protest, khalistan, sikhs, farmers, us, sikh protest in india

Be it Indian farmers’ protests or now in Canada the trucker’s agitation, the Sikh protests are successful enough to force respective governments to bow down to their demands. Similar to how roads leading to Delhi were blocked due to the long-standing farmer protests on its borders from November 2020 to December 2021, thousands of protesters gathered in Canada’s capital to protest vaccine mandates, masks and lockdowns. They are protesting against a new rule requiring truckers entering Canada be fully immunized against the coronavirus.

The Canadian Trucking Alliance said a great number of the protesters have no connection to the trucking industry. No one knows where these people got in agitation and disrespecting Canadian monuments. Some parked on the grounds of the National War Memorial and danced on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, others carried signs and flags with swastikas and some used the statue of Canadian hero Terry Fox to display an anti-vaccine statement, sparking widespread condemnation.

The convoy of truckers and others prompted police to prepare for the possibility of violence and warn residents to avoid downtown. A top parliament security official advised lawmakers to lock their doors amid reports their private homes may be targeted. Trudeau has said Canadians are not represented by this “very troubling, small but very vocal minority of Canadians (Sikhs).

Over the weekend, hundreds of truckers drove their giant rigs into the Canadian capital Ottawa. This so-called “Freedom Convoy” — coming from east and west — started out as a rally against a vaccine requirement for cross-border truckers, but has turned into a demonstration against government overreach during the pandemic with a strong anti-vaccination streak. The streets of Ottawa’s city center were packed with trucks as the blaring, non-stop honking of dozens of air horns filled the air.

Protesters compared vaccine mandates to fascism, one truck carried a Confederate flag and many carried expletive-laden signs targeting Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau. The initial motivation for the protest was a new rule requiring truckers to show proof of vaccination when entering Canada, which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government implemented on 15 January. Until then, truckers had been allowed to cross the US-Canada border with few restrictions. The US imposed a similar mandate on 22 January.

But the protest has morphed into a catch-all movement of people angry at public health restrictions meant to control the spread of COVID-19. Fearing the situation, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and his family left their home in the country’s capital and shifted to a secret location. The protests also prompted a top Parliament security official advising lawmakers to lock their doors amid reports their private homes may be targeted.

The movement also received an endorsement from former US president Donald Trump and some Fox News personalities. Social media users in India said that Trudeau is receiving a retribution for supporting the farmer protests in India that lasted for over a year. In December 2020, Trudeau had come out in support of the farmers’ protests. India had then termed it “ill-informed” and “unwarranted”.

 However, not all Sikh leaders in Canada condone the protest, which reportedly has been “hijacked by radical white truckers” opposed to Trudeau for reasons beyond vaccine concerns. Meanwhile, hours into the protest in Ottawa, what started out as opposition against mandatory vaccination for cross-border truckers had grown into the public protesting the Canadian government’s “overreach” in handling the pandemic, including a demand to repeal all public health measures. The rules in the US are irrelevant once you arrive at an international border. If Canada or Mexico says that all foreign nationals need to be vaccinated in order to cross the border, then all foreign nationals need to be vaccinated in order to cross the border.

Some statements by protestors included threats of violence and a call to overthrow Trudeau’s government. Same as Indian farmers threatened to throw out the Modi government. Be in Sikh protests in Canada or be it Sikh protests in India, somewhere this community has grown so huge in their protesting mechanism that they can create unrest in any nation where they are a minority? Or some outside interests want to create the illusion of equal pressure on both sides of the border. American truckers are 50% unvaccinated, compared to 10% to 15% in Canada, so American truckers would gain bigly if they could get the border restrictions changed. Plus, it stands to reason that there must be 10x more American truckers than Canadian ones, given that there are 10x more people in the USA.

Could it be that Canadian truckers are actually taking cross-border work away from Americans? In any case, I keep wondering who benefits from the protest because it sure isn’t the truckers. Some big shipping company like Amazon or FedEx? or some giant retailer like Walmart? The puzzling appearance of US Civil War flags and the inexplicable blaming of Antifa for the petty vandalism seems very unCanadian to me. People fail to realize that if Canada/American Truckers go on strike, there will be more deaths than COVID, Truckers are the backbone of any country. If the day comes when they don’t deliver supplies, like food or medicine people will die and there will be chaos. So, it would not be in the best interest of anyone to start with them. There is a shortage of drivers already.

In India also there was similar argument, farmers are the backbone of the nation, of the protest who will provide us grains and vegetables? People will soon be dying of hunger and poverty. Crores of rupees were spent on demoralizing the protesters, and millions of funding came from various sources to support the agitators. Agitations are the right of people but motives need to be clear.

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Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Taman an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with three Honourary Doctorate in Journalism. Vaidehi has been an active journalist for the past 21 years, and is also the founding editor of an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, and The Democracy digital video news portal is her brain child. Vaidehi has three books in her name, "Sikhism vs Sickism", "Life Beyond Complications" and "Vedanti". She is an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, OSCP offensive securities, Certified Security Analyst and Licensed Penetration Tester that caters to her freelance jobs.
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