Bill before Canada’s Parliament to ban the sale and display of symbols
Toronto (Canada) – A private members Bill, tabled by National Democratic Party MP Peter Julian in the 1st week of February, which has the support of party leader Jagmeet Singh, has infuriated the Indo-Canadian over ‘demonization’ of a sacred symbol of the community. It was brought after such symbols were seen at the first weekend of the truckers protest against cross-border vaccine mandates, during which protesters laid siege to the Canadian capital of Ottawa.
India’s Consul General Apoorva Srivastava said India has formally flagged this issue to Government of Canada and shared with them the petitions received from Canadian groups in this regard. He was responding to Toronto-based rights Advocate Ragini Sharma, according to whom, those who revere the Swastika – including Hindus, Buddhists and Jains – found ‘deeply hurtful’ the remarks by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alluding to ‘the inherent violence of the Swastika’.
Canadian MP Chandra Arya from Liberal Party, is likely to raise the matter in the House of Commons. His office said that he was very concerned on the plans to ban Hindu sacred symbol Swastika. He is taking the lead to stop this from happening.
Advocate Ragini Sharma also said there was a campaign to oppose the Bill as it would ‘criminalise the Swastika’. “The campaign is against the incorrect linking of The Nazi HakenKreuz or hooked cross to the Swastika. We need Canadians to be educated about the differences and to understand that the Swastika has nothing to do with Nazi hate symbol”.
One of the participants, Neema Manral said they are demanding that the Swastika word be removed from the Bill and replaced with Nazi symbols. “How can we not have a Swastika displayed at home or in a temple ?” she asked.
In a letter to all MPs and Senators, copied to Trudeau and other federal party leaders, National Association of Indo-Canadians President Azad Kaushik said the umbrella body strongly opposes the Bill as it would infringe upon the rights of Hindus, Jains and Buddhists to freely and publicly practice their religion”.