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    'Ill-informed', 'unwarranted': India on Canadian PM Trudeau's farmers' protest comments

    Synopsis

    Canadian PM Justin Trudeau joined some of his ministers and other parties to "express concern" about the protests by farmers against recently enacted laws on farm trade, stating that these concerns had been conveyed to the Indian government.

    India hits back at Canadian PM over his remarks on farmers' protest, calls 'Ill-informed and unwarranted'
    NEW DELHI: India pulled up Canada on Tuesday for remarks on the farmers' protests, saying such comments were uncalled for.

    "We have seen some ill-informed comments by Canadian leaders relating to farmers in India. Such comments are unwarranted, especially when pertaining to the internal affairs of a democratic country," ministry of external affairs official spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said. "It is also best that diplomatic conversations are not misrepresented for political purposes."

    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined some of his ministers and other parties to "express concern" about the protests by farmers against recently enacted laws on farm trade, stating that these concerns had been conveyed to the Indian government.

    Trudeau made the remarks while participating in a Facebook interaction organised by Canadian MP Bardish Chagger to mark Gurpurab, or the 551st birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism. He was joined by Canadian ministers Navdeep Bains, Harjit Sajjan and members of the Sikh community.

    "I would be remiss if I didn't start also by recognising the news coming out of India about the protest by farmers. The situation is concerning and we're all very worried about family and friends," Trudeau said in his opening remarks. "I know that's a reality for many of you. Let me remind you, Canada will always be there to defend the right of peaceful protest. We believe in the importance of dialogue and that's why we've reached out through multiple means directly to the Indian authorities to highlight our concerns."

    Trudeau also said it was important to remember Guru Nanak's teachings of compassion, equality and selfless service, which were central to both Sikhism and Canadian values.


    Sikhs make up for about 1% of Canada's population, but they are a dominant ethnic group and wield significant political influence. Since 2015, there have been 18 Sikh MPs elected to Canada's 338-seat House of Commons.

    India-Canada ties had been rocked previously by the Trudeau government's proximity to those supportive of the separatist Khalistan movement, but had stabilised in recent times.

    British MP joins row
    Meanwhile, British Labour Party MP Preet Kaur Gill was quoted as expressing shock at the "scenes from New Delhi."

    "Farmers are peacefully protesting over controversial bills that will impact their livelihoods. Water cannons and tear gas are being used to silence them," she had said.

    Trudeau's remarks come in the backdrop of Canada, along with the US and the European Union, questioning India's agriculture trade practices and farmer-friendly policies at a recent meeting of the Committee on Agriculture of the World Trade Organization.

    Canada sought details of the PM-KISAN programme under which income support of Rs 6,000 per year is provided to small and marginal farmer families.

    "Could India clarify who is eligible for this programme and what are the criteria that determined eligibility for a payment? Could India indicate if payment levels are determined by income of producers and if so, what is the defined and fixed base period used to define eligibility?" Canada asked.

    Canada also expressed doubt over the eligibility of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, a crop insurance scheme, as a permitted subsidy under WTO.
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    18 Comments on this Story

    srinivasan ranganathan46 days ago
    Trudeau is not remise but going amiss by encouraging radicalism and pandering to their demands of interference in the affairs of other nations where there is an ensuing peaceful dialogue. It is fun to poke your nose in others affairs and shows Canada as being intrepid but it does not take long for his folly to hurt his own country. Trudeau need not have to go very far to know the consequences of fanning radicalism. Pakistan is a typical example of a nation that nurtured radicalism which turned into terrorism in other countries but finally came back to haunt Pakistan itself. Trudeau is thinking he is killing two birds at the same time,namely, of taking revenge for being cold shouldered by India and placating the Sikh leaders for support. But Canada will regretfully realise the folly of feeding a monster called radicalism when the shoe is on the other foot.
    Ganesh Kumar50 days ago
    agreed every country should allow its people to protest peacefully, but its left far good for the country men to handle their own works, we cant call canada to join us to solve our problems, same way we cant join them to solve canada problems, in the long run our own interests our country men interests will fade away looking up for other countries who have their own to mention a few white supremacy, corporate welfare wishing, we believe in down trodden people and their individual works so we will sort our own poor sovereign issues.
    Dsri Sub50 days ago
    Do not know if Trudeau heard the other side. He is seen as torch bearer for sikh cause so more likely spoken on domestic influence. Not sure if he spoke on protest in HK etc. He should hear both sides before commenting. Not sure if he gave equal hearing. Would he have spoken if only Maharashtra or Tamilnadu is impacted? Why is he silent on Tamil issues line Neet which opposition is dead against on TN?
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