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Canada's Defence Minister made an important point on his Sikh identity but the media ignored it
By: Barfi Culture Team
Published: 26th March 2018

On Saturday, Canada's Minister of National Defence, Harjit Sajjan MP, was interviewed by CTV on a range of issues including army presence in the African country of Mali.

But in a key moment during the interview, host Evan Solomon asked if he thought racism was part of the reason there was such a furore around Sikh separatism in Canada. There have been a number of stories in recent weeks focusing on Sikh separatism after Trudeau's trip to India.

Harjit Sajjan was born in India and came to live in Canada at the age of five. He previously worked as a detective for Vancouver Police and served as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Canadian Armed Forces.

Here is how that segment of the interview went:

Harjit Sajjan: "I think there are people out there that that look at certain groups [of people] in a certain way, and I know that's still there. And we need to tackle that."

Host: "If someone said 'would you condemn Talwinder Singh Parmar?' - for you, is that easy to do?"

Sajjan: "It is easy for me in fact. I can easily do that. But how many times do I have keep saying that, for me, to be considered Canadian? Think about this way. People see me now as a Defence Minister. Me getting question, 'where do you stand', right?"

"So what if somebody says, 'you know what, if I become a police officer maybe people will consider me as a Canadian. Or what if I joined the military right, then maybe I can be trusted and considered as a Canadian.' Well hell, I've done both."

"If they see me, that I've done both. I'm a minister now right? And I still can't be believed, what does it take for them?"

His point was obvious.

Calling Sikhs 'Khalistani separatists' is a way for many to question the loyalty of all Canadian Sikhs. It implies they are more interested in settling in India than living in Canada as citizens. Sajjan was branded a 'Khalistani' in India despite his long record of serving Canada.

If even Sikhs such as Harjit Sajjan are treated with suspicion, what chance do other Sikhs have?

Barfi Culture checked to see if these remarks were picked up by the Canadian media and found only HuffPo Canada had reported them.

CTV ignored those remarks entirely. So did CBC and other outlets.

WATCH (via @Mukhbir_)



Article published on 26th March 2018 in the Media section




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