The Congress on Thursday urged External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to take up strongly with Canadian authorities the issue of a float depicting the assassination of former prime minister Indira Gandhi in a parade in Brampton.
Asked about the incident at a press conference here, Jaishankar hit out at Canada, saying there was a larger underlying issue about the space which is given to separatists, extremists and people who advocate violence.
Earlier, Canadian High Commissioner to India Cameron Mackay said he was ”appalled” by the reports of the event in his country that ”celebrated” the assassination of the Indian prime minister.
”There is no place in Canada for hate or for the glorification of violence. I categorically condemn these activities,” he said in a tweet.
Congress leader and former Union minister Milind Deora shared a purported video, which is doing the rounds on social media, of the float at a recent parade in Brampton depicting Gandhi’s assassination.
”As an Indian, I’m appalled by the 5 km-long parade which took place in the city of Brampton, Canada, depicting the assassination of Indira Gandhi,” he tweeted.
”It’s not about taking sides, it’s about respect for a nation’s history and the pain caused by its Prime Minister’s assassination,” Deora said.
This extremism deserves universal condemnation and a united response, the Congress leader asserted.
Tagging Deora’s tweet, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said, ”I entirely agree! This is despicable and Dr S Jaishankar should take it up strongly with the Canadian authorities.” Responding to Deora’s tweet, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said, ”You are completely right…There should be no politics in condemning this despicable act across party lines.” Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said an Indian prime minister was assassinated by separatist forces and her assassination has been glorified by pro-Khalistan extremists in Canada.
”And all that our govt has done is make this one general comment — without even naming Smt Indira Gandhi. Our national interests and security must be above any political concerns. India must take this up officially with the Canadian government,” Shrinate tweeted.
At the press conference, Jaishankar said, ”Frankly, we are at a loss to understand other than the requirements of vote bank politics why anybody would do this…I think it is not one issue, no matter how egregious it may be. I think there is a larger underlying issue about the space which is given to separatists, to extremists, to people who advocate violence.” ”I think it is not good for the relationship and I think it is not good for Canada,” he added.
Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards in 1984.