The golden dome of the gurdwara (Sikh temple) Guru Nanak Darbar stands out among the small houses lined up, typical of Canadian suburbia. In this suburb of LaSalle, located south of the island of Montreal, Quebec’s largest religious shrine of northern Indians, founded in 2000 to house some 23,000 Sikh Indians living in la Belle Province, is almost airborne. from a foreign enclave on Canadian soil: as in any embassy, flags in the country’s colors flutter in the wind. Except for those who pass by the giant white building emblazoned with the name “Khalistan”, claiming a country that does not exist. Only a minority of Sikh nationalists, in India or in the diaspora established abroad, continue to claim full sovereignty over this region, which includes what is now Punjab, on the Indo-Pakistan border.
By claiming to have “credible elements” proving the involvement of the Indian government in the murder, on June 18, on Canadian soil of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian Sikh who belonged to the organization Sikhs for Justice, which was instigated by the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, on September 18. diplomatic storm between Ottawa and New Delhi. India has called out these allegations “absurd” and ask for evidence; he took the opportunity to repeat his own criticism, accusing Canada of being a haven for Sikh separatists who, he said, threatened its territorial integrity.
In Montreal, leaders of the Guru Nanak Darbar gurdwara make no secret of their activist commitment. Chattar Singh Sani, general secretary of the religious building which also serves as the association’s centre, is nostalgic for the Sikh Empire, which has been gone since the mid-19th century.e century. The 79-year-old, sporting a long white beard, was also a fierce critic of the Republic of India, whose legitimacy he questioned, having betrayed, he said, after independence, in 1947, the promise of protection given to the Republic of India. the country’s Sikh minority.
The parents denied advocating any violent actions and claims “good Canadian”the simple right to freedom of expression. “Punjab is landlocked in a sea of Hindus like Quebec is surrounded by the British, but here, Quebecers have the right to express their aspirations for independence, sometimes even through referendums., he explained, while we are systematically treated as terrorists. »
“I have to be wary of everyone”
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