OTTAWA: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday said that he supports Indian farmers who are currently staging protests against the Indian government in Delhi.
The PM was speaking to the Sikh community living in Canada via a video link on the occasion of Guru Nanak’s birth anniversary.
According to Geo News, farmers from the Punjab province of India are unhappy with new legislation related to farms introduced by the government for which they have been staging protests in the Indian capital of Delhi since September.
“I would be remiss if I didn’t start by recognising the news coming from India about the protest by farmers. The situation is concerning. We are all very worried about family and friends,” he said.
“We know that’s a reality for many of you. Let me remind you, Canada will always be there to defend the rights of peaceful protesters. We believe in the process of dialogue. We’ve reached out through multiple means to the Indian authorities to highlight our concerns. This is a moment for all of us to pull together,” said the Canadian Prime Minister.
PM Trudeau has always been vocal about the issues of other countries and worldwide communities. Last month, he said that while free speech is a fundamental right, it is “not without limits” and must not arbitrarily or unnecessarily hurt those living in communities.
“We will always defend freedom of expression,” Trudeau said in response to a question about the blasphemous cartoons by a French magazine depicting Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
“But freedom of expression is not without limits,” he added. “We owe it to ourselves to act with respect for others and to seek not to arbitrarily or unnecessarily injure those with whom we are sharing a society and a planet. We do not have the right for example to shout fire in a movie theatre crowded with people, there are always limits.”
India did not like Trudeau’s comments very much as external affairs ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, “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. It is also best that diplomatic conversations are not misrepresented for political purposes,” he said.
Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi took to Twitter and said, “touched by your concern but India’s internal issue is not fodder for another nation’s politics. Please respect the courtesies that we always extend to other nations.”