Indian consulate’s scandalous interference in Ontario education curriculum

Ensuring Socio-economic Justice

Crescent International

Dhu al-Qa'dah 09, 1442 2021-06-20

Daily News Analysis

by Crescent International

Canadians of Indian origin protesting outside the Indian Consulate in Toronto against the new agricultural laws that farmers say will undermine their livelihood

The Modi regime’s stifling of criticism of its brutal policies in India has found its way into Canada as well.

The latest example of this brazen interference in Canada’s internal affairs was an attempt by the Indian Consulate in Toronto to censor discussion in Ontario schools of the farmers’ protests in India.

In a letter dated March 11, 2021 sent to Ontario’s Office of International Relations and Protocol, the Indian consulate alleged the material about the farmers’ protests being taught in schools poses a “security threat” and could “poison” relations between India and Canada.

The threatening tone is clearly evident: stop the teaching of material that discusses the farmers’ protests in India or else!

The vast majority of farmers are Sikhs from Punjab and Haryana states, the farming heartland of India.

They launched their protests against new agricultural policies that were rammed through parliament by the Modi regime last August without consultation with the farmers.

The farmers see the new law as undermining their livelihood and facilitating the takeover of their small farm holdings by big corporations that are major donors to Modi’s extremist Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP).

It is widely believed that Indian consulates in Toronto and Vancouver have agents of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India’s intelligence agency, operating under diplomatic cover.

Their primary function is to spy on the activities of people of Indian origin, especially Sikhs, and target them when they visit India.

Both Toronto and Vancouver have large numbers of people of Indian origin.

The consulate’s letter was obtained by the World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) through a freedom of information request made to the Peel District School Board.

It was provided to CBC News.

Crescent International has also obtained a copy.

“I think the letter is quite ridiculous,” said Balpreet Singh, legal counsel for the WSO, which advocates for Sikh interests and human rights.

“The serious accusations being made are completely baseless,” he told CBC News.

He also called it “frightening”.

The right-wing Modi regime “has tried to silence dissenting voices in India using scare tactics and it looks like those attempts are being continued here in Canada,” as well, Singh said.

To its credit, the Peel School Board, that received the letter from the Indian consulate, said in a statement it’s aware of farmers in India exercising “their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.”

Encompassing Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon, the board has refused to prevent teachers from discussing the topic with their students.

“Educators and school leaders are encouraged to take up these discussions with equitable considerations to stimulate inquiry and reflection, and to ensure the inclusion and wellbeing of their students,” the board’s spokesperson Malon Edwards said in an email to CBC on June 18.

Ontario’s Ministry of Education as well as the Office of International Relations and Protocol should tell the Indian consul general in no uncertain terms to butt out.

Canada should not succumb to the pressure tactics of Indian goons.

Nor should Canadian education boards allow Indian censorship of material being taught in schools.

They should also not entertain any nonsensical myths about “Hindu superiority” taught in India’s schools.

Modi and his ilk encourage people in India to drink cow urine and bathe in cow dung broth as “protection” from COVID-19.

That is their lookout.

Such filthy practices will not be entertained in Canada, or anywhere else in the world for that matter.

Indian fascism should be firmly rejected by Canadians and indeed people every where.

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