A petition for the recognition of Hinduphobia in Canada that was presented to the House of Commons a few months back has now received more than 25,000 signatures, surpassing the required 500 for it to be referred to the government for a response.
Launched on July 19, the petition seeks to define Hinduphobia and include it in the Human Rights Code to address systemic discrimination against Hindus, Hinduism, or Hinduness. It was sponsored by MP Melissa Lantsman, deputy leader of Canada’s Conservative Party, and initiated by the Canadian Organisation for Hindu Heritage Education.
Hinduphobia gained prominence in Canada following a video by the secessionist group Sikhs for Justice, targeting Canadian Hindus of Indian origin. Several incidents of temple desecration with pro-Khalistan graffiti have also drawn attention to Hinduphobia in the country. Advocates hope that Parliament will introduce legislation recognising and addressing Hinduphobia in Canada.
The petition, e-4507, read the recognition of “Hinduphobia” as a term in the glossary of terms in the Human Rights Code to describe the anti-Hindu prejudice and discrimination.
The petition garnered more attention after the circulation of a video of the secessionist group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) where its legal counsel Gurpatwant Pannun said, “Indo-Hindu leave Canada, go to India.”
This video was in reference to the killing of SFJ’s principal figure Hardeep Singh Nijjar on June 18. His killing also became a major reason for the spat between India and Canada. On September 18, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau claimed that there were “credible allegations” of a potential link between the crime and Indian agents.
Other than the video, there were many anti-Hindu movements going on in Canada.
Hindu groups are hopeful that the feeling is shared by Ottawa and that it would introduce legislation in this regard before the House.