Showing posts with label Canada. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Canada. Show all posts

Sunday, October 01, 2023

The India Canada Misunderstanding

If Punjab were not in India and Pakistan but in Canada, like Quebec is, there would be a referendum. Quebec and Scotland have the option to break away and become independent countries. But India does not have that provision. India is a much larger European Union that works. Only a few years ago India got rid of taxes at state borders. It was said it was like India finally managed an economic union.

For India a breakup means partition. That was a hugely bloody event. Punjab becoming an independent country is not an option.

And it is not like a large section of Sikhs in India are clamoring to become a separate country. The opposite is true. Those who advocate a separate country are small in number, and suggest an armed path. That roadmap is not available, but can lead to much meaningless violence. So to India the whole issue feels like a fight against terrorism, something its arch nemesis Pakistan specializes in. Government agencies in Pakistan openly coordinate with terrorist organizations. To them it feels like an asymmetrical war. There is a large gap otherwise between India's army and Pakistan's army, India's economy and Pakistan's economy, India's prospects and Pakistan's prospects.

And it is not like Pakistan is ready to let go of the Punjab inside its borders. But many in the Pakistani establishment daydream of India's Punjab some day becoming India's Bangladesh.

Free speech should be protected. If there are Sikhs who would like to argue Punjab should become its own country, they, of course, should be allowed to do so. There are a dozen such arguments inside India today. As long it is peaceful free speech, it is tolerated inside India itself. So, no, this is not a free speech issue. India is the largest democracy. I don't think people running India struggle to understand free speech and peaceful protest.

But threatening violence, and organizing violence, and coordinating violence, and fundraising for violence all meet the defintions of terrorism. They meet the definitoins of domestic terrorism inside the US. India's gripe is the Canadian government seems to tolerate such acts.

There is no provision in the Indian constitution for Punjab or any other territory to organize a referendum and gain independence. Punjab is no Quebec. But that is not the issue. The issue is terrorism. Most Sikhs inside Canada are not clamoring for an independent Khalistan. But there is a vocal minority that seems to drown out the rest. It is basic democratic decorum to also listen to the silent majority.

Sikhs might be numerical minorities. Operation Blue Star was unfortunate. The anti-Sikh riots after Indira Gandhi's assassination were wrong and criminal. But Punjab is one of the richest states in India. Sikhs have had outsize influence inside India. There have been Sikh Prime Minister and President of India. That can not be said of most similar numerical minorities inside India.

A separate country called Punjab is not likely. But a Sikh Prime Minister of Canada is only a matter of time. It is not possible to create a country where only Sikhs are citizens. But if Canada gets a Sikh Prime Minister some day, its very own Manmohan Singh, then that would be a remarkable achievement for the Sikh community, and a major footnote to the illustrious Sikh history.

The Sikhs were at the forefront of the Indian independence movement. Punjab bore the brunt of the violent India-Pakistan partition. The Sikhs are the most visible component of the Indian Army. Sikhs live everywhere in India. And Sikhism is like a bridge religion between Hinduism and Islam.

If Jagmeet Singh's party wins more seats than Justin Trudeau's party in the next election, Trudeau's party would be the junior partner in the next government.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Trade War Endgame Scenarios: Look At Canada, And North Korea For Hints

Trump creates a crisis where there was none. The trade deal with Canada costs "us billions and billions of dollars and must be torn apart," or something along those lines. People get worried. Because, I guess, you do need trade. Jobs are at stake. In this day and age, how do you walk away from trade with your neighbor? Step two is he sends the top negotiator in the world to the negotiating table. As per Donald Trump, that would be him. Step three is, you end up with more or less the same deal that you had before, with slight tweaks. He claims victory. And that is the key point. That "victory" is important to him. There was no victory. You negotiated more or less the same deal that was in place before. What victory!

That was also the playbook on North Korea. He creates a crisis. He goes to the UN and threatens to wipe out North Korea from the map of the earth. There are newspaper articles about how long it might take a North Korean missile to hit Los Angeles. Step two is he sends the top negotiator in the world to the negotiating table. As per Donald Trump, that would be him. You get the drama in Hanoi. Nothing happens. He claims victory. And that is the key point. That "victory" is important to him. There was no victory. The whole world could see in real time there was no victory. No, North Korea did not agree to denuclearize. The whole world saw that part on live television. But then the difference between a bullshitter and a liar is a liar knows he is lying.

If this is the playbook also on China, and one is hard pressed to think any other playbook is even available, then we are in the first phase. We are in crisis. There might be a 2008 repeat if this goes too far. We might see a prolonged recession. Prices might shoot up. Entire sectors of the economy might get wiped out. Rember the missile hitting Los Angeles? We are in that territory right now. But do not be surprised if Donald Trump pulls a rabbit out of the hat when he meets Xi Jinping next month in Japan. You never know. We might have a "victory" on our hands.

This is what international relations given the reality TV spin look like. There is drama. There might not be suspense. But there is drama.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Justin Trudeau Is A White Barack Obama

Watch: Justin Trudeau explains the power of diversity

Justin Trudeau perfectly articulates the value of diversity in childhood, not just in the workforce.

Posted by Quartz on Monday, January 25, 2016

Via Brooke Ellison

I can't think of anyone like him either in the US or in Europe. Trudeau is most Obama like on a cosmopolitan outlook. Not that Obama himself is not white.

While America has to put up with a Donald Trump.