Experts: Mounting tensions between Canada and India

Published: 26 September 2023

Canada has updated its travel advisory for its citizens in India as tensions mount between the two countries over the murder of Canadian Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia. In a recent update, the Canadian government cautioned about the potential for demonstrations and “negative sentiments” toward Canada in the wake of allegations that Indian government agents may be linked to the killing of Nijjar. (Global News)

Here are some experts from McGill University who can provide comment on this issue:

Rupinder Liddar, PhD Student, Department of Political Science

"Following the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the Indian government has yet to confirm their involvement in the matter. Western intelligence has confirmed that Five Eyes intel led to Prime Minister Trudeau's statement to Parliament, with additional threats being made to the lives of U.S. Sikh activists as well. The discussion has intentionally shifted towards Khalistan and equating the movement with terrorism. As tensions remain high, Sikh- and Hindu-Canadians are caught in the middle with discrimination against both communities at a time when there should be solidarity."

Rupinder Liddar is a PhD student in the Department of Political Science. She is affiliated with the Centre for the Study of Democratic Citizenship and serves as a researcher for the Canadian Election Misinformation Project. Her research interests align with Canadian and comparative politics with a special focus on Sikh-Canadian political behaviour.

rupinder.liddar [at] (English)

Frédéric Mégret, Full Professor, Faculty of Law

The ongoing crisis between Canada and India sheds light on the vulnerability as well as the strength of diasporas. Whether it is interference in Canadian sovereign affairs, transnational repression or monitoring of political groups, or the significance of remittances, diaspora communities operate in the fragile space between two countries. As such they raise issues of sovereignty, human rights, and democracy.”

Frédéric Mégret is a Full Professor in the Faculty of Law and a William Dawson Scholar. He is also the co-director of the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism. He has a long-term interest in developing theories about the nature and history of international criminal justice.

frederic.megret [at] (English, French)

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