March 8, 2018 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Jalandhar (IP Singh, ToI): Relations between Conservative MP Deepak Obhrai, who represents Calgary Forest Lawn constituency of Alberta in the Canadian parliament, and some members of the Sikh community there appear to be worsening after the episode of controversial motion mentioning “Khalistani terrorism” and “united India”. With Obhrai already facing criticism, now the Gurudwara Dashmesh Cultural Society, Calgary, has announced to rescind the invitation sent to him for the ‘Khalsa Day Parade’ or Nagar Kirtan (town procession).
The ‘Nagar Kirtan’ is taken out to celebrate Vaisakhi festival and thousands of Sikhs participate in the procession. The decision to rescind the invitation was announced by president of the gurdwara management panel Ranbir Singh Parmar in a congregation on Sunday, in which he also mentioned the motion. The video of Parmar’s announcement is being widely shared on social media platforms.
It was after their intense lobbying with Conservative MPs and Sikh leaders of the party that the motion was put on hold. On March 3, Obhrai posted on his official Facebook page that he had come under attack from a few individuals from the Sikh community “in reference to his stance on the unity of India and on the term genocide”.
“It is very important to respect the difference of opinions and not go for personal attacks. I have been a strong supporter of the Sikh community and have always advocated for their success….My electoral success has been based on the support from all communities, including the Sikh community…I point to the case of Harcharan S Parhar who lives outside my riding, who came to my office seeking help to get an Indian visa, which I facilitated,” he posted.
“As such, any person who attacks me on this issue of being anti-Sikh can expect legal action for defamation,” he warned on his FB page.
He has removed the post as he did with his earlier two posts – one which announced about bringing the controversial motion and giving his schedule of speaking about it in Canadian parliament and the other about the motion being put on hold for at least two weeks.