Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wished people of the Hindu community on the occasion of Navratri amid the political tensions between India and Canada.
Trudeau’s Navratri wishes came a month after he dropped a bombshell on September 18, stating his government suspected India’s involvement in Canadian citizen and Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s killing on June 18 in British Columbia.
In his Navratri wishes, Trudeau said Navratri offers all Canadians an opportunity to learn more about Hinduism’s rich history and culture. He stated, “Navratri is one of the most important and sacred festivals in the Hindu faith, commemorating the victory of the goddess Durga over the buffalo-headed demon Mahishasura and the triumph of good over evil. Often seen as a celebration of feminine energy, it is a time for friends and family to come together and honour century-old traditions with prayers, joyous performances, special meals, and fireworks.”
Trudeau called diversity one of Canada’s greatest strengths in his official statement. The Canadian PM said Navratri “offers an opportunity to learn more about the rich history and culture of Hindu communities and to recognize their invaluable contributions to Canada’s social, cultural, and economic fabric.”
“On behalf of my family and the Government of Canada, I extend my best wishes to everyone celebrating Navratri this year,” he said.
From October 15 to October 24, Hindus will celebrate Navratri, a nine-night festival honouring Goddess Durga.
After Trudeau’s accusations that the Indian government has dismissed as “absurd” and “motivated,” the tensions between India and Canada are at an all-time high. “We have seen and reject the statement of the Canadian Prime Minister in their Parliament, as also the statement by their Foreign Minister. Allegations of Government of India’s involvement in any act of violence in Canada are absurd and motivated. We are a democratic polity with a strong commitment to rule of law,” the Ministry of External Affairs of India said in a statement.
India and Canada have expelled each other’s high-ranking diplomats. India has also suspended visas for Canadians. Furthermore, New Delhi has asked Ottawa to decrease its diplomatic presence in India.
After the tensions between India and Canada escalated, Trudeau said he was not looking to worsen the matters with India. He aims to engage in responsible and constructive discussions to resolve the issue.
In a post on X on October 10, the Canadian PM condemned Hamas’ attack on Israel. He expressed his support towards Israel and addressed Ottawa’s Jewish community.
(With inputs from agencies)
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