'The experts have no idea what they're talking about': Trudeau courts disaster with India, and the Indian diaspora
Rupa Subramanya of the Free Press joins Acceptable Views to discuss Trudeau's latest India fiasco, and the dangers of normalizing a violent separatist movement.
It’s 7:14 a.m. on June 23, 1985, when Air India Flight 182, en-route from Montreal to London, disappears from radar. The fuselage is found vivisected 120 miles off the Irish coast. Of the 329 souls onboard, 268 Canadian citizens served as explicit collateral damage.
Eight of the bodies recovered showed signs of having been thrown from the plane at 30,000 feet. 25 showed injury patterns from explosive decompression. 21 were found with their clothing having been ripped off their bodies. A pregnant woman was found with water in her stomach and her uterus. The unborn child died from drowning.
The majority of the victims from Southern Ontario were Hindus.
The still-to-this-day worst terror attack in Canadian history held up as the world’s deadliest act of aviation terror until September 11th, 2001.
The multi-part, trans-national conspiracy, which included a botched early detonation at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport, was carried out by British-Canadian nationals, and hatched on Canadian soil.
The Canadian government had been warned by the Indian government that such an attack by Khalistani separatists — who were fighting to claim the state of Punjab as a separate home for Sikhs — was imminent.
The Canadian government did not act.
“I have a million problems with India. I’m seen as a [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi critic. I’ve written about and covered the many problems inside his government, and his ecosystem came after me. But having said that, what’s happening here is truly problematic. Concerns about the Khalistani separatist movement are entirely justified.”
What was supposed to be a ten-minute phone call has turned into an hourlong free-flowing chat with Rupa Subramanya, a friend of the Substack, and the finest independent journalist this country has ever produced.
Ever generous with her time, Rupa was kind enough to hop on the line to answer questions from yours truly, hours after her *actual* ‘expert’ analysis didn’t make the cut for the state broadcaster.
Given her astonishing and empathetic work during the Freedom Convoy protests, it’s no real surprise she was eighty-sixed for holding inconvenient, or, shall we say, “unacceptable views,” which is exactly why she was the right person to talk to following Trudeau’s decision to announce allegations of a murder plot inside Canada, carried out by the Indian government against an organizer for the Khalistani movement, which has left Canada at odds with the world’s largest democracy, and our allies reticent to support Trudeau’s sudden interest in tackling foreign interference when it better suits him.
In a week where the prime minister returned to the House, greeted by a self-made crisis on every front, wherein he smashed the big red abortion button the moment he was first pressed on millions of Canadians suffering under Developing-World-levels of infrastructure, affordability, and availability failures, desperation was expected, but not quite like this.
It was one thing for Trudeau to get out ahead of a likely Globe piece that was set to reveal allegations of India’s actions, it was another thing to throw a spanner in the works of relations that had already soured in the aftermath of 1985, and turned rotten during Trudeau’s tenure of tickle trunks, turbans, and take-your-kid-to-work-day.
With the countries now trading travel advisories, following Trudeau’s “Monday melodrama,” to borrow from Terry Glavin, this doesn’t end well for Canada abroad.
“Canada is unique in having alienated both China and India,” Rupa continues.
“Every other allied nation has been courting India for investment. We’ve put all our allies in an incredibly awkward position to choose us or India. For all their faults, the Biden administration understands realpolitik. They’ll choose India as a global strategic partner over Canada. These talking heads on the TV applauding the PM’s move… ‘the experts’… have no idea what they’re talking about.”
But what this signals at home is far worse.
“For any sensible Indo-Canadian who is not beholden to a certain kind of narrative, this has been a concern for a very long time. Now it’s been escalated.”
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