Following the attack on the prominent temple in Canada's Brampton, which was vandalised with anti-India graffiti, Indian-origin Member of Parliament in Canada, Chandra Arya, condemned the attack and raised the issue of ‘hate-crime’ in the Canadian parliament on Wednesday.
Raising the issue in the Parliament, Arya said, “Hindu Canadians are deeply pained by the rising Hinduphobia in Canada." Calling it an “alarming trend,” he called upon Canada to stop rising hate-crimes against Hindus.
My statement in Canadian parliament today on the recent hate crime on Gouri Shankar Hindu Mandir in Brampton pic.twitter.com/8RX92dYjxQ— Chandra Arya (@AryaCanada) February 1, 2023
Earlier of Tuesday, he said, "The attack of Gauri Shankar Mandir in Brampton is latest in attacks on Hindu temples in Canada by anti-Hindu and anti-India groups. From hatred on social media, now physical attacks on Hindu temples, what next? I call on govt at levels in Canada to start taking this seriously."
The attack of Gauri Shankar Mandir in Brampton is latest in attacks on Hindu temples in Canada by anti-Hindu and anti-India groups.— Chandra Arya (@AryaCanada) January 31, 2023
From hatred on social media, now physical attacks on Hindu temples, what next?
I call on govt at levels in Canada to start taking this seriously.
The founder and priest of the Gauri Shankar temple in Brampton urged the Indian government to revoke the passports of all those involved in the anti-India activities in Canada.
The Indian Consulate General in Toronto said the defacing of the temple had deeply hurt the sentiments of the Indian community in Canada.
"We have raised our concerns on the matter with Canadian authorities," the consulate office said in a statement on Tuesday.
Priest alleges Khalistani involvement
Dhirendra Tripathi, who has been living in Brampton city for more than two decades, also demanded stern action from the Canadian authorities against those who on Monday vandalised the temple with hate-filled messages directed towards India, causing an outrage among the Indian community.
According to Tripathi, the vandalisation of the Gauri Shankar Temple, committed by anti-social elements, took place on Monday night.
The priest said there were no cameras in the street where the perpetrators wrote hateful messages on the roadside wall of the temple.
"We urged that the Indian government consider revoking passports and not issuing visas to Canadian passport holders involved in anti-India activities so that they will not be able to return to India ever," Tripathi told PTI.
"Khalistanis have caused fear among us. They have become emboldened and the community is uncertain about their next actions. Canadian authorities should take stern steps to curb their activities,” Tripathi added.
The Ayodhya-born priest of the Brampton temple believes that “Canadian law needs to be strengthened to better deal with anti-social elements”.
“Law is too flexible and should be revised to effectively tackle such activities,” he stressed.
The Canadian authorities are currently investigating the vandalisation, which is not an isolated incident. In the past seven months, at least three similar acts of vandalism have been recorded in Canada.
Brampton mayor Patrick Brown, condemning the defacing, said: “This hateful act of vandalism has no place in our city or country. I have raised my concerns over this hate crime with Peel Regional Police chief Nishan Duraiappah. Everyone deserves to feel safe in their place of worship.”
Last September, the Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement condemning the rise of hate crimes against Indians and anti-India activities in Canada, expressing their concern with stern language.
Statistics Canada reported a 72 per cent increase in hate crimes based on religion, sexual orientation, and race between 2019 and 2021.
This has led to increased fears among minority communities, particularly the Indian community, which is the fastest-growing demographic group in Canada, accounting for almost four per cent of the population.
(with PTI inputs)