The Sikh community in Canada, especially youth have been at the forefront of creating a peaceful movement to address human rights violations, with a focus on the Punjab region of India. But, along with the struggle for human rights in the Sikh Diaspora is always a concern of a foreign hand attempting to damage and malign those that a shine a spotlight on the deepest and darkest secrets of human rights violators.
In recent months the Sikh Diaspora has seen a patterned response to their call for social justice. First, denial of allegations, evidence and witness testimony, then when this has failed a recharge of the propaganda machine that attempts to equate human rights and social justice activism to terrorism.
The Government of India has been a master of this propaganda but with a strong peaceful diaspora and vigilant monitoring by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International their repeated attempts to hide government involvement in genocide, corruption, extra-judicial killings, political arrests, detentions and torture have become more frequesntly exposed and their propaganda machine has hit a wall – until the latest development, that is.
In an email leaked by members of the corporate world, it appears as though the Consulate General of India is now desperately infringing upon the privacy rights of Canadians in their attempt to spam the corporate world with unsubstantiated anti-Sikh propaganda via email.
How? Well, it is being alleged by some that the Consulate General of India, when taking applications for Business Class Visa’s, requires all to provide a business card and/or personal information. Members of the corporate world are concerned that this requirement is being used to collect data such as email addresses which are archived into a database and are then used to disseminate biased and unsubstantiated propaganda entitled “articles of interest”.
In one of the most recent spam emails, the Indian consulate has included an oddly placed article that deviates from the normal business, economic and financial news it regularly sends out. For example, in the October 10th, 2012 distribution of it’s email, hundreds if not thousands of corporate executives and business women/men were sent an email alleging that Babbar Khalsa International (a banned terrorist group in Canada) was making a comeback in Canada by targeting Sikh youth.
The email further went on to claim that Babbar Khalsa cells were active and circulating fake footage of Massacre Bluestar. Of course, their source for this information was none other than the Indian Intelligence Agencies, that regularly practice torture and have a substantiated history of interfering in the affairs of Sikh Canadians. (See testimony of foreign interference here)
What is concerning is that the email containining this purposely damaging information against Sikhs had its propaganda peice conveniently located as the first article in the email.
Irrelevant to their normal distribution and clearly targeted at powerful corporate executives, its intentions appear to have been motivated by an attempt to malign the Sikh identity and create suspicion of young sikhs applying for jobs in the corporate world; a clear attempt to curtail the progression of the Sikhs in Canadian society. Further, the email offered no real ability to substantiate the claims and no indication where and if this footage existed, or if law enforcement agencies in other countries are/were concerned.
The release ironically, also comes at the heel of a strong democratic and peaceful town hall organized by the Sikh community, which challenged the Conservative Party of Canada’s Foreign Minister John Baird regarding his comments of “Sikh Terrorism” in Canada. When asked to comment on Bairds remarks, all three parties agreed that there was no substantiated indication that such extremism was on the rise.
It is also important to note, such mailings have never included the thousands of news articles about various Hindutva Terrorism, the discovery of unmarked mass graves found in the Kashmir valley, or violent actions carried out by non-Sikh groups.
Here is an excerpt from the email sent by the Consulate General of India – Toronto:
|From:||“Consulate General of India – Toronto” <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
|To:||“Consulate General of India – Toronto” <email@example.com>|
|Date:||10/10/2012 04:21 PM|
|Subject:||Articles of interest - 10 Oct 12 – Pt.2|
1) Babbar Khalsa International plans comeback with ISI help, Rediff, 10 Oct 12
2) India: Competitor, or source of future American growth?, Global Post, 3 Oct 12
3) Panasonic to make India manufacturing hub; to start exports, Hindustan Times, 30 Sep 12
4) India calling, Hindu, 29 Sep 12
October 10, 2012 16:21 IST
After efforts to resurface in Punjab [ Images ] failed, the militant outfit is making efforts to indoctrinate India-origin youths from US, UK, Canada [ Images ] and Germany [ Images ]. Vicky Nanjappa reports.
There has been much talk about the ongoing efforts of terror outfits to revive militancy in Punjab, especially after the recent attack on Lieutenant General (retired) Kuldeep Singh Brar, the man who led Operation Blue Star [ Get Quote ] in 1984.
High alerts have been issued against two outfits — the Babbar Khalsa International and the Khalistan Commando — and the Intelligence Bureau officials say that they have been operating globally in a bid to revive themselves.
The movement launched by the BKI has found more sympathisers abroad as compared to India [ Images ]. The idea is to keep the movement afloat and what the BKI had realised that it needs to generate more funds in order to keep their operations going.
According to intelligence inputs, Wolverhampton and Birmingham in the United Kingdom are the main hubs of the BKI overseas. These cities have been acting as landing points for the terror funds, most of which are generated in Canada.
The last decade has seen a steep rise in the BKI sympathisers, especially after the outfit gave up on the use of violent method to collect ‘donations’.
The BKI may have given up the use of arms to collect terror funds, but a fact that cannot be overlooked is that a large part of its control rests with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence.
A team of ISI officials operates out of Wolverhampton, which looks into the international operations of Pakistan’s spy agency. The BKI has relied heavily on the ISI since it was driven out of Punjab.
Over the years, several reports by the Intelligence Bureau and the Punjab police have suggested that the BKI has taken the help of the ISI to re-group.
While the United Kingdom and Canada have active modules of the BKI, another one has been recently set up in Germany. This group sets targets and coordinates operations. The recent attack on Lt Gen Brar was planned in Germany and was later executed in UK, say sources.
Indian agencies however point out that several attempts by the BKI to revive its operations in Punjab have failed. They are not getting the required support from the locals, who are averse to violence. Hence, the BKI is testing its luck overseas, an Intelligence Bureau official pointed out. However, this too needs to be curbed as they could start creating trouble in other nations, he added.