Hot Take: Jagmeet Singh
Originally Published on Medium - March 27, 2018
When Jagmeet Singh was first elected as the leader of the Federal NDP party, he was asked in an interview by Terry Milewski on the CBC. In that interview, he was repeatedly questioned about the Air India Bombing from the 1980s. Many people, including Singh himself, said that line of questioning was racist.
The logic, as it is called, goes like this: if Jagmeet was not Sikh, he would not be asked about the bombing. So the fact that he was asked about it is racist. While on the surface, that might seem sensical, I assure you it is not.
Justin Trudeau and Andrew Scheer were not asked these questions when they were elected federal leaders. That is because these issues were not of relevance to them. They had not had a history of talking about various Indian and Sikh issues, whereas Jagmeet Singh had. This has only become more and more clear as videos have surfaced of him at Sikh separatist rallies and the like.
While I do not know the long history of India and desired Sikh separatism, what I do know is that it is not of a concern to many Canadians. It is Jagmeet Singh that has it important to him, so he was asked about it. That is no different than if a Quebecois is asked particularly about Quebec separatism, if you are associated with a cause, that becomes associated with you.
Singh has also recently called for the Canada to recognize the anti-Sikh violence from 1984 a genocide. Maybe Canada should, I don’t know. But what I do know is that this is one of the first major lines I have heard from a Canadian Federal party leader. I hope he doesn’t follow Justin Trudeau’s footsteps and think that social policies and stances are what Canadians feel is important.
The bottom line is, the average Canadian is not impacted by these things. If Singh wants to be asked about what he will do for Canada, perhaps he should talk about what he will do for Canada.