Some of the media and other attacks on Singh border on racism

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NorthReport
Some of the media and other attacks on Singh border on racism
alan smithee alan smithee's picture

REally? Is there an example? Or are they not kissing his ass as much as you'd like them to? If you mean media that are still talking about Singh's relation with Sikh Seperatists or him being connected with possible terrorists,of course the some media are going to continue talking about it.

But I agree that there are other things for media to focus on. Like the petulant childish filibuster the Conservatives are doing. THAT should be covered and covered for what it is. Childish and a lame stunt to show they are the carbon copy of the American Republican Party.

Why isn't that reported for what it is insterad of focusing on certain parties relation to India. (which is an insignificant country that means nothing...It's not like it was the US or even China)

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

alan smithee wrote:

REally? Is there an example? Or are they not kissing his ass as much as you'd like them to? If you mean media that are still talking about Singh's relation with Sikh Seperatists or him being connected with possible terrorists,of course the some media are going to continue talking about it.

But I agree that there are other things for media to focus on. Like the petulant childish filibuster the Conservatives are doing. THAT should be covered and covered for what it is. Childish and a lame stunt to show they are the carbon copy of the American Republican Party.

Why isn't that reported for what it is insterad of focusing on certain parties relation to India. (which is an insignificant country that means nothing...It's not like it was the US or even China)

Singh has no connections with terrorists and you know it.  He supports an independent Khalistan because that's what the vast majority of Indian Sikhs support and due to the manifest injustices the Indian state has inflicted on Sikh people.  He doesn't owe it to Canada to oppose every independence movement on the planet.

SocialJustice101

Does the public know it though?  Was it wrong to ask JFK about his Catholicism?  Is it wrong to ask politicians about any secondary citizenships they might have.   I think that's a fair game.   The voters have the right to question where their leaders' loyalties lie.     Even the Royal Family went through similar questions.

lagatta4

Social Justice, if the Royal Family went through that, it was because Edward and Wallis were Nazi sympathisers.

SocialJustice101

lagatta4 wrote:

Social Justice, if the Royal Family went through that, it was because Edward and Wallis were Nazi sympathisers.

Yes, they were.  But the whole family had to address those questions, including the Queen.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

SocialJustice101 wrote:

Does the public know it though?  Was it wrong to ask JFK about his Catholicism?  Is it wrong to ask politicians about any secondary citizenships they might have.   I think that's a fair game.   The voters have the right to question where their leaders' loyalties lie.     Even the Royal Family went through similar questions.

Actually, it WAS wrong to ask JFK about his Catholicism.  There was no reason to imply, in 1960, that a Catholic could not be trusted to place her or his loyalty to country before their loyalty to the Vatican.  There was never any possibility that a Catholic president would simply take orders from Rome.  The question was and is a standing insult to about 30% of the U.S. population.  

6079_Smith_W

It was wrong to ask Kennedy about his Catholicism, but not surprising given the legacy of KKK propaganda and  what happened to Al Smith. Wrong because it had nothing to do with being allegedly soft on terrorism.

As for Singh's treatment, I am sure some of it does border on racism, but it is also a fair question to ask where he stands on the issue, especially if he is going to appear at events where there are people promoting those ideas. Really it is a question he should have anticipated, and not spent so much time waffling on.

It isn't just the white media who have questions:

http://vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/douglas-todd-sikhs-air-mixed-...

As Ujjal Dosanjh points out, Singh's religion and race have also been a shield from more serious scrutiny.

Cross posted with you Ken. Yes, When it comes to religious discrimination, the Catholics haven't had it as bad as Jews, and more recently Muslims, but it has been mainstay of Anglo Protestant society for hundreds of years. I have even read opinions that Kennedy's win was more of a shock for some than Obama's.

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

It was wrong to ask Kennedy about his Catholicism, but not surprising given the legacy of KKK propaganda and  what happened to Al Smith. Wrong because it had nothing to do with being allegedly soft on terrorism.

As for Singh's treatment, I am sure some of it does border on racism, but it is also a fair question to ask where he stands on the issue, especially if he is going to appear at events where there are people promoting those ideas. Really it is a question he should have anticipated, and not spent so much time waffling on.

It isn't just the white media who have questions:

http://vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/douglas-todd-sikhs-air-mixed-...

As Ujjal Dosanjh points out, Singh's religion and race have also been a shield from more serious scrutiny.

Cross posted with you Ken. Yes, When it comes to religious discrimination, the Catholics haven't had it as bad as Jews, and more recently Muslims, but it has been mainstay of Anglo Protestant society for hundreds of years. I have even read opinions that Kennedy's win was more of a shock for some than Obama's.

 

Indeed.  And I've argued that the restrictive immigration quotas imposed by the U.S. under the Immigration Act of 1924 could and should be called "The Catholic and Jewish Exclusion Act", as the late 19th century restrictions on immigration from another group were known as "Chinese Exclusion".

Agreed that a lot of groups other than Catholics had it far worse.  And we can assume that, had Bernie Sanders won the Democratic presidential nomination, he would have faced a horrific barrage of antisemitic filth from the Trump campaign.

brookmere

6079_Smith_W wrote:
It was wrong to ask Kennedy about his Catholicism

It was wrong because, in his own words, he was a Democrat who happened to be a Catholic. Singh is a self-styled Sikh nationalist. He can't speak politically as a Sikh and then not expect further questioning about how his religion affects his politics.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Can you expand on the difference between "happened to be" and "self-styled"?

Did Kennedy attend Mass?  Take sacraments?  Put money in the collection plate?  I'm not sure how Catholicism "just happened" to Kennedy, like getting the measles.

6079_Smith_W

It was wrong because it had no bearing on his doing the job. If he had been a politician who let his religion creep into his policies it would be fair game, as it is with many on the religious right.

But the root of those who opposed Kennedy was long-standing anti-Catholic discrimination. In fact it was Kennedy's election that broke it. And unfortunately not that long after that Catholics joined some of their former persecutors as part of the religious right.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Catholicism_in_the_United_States

voice of the damned

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Can you expand on the difference between "happened to be" and "self-styled"?

Did Kennedy attend Mass?  Take sacraments?  Put money in the collection plate?  I'm not sure how Catholicism "just happened" to Kennedy, like getting the measles.

Well, I think the more pertinent distinction(and possibly what Brookmere was getting at) is between "a religious politician whose faith does not dictate his political positions" and "a religious politician whose faith does dictate his political positions". I'm going partly here by his use of the phrase "speak politically as a Sikh" to describe Singh's positions.

That said, if you don't like politicians pandering to religious sensibilities on political issues, it probably shouldn't matter how devout his faith is, or even if he has the faith at all. A Christian politican endorsing Sikh nationalism for electoral reasons would be as much of a problem as a Sikh politician endorsing it for religious reasons.

https://tinyurl.com/y9feo69a

Granted, the US party system being what it is, I don't think the esteemed gentleman from North Carolina was bound by the same party strictures that a Canadian MP is, and was thus at more liberty to free-lance. Point is, you don't need to be a Sikh to be allied with Sikh separatism.

 

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
It was wrong because it had no bearing on his doing the job. If he had been a politician who let his religion creep into his policies it would be fair game, as it is with many on the religious right.

I completely agree.  I'm not suggesting that Kennedy was somehow beholden to the Pope of Rome or anything.  I just wondered how his faith magically dropped on his head one day, whereas Singh's faith must be cultivated and nurtured or whatever.

Quote:
But the root of those who opposed Kennedy was long-standing anti-Catholic discrimination.

I suppose if I was nominally raised anything, it was Catholic.  Neither of my parents had enough real faith to fill a thimble, but for the brief time that we attended religious services, they were Catholic.  But even as a kid I wondered why Catholics seemed to get up the nose of non-Catholics.  I'm not talking about altar boys or Quebec or whatever.  More like why "Chick Tracts" always drew Catholics the same way they drew Satan.

Is it because they have a Pope?  So everyone can just assume that Catholics ignore God and follow the Pope?  Or does it go back 400 years?

Meanwhile, nobody would question why an American politician does whatever some "preacher man" whose "church" is a 50,000 seat stadium wants.  Because he's not "the Pope of Rome"?

 

brookmere

Mr. Magoo wrote:
Can you expand on the difference between "happened to be" and "self-styled"?

"Happened to be" means you were raised as something. "Self-styled" means you chose a political position as an adult, i.e religious nationalism.

The issue is not Kennedy's religion or Singh's religion or any politician's religion or how religious any of them are. Kennedy expressly said that his politics did not represent his religion. Singh has said that Sikhs are a people with the right of self-determination, which is an overt politicization of his religious beliefs.

brookmere

Mr. Magoo wrote:
Meanwhile, nobody would question why an American politician does whatever some "preacher man" whose "church" is a 50,000 seat stadium wants.  Because he's not "the Pope of Rome"?
Nobody except - well the whole "liberal establishment", the Democratic Party, and those who vote for them. Who comprise the majority of Americans.

voice of the damned

Magoo wrote:

Is it because they have a Pope?  So everyone can just assume that Catholics ignore God and follow the Pope?  Or does it go back 400 years?

I think there is something to that. John Calvin in Geneva burned people at the stake for holding incorrect theological opinions, but Calvinists don't seem really bothered by that; heck, even Catholics don't mention it too often when enumerating the wrongs of Calvinism.  Probably because Calvin doesn't occupy quite the same status as the Pope does for Catholics.

Also, the Catholic Church is more centralized, and also bigger, than most protestant denominations. So, the license to kill heretics was coming directly from Rome, and was being applied on a wider basis, than things like local witch-burnings in this or that protestant jurisdiction.

Plus, at least in the USA and to a lesser extent Canada, Catholics were associated with immigrant populations who drank too much, spoke in strange accents or languages, and, most importantly, competed for jobs with the "natives". So that likely enhanced the animosity a little as well.

 

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Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
It was wrong because it had no bearing on his doing the job. If he had been a politician who let his religion creep into his policies it would be fair game, as it is with many on the religious right.

I completely agree.  I'm not suggesting that Kennedy was somehow beholden to the Pope of Rome or anything.  I just wondered how his faith magically dropped on his head one day, whereas Singh's faith must be cultivated and nurtured or whatever.

Quote:
But the root of those who opposed Kennedy was long-standing anti-Catholic discrimination.

I suppose if I was nominally raised anything, it was Catholic.  Neither of my parents had enough real faith to fill a thimble, but for the brief time that we attended religious services, they were Catholic.  But even as a kid I wondered why Catholics seemed to get up the nose of non-Catholics.  I'm not talking about altar boys or Quebec or whatever.  More like why "Chick Tracts" always drew Catholics the same way they drew Satan.

Is it because they have a Pope?  So everyone can just assume that Catholics ignore God and follow the Pope?  Or does it go back 400 years?

Meanwhile, nobody would question why an American politician does whatever some "preacher man" whose "church" is a 50,000 seat stadium wants.  Because he's not "the Pope of Rome"?

 

In North America, anti-Catholicism was always essentially a cover for xenophobia/anti-immigrant prejudice-the U.S. didn't have a significant Catholic population until the large waves of Irish and German immigration that occurred in the 1840s and 1850s(which were then augmented by large waves of Southern European Catholic immigration later in the century).  I'm assuming that, with the exception of Quebec and Nova Scotia, Canada also developed a significantly larger Catholic population on the same waves of mid-19th century immigration.

6079_Smith_W

That difference in political reality is a testament to Quebec's status as a nation (and there was plenty of anti-French and anti-Catholic discrimination here too). We had a Catholic head of government in 1842. By contrast, despite the high  Catholic population in the U.S. they were shut out from federal power until Kennedy's win.

And many people forget that the first Europeans and Metis in western Canada were Francophone and Catholic. Certainly the oldest settler communities were.

 

JKR

6079_Smith_W wrote:

That difference in political reality is a testament to Quebec's status as a nation (and there was plenty of anti-French and anti-Catholic discrimination here too). We had a Catholic head of government in 1842. By contrast, despite the high  Catholic population in the U.S. they were shut out from federal power until Kennedy's win.

And many people forget that many of the first Europeans and Metis in western Canada were Francophone and Catholic. Certainly the oldest settler communities were.

 

Kennedy is still the only Catholic president and John Kerry has been the only Catholic major nominee for president since Kennedy was president.

6079_Smith_W

And I had never even heard about the Al Smith Dinner until the Hillary and Trump roast:

https://cruxnow.com/commentary/2016/10/31/debate-al-smith-dinner-lets-no...

Sorry, we're kind of drifting.

voice of the damned

JKR wrote:

6079_Smith_W wrote:

That difference in political reality is a testament to Quebec's status as a nation (and there was plenty of anti-French and anti-Catholic discrimination here too). We had a Catholic head of government in 1842. By contrast, despite the high  Catholic population in the U.S. they were shut out from federal power until Kennedy's win.

And many people forget that many of the first Europeans and Metis in western Canada were Francophone and Catholic. Certainly the oldest settler communities were.

 

Kennedy is still the only Catholic president and John Kerry has been the only Catholic major nominee for president since Kennedy was president.

I think at this point, though, that's just more to do with luck-of-the-draw than with any significant anti-Catholic sentiment. I really don't think that Kerry lost because he was a Catholic. The major fault line in the US is still race, and if enough people were willing to shrug that off in order to elect Obama twice, I'm pretty sure a Catholic would have just as good a chance, assuming the stars were otherwise aligned for his candidacy(which they obviously weren't for Kerry.)

An interesting historical irony is that the US had a Catholic Chief Justice in the 19th Century. That guy wrote the pro-slavery decision Dred Scott, which likely played a significant role in pushing the country toward civil war. Pretty major "accomplishment" that, but some people were still worried by 1960 that a Catholic POTUS would inflict unprecedented horrors upon the Republic.  

voice of the damned

Smith:

You may find this book to be of interest...

https://tinyurl.com/ybc2svt6

McGirr argues that the liberal cultural alignment of the Democratic Party began with Al Smith, as ethnic minoties and blacks began drifting toward the Dems in 1928, not just during the New Deal. Also, Prohibition represented a bridge between the Progressive Era and the New Deal, in terms of governmental expansion.

 

 

cco

voice of the damned wrote:

An interesting historical irony is that the US had a Catholic Chief Justice in the 19th Century. That guy wrote the pro-slavery decision Dred Scott, which likely played a significant role in pushing the country toward civil war. Pretty major "accomplishment" that, but some people were still worried by 1960 that a Catholic POTUS would inflict unprecedented horrors upon the Republic.  

If the Supreme Court is an indicator, it's interesting to note that before Scalia's death, the Court had zero Protestants on it, and was composed entirely of Catholics and Jews. Remarkable that the American Protestant Ascendancy would let such a thing happen.

JKR

All the members of the current Supreme Court except for Neil Gorsuch are either Catholic or Jewish and Neil Gorsuch was raised Catholic. Gorsuch replaced Scalia who was Catholic.

voice of the damned

@ CCO and JKR

Yes, in fact, I remember during a period of a vacant seat(after Stevens quit, I think), Bill Clinton(by then an ex-prez) exlplicitly mentioning in an interview that the US was very close to having a totally de-protestantized high court. It almost seemed as if he thought it his duty to warn against this eventuality. (Not that he himself did anything to get prots on the bench.)

 

JKR

Both of Clinton's Supreme Court appointments are Jewish, Ginsberg and Breyer.

6079_Smith_W

Yes, they didn't used to like Mormons either because they were even more of a threat (and one of the earliest cases of a European faith actually being burned out). Still, even Eisenhower chose Ezra Taft Benson as Secretary of Agriculture, and George Romney, who was in Nixon's cabinet, sought the Republican nomination even though he was born in Mexico.

Thing is, since the rise of the moral majority the Catholic right, establishment Mormons, and others are now part of the political fold. To nudge this back on topic, governments have always courted religious and cultural communities.

We tend to be more mistrusting of those communities if we don't understand them. And we are more suspicious if it is someone else's religion. Fact is in Canadian politics the party with the most direct links to churches is the NDP, but we don't find that threatening because they are predominantly white mainstream faiths. The problem isn't that a member of the clergy can't be a politician; it is whether that faith becomes a way to push religious or political dogma.

As that article about reactions to Singh's leadership campaign within the Sikh and south Asian Community points out, these relationships are complicated.

NorthReport

Gian Singh Sandhu memoir shows what set stage for Justin Trudeau being embarrassed in India

 

Gian Singh Sandhu’s new book, An Uncommon Road: How Canadian Sikhs Struggled Out of the Fringes and Into the Mainstream, helps in understanding real reasons behind controversies that dogged Justin Trudeau’s recent visit to India in February, as well as NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh's past involvement with Sikh activism. 

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One of the founders of the World Sikh Organization (WSO) and a B.C. businessman, Sandhu provides background on the hostilities of the Indian state toward Sikh activists in Canada.

The book also offers insights into India's mostly cold relationship with a country that's often portrayed as safe haven for Sikh separatists.  

Trudeau received an unfriendly reception and bad press during his visit to India mainly because Indian politicians and the media in New Delhi continue accusing the Canadian government of being soft on Sikh extremists.

This has been occuring since the 1980s.

Not only have Indian leaders repeatedly raised concerns about the supporters of a Sikh homeland of Khalistan who are living in Canada, Trudeau has been accused of patronizing Sikh politicians with links to leaders of the Khalistan movement.

The fathers of two Sikh ministers, Harjit Singh Sajjan and Navdeep Singh Bains, were associated with the WSO that Sandhu cofounded. Sajjan is also related to Sandhu.

The presence of former Khalistani militant Jaspal Singh Atwal—now a changed man in the mainstream of society—on the list of those invited for dinner with Trudeau in New Delhi became a big embarrassment for Canada.

However, it was the Indian government that gave a visa to Atwal, raising speculation that this could have been part of a grand design of Indian agencies to sabotage Trudeau’s visit.

Justin Trudeau and Jaspal Atwal (right) each attracted tremendous criticism during the prime minister's recent trip to India.

Justin Trudeau and Jaspal Atwal (right) each attracted tremendous criticism during the prime minister's recent trip to India.

MEDIA WAVES COMMNICATIONS

A B.C. resident, Atwal recently issued a statement in Vancouver to set the record straight and assert that he is a proud Canadian of Indian heritage and regrets his actions in the past.   

Likewise, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has repeatedly come under criticism for his past involvement with Sikh activism, especially with groups seeking justice for repression of Sikhs in India.   

The Khalistan movement has its roots in the ugly political events of the early 1980s.

The mainstream Sikh leadership of Punjab, India, was fighting for equal rights for the minority Sikh community and political autonomy for Punjab and other states through democratic means.

The situation escalated out of hand with the emergence of a parallel extremist group that believed in an armed resistance against injustice.

Gradually, the movement turned violent and death squads began killing innocent Hindus and political critics in Punjab.

Under those circumstances, the Golden Temple Complex, the holiest shrine of the Sikhs in Amritsar, became a battleground. Accusing the militants of turning the place of worship into a fortress, then Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi ordered a military attack on the shrine in June 1984.

An army invasion left many innocent pilgrims dead and buildings heavily damaged. This enraged Sikhs all over the world, including Vancouver, where there was a huge demonstration.

https://www.straight.com/news/1046086/gurpreet-singh-gian-singh-sandhu-m...

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White populist feminism makes intersectionality nearly impossible

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/2017-02-21t000000/white-populist-feminis...

Coldwell Coldwell's picture

[Moved to another thread]

NorthReport

The world is changin' white boys, so get used to it!

And by-the-way if you want to know if someone is being racist against Sikhs, stop asking the white boys, and start asking the Sikhs. 

Douglas Todd: An inside view of Canadian Sikhism

http://vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/douglas-todd-sikh-psychothera...

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
And by-the-way if you want to know if someone is being racist against Sikhs, stop asking the white boys, and start asking the Sikhs.

Who is this Douglas Todd fellow you linked to?

Is he Sikh, NorthReport? 

On a scale of "yes" or "no".  If the answer isn't "yes" then I think you might have just told yourself to STFU.  Like when one of the mods banned himself!

NorthReport

 

Maybe white boys need to stop pontificating on Sikhs and other who look different than them

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-jagmeet-singh-and-the-importance-of-positive-moral-alternatives/

Sean in Ottawa

NorthReport wrote:

 

Maybe white boys need to stop pontificating on Sikhs and other who look different than them

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-jagmeet-singh-and-the-importance-of-positive-moral-alternatives/

It is indeed a serious thing to lump Mr. Singh in with extremists in presumptions.

It is also a serious thing to lump people fairly asking questions in with racists. Consider what that article included:

"Certainly, it’s fair game to ask Mr. Singh and anyone else who has the privilege of holding political office in Canada about his views. It’s also fair game to ask Mr. Singh about his foreign-policy positions regarding one of Canada’s key allies, India. In the process of doing so, though, we can respect him as a person who is invested in Canada’s laws and our democracy. We can say it’s good that he attends rallies and other events where young Sikh men will benefit from seeing that fighting for your community doesn’t require violence. We can allow Singh to stand tall amongst our in-betweeners and promote a national identity that includes them as Canadians."

And this is the point that I am making. Questions about his intentions towards advocacy are probably more legitimate than the questions he answered with respect to violence. I certainly did not doubt that Singh was in favour of non-violence. However questions about his interactions with people who do not share his non-violence are not being answered. More important, his intentions about peaceful advocacy, during his role as leader, with respect to this movement and a country, India, that is important to Canada, are not private, even if his opinions about a homeland at some point in the future may be.

The refusal of legitimately expected answers to legitimate questions, is damaging as it provides real fuel to those who wish to ask the questions that are not legitimate. The delays in answering these have the same effect.

It is unreasonable to say to NDP members and supporters that they cannot ask these legitimate questions if they happen to be white.

6079_Smith_W

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

It is indeed a serious thing to lump Mr. Singh in with extremists in presumptions.

It is also a serious thing to lump people fairly asking questions in with racists.

Yup. Yes there is most certainly some racism in the coverage of him. But as the leader of a major party who has shown up at events where that ideology is present, it is fair to ask him where he stands on the issue. Doubly so because it concerns the politics of a country we consider an ally, but which has been doubtful of our committment. So it isn't just white guys who are interested in the question.

 

 

progressive17 progressive17's picture

I don't in any way consider India to be an ally.

NorthReport

Canada has huge racist issues, much, much bigger than most Canadians willing to admit, and the denial only makes it worse 

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2018/04/11/celebrated-indigenous-law-school-dean-resigns-claiming-systemic-racism.html

progressive17 progressive17's picture

The racist apartment leasing manager who says the building is full.
The racist person looking at your resume.
The racist person looking at your bank loan application.
The racist person looking at your application for social assistance.
The racist person looking at your business proposal.
The racist TA marking your philosophy paper at school.
And of course, the racist police officer with a gun.

The problem is not just racists, but that racists have power. Canada was founded by racists, and the racist method of dealing with indigenous people (known as "The Indian Act") was copied by South Africa and is by Israel. I hope you are proud to be from Canada, the country which invented Apartheid.

Rev Pesky

Well, proud or not, I wasn't given a choice as to where I was from.

NorthReport

Nations once inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi have now gone to their killers

https://www.straight.com/news/1057596/gurpreet-singh-nations-once-inspir...

Sean in Ottawa

NorthReport wrote:

Nations once inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi have now gone to their killers

https://www.straight.com/news/1057596/gurpreet-singh-nations-once-inspir...

There is a parallel here but to say they are the same would not be true. The US goverment is one that might not even survive a full mandate.

As pessimistic as you can be about the US there are more causes for optimism there as a backlash could reverse the recent trend. This does not mean that the Democrats represent that much progress from the past but pointing to Trump's election is not a fair comparison to what has happened in India.

While the BJP is a first time government, they hold a remarkable lead in opinion polling that is not matched in the US.

NorthReport

Sikh Perspective Too Often Missing From Canadian Coverage Of Sikhs

Some veteran reporters show outright hostility, as if their 30-year-old notes have finally become topical again, and they can dust them off for one more go.

http://www.canadalandshow.com/sikh-perspective-missing-from-canadian-cov...