Calls to add Hinduphobia to Brampton’s anti-racism policy after hate crimes


Published March 2, 2023 at 2:48 pm

brampton temple vandalized
Photo via Google Maps

Brampton’s Hindu community feels unsafe in the wake of racist vandalism and wants more attention given to Hindu hate or phobia.

There have been two recent incidents at Hindu temples in Peel Region that are raising the alarm.

Temple priests at Shri Gauri Shankar Mandir on Queen Street in Brampton found hateful graffiti on Jan. 30. The word Khalistan was written on the temple, which is connected to a Sikh separatist movement seeking to create a homeland for Sikhs.

And last month Ram Mandir in Mississauga was targeted with hateful graffiti.

“The community has been traumatized by such attacks on their institutions and, religious and cultural identity,” said Vijaykumar Jain, secretary for the Canadian Organization For Hindu Heritage Education in a presentation to Brampton council on March 1.

“Hindus are feeling unsafe.”

Jain said 20 per cent of Brampton’s population are Hindu and there is a rise in Hinduphobia or Hindu hatred in Canada, especially in Peel region.

He asked that Brampton consider adding Hinduphobia to the city’s anti-racism policy much like there are mentions of Islamophobia and antisemitism.

“I don’t think it is a big ask to add Hinduphobia,” said Brampton Ward 7 and 8 Councillor Rod Power.

Jain’s request follows two previous delegations requesting action on Hindu hate from Nayan Brahmbhatt and Jiteshkumar Tripathi at Brampton’s Committee of Council meeting on Feb. 22.

Brampton Wards 1 and 5 Councillor Rowena Santos said racism and hate have no place in the city but she noted it is important communities work together to end hate against any religious faith.

“We need to be accepting and embrace all forms of worship and all forms of faith together as a community,” said Santos.

Wards 3 and 4 Councillor Martin Medeiros agreed and suggested council should look into a more encompassing statement to address hate against all faith-based groups.

Mayor Patrick Brown suggested the wording shouldn’t be Hinduphobia, which implies a fear of Hindus. The word Hindu-hate might be a better word, Brown said.

In the end, council voted in favour of staff bringing a report forward on the anti-racism policy.

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