Parade float of Indira Gandhi assassination in Brampton slammed by Indian government

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Published June 8, 2023 at 1:25 pm

Video of a parade float celebrating the assassination of Indian PM Indira Gandhi in Brampton is being condemned by the Indian government.

A parade float in Brampton recreating the assassination of Indira Gandhi is being called out by India for the “glorification of violence.”

Members of the local Sikh community held the annual Sikh Martyrdom Parade in Brampton on Sunday, but one float in the parade is causing a backlash online and around the world.

India’s only female Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi was killed by her bodyguards at her official residence in New Delhi in 1984 and triggered rioting by Hindu supporters against Sikhs in northern India.

Video of a float which appears to depict a recreation of the 1984 murder of the former Indian prime minister at the hands of her bodyguards has been circulating online, leading the Indian High Commission in Ottawa to reportedly send a letter condemning the incident to Global Affairs Canada.

The parade entry featured three manikins – one wearing a white dress covered in fake blood, and two more of men wearing turbans and carrying guns, the video shows.

The event is being slammed by current and former Indian politicians and has caused an uproar online.

“I am appalled by reports of an event in Canada that celebrated the assassination of late Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi,” said
Cameron MacKay, High Commissioner for Canada in India. “There is no place in Canada for hate or for the glorification of violence. I categorically condemn these activities.”

The Sikh Martyrdom Parade, also called Nagar Kirtan, is a religious tradition that has been regularly practiced by Brampton’s Sikh community. The word “Nagar” means “town or neighbourhood,” while “Kirtan” is a term describing the singing of hymns.

There have been tensions in recent months between different segments of Brampton’s Indian community connected to the controversial Khalistan movement and referendum – a nonbinding vote asking Sikhs whether or not they believe Punjab should become its own independent country, known as Khalistan, and separate from India.

India’s External Affairs Minister said the incident on Sunday is not good for relationships and Canada, according to media reports in India.

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