Numerous protests have erupted all across the globe in the past couple of months. Especially during the course of almost the entirety of the previous year, India bore witness to one of the most gargantuan protests post-independence in the form of the Farmer Protests.
The said protests had rocked the entire country and more importantly, it had successfully shocked the Central Government, wherein they finally had to cede to the demands of the protestors.
Protests, in essence, are the lifeblood of what makes living in a democracy so special. The fact that our beliefs and our decisions amount to something makes the usual drudge worthwhile.
One must wonder about how and why a successful democracy would have protested in the first place, however, a successful democracy is always the one where the people have the ultimate power. Thus, the happenings in Canada prove how, at the end of the day, no matter how liberal the government, they will always be afraid of the people wielding power.
What Is Happening In Canada?
Truckers from Canada took to the streets the previous week owing to the Canadian government’s new policy that mandates all truckers passing the US borders to be doubled vaccinated.
Making the vaccination mandatory for all truckers, a vast majority of the truckers looked upon the policy disfavorably, calling it an infringement of their free will. In the North American nations of USA and Canada, the entire concept of being vaxxed has been regarded as a matter of choice, owing to which many have chosen to not take the vaccinations.
The Coronavirus has risen to preposterous limits in the United States of America wherein many still believe that having oneself vaxxed will lead to a few dire consequences. However, as the world bears witness, it is seldom as damning as that.
The vaccine has been declared as fairly effective against the spreading of the virus as it curbs it at the root, however, owing to the virus’ high infection rate, sometimes a double vaccine may not work as efficiently. Yet, as things stand, much of the population still declines being injected with the vaccine.
Owing to the new mandate, which has been agreed to by the American Government as well as the Canadian Government, much of the populace has been displeased with the guidelines. Hence, to show their displeasure, they took to demonstrating in Ottawa, the capital city of Canada, wherein thousands of truckers showed up waving anti-vax banners.
The weekend bore witness to gangs upon gangs of unruly mobs as they stood outside the Parliament buildings. Moreover, the entire scenario had been so jampacked that they flooded the entirety of downtown Ottawa, with their RVs, big rigs and pickup trucks.
The truckers who took to the streets, according to the Canadian Trucking Alliance, were a minority as almost 90% of associated truckers had been vaccinated. Furthermore, it had been established that the protest had become less about the vaccine mandate and more about the numerous COVID restrictions in the country.
Numerous right-wing outfits, reportedly, took up the clarion call of the protest to further their movement against the Canadian government and laws concerning COVID protocols. The CTA, in a statement, elaborated;
“While a number of Canadians are in Ottawa to voice their displeasure over this mandate, it also appears that a great number of these protesters have no connection to the trucking industry and have a separate agenda beyond a disagreement over cross border vaccine requirements.”
However, the fact of the matter that stands is that the Canadian citizens are demonstrating and in that same vein, so are Canadian Punjabis. Punjabis in Canada form a significant part of the trucking industry, controlling about 40% of its entirety. This observational fact is significant for the future of the Indo-Canada relationship in the future.
How Does It Affect India?
Owing to the trucker protests garnering much attention, numerous parallels have been drawn when concerned with how the Canadian government’s actions fall in tandem with the Indian government’s when addressing the woes of the public.
During the course of the farmers’ protest in India, the Centre contended with India’s farmers concerning the three farm laws that had been deemed detrimental to the agricultural sector, posthumously.
During the course of the farmers’ protest, Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, had almost become invisible, disappearing whenever the call for discussions came. In the same vein, the truckers are being forced to see the incapability of their leader, Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister, as he shifted to a secret location to isolate himself because of COVID.
Unfortunately, COVID or not, shifting to a secret location does not exactly bode well with the democratic spirit of the country. Moreover, it only seems much more dastardly to note that Trudeau had supported the peaceful protests in India and yet, he has chosen a ground to hide his face in when faced with one himself.
However, the fact that stands here is that most South-Asian truckers, specifically Sikhs, have already been vaccinated, staying true to the 90% figure portrayed by the CTA.
They had initiated their discontent concerning the state of highways during the winter season, owing to heavy snowfall flooding the streets making it extremely difficult to pass through. A long haul driver, Harmeet Singh Nijher, had said;
“It’s so dangerous out there now with the icy roads and giant potholes…and the drivers want to make sure the government hears them.”
Trudeau failed to address this as well, making them all fall under a “minority fringe” group. It does feel that it hits closer home than it has any right to. Not to say that Indians should go guns blazing at the Canadian government owing to their vaccine mandate.
Rather, it is about how they have enraged and put the Punjabi and South Asian community under jeopardy with their lackadaisical attitude towards getting the highways fixed. Fair to assume that Trudeau has to do a ton to get his biggest supporters back on his side again, much more than that, he has to come out of hiding.
Disclaimer: This article is fact-checked
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This post is tagged under: justin trudeau, Canada, Canada government, protest, truckers, trucker protests, sikhs, punjabis, Punjabi truckers, #farmersprotest, #indianfarmers, farmers dilli chalo, Farmers Protest 2020, anti-farm bills, Deep Sidhu farmers protest, 100 days of farmers protests, vaccinations, coronavirus, covid-19, anti-vax, vaccination policy, pandemic, lockdown