Is Canadian PM Justin Trudeau Being Ignored During India Visit?

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reached India with his wife and three children on Feb. 17.


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s ongoing India visit is being seen as getting largely snubbed by New Delhi, according to media reports. Trudeau, who is in India for the first time with his family after becoming Canada’s prime minister, was not accompanied by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to his home state of Gujarat, where he reached on Feb.19. Trudeau reached India with his wife and three children on Feb. 17, and visited the Taj Mahal at Agra.

Modi had earlier visited Gujarat with Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Chinese leader Xi Jinping, and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, which is why the current situation has led to speculation that Trudeau is being ignored by the Indian government.

In Gujarat, Trudeau will visit Sabarmati and the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, where he will lead a discussion on “Education and Investment Opportunities.”

The BBC reported on Trudeau’s visit to the Taj Mahal in Agra, saying, “Despite plenty of photo opportunities, including at the Taj Mahal, Mr Trudeau and his family’s tour has been largely ignored by senior members of the Indian government so far.”

To welcome Trudeau, Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare Gajendra S Shekhawat was present at the airport at New Delhi. In Agra, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was not present and neither was any minister.

“Yes, this is a major snub. The fact that a junior minister was sent to receive Mr Trudeau and his family is most definitely a snub,” columnist and economist Vivek Dehejia told the BBC.

Toronto Sun columnist Candice Malcolm too tweeted her views on Trudeau’s India visit and the Indian response to it:

Trudeau will be meeting Modi on Feb. 23 for bilateral talks.

The anti-India pro-Khalistan movement, which is perceived to be simmering in Canada, could be one of the reasons for the seemingly cold response from India.

Trudeau’s cabinet members have also been accused of being pro-Khalistan, a separatist movement that seeks a separate country for Sikhs. However, senior cabinet members, including Canadian Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan and Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi clarified recently that they are not Khalistan supporters.

Sajjan said that Sohi and he “neither sympathize with nor espouse the Sikh nationalist movement, which is bent on creating a separate country called Khalistan in India’s Punjab region,” according to the Times of India.

Meanwhile, former Indian high commissioner to Canada, Vishnu Prakash, said that no protocol was breached in welcoming Trudeau and it can’t be expected of the prime minister to be available to welcome every foreign dignitary.

“It’s not like the prime minister is not going to meet him at all. There is a ceremonial welcome that will be held for him on 23 February and he will meet him there,” he added, according to BBC.

Another source, quoted by NDTV, said that Modi was not present when Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visited Hyderabad last week. However, Modi, who is social media-savvy, has still not tweeted about Trudeau’s visit.

The Canadian PM and his team, meanwhile, have been posting updates from his trip on the social media, that show him and his family having a good time in India:


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