NEW DELHI: Amritsar is more important than New Delhi for Canada’s politicians, and since 2003, every Canadian Prime Minister, bar one, has paid obeisance at the Sikh holy city when on a state visit to India.
Consider this: By percentage of population, the number of Sikhs in Canada is almost the same as that of Sikhs in India.
There are some 55 lakh Sikhs in Canada. They comprise 1.5 percent of Canada’s population. And in India, Sikhs make up 1.72 per cent of the country’s total population.
It’s no wonder then that Justin Trudeau
today became the latest in a long line of Canadian Prime Ministers to visit Amritsar and the Sikhs’ holiest shrine, the Golden Temple. As it is, the Canadian PM has more Sikhs in his cabinet than Prime Minister Narendra Modi has.
In fact, Canada has “the world’s most Sikh cabinet”, as the Washington Post described it in a November 2015 article. What’s more, a Sikh – Jagmeet Singh, of the left-leaning New Democratic Party – is also one of the prominent opposition leaders in Canada.