The petition to formally recognize Hinduphobia as a form of discrimination has been tabled in Canada’s House of Commons.
Member of Parliament Melissa Lantsman tabled Petition e-4507, which garnered more than 25,000 signatures, on Nov 2.
“Everyone in this country deserves a safe place, free of intimidation, violence, harassment and vandalism to worship, no matter what that looks like,” said Lantsman, who backed the petition.
“Hindus are facing growing negative stereotypes, prejudice, discrimination, at work, in schools and in their communities.”
The petition was initiated by some Hindu organizations’ concerns for their safety in the face of escalating anti-Hindu sentiment, driven by cultural misunderstandings and misinformation about the Hindu religion.
It was endorsed by the Canadian Organization for Hindu Heritage Education and highlights instances of microaggressions and targeted hate speech, such as derogatory comments and temple desecration. It aims to raise awareness of these issues and foster a safer and more respectful environment for Hindu Canadians.
“We have received an email from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office advising us that our correspondence has been forwarded to MP Kamal Khera, Minister of Diversity and Inclusion, for her information and consideration as the matter falls under her portfolio. We are awaiting a response from Minister Khera,” according to a press release from the Toronto-based organization.
The government is required to reply to the petition, within 45 calendar days, or on the next sitting day if the House is not in session.
Shilpashree Jagannathan is a journalist from India. She now lives in Toronto and has worked as a business reporter for leading newspapers in India. She has tracked telecom, infrastructure, and real estate news developments and has produced podcast series. She currently focuses on human rights, feminist movements, and other related issues in Canada and India. Her weekends are spent bird watching in one of the Toronto birding hotspots; she loves trails, biking, and a lot of sun.