As India-Canada relations worsens, experts advise Indian diaspora to be ‘cautious’

    India-Canada row: The relations between India and Canada worsened on Tuesday as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused “agents of the Indian government” in the killing of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar. New Delhi has rejected the allegations and called them “absurd” and “motivated”, but the diplomatic spat went further as both nations expelled top diplomats from their countries.

    While the world is still processing the development and giving preliminary reactions, concerns are raised about the situation for a large number of Indian diaspora living in Canada, especially Indian students. Every year thousands of Indian students land in different parts of Canada for higher education and also become an active part of their workforce.

    Since 2018, India has consistently held the position of being the primary country of origin for international students in Canada. In the year 2022, there was a substantial increase of 47% in the number of Indian students studying in Canada, reaching a staggering figure of nearly 320,000 individuals. This cohort now comprises approximately 40% of the entire population of international students in Canada, as reported by the Canadian Bureau of International Education.

    As per a, 118,095 Indians became permanent residents in Canada in 2022 and the number of Indian immigrations to Canada is expected to touch the 2 million mark this year.

    No major impact

    For now, no major impact is expected on the students or other Indian citizens in Canada. There is no release from the authorities or immigration services which should worry the Indian students or larger Indian diaspora in Canada. Notably, this influx of Indian students has also contributed significantly to the ability of Canadian universities and colleges to offer subsidized education to domestic students.

    However, the experts who wished to remain anonymous recommended Indians be ‘little cautious’ in Canada as the relations continue on its downward trajectory. They were quick to add that the situation might not reach dangerous levels immediately but the presence of a large number of violent Khalistan terrorists demands some level of caution.

    A student is Canada who refused to be named said that every weekend Khalistani protestors assemble outside the plaza near his residence and shout anti-India slogans.

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