Days after ‘hate crime’ incident, Indian diaspora gathers to celebrate Dussehra in Canada’s Brampton

As India celebrated Dussehra on Wednesday, vibrant celebrations were underway in Canada’s Brampton, a city that made the news for an alleged hate crime incident. The Indian diaspora gathered in Brampton and enjoyed Ram Leela and the burning of Ravan’s effigy amid a massive firework display.

The grand celebrations were organised at the Hindu Sabha temple on Brampton’s Gore Road. Visuals from the event showed thousands sitting in rows and enjoying Ram Leela on display. The night also included a firecracker display to mark the victory of good over evil, symbolised by Lord Ram’s triumph over Ravan.

“This evening, I was very happy to join thousands in #Brampton to celebrate Dussehra at the Hindu Sabha. To everyone celebrating in our city, I wish you a #HappyDussehra! #Navaratri2022 #JaiShriRam,” Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown said in a tweet.

The celebrations come days after India condemned the vandalism of a sign board at a park in Brampton that has been named after the Bhagavad Gita. However, the Mayor of the town had denied the same, calling it “maintenance and reprint work” at the park.

“We condemn the hate crime at the Shri Bhagavad Gita Park in Brampton. We urge Canadian authorities & Peel Police to investigate and take prompt action on the perpetrators,” the High Commission of India in Ottawa had said on Twitter.

In response, Patrick Brown said, “We learned that the sign was damaged during the original installation and a city staff member brought it back for unplanned maintenance and reprinting.”

The high commission’s tweet assumed significance as the alleged vandalism took place days after India issued an advisory asking its citizens to remain vigilant amid a “sharp increase in hate crimes” in Canada.

The Ministry of External Affairs said it has taken up incidents of hate crimes, sectarian violence, and anti-India activities with Canada and has asked for investigation and action. “The perpetrators of these crimes have not been brought to justice so far in Canada,” said a ministry statement.

“In view of the increasing incidences of crimes as described above, Indian nationals and students from India in Canada and those proceeding to Canada for travel/education are advised to exercise due caution and remain vigilant,” the statement read.

Read | Indian embassy in Canada slams hate crime at ‘Shri Bhagawad Gita Park’, Brampton mayor says probe on

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