September 11, 2015 was a somber yet symbolic day to discuss ways of fostering harmony and reducing radical separatist sentiment against India among minority groups of Canada owing allegiance to movements proclaiming sovereignty of states integral to the Indian coalition. Consul General of Toronto, Akhilesh Mishra, invited Author and Activist Vinita Kinra, along with Founder and Managing Director of Global Asian Times, Pankaj Kumar for a courtesy meeting to thrash out ways of sensitizing the small percentage of Indian-origin Canadians who engage in misleading youth and mainstream population to fight for separatist movements in India.
On the 14th anniversary of the deadly World Trade Center attacks in America that killed thousands and forever changed the security landscape of the world, the trio in Canada exchanged views about tackling open indoctrination of extremist ideology in some parts of the Greater Toronto Area. Mr. Mishra noted that the spirit of charity and volunteerism is exemplary in Canada—a fraternal camaraderie that bonds people of diverse faiths to further the common good of humanity. Fighting in the name of religion or proclaiming a sovereign state based on faith is contrary to the collective values and goals of the multicultural fabric of Canada.
Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Global Asian Times, Vinita Kinra, stated that she is actively engaged in social causes challenging the fast-evolving society of Canada, whose demographics are shaped daily in a big way by the large numbers of South Asian immigrants settling in the country. Kinra promotes equal rights for all, irrespective of race, religion or ethnic background. She has made headlines for lecturing hundreds of Toronto students about the aftermath of harboring resentment owing to skin color or ethnicity. Her famous quote embracing diversity reads: “Rainbows and multicultural societies are alike. Diversity makes them beautiful.”
Founder and MD of Global Asian Times, Pankaj Kumar, suggested starting up an organization to propagate the message of collective brotherhood by strengthening the feeling of unity in diversity among all Canadians. He emphasized that everyone wins when people learn from enriching backgrounds of others who have had a different upbringing. He also suggested holding dialogue forums to inform and educate impressionable youth that they have much more to gain if they remain united instead of falling prey to fundamentalist ideology.
The hour-long meeting concluded with willingness of all parties to meet regularly to address pressing concerns of maintaining perpetual peace and stability in a country like Canada, known to be a safe haven providing ample opportunities for immigrant families to flourish and realize the coveted Canadian Dream.
Vinita Kinra is a Toronto-based author, editor, speaker and activist, best known for her short story collection, Pavitra in Paris, launched to critical acclaim in 2013. She is also a contributor for India’s largest English daily, The Times of India.