'Hateful Act': Outrage After Vandalism at Hindu Temple in Canada’s Brampton

Canada’s minister of foreign affairs, Mélanie Joly, said everyone should be able to practice their faith in peace.

South Asians
3 min read
Hindi Female

The defacing of a prominent Hindu temple in Brampton has caused massive outrage in Canada, with Canadian officials coming out strongly against the vandalism.

Among those who have condemned the incident are Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown, Canada's Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly, and local MP Sonia Sidhu.

The Gauri Shankar Mandir, which also acts as an important community centre for the city’s Hindus, was defaced with “anti-India graffiti” on Monday, 30, January.

Two slogans – “Khalistan Zindabad” and “Hindustan Murdabad” – were spray painted on the outer wall of the temple, reports said.

Peel Regional Police has launched an investigation into the incident.


‘Revoke Passports of Those Involved’

Dhirender Tripathi, the founder and priest of the Gauri Shankar temple, said the vandalism took place on Monday night. Tripathi said there were no cameras in the street where the perpetrators wrote the slogans on the roadside wall of the temple, PTI reported.

The priest urged the Canadian authorities to take stern action against those found involved in the crime and called for strengthening of laws against such crimes.

Tripathi requested the Indian government to consider revoking passports and not issuing visas to Canadian passport holders involved in "anti-India activities so that they will not be able to return to India ever.”

“Khalistanis have caused fear among us. They have become emboldened and the community is uncertain about their next actions. Canadian authorities should take stern steps to curb their activities,” Tripathi was quoted as saying by PTI.


Canadian Officials Condemn Vandalism

Canadian officials were quick to condemn the incident and sought action against the hateful act.

Condemning the incident, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown said, “This hateful act of vandalism has no place in our city or country.  Everyone deserves to feel safe in their place worship.”

The mayor said he has raised his concerns with Peel Police and its chief, Nishan Duraiappah.

Canada’s minister of foreign affairs, Mélanie Joly, also issued a strong statement condemning the vandalism.

“Everyone should be able to practice their faith in peace, free from violence and intimidation. I stand with Hindu communities in denouncing the vandalism at Gauri Shankar Mandir in Brampton. We have a collective responsibility to denounce hateful acts, which have no place in Canada."
Mélanie Joly, Canada’s minister of foreign affairs

Local MP Sonia Sidhu spoke to the temple management and assured action.

“I am concerned about an act of vandalism and hate at Brampton’s Gauri Shankar Mandir. I've already spoken with the Mandir and Peel Police. As Peel Police investigates the incident, I continue to unequivocally state that all Canadians deserve to feel safe in their place of worship,” the Indian-origin Brampton South MP said.

Maninder Sidhu, the MP from Brampton East and parliamentary secretary to the minister of foreign affairs, also came out to condemn the incident.

"The vandalism that happened at the Gauri Shankar Mandir in Brampton is completely unacceptable. Everyone should be able to practice their faith without fear. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Peel Regional Police," he said in a tweet.


Chandra Acharya, another Indian-origin member of Canadian Parliament, also raised the issue. “The attack of Gauri Shankar Mandir in Brampton is latest in attacks on Hindu temples in Canada by anti-Hindu and anti-India groups. From hatred on social media, now physical attacks on Hindu temples, what next? I call on govt at levels in Canada to start taking this seriously,” Acharya said in a tweet.

‘Hateful Act’

In a statement on Tuesday, the Indian Consulate General in Toronto condemned the “defacing” of Gauri Shankar Mandir in Brampton with “anti-India graffiti.”

Calling the temple a symbol of Indian heritage, the consulate said, “The hateful act of vandalism has deeply hurt sentiments of Indian community in Canada. We have raised our concerns on the matter with Canadian authorities.”

‘Increase in Incidents of Hate Crimes’

According to a report by Statistic Canada in August 2022, the number of police-reported hate crimes in Canada increased by 72% between 2019 and 2021. From 2020 to 2021, In 2021, religion-motivated hate crimes increased by 67%, hate crimes targeting sexual orientation were up by 64%, and crimes targeting race or ethnicity saw a rise of 6%.

In September 2022, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs issued an advisory to Indian nationals and students from India in Canada to "exercise due caution and remain vigilant" in the wake of the "increase in incidents of hate crimes, sectarian violence, and anti-India activities in Canada."

The advisor came on 23 September, four says after “Khalistan referendum" in Brampton on 18 September, seeking Punjab as a separate country. The "Khalistan Referendum" was held by pro-Khalistan organisation Sikhs for Justice (SFJ).

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Topics:  Hindu Temple   hate crime 

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