Brampton, Ont. MP Ruby Sahota slammed Conservative MPs on Thursday night for repeatedly referring to traditional Indian attire as “costumes” during their criticisms of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau‘s troubled trip to India, saying their comments were “incredibly offensive.”
One of the criticisms levelled at Trudeau in India was that he wore traditional attire far too often during the official state visit, and that some of his clothing choices were over-the-top.
But Sahota, one of several Sikh MPs to accompany Trudeau to India, said the criticism was misguided, and took offence at the language used by some Tory MPs on Thursday night.
“This reference continually made by the Opposition to our clothing being referred to as ‘costumes’ is outrageous. Would you call a business suit a costume?” she said, addressing one Conservative MP directly, although it wasn’t clear who.
“Should I ask people from around the world about what they think about me wearing a white man’s costume? Are you offended? Because I’m incredibly offended that, again and again, I hear reference to our clothing as costumes. It is not a costume. It is clothing that we wear every day.”
Sahota recounted being made fun of as a child due to the traditional clothing worn by her parents, and said Trudeau should be lauded for respecting Indian traditions during his trip.
“I am so happy that my child, my son can see a prime minister today that respects his culture, his tradition and where he comes from,” she said.
Sahota’s remarks came during a House of Commons debate on one of the 260 motions tabled by the Opposition on Thursday night to set up nearly 21 hours of voting.
The filibuster was launched in retaliation to the Liberals voting down a Tory motion to get Trudeau’s national security adviser Daniel Jean to testify about the Jaspal Atwal fiasco.
Jean suggested to reporters covering Trudeau’s trip last month that rogue factions in the Indian government engineered Atwal’s appearance, prompting Opposition MPs to call on the Liberals to let Jean explain his reasoning.
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