Stephen Harper went to India... Because the Liberals (Ignatieff, in particular) have been talking about how the Harper Cons have abandoned relationships with India and China, and squandered the hard work of the "Team Canada" trade missions led by Chretien and Martin (which generated literally hundreds of signed business deals)...
In his very brief visit Harper paid lip-service to bi-lateral relations, talked up the "terrorist" angle, and committed to nothing of consequence.
One thing Harper DID manage is an affront to Sikhs everywhere: his photo-op at the Golden Temple in Amritsar. Apparently, greedy for the "big score" photo-op, Harper's entourage drove directly from the airport to the temple (along with throngs of security) for the pics. At the temple, Harper REFUSED TO PARTAKE IN THE SIKH PARSHAD (equivalent of Holy Communion), and REFUSED TO PARTAKE IN THE LANGAR (free kitchen).
The langar part is the biggest insult to the community. One is never to attend a temple/gurdawara, and not have the free lunch. The lunch is symbolic as a means of bringing people of all backgrounds and stations in life together. Of course, something like that would mean nothing to Harper - "Great dis-uniter" that he is.
For hundreds of years the Gurdawara kitchens have been open to the hungry and the homeless - as well as the Sikh community at large. The simple act of partaking in the lunch (vegetarian Indian food) would have gone miles to show respect for the culture, as well as some semblance of understanding - or at least the wish to understand the votes he is so eagerly and callously attempting to buy.
What an insult to Canadians of South Asian heritage. While Liberal governments in the past made honest efforts to work with and advance South Asian communities, Harper's shock troops have chosen a different path. They have insulted Sikhs and South Asians (look back through comments about "new Canadians and ghettoes", "hot-headed Sikhs", etc.), then appointed the Minister of the "hot-headed" comment to the portfolio.. so he can shamelessly talk about "curry-in-a-hurry", and think he can buy votes with nothing but some lip service and an awkward smile...
C'mon now... What exactly does a right-wing, fundamentalist Christian from the Prairies REALLY want with these South Asian "heathen" he is so eager to befriend? What could it be??? Hmmm???
Smile and be nice to me, while you work to remove any measures ever put in to help me become a more equal citizen in this great land...
edit: Apparently there were quite a few ruffled feathers over at the SGPC (the body that operates all Sikh Temples worldwide, and has a larger budget than the Indian State of Punjab - where the Golden Temple is located). The Harpoon squad had many people removed from the temple - not for security reasons, but simply because they were not wanted.