Skip to main content

Modi's Australia visit in Nov: Diplomatic mission chooses Hindu body for public reception, diaspora unhappy

Sanjay Sudhir
By Our Representative
In what may be interpreted as a clear indication that diplomatic missions in abroad are starting to bow to the saffron heat, the Australian high commission in Canberra is all set to allow the Hindu Council Australia to hold public receptions for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, visiting the country for the two-day G-20 summit starting on November 15. Already, an Indian diaspora-run site has reported that unhappiness has gripped diaspora over the Indian high commission in Canberra and Sydney consul-general Sanjay Sudhir’s “decision” to get Hindu Council Australia to organize community reception for Modi.
The site reports, the Hindu Council and a section of the Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP) have been made the main organizers of the community reception for Modi in Sydney on November 17. It says, “Critics of Sudhir’s decision to back the Hindu Council say that a religious organization is not the best representative of the Indian community in Australia. The Hindu Council, Sudhir’s critics say, is a sectarian organization and should not be the prime organizer of the community reception for the visiting head of state.”
The OFBJP appears to be split on the issue, with its South Pacific convener Sanjay Patel “threatening” the high commission in Canberra with protests if “efforts are not made to involve a wider cross-section of Indian community associations in the planning of the reception for Modi. The site quotes Patel to say that “extremist elements within the Hindu Council have managed to persuade the consul general to make the community reception an event organized by a religious organization.”
Publishing Gujarat Times, Patel said in a Facebook post on October 13 that “many Indian (community) associations in Australia are upset with Indian High Commissioner and Consul General Sydney for giving out Narendra Modi’s community reception in Sydney to be organised by Hindu Council and not by a joint group of Indian Australian Associations”.
The site also quotes Rajwant Singh, managing-editor of Punjab Express, to say that Modi’s “much-awaited visit is now being turned into a religious affair of the local Indian community.” In a social media comment, Singh wonders: “Are they trying to push the RSS Hindu-Hindi-Hindustan agenda here. They should involve non-religious organizations… The Hindu Council only represent one thought process. To make them responsible for the Indian PM’s tour doesn’t make any sense to me.”
Anagan Babu, president of Tamil Arts and Culture Association, has been quoted as saying that he is “disappointed” with the limited consultations held by the consul-general with just a handful of people. Babu said that there was “no attempt to have a broader process of meeting and engagement with community groups in Australia”, adding, the High Commission and the Consul General have “unnecessarily divided the Indian community over the reception.”
Another critic, Chidananda Puttarevanna, said in a Facebook comment: “Modi is the prime minister of India not for Hindus. He is representing all regions and sects. Indian HC has handpicked only a few and has neglected the whole Indian community. I oppose the stand of the Indian high commission playing dirty politics, playing with emotions of Indian origin. I expect this event to be an Indian event rather than a religious or political event.”
Meanwhile, sources said, if divisions continue, Modi’s aide may decide to cancel public receptions. Instead, he would be meeting “very small groups” both in Sydney and Melbourne, where he proposes the visit after the G-20 summit comes to an end in Brisbane. There is also the "fear" that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has considerable following among Ausralian Indian youths – "more than the OFBJP", accoriding to some persons -- and it may try to “create trouble”.

Comments

TRENDING

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

BSF should take full responsibility for death of 4 kids in West Bengal: Rights defender

By Kirity Roy*  One is deeply disturbed and appalled by the callous trench-digging by BSF in Chetnagachh village under Daspara Gram Panchayat, Chopra, North Dinajpur District, West Bengal that has claimed the lives of four children. Along the entire stretch of Indo-Bangladesh border of West Bengal instead of guarding the actual border delineated by the international border pillars, BSF builds fences and digs trenches well inside the Indian territory, passing through villages and encroaching on private lands, often without due clearance or consent. 

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

How GMOs would destroy non-GMO crops: Aruna Rodrigues' key submissions in SC

Counterview Desk The introduction of Bt and HT crops will harm the health of 1 billion Indians and their animals, believes Aruna Rodrigues, who has made some 60 submissions to the Supreme Court (SC) during the last 20 years. As lead petitioner who filed Public Interest Litigation in 2005, during a spate of intense hearings, which ended on 18 January 2024, she fought in the Apex Court to prevent the commercialization of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Indian agriculture. 

Social justice day amidst 'official neglect' of salt pan workers in Little Rann of Kutch

By Prerana Pamkar*  In India’s struggle for Independence, the Salt Satyagraha stands as a landmark movement and a powerful symbol of nonviolent resistance. Led by Mahatma Gandhi, countless determined citizens walked from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi in Gujarat. However, the Gujarat which witnessed the power of the common Indian during the freedom struggle is now in the throes of another significant movement: this time it is seeking to free salt pan workers from untenable working conditions in the Little Rann of Kutch (LRK).

Corporatizing Indian agriculture 'to enhance' farmer efficiency, market competitiveness

By Shashank Shukla*  Today, amidst the ongoing farmers' protest, one of the key demands raised is for India to withdraw from the World Trade Organization (WTO). Let us delve into the feasibility of such a move and explore its historical context within India's globalization trajectory.

Jallianwala massacre: Why Indian govt hasn't ever officially sought apology from UK

By Manjari Chatterjee Miller*  The king of the Netherlands, Willem-Alexander, apologized in July 2023 for his ancestors’ role in the colonial slave trade. He is not alone in expressing remorse for past wrongs. In 2021, France returned 26 works of art seized by French colonial soldiers in Africa – the largest restitution France has ever made to a former colony. In the same year, Germany officially apologized for its 1904-08 genocide of the Herero and Nama people of Namibia and agreed to fund reconstruction and development projects in Namibia. .

Interpreting UAPA bail provisions: Is Supreme Court setting the clock back?

By Kavita Srivastava*, Dr V Suresh** The Supreme Court in its ruling on 7th February, 2024 in   `Gurvinder Singh v State of Punjab’ held that its own well-developed jurisprudence that "Bail is the rule and jail the exception" will not apply to those charged under the UAPA.

A 'distorted narrative' of Indian politics: Congress failing to look beyond LS polls

By Prem Singh*  About 15 days ago, I told a senior journalist friend that there are not even two   months left for the Lok Sabha elections, Rahul Gandhi is roaming around on a delectation (tafreeh). The friend probably found my comment exasperating and replied that he is not on a delectation trip. The conversation between us on this topic ended there. 

Livelihood issues return to national agenda ahead of LS polls: SKM on Bharat Bandh

Counterview Desk  Top farmers' network, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) has claimed big success of Grameen Bharat Bandh and industrial /sectoral strikes, stating, the “struggle reflected anger of farmers, workers and rural people across India”, adding, the move on February 16 succeeded in bringing back peoples’ livelihood issues in the national agenda just ahead of the general election to the Lok Sabha.