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

Missed call drive for VVPAT verification follows online plea to "pressure" poll panel

By Our Representative
Several political activists have begun a new campaign, asking concerned citizens to give a missed call on 9667655855 to “support the demand that 2019 Loksabha elections must be declared only after verification of 50% electronic voting machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) receipts.” The effort, supported by civil society networks across India, is meant to "further pressure" India's election machinery to ensure that the poll outcome becomes more transparent.

Did Modi own, buy digital camera costing Rs 7 lakh in 1987-88, also used email?

Counterview Desk
In an interview to the news channel News Nation, aired on Saturday last, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declaring that he had approved the air strike despite bad weather because he felt the clouds would hide Indian planes from Pakistani radar is known to have become a laughing stock across India.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

When a neo-nationalist "invaded" hijab clad ladies, Bengali looking scholar in Delhi metro

By Aditi Kundu*
Travelling in Delhi metro on a daily basis to commute from Mayur Vihar to Dwarka, I see diverse people everyday. One can hear them talk about different aspects of life, from kitchen pilitics to national politics. On the morning of May 13, I witnessed a strange incident; disturbing and amusing at the same time.

Terror attacks: Difference in public reactions in India, those in Colombo, Christchurch

By Battini Rao*
Recently, on April 20 during Easter Sunday, more than 250 people were killed in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in churches and hotels in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Local Islamic organisations Thawheed Jamath (NJT) and Jamathei Milathu Ibrahim (JMI) are held responsible for the attack. Islamic State has also claimed responsibility.

Women lost 88 lakh jobs in 2018: Why Modi "failed" to address their disempowerment?

Counterview Desk
Five human rights leaders Anjali Bhardwaj, Shabnam Hashmi, Purnima Gupta, Dipta Bhog, and Amrita Johri of the Women March for Change have posed 56 questions (alluding to Modi’s claim of 56 inches chest) to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP against the backdrop of his interview with a Bollywood star, which was allegedly masqueraded as a “non-political” conversation.

PepsiCo warned: Withdraw cases against Gujarat farmers or face dire consequences

By Our Representative
About 200 farmers’ leaders and activists, in a letter to Dr KV Prabhu, chairperson, Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPVFRA), and Dr R C Agrawal, registrar general, PPVFRA, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India, have demanded that PepsiCo immediately withdraw all the legal suits it has slapped on many potato farmers in different districts of Gujarat.

During Emergency, the ruler was extolled but Opposition wasn't punched around: Scribe

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released book, “India: The Wrong Transition”, by a top Delhi-based scribe Anand K Sahay, has quoted “journalistic circles” to say that the Indian mainstream media – with certain “honourable exceptions” – has virtually abandoned the “practice of journalism”, and  this happened following a “sting operation” that showed that “the crème de la crème of Indian journalism were only too willing, for a suitable price, to let poisonous Hindutva propaganda prevail in their news columns.”

Ex-IAS, IPS, IFS officers tell Modi: Pragya Thakur doesn't represent India's rich heritage

Counterview Desk
In an open statement, a group of former civil servants have said that normally they would have dismissed the candidature of Pragya Thakur, who is BJP’s choice for the Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency, as an act of political expediency. However, they were forced to react to her candidature after none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed has as a “symbol of our civilisational heritage.”

Disproportionately high death sentences against Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims: UN told

Counterview Desk
In their joint submission to the United Nations Human Rights Committee to meet for the listing of adoption of list of issues at its 126th session, July 1-26, 2019, top Dalit rights organizations have taken strong exception to, among other things, "disproportional application of death sentencing by the judiciary of minorities, such as Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis".