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Australian diaspora rights group objects to envoy's visit to RSS hq, writes to PM

By Our Representative 
The Humanism Project, a human rights and political advocacy organisation of the Indian diaspora based in Australia, has expressed its “dismay, shock and disappointment” at the visit by Australian High Commissioner to India Barry O'Farrell to the RSS headquarters in Nagpur on November 15, 2020.
O’Farrell, after visiting the RSS headquarters, tweeted the move, praising the saffron organization for “actively supporting the community during Covid-19”, adding, he met “with Sarsanghchalak Dr Mohan Bhagwat, who shared the relief measures the organisation has adopted across India during these challenging times.”
In a protest letter to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the Humanism Project said, Australia’s relationship with India “is robust and is based on the two nations’ history of shared values of democracy, respect for human rights and equal treatment of all people regardless of their race, colour, ethnicity and religious beliefs.”
However, the letter, signed by Deepak Joshi, said, “In the above context, it was a matter of great anguish and disappointment for us, and for many Indians who believe in the above shared values, to see the Australian Envoy to India providing legitimacy to RSS, an organization that never made any secret of its love for Adolf Hitler.”
The letter said, “Both its first chief M Golwalkar and one of the organisation’s heroes, VD Savarkar, were admirers of Hitler, mainly for his ‘cultural nationalism’ and his persecution of the Jews”, claiming, “RSS runs quasi-militant outfits that have often been charged with participating in communal riots and running campaigns against the religious minorities of India.”
The letter underlined, “One such militant outfit is Bajrang Dal, whose leader Dara Singh was convicted for the heinous hate crime and murder in 2003 of Australian Pastor Graham Stuart Staines, who was brutally burnt to death along with his two sons Philip and Timothy on January 22, 1999 in Keonjhar District, Odisha, by a vigilante mob led by Dara Singh.”
The letter recalled, RSS-floated Barjang Dal's Dara Singh was convicted for heinous hate crime and murder of Australian pastor Graham Stuart Staines and his two sons
Pointing out that the RSS website “makes no secret of its contempt for Christian missionaries whom they consider to be foreign elements trying to interfere with their dream of a Hindu India”, the letter says, “It is doubtful that Mr O’Farrell would not have been aware of RSS’s history when he made the trip to Nagpur, to meet Mohan Bhagwat, the RSS chief.”
It added, “It is reasonable to conjecture that he would have done his reading about the RSS and would have probably known that the RSS has been banned twice, once in the aftermath of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination, and has been accused of violence against religious minorities.”
Especially objecting to O’Farrell’s “attempt through his tweet to portray the RSS as some kind of benign group of do-gooders”, the letter said, it “does not deflect from the fact that the RSS is an organization dedicated to the idea that India was and should be a Hindu nation, and that Hinduism’s followers are entitled to reign over India’s religious minorities.”
Asking the Prime Minister to ensure that the Australian Government does not endorse and give legitimacy to organisations like the RSS, which allegedly “go against the shared principles that the relationship of our two countries is built upon”, the letter says, “Political and diplomatic exigencies surely cannot take precedence over our fundamental ideas of democracy, freedom, tolerance, respect, and equality of all humans.”

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