Sydney, 15 February, 2016
I am concerned with this fake, unproductive, uninformed and unworthy campaign against Air India by a few groups from Sydney. Many of these groups are not known to do anything worthwhile for our community, and are doing it for their cheap publicity at the cost of Air India.
This campaign is motivated by baseless assumptions and is without facts. I live in Sydney and know that these groups, listed in the newspaper, are uninformed and disconnected with our community.
Where does it say that Hindu non-Veg or general non-veg meal in Air India has Halal meat? The obvious answer is in negative.
I travelled with Air India recently and enquired about it as a matter of curiosity.. My meal was of my preferred non-Halal type. Air India does serve Halal food to those who request it (like other airlines), and there is nothing wrong in it, but does not thrust it on the throats of anybody else. Their food otherwise is of non-Halal type.
Labelling Halal meal as Halal is appropriate, but you can’t expect Air India to write “This meal is a non-Halal meal” on the non-Halal meals. It’s not a practice in any business either. Go and see Woolworths or Coles shop where non-Halal products are not labelled as “Non-Halal”, which is practical and sensible.
Please read the Article carefully. Air India public relations officer GP Rao told TOI that “they had been serving ‘halal’ meat only when requested by a passenger. Otherwise, the non-vegetarian food was normally ‘non-halal’.”
In regards to the groups mentioned in the article, some of them do nothing useful for our community except clicking pictures with political leaders to promote themselves. One of them was not even prepared to speak up against firings at the the Sri Mandir temple in Auburn a few years ago. We spoke against that attack forcefully. One of them has recently given a “role model of the community” award to someone who exploits vulnerable people, many of whom approached us for help not long ago. I doubt these guys even travel with Air India, and have any direct experience or knowledge about the matter. I do wonder whether these groups have some repressed hatred for India, and are using Air India as a surrogate for that hatred.
I ask these guys to stop playing their unproductive, unnecessary & worthless politics. While I can understand some may have some concerns about Halal and Halal certification industry, but dragging Air India into this is contemptible.
SBS Punjabi has modified its article after receiving our concerns and views. Thank you SBS Punjabi team for your work and journalism. Our respects for your work stays undiminished, but we have serious concerns about the fake and false anti-Air India campaign by these uninformed groups.
Mr IP Singh (@ipsinghTOI) from Times of India should please take note of our concerns and amend the report on this fake and false campaign against Air India.
PS: **I have spoken with the main campaigner just now. Some of the associations quoted in the article have not even agreed to have their names there. They didn’t even respond to the draft letter sent by the campaigner. Mr Jaydutt Nayak and Mr John Kennedy, leaders of the groups which are mentioned in the article, are yet to respond about the basis for their anti-Air India campaign. The president of Punjabi Council did not know full details of what he was consenting for, and some of the executive committee members of this council have never heard about this campaign or have consented for it. I have also spoken with Mr Noel Lal, Vice President, GOPIO International, who is based in Sydney, today. GOPIO has not consented for this campaign. They ignored the email from the campaigner. Their name is also mentioned in the articles. The one who consented for GOPIO name was the one who is not in GOPIO anymore.**
Fake and false anti-Air India campaign stands totally exposed.
Dr Yadu Singh
Punjabi Council of Australia is democratic association, where all decisions are made by Executive committee. I, being executive committee member can confirm that this issue was never discussed in executive meeting. If someone has consented to this issue, he may have consented in his individual capacity.