Sydney, 11 September, 2017
I was pleased to be able to organize a meeting of the Indian community Representatives with The Minister for Multiculturalism, The Hon Ray Williams & Chair of Multicultural NSW, Dr Harry Harinath, today in the Multicultural NSW Offices in Parramatta, Sydney to discuss the Meat and Livestock Australia’s (MLA) offensive video involving Lord Ganesh. The Chief Executive Officer of Multicultural NSW, Mr Hakan Harman, was also present.
Community reps included people from not only Hinduism faith but also from Sikhism and Islamic faith. Seventeen community leaders took part in this meeting, and they included Mr Jagtar Singh, Ms Pallavi Sinha, Mr Gurdeep Singh, Ms Anju Kalra, Mr Surinder Bhogal, Mr Shamim Khan, Mr Brijrajsinh Jhala, Mr Premjitsinh Rathod, Mr Sri Ranga Reddy, Pandit Athreya Ramachandran, Pandit Krishnamurthi Venkataraman, Mr Chirag Parikh, Dr Manish Bhutada, Mr Anagan Babu, Mr Tara Chand Sharma, Dr Nihal Agar and myself (Dr Yadu Singh).
Every rep expressed their unhappiness with the video. Lord Ganesh is one of the most revered deity of Hinduism and is invoked before every religious activity among Hindus. The video is an advertisement for Lamb. Alcohol is also shown to be served in the video. To people from Hinduism faith, associating Lord Ganesh with meat and Alcohol is inappropriate, incorrect, offensive and hurtful. They also felt that use of deities and religious figures of any religion for commercial use is wrong. It was also felt that the timing of the ad video was particularly hurtful as the video came out only a few days after Indians celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi all over the world. Reps also felt that video like this don’t help the multiculturalism in Australia and end up creating disharmony and undermine cohesion in the community. They generate a bad image of Australia, which, otherwise, is a successful example of multiculturalism. A rep also mentioned that Meat and Livestock Australia receives funding from the Government sources, which meant that our taxes are being used to abuse our beliefs and portray our deities inappropriately. This is unacceptable.
Community reps urged the Minister and Multicultural NSW to take the matter of the offensive Video up with relevant authorities, including relevant ministers in the Federal Government, and get the video taken out of circulation. The minister was also urged to get the standards of advertisement reviewed to ensure that public videos are not allowed to use religiously insensitive and offensive materials.
The minister agreed that the community is offended and agitated. He agreed to write a letter to the Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) and to the Federal Government authorities, seeking remedial action.
A proposed protest march to MLA offices in North Sydney is a potential step which our community is planning, but it has been postponed for some time to see the outcome following the discussion today. There will be community consultation in this regard sometime in the future.
Community reps thanked the Minister and Dr Harinath for the meeting.
Dr Yadu Singh
Pingback: Hindu Press International- Sep 15, 2017 – Revers-Sun.Fi – Kansainvälinen raittiuden yhdistys
Hello Mr.Yadu Singh, Thank you very much for your hard work and organizing the meeting with ministers concerned. I m really surprised with the comment received from Vasu indicating “community representatives are more interested in photo shoot than actual issue on hand.” I feel you did great job and taking one photo doesn’t change anything, but we can say this as a evidence for our action. You had taken lots of effort to meet ministers and raise our voice again Meat n Lamb ad. Appreciate your hard work and we are with you. Good luck.
Thank you. I disagreed with Vasu. I found the comment that we should have walked out of the meeting totally wrong and unproductive.
Good job that Minister agreed to the meeting. How were the community reps selected. It will be good to indicate who is representing who that is in the picture? was invitation sent all community leaders in Australia or hand picked?
Unfortunately, everyone can’t be picked. There are too many “leaders”, many of whom don’t even know anything about the concept of leadership. I was asked to organize the meeting. I did my best to do the job.
Do you know how many community leaders are there? Are you also a community leader? If so, what is your association? Apart from your comment about “whether ALL community leaders in Australia were invited”, which would require a real big hall to hold a meeting, do you have any other suggestion for this matter?
Pingback: Lamb-lunch video of Lord Ganesha hurting "successful example of multiculturalism", Indian community leaders tell minister - southasia.com.au
Hi Dr Yadu
I know you and community reps have done a fantastic job meeting ministers and airing your your disapproval to the commercial.
Please note if I were in your position I won’t be sitting and taking pictures with the ministers.
This only goes to show that community representatives are more interested in photo shoot then actual issue on hand.
I would have walked out after venting my concerns to minister concerned.
Walking out of the meeting would have achieved nothing. Only one pic was taken, and it is appropriate to take a pic after the meeting. Nothing wrong in it. The Minister is on our side, but he has to operate within the law. I respectfully disagree with your comment “community representatives are more interested in photo shoot than actual issue on hand.” This may be true for many, but certainly not for me now or before. To reassure about what I am about, please do browse the link. https://yadusingh.com/2012/03/30/dr-yadu-singhs-community-work/ Thank you
This is Australia, not India, where “venting” out the views and walking out would work. This suggestion is outrageous and inappropriate. And so unhelpful too. Dialogue and getting people on our side are more effective than what you suggested. It’s an offensive comment to insinuate that we met only for a photo shoot. I take serious offence to it. It might be true for many, but not for us, the group, which I assembled. Unlike many including some from your own network, we were inclusive and indeed included people from most regions, groups, and religions (Hindus, Sikhs and Muslim). This group had Hindu Council President too. Knowing the style and practices of some from your network, I am more than certain that you would have not included us if you or your people were the ones Organizing the meeting with the Minister. Only people from your own network would have been included. Talking about photo shoot, please reflect on what some people from your own network do with visiting Indian politicians or do when visiting India. Somebody has hijacked even BJP’s interests in Australia for his personal interest, and you know who he is. My suggestion: Please open your eyes and practise inclusion, which is not what people in your network do. And yes, Hinduism is not for a particular caste only. Hinduism or India are for all of us, not just for you or people in your network. We are no less Indian or Hindus than you or people in your network. We don’t go and join a welcome dinner for ex-chief of ISI. Not only that, and unlike many from your network, we don’t tolerate anyone who claims to be a patriot and happily has dinner with ISI operatives. It’s about time we stop monopolizing India and Hinduism and start becoming INCLUSIVE, because people are not happy with the practice and behavior of some who masquerade as Hindu leaders but exclude the very people who they claim to be leaders of. Jai Hind.