Not a community leader if you put your interests before community‚Äôs

Sydney, 7 July, 2018There are too many community leaders around us. All you need to do is to register an association and become a community leader. It’s an easy job. This itself is not a problem, if you want to help people and do some good things for the community. The problem is when you form an association to serve your personal interests and you have nothing to do with community work or interests. If you do this, you become a con man. You do what you are not supposed to do, and you don’t do what you are supposed to do. Let’s see what is happening in our own community. In Indian Australian community, we have many associations and many community leaders. Many community leaders turn into “journalists” to stay relevant and to get invitations from the Consulate and Government agencies. Some of them turn back into community leaders again after a few years. Many of these “leaders” are into things, which have nothing to do with community interests. Some examples are;1. Contesting elections for MP seats or Council seats, while holding positions in their community associations, which, by rule, are non-political organizations. In 2016, three community “leaders” did exactly this in Chifley, Cumberland and Parramatta area. Whether they had ability or not is a separate matter, but their dismal & performance is an indicator of their worth as political candidates.2. Calling yourself as an “independent” candidate, when you are a card carrying member of a political party. People are not fools. They saw through this game and refused to support this type of “independent” candidates. 3. You put pictures of top leaders in your event posters, without these leaders’ approval and without a guarantee that they would be attending your event. This is not only a false advertising, but it’s also unethical. 4. You raise money purportedly to help the family of a deceased, but don’t care to establish the need for financial help from the family before collecting the funds. You do worse, when you don’t return the money to the donors, after knowing that family doesn’t need the money. This is clearly illegal and wrong. Using pics of the deceased in your fundraising posters is not an acceptable behavior. 5. Lying and falsely claiming something, which you are not and haven’t done are your standard operating procedure, thinking people are fools and wouldn’t know about it. 6. Not doing any AGM for 4 years and not presenting financial reports to the members and Department of Fair Trading, while roaming around looking important as community leaders. 7. Allowing close family members as part of the executive committee and ignoring the concept of conflict of interest, and receiving membership fees into the personal accounts of the leaders, instead of the official account of the association. 8. Not having any idea or understanding about ethical behavior & governance, as is the case with some associations and community leaders. 9. Swindling and “wasting” of hundreds of thousands of your association’s funds, without any accountability, and getting away from the misdeed because the co-leaders are braindead and grossly incompetent.That’s not all. There are some who sell Visa sponsorships. They take $50K for sponsoring a visa. This is an illegal activity. It’s a crime in Australia to seek benefit (cash or kind) for sponsoring a visa. It is punishable with up to 2 years prison term and up to $300K fine. It appears that this illegal activity is the only business for some of the community leaders. The fraud is compounded by these con men by appearing to be “connected” and influential as a result of being seen in pics with top political leaders like ministers, Premiers and Prime Minister. As we know, having pics with Chief Ministers (Premiers) and Prime Minister in India is very difficult and is generally taken as an indicator of influence and being highly connected. Some associations and community leaders have given, and still give, “role model of the community” awards to scammers and fraudsters. This they do after getting some money from the scammers.Things are very frustrating and upsetting.There is a need for reflection matched with commensurate action here. Our community needs to look into community associations and should start asking questions from community leaders and community associations. We must make them accountable. We mustn’t allow such community “leaders” to damage the name and reputation of our community. We know that the vast majority in our community is that of decent and upright people, but we also know that a minuscule minority is capable of killing our reputation and good standing in front of the broader community.Before it’s misconstrued that my post is painting all associations and community leaders with the same brush, let me make it very clear. My intention is not to bag a good number of associations and people running them, because I know they are doing wonderful work, without being in the forefront. I admire them and am grateful to them. What I am concerned about is the growing number of selfish and self-seeking people, masquerading as community leaders, who are dragging us all down. Dr Yadu Singh http://www.facebook.com/DoctorYaduSinghwww.twitter.com/dryadusingh

Tuticorin deaths: Focus on the facts, not fiction

Sydney, 3 June, 2018

Sterlite Copper smelter in Thoothukudi (Tuticorin), Tamil Nadu (TN), India has been seeing protests for years. This year, however, protests became more intense, because Vedanta Group, the owner of the smelter, started to expand the site.

On 100th Day of the protest, 22 May, 2018, protesters were marching towards the District Administration HQ, despite orders under section 144 of IPC to not do so. When warnings by the authorities to stop the march were not heeded, Tamil Nadu Police fired, leading to deaths of 13 protesters.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thoothukudi_massacre

Any loss of life is sad, but we must understand the perspective and the background.

Police resorted to firing to stop the massive crowds from marching to the HQ of the administration.

Chief Minister (CM) of the state Mr Edappadi K Palaniswami initially justified the Police firing.

After further protests and demands from the opposition, the TN Government has now ordered permanent closure of the smelter.

https://www.google.com.au/amp/www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/sterlite-copper-to-be-permanently-closed-says-tamil-nadu-government/article24014605.ece/amp/

As I said above, no loss of life can be justified, but we must understand the facts and the background.

My condolences and sympathies are with the victims and their families. Like others, I am saddened.

The protest in Sydney a few days ago was brought to my attention by several people, including Tamil Australians.

Thiru Arumugam from Sydney said “Firstly my thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. 13 people sadly died in the protest. My humble request to all Indian Tamils in Australia is not to jump into the conclusion that Indian Government is killing Tamils. It happened in Tamil Nadu, which is ruled by a Tamil CM. Blaming Indian Govt is not right. Everyone of us are responsible in Australia for any representation of our motherland. We should remember that use of violence or breach of law never achieves our demands.”

Aspects of this protests, especially placards, are objectionable.

A couple of facts need to be considered.

  1. The protesters in Tuticorin shouldn’t have marched towards District administration’s HQ when section 144 of IPC to not do so was in place.
  2. What other option was available to the Police to control the difficult situation? Once you break the section 144, you are not a peaceful march. No Government can allow anarchy.
  3. TN CM supported the Police action.
  4. If Copper smelter is causing so much health issues, why was it not shut down earlier? Which Governments is/are responsible?
  5. This Smelter was established in TN in late 1990s, when UPA was running the Federal Government in India, and BJP has never ruled TN. https://youtu.be/_fdA_bfCZFI
  6. TN government is run by All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) party, not BJP or NDA.
  7. Police firing was unfortunate, but it can’t be called terrorism, forget “State terrorism”.
  8. Anybody who demands The UNO investigation on this matter is anti-India and is intellectually bankrupt. India has a rule of law and is not a tin pot dictatorship.

Sydney protest has the presence of about 50-60 people, some of whom either don’t understand the matter well, or worse, are anti-India. Looking at the pictures of the people, I can recognize only two people, who belong to Indian community. Rest of them appear to be Tamils of non-Indian background, many of whom may have a grudge against India due to India’s perceived hands off approach in ethnic conflicts in India’s neighborhood a few years ago. Looking at the placards in the hands of these two Indians (Anagan Babu and Renga Rajan), I can say that I am very concerned about their ability to understand what they were doing there. I doubt they even took time to read the placards they were given to hold. They were perhaps too busy in getting their pics taken for Facebook posting! (PS: Rajesh Kumar from Sydney says that the most of the protesters in Sydney were from TN, and he personally knows them. I stand corrected. The basic thrust of my commentary however will not change.) I post Rajesh Kumar’s comment below. ūüĎáūüĎá

While people have their right to hold a protest, I too have a right to form an opinion. There is no defamation here. This protest was a public protest, not a private protest. Pics were posted on social media with privacy settings to allow public to see them. Throwing the word “defamation” is childish, immature and ill-informed, and I am least worried about it.

Hugh Mcdermott (MP for Prospect) and Mehreen Faruqi (Greens MLC) are politicians. Politicians can and will do politics, whenever they can. That’s what politicians do for votes.

My issues with this protest is not because of protest per se, because people have a right to protest.

Having said that, I am not sure as to what people achieve by organizing protests in Australia on matters happening in their country of their birth. Many including I believe that such protests achieve nothing except giving some transient self-satisfaction of pics on Facebook and coverage in ethnic media.

My concerns are against the blatant politics, and misrepresentation and distortion of facts of the incident by the vested interests. Contrary to the claims by the protesters, the facts are that Tuticorin firings have no relevance with The UNO, terrorism, State-sponsored terrorism, BJP or “India killing Tamils” nonsense. It has everything to do with law and order problem inside Tamil Nadu, whose CM is obviously a Tamil, and whose Police is also Tamil, who fired on Tamil protesters, who breached section 144 of Indian Penal Code despite the warnings to stop doing so.

It’s a sad & unfortunate situation and I am saddened with the loss of lives, but I am equally sad with blatant and ill-informed politics being played by some people.

I urge people to focus on the facts, not fiction, and stop running an anti-India campaign!

Dr Yadu Singh

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

http://www.facebook.com/DoctorYafuSingh

PS: An earlier post about Anagan Babu is here. https://yadusingh.com/2014/07/08/indaus-going-for-fresh-elections-on-20th-july-2014/

You can learn HINDI in Sydney

Sydney, NSW

25 November, 2016

 

I am pleased to inform everyone that Consulate General of India, Sydney has agreed to our request to start Hindi teaching classes during weekends. Our campaigning has succeeded.

Hindi learning can be useful not only for kids of Indian Australian background but also for people of general Australian community. It is a fun language, besides being the language of a big proportion of Indians.

Details:

  • Saturdays

  • 2.30-4.30 PM

  • Students will pay only $5/hour ($40 for 10 lessons of one hour duration)
  • Teachers will be paid a reasonable hourly rate which will be commensurate ¬†with their experience and training
  • Address: Indian Cultural Centre, Level 1, 265 Castlereagh St, Sydney NSW 2000 http://cgisydney.org/

Please contact icc-moumita@indianconsulatesydney.org

or

hindi@indianconsulatesydney.org for enrolment, and also, if interested to teach Hindi.

Potential teachers should send their CV to the emails above.

Gratitude and sincere thanks to Consul General, The Hon B. Vanlalvawna for his help, support and assistance.

Consulate is willing and able to do its job, for which they deserve thank you. These classes can start within weeks once they have at least 10 students. They already have 4 students. It is our and your job to make this facility known to interested people.

Let us disseminate this information to all and sundry.

Happy to help, if needed. Don’t hesitate to contact and network.

Dr Yadu Singh

http://www.facebook.com/dryadusingh

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

fianinc1@gmail.com

 

Consular grievance management system is a great service for overseas Indians

Sydney, NSW

22nd April, 2016

Consular grievance management system is an initiative by Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.

Sushma Swaraj EAM.jpg

This will be useful for overseas Indians. Do use it, if needed.

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Details are here: http://www.madad.gov.in/AppConsular/welcomeLink


Dr Yadu Singh

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

http://www.facebook.com/dryadusingh

FIAN organised a rousing welcome reception for new Consul General of India in Sydney and visiting ministerial delegation from India

More

Press release: Sydney, 4/4/16

Federation of Indian Associations of NSW (FIAN) hosts a rousing welcome reception for new Consul General of India and visiting ministerial delegation from Uttar Pradesh.

GOI authorities requested us to organize the welcome event for the visiting delegation and provided required assistance and resources.

Madison Function Centre in Dural, NSW was immersed in serious political colours with the presence of visiting ministerial delegation from Uttar Pradesh (UP) and new Consul General of India, Mr B. Vanlalvawna and his wife, Dr Rosy Vanlalvawna on Friday, 1st April, 2016. Delegation from UP included senior ministers, Mr Azam Khan, Mr Raghuraj Pratap Singh (Raja Bhaiya), Mr Om Prakash Singh, Prof Abhishek Mishra, Mrs Arun Kumari and 10 members of UP Parliament.

Dr Yadu Singh, President of Federation of Indian Associations of NSW, conducted the proceedings in his trade mark flair, spontaneity and endearing style, enlivening the audience.¬† After welcoming the dignitaries, he described the love which Indian community has for India. He described how India is deep inside our hearts. He outlined the fact that Uttar Pradesh is the heart of India, besides being the most populous state, sending 80 MPs to Indian Parliament.¬†¬†UP Chief Minister, Mr Akhilesh Yadav’s visit to Banda city for the inauguration of a Medical College there in March 2015, for which Dr Singh accompanied the Chief Minister, and CM‚Äôs studies in Sydney University in late 1990s were mentioned to bring a context for Uttar Pradesh and Australia connections. There was ample praise for Australia too, and its successful multiculturalism, as well as unshakable love and loyalty of the community for Australia.

Consul General of India and his wife were welcomed formally and assured of full support from the community in whatever way it is necessary.  Mr B.Vanlalvawna assumed charge as Consul General of India in Sydney on 19 February 2016. He was educated at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University. He joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1998 and served in Indian Missions/Post in Tokyo, Shanghai, Brussels and Cairo. His wife, Dr Rosy Vanlalvawna is a medical doctor and a writer.  She is a graduate from Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi. More details here. http://tinyurl.com/zx9rmb6

Head of the delegation, Mr Azam Khan, thanked the community for their love for India. He praised India for its democracy and egalitarian ethos, where even a common man can be a minister, chief minister or Prime Minister. He hoped that overseas Indians will remain connected with India and will continue to serve the country of their current residence as well as the country of their birth, not only now, but also in the future. During his speech, he used ‚ÄúShayari‚ÄĚ generously, enthralling people in the audience and making many as his fans.

David Clarke, Parliamentary Secretary to NSW Government outlined his praise for India and the commonalities between India and Australia, which extends not only to Cricket, but also to the fields of trade, security, transparency, rule of law, multiculturalism and democracy.

Cultural programme, conducted by noted poetess Rekha Rajvansi, comprised of performances from top artists from the community and included Jyoti Dixit, Khurana sisters (Cheryl and Michelle), Murali Venkatraman and Arun Nanda.
Visiting delegation praised and enjoyed sumptuous and delicious dinner, catered by popular and multiple award winning, Maya Da Dhaba, which is owned by Ajay Raj.

Capacity crowd of 200+, which included who is who of Sydney, key community representatives and Indian media, stayed right up to the end of the event, enjoying every minute of the evening, and called it one of the best events from the community. Ministers and MLAs too, as well as Consul General, mingled with people, enjoying the occasion and creating a lasting and positive impression on people with their simplicity and easy going nature.

Further contact:
Dr Yadu Singh
President, Federation of Indian Associations of NSW
Fianinc1@gmail.com

http://www.Facebook.com/FianInc

http://www.Twitter.com/FianInc

All Premiers and Chief Ministers are supporting Australian Republic

 

I did not know until recently that all State Premiers and territory Chief Ministers are in favour of Australian Republic and an Australian as our Head of State.

We too should support Australian Republic Movement! https://yadusingh.wordpress.com/2016/02/25/we-are-supporting-australian-republican-movement/

It’s about time!

PS: I have this tweet FYI. OzRepublic FitzSimon ‚ÄŹ@Peter_Fitz 19m19 minutes ago

He’s a republican. He just declined to sign.

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Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/4th March, 2016

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

http://www.Facebook.com/dryadusingh

Congratulations to new assistant minister for multicultural affairs, Craig Laundy

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Press release
Sydney, NSW
15th February, 2016

The Federation of Indian Associations of NSW (FIAN) congratulates Craig Laundy MP for his appointment as new Assistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs in the Turnbull ministry.

Craig Laundy
Craig has been a member of the House of Representatives for the seat of Reid in West Sydney since 2013, representing a diverse community of various ethnicities and religions.

He is a popular MP.

FIAN also takes the opportunity to thank the outgoing minister Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells for her excellent work in this area. We are pleased that she has been given a well-deserved promotion in the ministry

Craig has contributed significantly and meaningfully in the area of multiculturalism with his principled stance and his part in the debate around race, refugee intake and multiculturalism in this country. His appointment is a further proof and recognition of his significant contributions.

We remember with appreciation Craig’s stand in March 2014, when he joined other Liberal backbenchers in opposing the proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act’s section 18c.

FIAN extends the Minister and the Turnbull government our full support and cooperation in the matters, relevant to multicultural communities, and looks forward to working with him to achieve our common objectives to make our society more just and harmonious and one that is based on human rights and mutual respect.

Like his predecessor, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, we hope that Craig will continue to consult and network with multicultural communities throughout the length and width of this great nation to help make Australia a better, fairer and more inclusive nation in all fields and manners.

Dr Yadu Singh

President, Federation of Indian Associations of NSW

http://www.fian.org.au, http://www.facebook.com/FianInc, http://www.twitter.com/FianInc

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http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

http://www.facebook.com/dryadusingh

This is simply ignorant and racist

Sydney, NSW
15th December, 2015

The Cartoon by Mr Bill Leak in The Australian newspaper on Monday, 14th Dec, 2015 is ignorant and racist.

Courtesy The Australian newspaper

Courtesy The Australian newspaper

It depicts a few poor Indians in India trying to eat the solar panels, with Mango Chutney. The message from the cartoon is that Indians don’t know what the Solar Panels are for or that Indians need to worry about Food, instead of high tech Solar Panels.

Bill Leak is wrong on both aspects.

Solar Panels are increasingly used in India, because of plentiful supply of sunshine, subsidy by the authorities and erratic supply of conventional energy. I know that a few people in my own village in Uttar Pradesh State have been using it for variety of purposes for many years.

Indians are fully capable of handling technology. Mobile Internet and Mobile Phones are every where, even in the remote parts of the nation. Social media is quite common everywhere.

India needs energy ie electricity. Coal-fire powered thermal power centres are the most common source for the energy, but India is making progress to diversify into Nuclear energy and Solar power. This is a responsible step because it will reduce pollution and help in climate change.

India is the fourth biggest source of global pollution. Anything which will reduce this undesirable contribution is a welcome step.

India is a developing economy but is not a economic backwater. It is 3rd biggest economy on PPP basis. It is a global leader in IT and is the fastest growing economy since last quarter of 2014, surpassing China. The days of primitive nature of economy are long gone, but people like Bill Leak seem to be stuck on the state of India in 1950s.

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Economic growth in India surpassed China this year

(Source: Charles Schwab, International Monetary Fund data as of 11/20/2015.

China’s growth rate is widely expected to decline. The IMF forecasts GDP will slow from around 6.8% in 2015 to 6.3% in 2016. However, the IMF forecasts India’s growth rate of about 7.3% in 2015 is expected to reach 7.5% in 2016 and continue to rise to 7.7% by 2020.)

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Undoubtedly, India has many poor people, but it also has approx. 300+ million strong middle class, which has the knowledge, money and interest in, and will happily benefit from, newer sources of electricity. After all, India has plentiful of sunshine.

Bill Leak probably does not know that Indians have been the number one source of migrants to Australia over last few years. They are coming as the skilled migrants too, thus contributing to the Australian economy.

There are about 450,000 people of Indian heritage currently in Australia.

I read the article in The Australian today (15th Dec, 2015). Like others, I felt offended with the inherent racist message in the Cartoon. Bill Leak has, in the past, claimed that freedom to express is a fundamental right and that right includes right to offend. It may be true on the theoretical basis, but it is equally stupid to say or convey something which is without sufficient basis or conveying something which is unwarranted.

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Yadu Singh ‚ÄŹ@dryadusingh Dec 15¬†

, I hope you know about it.

, you are ignorant & racist. Please read up about India. should apologize.

Indian HC in Aus ‚ÄŹ@navdeepsuri Dec 15

Fully aware and doing what is required. Thanks

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I remember a Cartoon in Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) a few months ago, stereotyping Jewish people in a very adverse way, leading to significant outcry. This forced the SMH to apologise for the Cartoon.

Will Bill Leak and The Australian newspaper do the same in this case is something which we would wait and watch.

Further info:

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/14/australian-newspaper-cartoon-depicting-indians-eating-solar-panels-attacked-racist?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/cartoons/bleak-gallery/image-gallery/ee8a4ef1032a9da5a37c87ecb7f34c5c

Dr Yadu Singh
http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh
http://www.Facebook.com/dryadusingh

You are invited for INDIA DAY to celebrate Indian Independence Day, Parramatta, 15th August, 2015

INVITATION

INDIA DAY

Celebration of Indian Independence Day

Saturday, 15th August, 2015

The Parade Ground, Old King’s School, 24A O’Connell Street, Parramatta, NSW 2150

(Between Marsden & O’Connell Streets)

FREE event, NO Tickets

INDIA DAY POSTER A4 FINAL 23rd JULY

Opportunities for sponsorships & stalls

Yours sincerely

Dr Yadu Singh

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Federation of Indian Associations of NSW

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http://www.fian.org.au

http://www.facebook.com/FianInc

http://www.Twitter.com/FianInc

fianinc1@gmail.com

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Personal

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http://www.facebook.com/dryadusingh

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

https://au.linkedin.com/in/dryadusingh

Join us for Australia Day & Indian Republic Day celebration on Sunday 25th January, 2015

Australia Day and Indian Republic Day on 26th January are the national days of Australia and India respectively.

We are celebrating them together a day earlier on Sunday, 25th January, 2015

6-11 PM

Parravilla, 42 Campbell Street, Parramatta, NSW

It’s a ticketed event at $45/person

Prior booking essential

Flyer attached

Do join us.

INDAUS Flyer to community

Dr Yadu Singh

President

Indian Australian Association of NSW Inc

dryadusingh@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/INDAUS.NSW

http://www.facebbok.com/dryadusingh

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you and your family

Merry Christmas and Happy New year

Dr Yadu Singh & family

Sydney, Australia

 Dec 24, 2014

My speech at the UWS event for Indian community on 24th Nov, 2014

Dr Yadu SinghThis is the speech I delivered, as a guest speaker,¬†at the University of Western Sydney (UWS)¬†event for Indian community at Parravilla, Parramatta on Monday, 24th November, 2014. —————————————————————————————————–

 

Thank you for the kind words.

Prof Peter Shergold, Chancellor of University of Western Sydney, dignitaries, ladies and gentlemen, 

Namaste and good evening, 

I am grateful and feel privileged to have this opportunity to speak to you tonight. 

 

SO WHERE ARE WE ‚Äď AS A COMMUNITY- TODAY, AND WHERE DO WE NEED TO BE TOMORROW?¬†

There are about 500,000 people of Indian heritage in Australia and more than 100,000 of them live in New South Wales.  Most of the migrants from India have arrived in the last 10 years and India has been the top source of migrants to Australia over the last few years.  Most people have come to this country as skilled migrants. Obviously, skilled migrants contribute to the Australian economy significantly.  Our people not only take part in the service industry and public services, many of them are also into businesses, particularly small businesses, thus creating jobs.  Indian migrants give significant importance for education of their children.  It is not uncommon that they work hard, sometimes long hours and even two jobs, to make enough money so that they are able to send their children to private schools. Indian migrants are generally law-abiding people and their focus is significantly on the families and family values.  Even after they become Australian Citizens, they continue to remain in touch with their extended families back home in India.  This is something which has a great advantage to India. The inward remittance of 70 billion US dollars to India by overseas Indians in the years 2013-14 shows how valuable this is for India. To put this in perspective, the bilateral trade between Australia and India is only $15 billion Australian dollars and the bilateral trade between India and China is $60 billion US dollars, 2/3rd of which in each case is in favour of the other party. With the new Government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi taking office in May 2014, it is likely that investment policies will be streamlined.  This is expected to accelerate investment in India not only from businesses from all over the world but also from Indians who are living overseas.  Overseas Indians have great attachment with India. This would be strengthened, particularly for second and subsequent generations, and may even increase investment from them, if India were to see merits in granting dual citizenship to overseas Indians, just like the USA, UK, Canada, Australia and most developed and democratic nations grant this to their citizens.

Focusing on New South Wales, most Indian Australians are in Sydney, especially Western Sydney. There are constituencies where Indians constitute more than 15% of voters, thus able to influence outcomes of elections. To give an example, my surname ‚ÄúSingh‚ÄĚ is the most common surname in Blacktown. Indian Australians have significant presence in trades like medicine, law, banking, accounting, IT, food and catering, migration services and small to medium consumer businesses.¬† They are creating jobs for quite a number of people as you would expect from the small business sector in any part of the economy.¬† Many of us have good names in the professional arena. Some of us have started to make a mark in charity related work. Admirably, there are some who have become involved in helping the homeless with food and clothing.¬† This is all laudable, but I know we can do more.

Some of us are fortunate enough to have our elderly parents moving to Australia.  But with a passage of time, many of them feel lonely because there are not many people with whom they can socialize with when their family is away due to the usual commitments like work or education.  Many of them have an element of isolation and depression.  We do have many groups catering to them, but this definitely needs some more thinking, more work and co-ordination. We also need to think about culturally appropriate nursing homes and other care facilities, where our elderly people can be placed or cared for, when it becomes necessary. In the twilight years of their life it would be important that our elders are provided with solutions around language barriers and dietary requirements which they have been accustomed to.

Like any other migrant group, which comes to these shores with good education, our people do get jobs without much difficulty. There are definitely some who struggle to find jobs which are commensurate with their training and experience. Lack of local experience is often quoted when they are declined employment.  This is one area where incentives to employers as a government policy could be worth lobbying for. Even though there are Government services which try and aid employment, there is a need for some thought from the community to guide our newer migrants helping them to settle into life and employment. Mentoring of newer migrants, when necessary, will be very helpful.

There are hundreds of political parties in India which have their support base mostly in a particular geographical part of India. This is reflected here too. While there are a few pan-Indian based community associations, a lot more associations in our community are based on language or region of India.¬† It is not necessarily a bad thing because the basic purpose of community organisations is comradery and friendship among people who relate to that particular set of criteria.¬†Indians love to have community associations, replicating the experience in India. There is often a fierce competition among associations which, at times, is irrational and illogical.¬† They end up duplicating or even triplicating the same activity to satisfy their ego and ‚ÄúMe too‚ÄĚ syndrome. There is a need for some consolidation and understanding among community associations particularly on matters of common community goals.¬† These goals could be mentoring of new migrants for employment and settlement, health education on important health matters and lobbying the political leadership in favour of community interests.¬†It would be productive for community associations to become more accepting of their counterparts and working with one another towards common goals.¬†A dialogue must start and some key Indian media must take the initiative for this job. It is imperative that we put our egos behind and recognise the good qualities of our people.¬† Mirroring what happens in India, many community leaders continue to hold their positions for 10, 20 or even 25 years which stifles the growth of new ideas and perpetuate ego-based unnecessary competition.¬†We need young Indians to be active and we should encourage them to take leadership roles within the associations. Taking a cue from Australian politics, we need to start preparing the next set of leaders in our community. What is the point of holding a position with nothing to show as a result apart from some pictures on Facebook? Triviality such as taking pictures with leaders cannot be the sole focus of our community leaders.

It is vital to have leaders who understand their responsibilities towards the community and are effective communicators. A lot more could be done if the direction we as a community take is relevant and productive. Being an optimist, I envision a community where we would engage in meaningful dialogue among ourselves so that we are able to share problems and develop solutions. Only then will we be able to serve for the benefit of our community. For example, an Indian cultural center that is actually accessible. Or addressing the concerning fact that fewer women of  Indian heritage use mammogram screening compared to the screening rates in the general Australian population.

In regards to our political participation, I know Subcontinent Friends of Labor is an active group of Labor party members and supporters. Similarly, Liberal Friends of India has been quite energetic in creating a network of Liberal party supporters. But more can be done. I believe that more and more of us should join the political process at various levels if we are ever going to gain greater political representation in Parliament.

Except for Senator Lisa Singh, a representative of Tasmania in the Federal Senate there is no other person from an Indian heritage who is a member of a State or Federal Parliament. There are, however, several councilors and a few Deputy Mayors too, but, to the best of my knowledge, there is no person from the Indian-Australian community who is a Mayor in this country.  When we compare this with other ethnic backgrounds particularly Lebanese and Chinese, the contrast is quite stark.  It is a common point of discussion among us in moments of reflection.  It is clear that division in our community, based on ego and some other factors has created a situation preventing us from having a significant political presence, which is commensurate with our numbers.

So what is the solution? Do we vote for every Indian who contests in an election? I have no doubt that a mature community will base its decision on the ability and capacity of candidates instead of their race or religion. We want the best MPs to represent us in Parliament and factors like race and religion should not be given undue importance.¬†We should encourage Indians to join political parties and participate in the processes including pre-selections.¬†¬†I don’t believe it is a good idea to form a political party based on ethnicity, or an association based on caste.

Australia-based Government of India officials’ interactions with the community are, at times, less than satisfactory either because of their services, which may not meet our expectations or because they have meddled in community politics. This is counterproductive and needs to change. GOI officials need to understand, and accept, that they are public servants and are here to be of assistance to NRIs/PIOs, in addition to fulfilling their responsibilities, given to them by GOI. It is of mutual interest and benefit to have a constructive and supportive relationship between GOI agencies and the diaspora.

Our media is active, vibrant and crowded, which is not too dissimilar to community associations. They do, and can play, a very vital role by using their reach and clout for bridging divisions in the community, supporting good leadership and good work, and advocating for key community goals. They must stay away from partisan agenda, which, sadly, is the case with a few of them.

So, ladies and gentlemen, Indian Australians are indeed a great community which is highly qualified and politically aware.¬† Despite the size of our community we have not achieved satisfactory success in political representation, largely because of our own deficiencies.¬† This will, and can change if we refocus our energies and vision. We can do this refocusing if we start recognizing the good qualities and work of our people giving them that extra bit of support. We need to start networking and coordinating with the plethora of community groups for our common goals.¬†We need to control our envy, ‚ÄúTall Poppy Syndrome‚ÄĚ or ‚ÄúCrab‚ÄĚ mentality, if we ever want to take our community to its deserved heights. I believe that it is doable as we are smart and pragmatic people.¬† Nothing is impossible and there is nothing which we cannot achieve if we put our hearts together as a community. We must be united for and by our common goals for the community.

Thank you very much for your attention.

Namaste!

———————————————————————————————————————————— Dr Yadu Singh, Sydney, 25th Nov, 2014 http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh http://www.facebook.com/dryadusingh

Expectations from Prime Minister Modi

Dr Yadu SinghSydney, 14th November, 2014

Expectations from the Modi Govt

Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, is visiting Australia between 15th and 18th Nov, 2014. After attending G20 summit in Brisbane on 15th and 16th November, he will start his state visit. Indian community is excited with this visit. This is the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister after PM Rajiv Gandhi visited Australia in 1986. PM Modi will interact with the community in Sydney and Melbourne, in addition to addressing a Joint session of Australian Parliament.

Prime Minister Modi‚Äôs image is that of a decisive and a ‚Äúcan do‚ÄĚ leader. Indians, not just in India but around the world, are optimistic that things will change for the better and the Indian economy will grow rapidly.

When I wrote a post in June, 2014, I mentioned many things which people expected. Many of those things have either been delivered or getting delivered. Prime Ministerial visit to Australia is one of them. Nuclear trade deal has already been signed when Prime Minister Tony Abbott visited India in September. Australian citizens getting the facility of Visa on arrival in India is another one which is in the process of getting implemented. Serious work is in progress in regards to Black money, stashed in overseas Banks. Supreme Court’s activism is playing an important role in it. Investigations and prosecutions are likely to commence soon. Based on my interactions with many Indians in Australia, there are a few more things that people expect the new government to deliver.

Genuine dual citizenship: This has been discussed and debated for long. There is an almost universal demand that overseas Indians be given a right to hold genuine dual citizenship with voting and property rights, if the country of their citizenship has no issue with this and if there are no security issues with granting dual citizenship to any particular overseas Indian. If USA, UK, Australia and most of developed and democratic countries as well as some countries in the region see no issues in granting dual citizenship to their citizens, then people argue that there is no rational basis for India to deny dual citizenship to Indians. PM Modi has the political capital to deliver this long-standing demand. A petition and campaign for Dual citizenship is running on Change.org (http://tinyurl.com/kxtlosw) and Social media presently (http://tinyurl.com/m4b4luu).

Effective anti-corruption body: A group of 10-15 people from civil society including eminent jurists and overseas Indians (if possible) as well as politicians should be asked to review the Lokpal Act, passed by the Lok Sabha earlier, and suggest steps to rectify weaknesses to make it an effective corruption fighting body. Such body should have sufficient resources to discharge its functions. Unlike previous Govts, this whole process to fine-tune this should not take more than one year from the time NDA Govt took office.

The PM’s global Overseas Indians Advisory body: The PM should revamp his Global Advisory Body, constituted by the previous Govt. People in it should be those who have significant presence, influence and interactions among Indians in their countries. The practice of Indian diplomats recommending their sycophants to become members of this body should be done away with.

Country specific Overseas Indian Advisory body: Countries with significant overseas Indian populations (Australia is certainly one such country) should have an advisory body of not more than 10 people, which can be used for consultations and other advisory purposes, not only by the local GOI authorities/agencies, but also the relevant authorities/agencies in India. Its term should be for not more than 2 years.

Annual consultation between High Commission and Community: Previous High Commissioner of India in Australia, and current External Affairs Secretary, Smt Sujatha Singh, started a novel, and productive, mechanism to meet the community representatives in Canberra on a yearly basis. Representatives from all over Australia would assemble on a weekend to discuss and suggest things to Indian diplomats. Current High Commissioner, Biren Nanda, did not continue this practice. The communication from High Commission and community has been limited and confined to a small group of people, who are close to HCI. Previous practice of community consultation needs to be reactivated.

Annual dialogue between Indian and Australian leaders: Indian Australians will like to see formal and regular annual meetings between PMs, Foreign Affairs Ministers and Defence Ministers, with venues alternating between India and Australia.

Free Trade Agreement (FTA): The pace of the discussions and negotiations should be accelerated so that FTA can be concluded by the end of 2015. This will accelerate bilateral trade which has come down to about $15 billion from previous high of $21 billion. This is important as Australia already has FTAs with Japan, South Korea and China.

Bilateral and multi-lateral defence exercises between India and Australia: India and Australia should work actively to enhance their defence & strategic relations bilaterally and multilaterally in the pattern agreed prior to the 2007 Rudd Govt in Australia.

Hindi teachings in Australian Universities: To increase India’s soft power and increase the numbers of India-literate Australians, India should consider seriously funding such teaching courses in at least one University each in Sydney and Melbourne. Discussions should be had between relevant authorities to explore equal sharing of cost between Australia and India.

Facilitations of Australian Universities and TAFE to have campuses in India: Many Australian institutions are ranked quite highly in various world Universities ranking systems. Collaborations in this field should be actively facilitated and encouraged, following a pragmatic and win-win module. Indian regulations to facilitate this should be considered.

Recognition of TAFE diploma in India: Many Indian students come to Australia to train in TAFE institutes. Many then move on to Universities to complete degrees. In addition to the diplomas not being recognised to the extent that the students wanting to pursue this study in Australia do not even get the education loans, Association of Indian Universities (the peak body responsible for recognising foreign degrees) does not recognise even Bachelor degrees that may have resulted from a credit transfer after a diploma resulting in the degree component being lesser than 3 year duration. (Diploma to Degree). This is a unique feature of Australian Qualification framework and so should be understood by Educational authorities. Quite a good numbers of Indians in Australia have earned their degrees through this pathway. TAFE institutes are a unique institution and it will be beneficial for India to consider recognizing diplomas from TAFE.

Bilateral Internship positions for Australians and Indians: Institutes and Universities of repute in both countries should be encouraged to develop mechanisms to have short term (3-6 months) placements for students and researchers to enhance collaboration in science and research.

Indian media’s bureau/representatives in Australia: During 2009-10, Indian media reported issues involving Indian students in an exaggerated way, erroneously attributing racism in literally every incident. They did not interact with local long-term Indians. It was harder for media to have a grasp of the ground realities. It will be helpful if key media outlets consider basing their representatives in Australia to cover Oceania. With increasing trade related activities between Australia and India and with increased number of Indians here, there could be sufficient justification for such decisions. Indian Govt can encourage media houses to take up this matter. A good beginning could be of a posting a full time Press Trust of India (PTI) reporter in Australia.

Indian Consulate in Brisbane: Queensland is an important state for Indian investment. Indian business houses like the Adani group have an important and a significant presence in this state. It is important to have an Indian Consulate in Brisbane.

India House or Indian Cultural Centre in major capital cities: There are more than 500,000 people of Indian heritage in Australia, with a big concentration in Sydney and Melbourne. People believe that there should be Indian cultural centers in Australia, at least in Sydney and Melbourne. While some funding will be raised locally, a significant part of the funds should come from Indian Govt. Govt of India (GOI) Funds, if any, allocated for something of this nature to be established in the Indian Consulate premises in Sydney CBD should be reviewed and re-allocated for a center of this nature in areas like Parramatta or Blacktown, where the Indian community has a substantial presence. Sydney CBD is not a practical or appropriate site for an Indian Cultural Centre.

Overseas Indians’ property in India: Many overseas Indians are seeing that their properties are illegally occupied and face threats to their safety when they visit India. Court cases go on for extended periods of time. Indian Penal Code and relevant laws should be amended to tackle this menace.

Interactions between GOI agencies and Indian Australian community: It is often felt that GOI authorities in Australia do not interact with people sufficiently, thus leading to a communication gap. It is a common experience that there is a significant gap between what we expect and what is delivered. It is also felt that GOI officials often get embroiled in local community politics and play ‚Äúfavoritism‚ÄĚ games depending on who they like or dislike. It is quite irrational and subjective. Steps should be implemented to improve the situation.

Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs visit to Australia: With approx. 500,000 people of Indian heritage in Australia, a biennial visit of Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs (The Hon Sushma Swaraj) or her deputy, The Hon Gen (Retd) V K Singh or External Affairs Secretary, should be included in the official GOI travel calendar. This will help facilitate interactions with the community and facilitate Overseas Indians’ investment in India.

Streamlined grievance redressal mechanism for Overseas Indians: Overseas Indian Affairs ministry has often not been very helpful and help has often not come in a timely fashion due to excessive bureaucratic influences. This should be reviewed and streamlined.

Exchanges between Academicians and civil Society leaders: We need regular bilateral exchange visits of academics, journalists, leaders and civil society leaders. This will help improve relations between the two countries. The scope and numbers should be increased.

In summary, it will be of mutual benefit to the community in Australia and India if the Indian government is proactive in considering the interests and welfare of the Indian community down under.

 

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/14th November, 2014

dryadusingh@gmail.com

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Press release on Dual Citizenship

Dr Yadu SinghSydney, Australia

14th November, 2014

Press Release

Indian community in Australia starts an online campaign to urge Indian Prime Minister, Sri Narendra Modi, to grant dual citizenship to overseas Indians.

Spokesperson for the campaign and President of Indian Australian Association of NSW Inc, Dr. Yadu Singh said ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs time that Indian government grants NRIs dual citizenship‚ÄĚ.

He further said ‚ÄúThere are an estimated 25 million non-resident Indians (NRIs), people of Indian origin (PIOs) and overseas citizens of India (OCIs) spread across more than 200 countries. Cumulatively, they contributed about $70 billion in remittances to India in 2013-14‚ÄĚ.

‚ÄúThe recent changes in the PIO and OCI cards announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi are welcome, but they do not meet the long-term demand of dual citizenship by overseas Indians‚ÄĚ.

‚ÄúThe overseas citizenship card (OCC) falls well short of genuine dual citizenship. Many of us overseas Indians have been demanding genuine dual citizenship, with full political and economic rights in India on par with the rights enjoyed by Indian citizens. Former attorney general Soli Sorabjee was right in stating in 2005: ‚ÄúIf we want to involve the diaspora, then we can‚Äôt deny them the right to vote or the right to occupy important office.‚ÄĚ

Overseas Indians, whether they hold Indian passports or have foreign passports, have an emotional bond with India. That holds true for a majority of people of Indian heritage. When major democratic and developed countries like USA, Canada, UK and Australia have no issue with dual citizenship, there can’t be a real justification for India to treat its own people unfavourably.

The promise of dual citizenship was made by former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in 2003. Since then there have been statements from senior politicians about them favouring dual citizenship. But the matter has not progressed further. Statements are not enough. The following actions should be taken: 1. Granting Indian passports (dual citizenship) to overseas citizens of Indian heritage with full political and economic rights 2. Granting of convenient voting rights to such dual passport-holding overseas Indians as well as overseas Indians with Indian passports (NRIs), which can be exercised either at the consulate, high commission or embassy premises in their country of residence and through postal or online facilities.

India should consider taking a cue from Australia’s repeal of Section 17 of the Australian Citizenship Act 1948 that took effect from April 2002 permitting dual citizenship.

Dr Singh also said ‚ÄúIt is important for second and subsequent generations of Indians, besides first generation, to stay emotionally and politically connected with India. Dual citizenship will make it more likely that this will happen‚ÄĚ.

Prime Minister Modi has the political capital, strength in the Parliament and the goodwill for/from the overseas Indians, who supported him massively, to get the Parliament to grant dual citizenship to Overseas Indians.

The campaign has just started from Australia. It has created great excitement in Indian community. It is gaining momentum and it will get enthusiastic support from Indian diaspora all over the world, particularly United States of America, Canada, UK and Australia. It will continue to be run until India sees merits in granting dual citizenship.

Dr. Singh said ‚ÄúI will make an appeal to PM Modi personally if there is an opportunity to meet him‚ÄĚ.

Appeal is run via Change.org (https://www.change.org/p/the-honorable-sri-narendra-modi-appeal-to-grant-dual-citizenship-to-overseas-indians and Social media (www.facebook.com/IndianDualCitizenship)

Further comment: Dr Yadu Singh, dryadusingh@gmail.com +61 413 375 669

Sign the petition for Dual Citizenship for Overseas Indians

Dual Citizenship

Please SIGN this petition below and FORWARD it to others in your network.

https://www.change.org/p/the-honorable-sri-narendra-modi-appeal-to-grant-dual-citizenship-to-overseas-indians

Please visit this Faceook page on Dual Citizenship for Overseas Indians and “Like” it. Please share it.

https://www.facebook.com/#!/IndianDualCitizenship

Indian Diaspora is requested to SIGN the petition and JOIN in the campaign.

Thank  you on behalf of Indian Dual Citizenship Campaign

Yadu Singh/Saturday/8th Nov, 2014/Sydney, Australia

indiandualcitizenship@gmail.com

http://www.Facebook.com/IndianDualCitizenship

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Opinion piece on dual citizenship in The Economic Times

Dr Yadu SinghIt’s time Indian government granted NRIs dual citizenship

October 31, 2014, 4:16 am IST in ET Commentary | India | ET

There are an estimated 25 million non-resident Indians (NRIs), people of Indian origin (PIOs) and overseas citizens of India (OCIs) spread across more than 200 countries. Cumulatively, they contributed about $70 billion in remittances to India in 2013-14. The recent changes in the PIO and OCI cards announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi are welcome.

But they do not meet the long-term demand of dual citizenship by overseas Indians. The overseas citizenship card (OCC) falls well short of genuine dual citizenship. Many of us overseas Indians have been demanding genuine dual citizenship, with full political and economic rights in India on par with the rights enjoyed by Indian citizens. Former attorney general Soli Sorabjee was right in stating in 2005: ‚ÄúIf we want to involve the diaspora, then we can‚Äôt deny them the right to vote or the right to occupy important office.‚ÄĚ

Overseas Indians, whether they hold Indian passports or have foreign passports, have an emotional bond with India. That holds true for a majority of people of Indian heritage. When major democratic and developed countries have no issue with dual citizenship, there can’t be a real justification for India to treat its own people unfavourably.

The promise of dual citizenship was made by former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in 2003. Since then there have been statements from senior politicians about them favouring dual citizenship. But the matter has not progressed further. Statements are not enough. The following actions should be taken: 1. Granting Indian passports (dual citizenship) to overseas citizens of Indian heritage with full rights including voting and political rights. 2. Granting of convenient voting rights to such dual passport-holding overseas Indians as well as overseas Indians with Indian passports (NRIs), which can be exercised either at the consulate, high commission or embassy premises in their country of residence and through postal or online facilities.

India should consider taking a cue from Australia’s repeal of Section 17 of the Australian Citizenship Act 1948 that took effect from April 2002 permitting dual citizenship.

(The author is a resident of Sydney, Australia)

http://blogs.economictimes.indiatimes.com/et-commentary/its-time-indian-government-granted-nris-dual-citizenship/ http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/Article.aspx?eid=31816&articlexml=Give-Us-This-Day-Our-Dual-Citizenship-31102014015034# OPED_Oct31_CAP

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Dr Yadu Singh, Sydney, Australia/4th Nov, 2014

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Happy Diwali

Sydney, 23rd October, 2014

Happy Diwali 

May this Diwali bring you and your family all the joy, success, health and wealth!

May there be Peace in the whole world!

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On This Diwali Lets pray to Almighty God for :

ŗ•ź ŗ§Öŗ§łŗ§§ŗ•č ŗ§ģŗ§ĺ ŗ§łŗ§¶ŗ•ćŗ§óŗ§ģŗ§Į ŗ•§
ŗ§§ŗ§ģŗ§łŗ•č ŗ§ģŗ§ĺ ŗ§úŗ•ćŗ§Įŗ•čŗ§§ŗ§Ņŗ§įŗ•ćŗ§óŗ§ģŗ§Į ŗ•§
ŗ§ģŗ•Éŗ§§ŗ•ćŗ§Įŗ•čŗ§įŗ•ćŗ§ģŗ§ĺ ŗ§Öŗ§ģŗ•Éŗ§§ŗ§ā ŗ§óŗ§ģŗ§Į ŗ•§
ŗ•ź ŗ§∂ŗ§ĺŗ§®ŗ•ćŗ§§ŗ§Ņŗ§É ŗ§∂ŗ§ĺŗ§®ŗ•ćŗ§§ŗ§Ņŗ§É ŗ§∂ŗ§ĺŗ§®ŗ•ćŗ§§ŗ§Ņŗ§É ŗ••
Om Asato Maa Sad-Gamaya |
Tamaso Maa Jyotir-Gamaya |
Mrtyor-Maa Amrtam Gamaya |
Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih ||

Meaning:
1: Om, Lead us from Unreality (of Transitory Existence) to the Reality (of Self),
2: Lead us from the Darkness (of Ignorance) to the Light (of Spiritual Knowledge),
3: Lead us from the Fear of Death to the Knowledge of Immortality.
4: Om Peace, Peace, Peace.

 Brihadaranyaka, Upanishad 1.3.28

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Happy Diwali! Happy new year!!

From Dr Yadu Singh & family

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Low Breast Cancer screening rates among Indian and Sri Lankan women in NSW need to change

Free Community seminar for info on Breast Cancer screening

Free Community seminar for info on Breast Cancer screening

ADDRESSING LOW BREAST SCREENING RATES IN SRI LANKAN AND INDIAN WOMEN IN NSW

Did you know that breast cancer is a leading cause of death in women in India and Sri Lanka?

In Australia, the Department of Health and Aging seeks to persuade women aged 50 to 69 years to have a Mammography every two years.¬†¬† This strategy is adopted because the risk of developing breast cancer¬† increases with age.¬†Research shows that ‚Äú75 per cent of all breast cancers occur in women over the age of 50 years.‚Ä̬† According to Cancer Australia, in 2009 the average age of breast cancer diagnosis in Australia was 60.7 years¬† and, in 2010, 52.5% of new breast cancer cases diagnosed were in women aged 50‚Äď69 years. This age-related risk is also reflected in many other studies.

Breast Cancer community meeting BannersLast month, I attended an Indian and Sri Lankan community leaders forum organised by the NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service (http://www.mhcs.health.nsw.gov.au), which partnered with the NSW Refugee Health Service (http://www.swslhd.nsw.gov.au/refugee) and the Cancer Institute NSW (http://www.cancerinstitute.org.au).

At this forum I found some disturbing news:

  1. In NSW, approximately one in five women of Tamil or Hindi speaking background participate in breast screening. This compares with screening participation of about one in two women in the general population.
  2. The vast majority of women who speak Hindi or Tamil in NSW do not regularly attend BreastScreen.
  3. In NSW, Tamil speaking women are about 4 times less likely to participate in breast screening compared with women in the general population.
  4. In NSW, Hindi speaking women are about one third less likely to participate in breast screening compared with women in the general population.
  5. Hindi and Tamil speaking women are the two culturally and linguistically diverse groups least likely to participate in breast screening in NSW.
Breast Cancer Screening Community Forum

Community leaders, members and organisers at Thornleigh Community Centre

Pink Sari ProjectThe “Pink Sari” Project is a community based initiative that is helping to address that ‚Äď to bring various organisations together to increase breast screening rates in women from Indian and Sri Lankan communities in NSW. The Pink Sari Project was launched at the forum. Over 80 people attended the forum to learn how they can all pledge their support to help save the lives of mothers, grandmothers, daughters and sisters in the Indian and Sri Lankan communities.
One of their strongest advocates is Indian-born, Parramatta-based doctor, Dr. Palu Malaowalla who is also a breast cancer survivor. She says, ‚ÄúAs a doctor, I do breast checks for everyone yet I didn‚Äôt find my own cancer. Even the surgeons couldn‚Äôt find it. It was only on mammogram that it was detected. That saved my life.‚ÄĚ

You can view Palu’s interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vc8f0PEsXmE

Meredith Kay, Director of the BreastScreen NSW, Northern Sydney Local Health District said “nine out of ten breast cancers occur in women with no family history, so being ‚Äėbreast aware‚Äô and spending 30 minutes every two years will bring peace of mind”.¬† ‚ÄúWomen need to be aware that early detection significantly increases the chance of survival from breast cancer to as much as 97%, and for women aged 50-74, a mammogram every two years can detect a breast cancer the size of a grain of rice, long before it can be felt or seen‚ÄĚ.

Studies have identified a number of factors as influencing and/or mitigating attitudes among South Asian immigrant women including those from India and Sri Lankan in relation to breast screening. These include:

‚ÄĘ Lack of knowledge about breast cancer and health matters;

‚ÄĘ Fear and superstitions;

‚ÄĘ Family honour;

‚ÄĘ Lack of time;

‚ÄĘ Modesty and

‚ÄĘMisunderstanding and lack of English language proficiency in some cases.

COMMUNITY INFORMATION SESSION
Why do we have low rates? What can be done? What is the current understanding of breast cancer?
What are the myths and more importantly FACTS about BreastScreening /Mammograms?

Sunday, 1.30PM to 3.30PM, 16 November 2014 at Ermington Community Centre, Ermington, NSW 2115.

Indian and Sri Lankan community members, associations and media are encouraged to attend. Community members, especially women from Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Nepali background are very welcome to attend.

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/21st October, 2014

dryadusingh@gmail.com

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(With inputs and contribution from Pink Sari Project team)

Parramasala: politics and beyond

Sydney, 8th October, 2014

Parramasala is a key festival, organised by the NSW Government. Held in Parramatta, the heart of Western Sydney, it is in its fifth year. Starting out as an Australian festival of South Asian arts and culture, it is now very multicultural. Performances include those from the cultures of South America, the Pacific Islands, the Middle East and Europe, besides the Indian subcontinent.

According to the Parramasala organisers, 44 per cent of the performances are from the Indian subcontinent backgrounds, and 36 per cent of these are from India, while the other 56 per cent are from a wide and diverse range of backgrounds. There are more than 20 nationalities and cultures represented at Parramasala 2014. Importantly, 96 per cent of the Parramasala performances are free events, which is impressive and commendable.

While Parramatta precincts, especially Prince Alfred Park and Riverside Theatre, will continue to be the centre of the festival, Harris Park, the Little India of Sydney, will be included for the first time. Harris Park Bollywood Block ‚ÄúCurry On‚ÄĚ party on Saturday, 18 October, will have a parade, cultural performances from a stage in the roundabout of Wigram and Marion Streets, and food carts, serving delicacies by popular restaurants of Harris Park. This should definitely be an added attraction for those attending Parramasala.

The Parramasala board is ably chaired by Dr Harry Harinath and steered by Di Henry, an internationally renowned producer and director of events, exhibitions, operations, media campaigns and marketing. It is in able and competent hands, and can’t go wrong.

Looking at the program list, one cannot but admire the variety and quality. Whether you like street parades, Bollywood performances, Indian cultural dances, comedy, Flamenco dances, Belly dances, Kurdish music, African performances or Pacific Island dances, Parramasala has it all. Really, what more can one ask for from a festival?
Shiamak Davar group will be performing, and a Qawwali event is included too. Popular drama ‚ÄúKanjoos‚ÄĚ (Miser), directed by talented Saba Zaidi Abdi is part of it too.

The South Asian Film component will showcase talent from South Asian film professionals.

It is clear that Parramasala 2014 is bigger and definitely better than before.

Organized by Destination NSW, and Partnered by Parramatta Council, Parramasala is destined to achieve its due place in the cultural calendar of NSW.

That Parramasala is an important event for the Indian sub-continent community was evidenced by some social media commentary about who was invited and who was not invited for the launch of Parramasala at Harris Park on 27 August, 2014.
Its importance was further established when two Indian community newspapers had a debate over the festival. I don’t intend to comment about any controversy, nor do I want to take sides in a slanging match.

I will, however, say this: Parramasala is essentially a Govt of NSW event, supported by the Parramatta Council. They do have the right to select the board and the program director. They are the ones who have the rightful authority to organise it the way they want to do it. Parramasala is neither a pure nor an exclusively Indian sub-continental event. It is much beyond that, and it must stay that way.

While it is always important to be inclusive and consult as many stake-holders and interested parties as possible, it is never going to be possible to consult everyone who might consider themselves stake-holders. In any case the Parramasala board is accessible to all who wish to be heard; we can write to them or call them with our suggestions and feedback.

Similarly, it is never going to be possible to invite everyone for any event. Parramasala is no exception. Parramasala cannot invite every single South Asian business in Sydney (there are reportedly thousands of South Asian businesses); nor is it practical for all the community groups and associations to be invited for key events. We need to be pragmatic and realistic.

We need to see the bigger picture.

If I have to say anything more on it, I will say that Parramasala Board should make a list of people it should consult and a list of people it should invite for key events. This list should be based on some objective parameters, not the ‚Äúliking‚ÄĚ or ‚Äúdisliking‚ÄĚ of some of the people who are associated with Parramasala. Networking ability and reach in the community should probably be part of such parameters. I could not quite understand why talented film professional Ana Tiwary was not invited. After all, Ana works with ABC, and in fact her acclaimed documentary on Indian students was screened in Parramasala last year. There is definitely scope for fine-tuning the networking and invitation lists for any Govt-assisted or organised event, using objective criterion.

Parramasala was initially launched by NSW Premier, Kristina Keneally, in 2010, soon after the Indian student issue had made headlines in India and Australia, and just a few months before the NSW state election in March 2011. It attracted a lot of attention, especially from the Indian sub-continental communities. The media too covered it prominently. There was, however, some uncertainty about its continuation last year, until the NSW Govt finally decided to continue funding it. In fact, the launch of Parramasala last year was quite disorganised, and even the Parramatta Mayor, John Chedid, was not in the loop, solely due to politics of people who pulled strings in the previous NSW Govt. John Chedid has been a strong supporter of Parramasala in general, and a strong protagonist in taking part of Parramasala to Harris Park. I might add here that most of the members from the Parramatta Mayor‚Äôs advisory committee (myself included) on Parramasala were not even aware of the launch last year. ‚ÄúFavoritism‚ÄĚ was the only criterion for last year‚Äôs launch invitations. It was childish, and not a smart move by any means.

Parramasala, which started out as a festival of South Asian arts and culture as its focus, has now become a truly multicultural event. Even though it is not a necessarily bad move, I believe South Asia must continue to be its focus. I suggest that efforts must be made to have at least 60 per cent of the performances from South Asian background.

Parramasala has all the ingredients of a truly popular festival in a successful multicultural state like NSW, if we all work together. Taking the cue from what Prime Minister Tony Abbott said recently, we all need to be part of ‚ÄúTeam NSW for Parramasala‚ÄĚ led by the Premier and Chair of Board of Parramasala. ‚ÄúTeam NSW for Parramasala‚ÄĚ obviously will include NSW Govt led by Premier Mike Baird, Destination NSW, Community Relations Commission, Indian sub-continent communities and sub-continental media.

May I also suggest to members of the Indian sub-continent community and the media to not worry about what Parramasala is giving them personally, but ask what they are giving to Parramasala to make it the most successful event this year and beyond?

If I were running Parramasala, or had the ears of Parramasala Board, and they were listening to me, I will do everything to ask as many people of the Indian sub-continent community and the media, and supporters of multiculturalism in NSW, to join the campaign to not only promote it through their social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, but also to make sure they attend the event from 17-19 October, 2014.

The Parramasala logo will be in my profile picture on Facebook and Twitter, starting 10 October. I urge everyone in my network, and in my friends’ network, to do something similar to get the word out.

Parramasala is a festival for me, my family and friends, and I, like them, will be attending, and promoting, it with enthusiasm.

Published in Indian Sun news magazine http://www.theindiansun.com.au/parramasala-2014-politics-and-beyond/

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Dr Yadu Singh is a Sydney based cardiologist and the President of Indian Australian Association of NSW. He is an active member of the community. He is also active in social media and writes regularly in his Blog http://www.yadusingh.wordpress.com More details of Parramasala: http://www.parramasala.com

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G20 Finance ministers meeting in Cairns, 20-21 Sept, 2014 made some very important policy decisions!

24rd Sept, 2014

G20 meeting of Finance ministers and Central Banks Governors on 20-21 Sept, 2014 at Cairns was an important meeting. It made many policy commitments, which, if implemented, will help the world economy significantly.

G20 is the group of 20 important nations comprising of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.

It has the 85% of the global GDP and 75% of the global trade.

This G20 meeting was chaired by Joe Hockey, Australian Treasurer. Indian Trade minister, Mrs Nirmala Sitharaman attended the meet. Reserve Bank of India Governor, Mr Raghuram Rajan also attended it. Finance minister, Arun Jaitley, could not attend it due to illness.

It has put out a communique at the end of the meet. Link is here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-2763870/TEXT-Communique-G20-Finance-Ministers-Central-Bankers-meeting.html

Salient outcome of the meeting:

  • More than 900 policy initiatives, most of them new
  • plans/policies to increase global GDP by 2% by 2018
  • Plans/policies add $US2 trillion to global economy by 2018
  • Plans to create millions of jobs
  • Plans/policies to boost infrastructure investment, with creation of database to match quality projects and investors
  • Labour market reform
  • Policies to curb tax avoidance and evasion¬†ie¬† “black money”

Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) action plan requires a commitment to finalising all action items in 2015. G20 meeting endorsed the finalised global Common Reporting Standard for automatic exchange of tax information on a reciprocal basis, providing an ability to tackle and deter cross-border tax evasion.  Information exchange on this will begin automatically between each other and with other countries by 2017,  subject to the completion of necessary legislative procedures.

Black money is a significant problem for many countries. India is a particular victim, but is not alone in¬†this category. ¬†Curbing black money and bringing it back should help the national economies and their people. It is reported (http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/sep/03/one-g20-cracking-down-corruption)¬†that “black money” costs poorer countries a trillion dollars annually.

These policy decisions are good, but only time will tell whether each country implements them fully. Past experience suggests that the implementation of such decisions is less than desired.

Based on information from G20 Information Centre of University of Toronto (http://www.g20.utoronto.ca/), Australia implemented only 69% of its commitments, China 50%, and Saudi Arabia only¬†47%, after last year’s G20 summit in St Petersburg. Obviously, it will be better if these numbers are in the range of 90-100% bracket.

IMF-OECD expertise will be available to the member nations to monitor implementation of these policy commitments.

G20 Leaders’ summit is due to be held in Brisbane on 15-16th Nov, 2014. Indian Prime minister, Narendra Modi is attending this meeting. This will be the first¬†visit to Australia by an Indian PM in the last 26 years. Late Sri Rajiv Gandhi was the last Indian PM who visited Australia.

 

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney, Australia

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Politics, political parties and Indian Australian community!

 

Sydney, 1st Sept, 2014Australian Flag

There are over 150,000 people of Indian heritage in NSW and 500,000 people Australia wide. Ours is an increasingly important community politically. In Western suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne, there are constituencies, where Indian Australians constitute more than 10% of total votes. Our votes can decide the outcome in many marginal seats.

It is no wonder that political parties are reaching out to Indian Australian community actively. It started with Parliamentary friends of India during previous NSW Govts led by Nathan Rees/Kristina Keneally, followed by Liberal Friends of India formed about one year ago. Similar groupings are in existence federally and Victoria in one or the other form.

While there is no doubt that we are important electorally, the thrust from political parties has been to deal with us only symbolically, not substantially. Except for the recent pre-selection of an Indian Australian in Seven Hills seat, there is no sign of any efforts from any political party to preselect anyone from our community for any of safe seats. If any of us is ever preselected, it is generally for those seats where there is no chance of us winning. ALP’s Harmohan Walia contesting a safe Liberal seat of Mitchell some years ago and inclusion of Bhupinder Chhibber in the Senate list from ALP last year, albeit at a lower and unwinnable spot, are two classical examples. There was no chance of them winning. Similar examples are there from Liberal side too. These are examples of tokenism.

Over the years, our community dynamics have been changing. Indians have been migrating to Australia in big numbers. India has been the top source of migrants over the last few years. Many of us have been joining political parties too, but still not in sufficient numbers.

Prior to 1990s, Indians were big on supporting ALP. Smart marketing and outreach by ALP created an impression that ALP was more favourable and friendly to ethnic migrants. Prime Ministers, Bob Hawke and Paul Keating, were liked by Indians and other ethnic communities. Liberal Party leader, John Howard, before he became the Prime Minister, had the baggage of his comment against Asian migration in 1980s, which created some significant concerns regarding his stand towards ethnic migrants. It lingered on even after he admitted that his statement was a mistake. Unfortunately, this impression became further re-enforced in our minds when we saw the excessively harsh commentary, actions and sanctions by Australia against India after 1998 nuclear tests. Indian army officers were expelled from Australia overnight. The tone and the contents of Foreign Minister Alexander Downer’s statements were particularly terse. It created a serious damage to India-Australia relations. Things changed quite favourably for Liberal party though when PM John Howard declared that Australia would sell Uranium to India in 2007, while ALP persisted with its policy of ban to sell Uranium to India, until Martin Ferguson and PM Gillard led campaign to reverse the ban succeeded at the end of 2012.

Today, there are almost equal supporters in our community for ALP and Liberal Party, although ALP supporters may have an edge. This support has been determined by variety of factors, which did include Uranium issue in the past. With changed dynamics of our community now however, economic management, policy on asylum seekers and business-friendly policies are playing a big role in our attitudes towards political parties. Quite a good number of our people are in small businesses. Younger members of our community are driven more by market economy than socialist ideas. After all, India has been an open and market-based economy since 1991, which has exposed our younger people, before they migrated, to market and open economy.

ALP and our community: There is a significant contingent of ALP supporters in our community, based largely in Western suburbs. They take part in ALP-supporting events through the year and during elections. ALP Premiers used to take some community members with them while taking trade delegations to India, thus giving an impression of inclusion. Subcontinent Friends of Labor was an initiative from NSW ALP HQ, which was provided full support by ALP top leaders to make it known and popular in the community. Grants to various temples and community groups was one of the strategy to win support. This has its advantages and disadvantages. This group is not as strong now as it was during ALP Govts in NSW and Canberra for obvious reasons. Its biggest drawback was its attempts to go against some sub-continental candidates like Susai Benjamin, as part of Right faction Vs Left faction battle. This was seen too during Bill Shorten Vs Anthony Albanese ALP leadership contest last year. This was not smart by any means, because it weakened and divided ALP members from Indian sub-continent significantly. On the positive side, ALP at least in NSW has a better strategy to communicate its stands and policies by emails to not only ALP members, but also other community members who are not ALP members. As Indians constitute a very big proportion of Indian sub-continental people in NSW and since interests of India are quite different from interests of other countries in the Indian sub-continent, it is preferable, in my view, to go for Labor Friend of India. Utopian socialist idea of Indian sub-continental unity or brotherhood is a myth, impractical and is never going to work.

Liberal Party and our Community: Prior to 2011 NSW State elections, then Leader of Opposition, Barry O‚ÄôFarrell, was seen literally in every community event, but it changed dramatically once Liberal Party formed the Govt. Premier, Barry O‚ÄôFarrell chose to rely only on one Indian who, in effect, had hardly any networking within the community, and did not help Liberals get many votes. Until election, he was virtually unknown. Indians were perplexed why he was being promoted on behalf of Liberal Govt in NSW. Premier O‚ÄôFarrell ignored even Australia India Business Council (AIBC) when visiting India with trade delegations. Our community formed a clear and wide-spread perception that Indian community was actively distanced from NSW Govt either as a default or design. It indeed caused a substantial ill-feeling towards Liberal Party and NSW Govt. This was conveyed to local MPs, but they were either unwilling or, more likely, unable to do anything about it due to the fact that everything was driven from the former Premier‚Äôs office. Current Premier, Mike Baird, is much more inclusive, which is a welcome change and is already generating some goodwill. A lot more however needs to be done to overcome the damage. Time only will tell whether there is a real directional change under current Premier. Liberal Friends of India (LFI) is a good initiative but it has lost its charm or the enthusiasm lately. It needs to be reinvigorated. There was a time when ¬†we saw one more body of the similar type with the name of ¬†“Liberal friends of the subcontinent” ¬†doing some events in Western Sydney. This created some considerable confusion. I am not sure what is IRS status now. LFI also needs participation from top ministers and must allow membership of even those community members who are Liberal-minded but are not members of Liberal party. It should not just be a mechanism to raise funds for the party. Its Chairman should be a key Minister with Executive Committee comprising of key Liberal-inclined community members, irrespective of their Liberal Party membership status. LFI needs to be reformed and relaunched.

Parramasala, an initiative of Keneally NSW Labor Govt, is indeed a good idea, and I am happy to see that current Liberal NSW Govt has decided to continue funding it. I went to its launch only a few days ago, and noticed things which could have been done better. Ministerial Consultative Committee (MCC) for Indian community has been dissolved, like other MCCs, but there is a need to have some form of Advisory Body from our community for regular consultations, discussions and interactions between our community and the Govt.

NSW Friends of India: Like USA and some European countries, there is a need for such groups in Australia. It should be a bipartisan phenomenon, with key ministers, MPs, journalists, businesses and community members, with year-round activities involving lectures, debates and discussions. A group like this may not get enthusiastic support from the Govt, but we, as the community, should push for it. After all, there are bonafide pro-India people in all political parties, businesses and media.

Our community‚Äôs participation: It is also true that many of us do not join political parties in sufficient numbers. This should change. Australia is our country too, and we ought to take part in its processes in all shapes and forms. We get a chance to do so pretty actively if we are part of political parties. Only then, we will be able to go for pre-selections and elections to reach Parliaments. After all, quota system is not a good idea generally, and it is better to compete fairly and frankly. If we are not inclined to join main political parties, we can consider forming or being a part of issues-based groups like ‚ÄúVoice of the West‚ÄĚ focusing on Western suburbs to advance our political interests and ideas.

While at it, it will not be out of place to point out that we need to interact, collaborate and network with¬† members irrespective of their party or political affiliations and inclinations, when it comes to our common interests for the community. Just because someone is a member of ALP or Liberal party does not mean he or she is an enemy for those who are in opposing camps. There is no need or justification to badmouth or run an undermining campaign only because of someone’s political affiliation or inclination.

An edited version of my write-up was published by The Indian Sun newspaper recently. (http://www.theindiansun.com.au/top-story/australian-political-parties-indian-community/)

 

Dr Yadu Singh

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3rd September is Australian flag day!

Sydney, 2nd Sept, 2014

3rd September is Australian Flag day.

australian_flag_download

A brief history is as follows.australian_flag_flying_download

Australian Flag was selected after an international competition in which 32823 people participated. 5 people, 2 of them teenagers, were the co-winners of this competition and shared the prize of £200. It was first flown at the Exhibition Building, the site of Commonwealth Parliament  in Melbourne at that time,  by the first Prime Minister of Australia, The Rt Hon Sir Edmund Barton, on 3rd Sept, 1901. As you know, Australia has been a federation since 1901.

Australian flag has the Union Jack, the Commonwealth Star (just below the Union jack, representing Federation of 6 States and territories)  and the Southern Cross (representing our geography). Constellation of 5 stars (Southern Cross) can only be seen from Southern Hemisphere.

A few points to be noted.

1. The Flag should be raised after Sunrise and lowered before Sunset. The Flag can be flown in the night if there is sufficient illumination, like it is in Federal Parliament in Canberra.

2. When the Flag is raised or lowered, everyone should face the Flag, be silent and people in Uniform should salute the Flag.

3. The flag should always be flown freely and as close as possible to the top of the flagpole with the rope tightly secured.

4. Unless all national  flags are raised and lowered simultaneously, the Australian National Flag should be raised first and lowered last

5. When the Australian National Flag is flown with flags of other nations, all flags should be the same size and flown on flagpoles of the same height

6. When flying with only one other national flag, the Australian National Flag should fly on the left of a person facing the flags.

7. The flag should not be flown upside down.

8.The Australian National Flag should not normally be flown in aposition inferior to any other flag or ensign and should not be smaller than any other flag or ensign.

9. The flag should be used in a dignified manner and reproduced completely and accurately.

10. It should not be defaced by overprinting with words or illustrations.

11. Other objects in displays should not cover the flag.

12. All symbolic parts of the flag should be identifiable.

I am celebrating Australian Flag Day on 3rd September, 2014 by making Australian Flag as my profile pic in my social media for the day. I encourage everyone to do the likewise.

Dr Yadu Singh

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Australia concludes Nuclear trade deal with India!

Australian FlagSydney, 21st Aug, 2014Indian Flag flying

From various news sources, it is clear that Australia has concluded Civil nuclear deal with India recently. Uranium trade between Australia and¬†India is likely to start soon. It appears that the deal has been concluded relatively quickly after India elected its new Govt led by Mr Narendra Modi. The agreement is likely to be signed by India and Australia during Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s visit to India in the first week of September.

Let me also point out that it was Prime Minister John Howard who announced in 2007 that Australian Govt will reverse the ban to sell Uranium to India. It changed when Kevin Rudd became the Prime Minister a few months later and reversed it. Finally, Prime Minister Julia Gillard was the one who campaigned successfully to get ALP reverse its policy to ban Uranium sale to India in Dec 2011, followed by an agreement between Australia and India to start the negotiations on the nitty gritty of the supply agreement in 2012.

I wrote about this matter a few years ago. http://tinyurl.com/7bytnbo & http://tinyurl.com/6s7d7dx

Australia-India relations are on an upswing, after having suffered a few years ago.

I and many from Indian Australian Community are very happy with the improved Australia-India relations.

Congratulations are due to Australian Govt led by Mr Tony Abbott and Indian Govt led by Mr Narendra Modi. Foreign Minister of Australia, Julie Bishop, and Indian Foreign Affairs Minister, Smt Sushma Swaraj, have also played a big role.

India is currently third in the list of countries which use nuclear energy. There are 21 nuclear reactors in India which are producing electricity but India needs to increase such electricity production, knowing electricity shortage. Currently, nuclear energy constitutes only 4% of total electricity production.

Australia has 1/3rd of the total Uranium of the world. This agreement is going to make Uranium supply to India much easier.

As usual, and in a totally predictable manner, Greens Senator, Scott Ludlam, did not like it at all, and used some arguments, which are irrelevant and dated. NPT issue is not relevant in India’s case after India was given an exemption by Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG) and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 2008.¬†Also, unlike India’s neighbours, India has never been involved in nuclear proliferation.

India is going through the discussions for Civil nuclear trade with Japan currently. Once concluded, India should be able to accelerate nuclear energy production.

Since 2005 onwards, India has already entered into civil nuclear agreements with the US, Mangolia, Namibia, Argentina, the UK, Canada, Kazakhstan and South Korea, France and Russia.  

Indian Australian community has a desire to see speedy growth in Australia India relations in all dimensions and aspects.

Dr Yadu Singh

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Celebrating 68th Indian Independence Day on Friday, 15th Aug, 2014!

 image Sydney, Friday, Aug 15, 2014

India is celebrating its 68th Independence Day today.

15th Aug, 1947 was the day when India became independent and free from British reign. At the midnight between 14th and 15th Aug, 1947, India’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, took oath as the Prime Minister.

At the stroke of midnight, he gave his famous “Tryst with Destiny”¬†speech in the Constituent assembly Hall of the Parliament.¬†

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wUcw8Ufx_Y

“Long years ago, we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment we take the pledge of dedication to the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity.”

Ever since, President of India traditionally addresses the nation on the eve of the Independence Day and the Prime Minister unfurls the national Flag followed by an addresses to the nation from the precincts of the Red Fort in Delhi in the morning of 15th August.

This is the gist of the national address by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi today.Narendra Modi and Red Fort

http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/pm-narendra-modi-s-independence-day-speech-at-red-fort-highlights-576248

Prime Minister, Mr Modi’s speech.

On this day, there is a military parade and display of cultural richness from all over the nation in the capital of India, New Delhi. 

Chief Ministers unfurl the flag in the State capitals, where various cultural programmes take place too.

These activities happen every where in the country. 15th August is a national holiday. 

Indian Independence Day will be celebrated by Indians overseas too.

In Australia, Indian Govt posts-High Commission and Consulates, will celebrate Independence Day events. Community groups all over Australia celebrate Indian Independence Day with pride and fanfare.

CG at Indian Independence Day 2014In Sydney, scores of Indian Australians will gather to take part in the Independence Day celebration at the Indian Consulate General in the city at 8.30 AM. Consul General will read the speech of the President of India and will unfurl the Indian Flag. 

In the evening, my friends and I will be joining a party in the city to celebrate Indian Independence Day. This party will start around 9.30 and will go on well past midnight. A lot of younger Indians will be joining this Independence Day celebration. 

Australia is 4 hours and 30 minutes ahead of India. As the clock hits midnight in India, friends and relatives from India will start sending Independence Day greetings via email, What’s up, Facebook, Twitter and SMS. Indian Australians will do the likewise.

Indian Independence Day is a huge event for 1.2 billion Indians In India and millions of Indians living outside India!

I am proud to be from Indian heritage and I know this to be the case with my friends from all corners of India and the world.

Happy Indian Independence Day!Happy independence day 2014

Jai Hind!

Dr Yadu Singh

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Plans to repeal Section 18C of Racial Discrimination Act dumped!

Tony Abbott

Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, announced today that he has dumped plans to repeal Section 18C of Racial Discrimination Act.

He said that he wants to work with communities as part of “Team Australia”.

This is very sensible and very welcome!

Of the 4100 submissions in regards to Sec 18C, 76% were against the repeal or any tempering of Section 18C.

Ethnic communities were overwhelmingly against the repeal. These included Chinese, Arabic, Jewish, Indians and many others.

ALP leaders, especially NSW Leader of Opposition,  John Robertson, and most Liberal Party leaders, especially Premiers of NSW (Mike Baird) and Victoria (Denis Napthine), Craig Lundy (Reid MP), Matt Kean (Hornsby MP), Geoff Lee (Parramatta MP) and Alex Hawke (Mitchell MP) were opposed to the proposal to repeal Sec 18C.

NSW Community Relations Commission (CRC) too took a stand against this repeal proposal. CRC chief, Vic Alhadeff, took a prominent leadership role in opposing this repeal proposal.

From our side, my friends and I ran a campaign via Social media and Blog post.

My post (http://tinyurl.com/pqfv8ct) was forwarded to more than 15000 people of Indian Australian Community, with overwhelming support to oppose the repeal. I encouraged my fellow community members to forward the Blog post to their network and send their submissions to the Attorney General, Senator George Brandis.

My Blog post was also published in many Australian newspapers. Hills News, Penrith City Gazette and Blacktown Sun were the most prominent among them.

http://www.hillsnews.com.au/story/2246552/dr-yadu-singh-why-section-18c-of-racial-discrimination-act-should-not-be-repealed/

http://www.theindiantelegraph.com.au/the-growing-presence-of-a-leader-dr-yadu-singh-takes-the-fight-where-it-matters/

http://www.veooz.com/news/2H8dFMX.html

http://www.penrithcitygazette.com.au/story/2246552/dr-yadu-singh-why-section-18c-of-racial-discrimination-act-should-not-be-repealed/

http://www.blacktownsun.com.au/story/2246552/dr-yadu-singh-why-section-18c-of-racial-discrimination-act-should-not-be-repealed/

I am pleased that repeal proposal has been dumped.

Prime Minister deserves a thank you and people who campaigned against the repeal¬†deserve a special “thank you and well done”.

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/5th Aug, 2014

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in favour

 

India should not be used by anyone as a launch pad for sea voyage to Australia!

Sydney, 29th July, 2014

Boat people Boat people2 Indian Flag

I am perturbed with some commentary whereby some people including Senator Sarah Hanson-Young are casting indirect aspersion on how India treats refugees. (http://tinyurl.com/k239hsr) Points are being made that India is not a signatory county to UN Refugees Convention. Some of them have mentioned even terrorist group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and A-Sham) in the same paragraph. ISIS executes people in cold-blood, and is hurting and subjugating people from religions other than their Sunni sect of Islam. This, even indirect aspersion, is inappropriate and offensive. India is not ISIS and can not even be remotely equated with it.

India is a vibrant and the biggest democracy of the world. It has rule of law with free judiciary and totally free media. It has refugees from Sri Lanka, Burma, Bangladesh, China and many other countries. It has a proud and long history of welcoming persecuted people from all corners of the world. Parsis (Zoroastrians) left Persia because they were persecuted. Dalai Lama and thousands of Tibetans exiles¬†have lived in India for several decades without any persecution or troubles. India treats refugees humanly and with care. India may not be a signatory to UN Refugees convention, but its treatment of those who claim refuge is exemplary. UNHCR (United Nation’s High Commission for Refugees) itself has¬†said this about ¬†India many times. India lets UNHCR do the assessment about people’s refugee status, which is fair, ¬†appropriate and prudent.

Raising concerns about India’s credentials as a caring society is objectionable.

Coming to the current issue of 157 boat people (all likely to be Sri Lankan Tamils) who were intercepted by Australian Navy just outside its Maritime zone about a month ago, it is clear that the Boat has come from Indian Shores. From all the information, it is clear that they are all Sri Lankan Tamils, who were in a refugee camp near Pondicherry, South India. India is affected in multiple ways and is a concerned party. Its shores were used as the launching pad for this boat to Australia. India needs to know who these people are and how did they use Indian shores for launching  the voyage to Australia.

It is a security issue for India. India has an ongoing issue with Pakistan, from where terrorists enter Indian territories to perpetrate terrorist attacks in India. I am not saying that the boat in question is carrying terrorists, but not being concerned and alarmed with this type of voyage will render India a hypocrite. India has a right to figure out who these people are and what is the exact composition of these people.

Australia and India are friendly countries, and have strategic relations. I am pleased that Australian Minister for Immigration & Border Control, Scott Morrison, visited India recently and had a discussion with Indian Foreign Affairs Minister, Smt Sushma Swaraj. He was able to get an undertaking from Indian Govt that it will take back these people if they are Indian citizens and residents. That is a huge achievement for Australia.

India will not, and should not, allow its territories to be used as the launch pad for things which are against any other nation. In this case, it is the stated policy of Australia that they do not want to entertain illegal maritime arrivals. Current Federal Govt took the policy of “Stop the boats” to people during 2013 election and received a mandate. Previous Govt led by Julia Gillard/Kevin Rudd too had this policy. Offshore processing of illegal maritime arrivals has been the policy of Govts of both political persuasions.

Australia can not afford to have the repetition of 5000 people arriving every month, claiming refugee status. We do not have the money to afford their accommodation, food, health and education. Our national Budget is in deficit and our economy is in stress. We have to look after our elderly, homeless and less fortunate people first. We have to look after our disadvantaged people first.

Australia should accept its fair share of refugees, but there is no way it can afford an unlimited number of people who want to come to our shores with refugee claim. Australia is a caring and generous society, but there is a limit to it.

I am concerned that some people decide to come to Australia from countries where they were not facing persecution. India is definitely one such country. There is no persecution programme for anyone in India. Indians generally, free Indian  media and independent judiciary will not let this happen either.

About the people in the Boat, who have now been brought to Curtin Detention Centre, I am not sure that they faced any persecution in India. Based on the prevalent governance and political system, it is unlikely they faced any persecution in India. They were living in the area ie Tamil Nadu, which is the homeland of Tamils in India.

This fact alone makes it likely that they are economic refugees, not genuine refugees.

If there is any Indian national in this group of people, then they should be sent back to India without any delay, because their claim for refugee status will be bogus, preposterous and baseless.

Australia has all the rights to refuse to accept economic refugees. Australia has all the sovereign rights to control flow of illegal maritime arrivals. Australia in fact has an undeniable responsibility to look after its disadvantaged people before allocating billions on people who are not Australia’s primary responsibility.

I see no problem in Australia working with India to figure out who these people are, where they have come from and why have they come to our shores in this manner.

Australia has full rights to send them to the country from where they have come from if they are not genuine refugees.

Australia has a well-stated and bipartisan policy of offshore processing and not settling illegal maritime arrivals in Australia. Australia does not encourage illegal maritime arrivals. It has been working with nations in the region to stop the illegal maritime arrivals. This is the first boat which has been allowed to land on our shores in over 7 months, presumably to allow sufficient time to Indian officials to process information and cross-check it.

Australia is within its rights to work with nations in our region to achieve the stated policy goals. I am in full support of these goals. I know many others, in fact a majority of Australians, are in support of these goals.

Finally, India should not allow anyone, under any circumstance, to use its shores or territories as a launch pad for voyage as “illegal maritime arrival” to Australia or any other country!

Dr Yadu Singh

dryadusingh@gmail.com

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MasterChef Australia should not display India’s national Flag disrespectfully!

Indian FlagMasterChef Indian Flag

(Correct display)                                                     (Incorrect Display)

I was called by Ms Sandhya Reddy (INDAUS committee member) who was quite concerned about the upside down display of Indian Flag during broadcast of MasterChef show. Mr Shravan Reddy too sent me a Tweet with the screen shot of the offending display yesterday.

We know that the upside down display of Indian Flag or national Flag of any country is a disrespectful act.

I called Channel 10 yesterday itself and then sent an email to them as well as MasterChef Australia, asking them to remove the disrespectful display of India’s national Flag.

I also sent tweets to Channel Ten and MasterChef Australia. MasterChef Australia is a Logie-award winning popular cooking Game Show, based on original British MasterChef show. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MasterChef_Australia

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Tweets:

“Yadu Singh‚ÄŹ@dryadusingh 22h

Guys, U are using Indian Flag upside down, which is disrespectful. Pl correct it ASAP. Right pic here.”

“Yadu Singh‚ÄŹ@dryadusingh 23h

is using Indian Flag upside down. Please correct this disrespectful display ASAP.”

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I followed this by calling Channel Ten, MasterChef Australia and Shine Australia (producer of MasterChef Australia) today.

I have asked them all to rectify the mistake and apologise for it during the programme broadcast.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_India

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_does_it_mean_when_the_flag_is_flown_upside_down

http://www.australiaday.com.au/about/flag-flying-protocols/#.U89-CGuKDIU

Improper and incorrect display including upside down display of Indian Flag is not permitted by law. Display and use of Indian Flag is governed by Flag Code of India 2002. Improper (intentional) misuse and display are punishable by Law at least in India.

We ask MasterChef Australia, Shine Australia and Channel 10 to stop improper display of India’s national Flag immediately.

May I ask Indian High Commission, Canberra and various Indian Consulates in Australia to do their bits to get it rectified urgently.

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PS: Within few minutes from my Blog going public, I have received two Tweets from MasterChef Australia. Here they are being reproduced.

“MasterChef Australia ‚ÄŹ@masterchefau 7m

…We unreservedly apologise for any offence caused.”

“MasterChef Australia ‚ÄŹ@masterchefau 9m

The flag being positioned upside down was an unintentional oversight during production…”

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Later on, Channel Ten too has sent an email.

Rebecca Nittolo

24 Jul (1 day ago)
to me

Dear Dr Singh

Thank you very much for your email below. I got in touch with the production company that makes the show and they confirmed that the flag being positioned upside down was an unintentional oversight during production. They unreservedly apologise for any offence caused.

Please let us assure you that the episode featuring the flag is being re-edited and will soon be updated on our website and also for the international version when it is eventually televised in India.

Please accept our sincere apologies again.

Kind regards

Rebecca

Rebecca Nittolo
Digital Producer
Lifestyle, Reality & Factual

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Dr Yadu Singh

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

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dryadusingh@gmail.com

 

The time for Hindi as the true national (Link) language in India has come!

Hindi

India has many states and many languages. Some states were formed on the basis of the language. It has its positives and it also has its negatives. It is not uncommon to experience difficulties in communicating things when visiting interiors of various states. While English often acts like a link language, but this is mostly confined to cities and bigger towns. A person from typical North Indian interior will struggle to communicate inside the interior of South India and vice versa.

I believe India needs a language which can act as a true Link language or National language, which can facilitate communications among Indians throughout the country

English can not be this language, even though it is an important language. It is mostly confined in the cities and bigger towns of India, where many can use it. Approx. only 10% are able to do it.

Hindi, on the other hand is the language spoken by 45% and understood by many more. Bollywood movies have been a great help in making Hindi understood everywhere in India.

Today, it will be impossible for any other Indian language to match Hindi’s reach and popularity in India.  Saying this should not mean that we are recommending disrespect to other languages or undermining them. It is a practical matter, and should be taken as such.

I love all Indian languages as well as English, which, of course is the language of science, Medicine, international trade, business and diplomacy. English is a must for Indians. I have no doubt about it.

There has to be ONE language in India, which should be able to act as the true LINK language for communication among all and sundry in India. That language will be HINDI if we analyse this matter rationally and logically.

I have not read views of any other person on this matter. My thought process here is not influenced by any other.

In my view, India should adopt and implement “Three Language Formula”, which means;

1. everyone learns Hindi, English and their mother tongue/language of their state,

2. everyone in Hindi speaking North India learns Hindi, English and one language from South India.

I believe it will promote integration, understanding and communication. It may also promote intra-national trade and business.

It is not at all about imposing hegemony of Hindi language, but it is all about pragmatism and practical need of a language which can be an instrument to improve communication among Indians in the country.

This will also be a “Win Win” decision for India, Hindi and South Indian languages!

I hope the new HRD Minister, Ms Smriti Irani and Prime Minister, Sri Narendra Modi do something in this direction.

 

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/20th June, 2014

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What Indians in Australia expect from the Modi Govt

 

 
 
 

The new government should be proactive in considering the interests and welfare of the Indian community down under.

It is not a hyperbole to say that a new era has dawned in India with the swearing-in of the Modi Government on Monday, 26 May, 2014.

A decisive, ‚Äúcan do‚ÄĚ leader, Sri Narendra Modi, is the Prime Minister. Indians, not just in India but around the world, are confident that things will change for the better and the Indian economy will grow rapidly.

People have expectations from the new government. While people have a wide variety of expectations, which they want the Modi Govt to deliver, there are some common themes in their expectations. Based on my interactions with many Indians in Australia, and based on my own thinking, there are a few things that people expect the new government to consider.

Prime Minister’s visit to Australia: There has not been any state visit by an Indian PM to Australia after the late Shri Rajiv Gandhi’s visit in 1980s. PM Modi should accept the invitation from Australia to schedule a state visit to Australia this year itself. Several Australian PMs have already visited India, but a reciprocal visit by an Indian PM is yet to happen. There should be time for the PM to interact with the community in at least one, but preferably two, major cities. The G20 summit is scheduled to happen in Brisbane on November 15 and 16, 2014. This will be a perfect opportunity for the Indian PM’s long overdue official visit to Australia too.

Genuine dual citizenship: This has been discussed and debated for long. There is an almost universal demand that overseas Indians be given a right to hold genuine dual citizenship with voting and property rights, if the country of their citizenship has no issue with this and if there are no security issues with granting dual citizenship to any particular overseas Indian. After all, Australia, USA, UK, NZ and many other developed as well as developing countries already offer this facility.

Visa on arrival for Australian citizens: Australian citizens, like many others including New Zealanders, should get the same visa-free arrival facilities in India. If this is not the case at present, it should be implemented without further delay.

Black money in overseas banks: Genuine, proactive and effective steps should be taken to tackle this menace and bring the money back to India within 12 months. No favour should be given to anyone irrespective of who they are or what connections they have. The decision to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) for this purpose is good.

Effective anti-corruption body: A group of 10-15 people from civil society including judges, eminent jurists and overseas Indians (if possible) should be asked to review the Lok Pal Act, passed by the Lok Sabha earlier in the year, and suggest steps to rectify weakness to make it an effective corruption fighting body. This should be completed in the next 12 months.

The PM’s global Overseas Indians Advisory body: The PM should revamp his Global Advisory Body, constituted by the previous PM. People in it should be those who have significant presence and influence in their countries. The habit of Indian diplomats recommending non-descript and non-influential people for this body should eliminated.

Country specific Overseas Indian Advisory body: Countries with significant overseas Indian population (Australia is certainly one such country) should have an advisory body of not more than 10 people, which can be used for consultations and other advisory purposes, not only by the local GOI authorities/agencies, but also the relevant authorities/agencies in India.

Annual dialogue between Indian and Australian leaders: PMs, Foreign Affairs Ministers and Defence Ministers should hold annual meeting/dialogue, with venues for such meeting/dialogue alternating between India and Australia.

Free Trade Agreement (FTA): The pace of the discussions and negotiations should be accelerated so that FTA can be concluded by the end of 2015.

Bilateral Nuclear Trade negotiations: The pace of the discussions and negotiations should be accelerated with the goal to conclude it by the 30 June, 2015.

Bilateral and multi-lateral defence exercises between India and Australia: India and Australia should work actively to enhance their defence & strategic relations bilaterally and multilaterally in the pattern agreed prior to the 2007 Rudd Govt in Australia.

Hindi teachings in Australian Universities: To increase India’s soft power and increase the numbers of India-literate Australians, India should consider funding such teaching courses in some select Universities in Australia.

Facilitations of Australian Universities and TAFE to have campuses in India: Many Australian institutions are ranked quite highly in various world Universities ranking systems. Collaborations in this field should be actively facilitated and encouraged, following a pragmatic and win-win module.

Indian Consulate in Brisbane: Queensland is an important state for Indian investment. Indian business houses like the Adani group have an important and a significant presence in this state. It is important to have an Indian Consulate in Brisbane.

India House or Indian Cultural Centre in major capital cities: The Indian community has grown significantly in Australia. It is increasingly felt that such centres are required, at least in Sydney and Melbourne. While some funding will be raised locally, a significant part of the funds should come from Indian Govt. Govt of India (GOI) Funds, if any, allocated for something of this nature to be established in the Indian Consulate premises in Sydney CBD should be reviewed and re-allocated for a centre of this nature in areas like Parramatta or Blacktown, where the Indian community has a substantial presence. Sydney CBD is not a practical or appropriate site for an Indian Cultural Centre.

Overseas Indians’ property in India: Many overseas Indians are seeing that their properties are illegally occupied and face threats to their safety when they visit India. Court cases go on for extended periods of time. IPC should be amended to tackle this menace.

Interactions between GOI agencies and Indian Australian community: It is often felt that GOI authorities in Australia do not interact with people sufficiently, thus leading to a communication gap. It is a common experience that there is a significant gap between what we expect and what is delivered. Steps should be implemented to improve the situation.

Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs visit to Australia: With approx. 500,000 people of Indian heritage in Australia, a biennial visit of Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs (The Hon Sushma Swaraj) or her deputy, The Hon Gen (Retd) V K Singh, should be included in the official GOI travel calendar. This will help facilitate interactions with the community and facilitate Overseas Indians’ investment in India.

Streamlined grievance redressal mechanism for Overseas Indians: Overseas Indian Affairs ministry has often not been very helpful and help has often not come in a timely fashion due to excessive bureaucratic influences. This should be reviewed and streamlined.

Exchanges between Academicians and civil Society leaders: We need regular bilateral exchange visits of academics, journalists, leaders and civil society leaders. This will help improve relations between the two countries. The scope and numbers should be increased.

This is our wish list, which we believe is doable, not difficult and will provide multiple benefits to various stake-holders, including India.

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/13th June, 2014

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au.linkedin.com/in/dryadusingh/

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This was originally published in Indian Sun News magazine, Sydney on 10th June, 2014.  http://www.theindiansun.com.au/top-story/indians-australia-expect-modi-govt/

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Australian Skilled Occupations List (SOL) for 2014-15 announced!

Skilled Occupations List for 2014-15 Announced

webster By Mark Webster
Tuesday, 10 June 2014

The Department of Immigration has announced the new Skilled Occupations List (SOL) which will apply from 1 July 2014.

Occupations Removed from the SOL

There have been no occupations removed from the Skilled Occupations List.

This will be a great relief to Accountants who were slated for removal from the Skilled Occupations List in February 2014.

Occupations Added to the SOL

The following occupations have been added to the Skilled Occupations List:

“Tilers” have also been added to the list – it is not entirely clear which occupations are affected, but the new occupations could be as follows:

Rationale for Changes

The Assistant Minister for Immigration, Michaelia Cash, has indicated in her joint press release that Chefs have been added due to the occupation being in short supply. Strong growth is also projected in the cafe and restaurant sector.

The Assistant Minister also indicated that there is a “known deficit” of skilled workers in the hospitality and construction industries in Regional Areas.

Effect of Changes

The SOL is used in the following contexts:

As a result, Chefs, Bricklayers and Tilers will now be able to apply for the above visa types.

Change of Advisor on Skilled Occupations List in Future?

The Skilled Occupations list has traditionally been set every year based on advice from AWPA (Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency).

Given that AWPA has now been axed, advice on the SOL will presumably be given by a different body in future, and it will be interesting to watch developments in the next year.

References

Assistant Minister Press Announcement – In-demand trades added to the Skilled Occupation List The Australian – AWPA Axing Short Sighted,

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This article has been taken from https://www.acacia-au.com/skilled-occupations-list-2014-2015-Announced.php, with permission from Mr Mark Webster. Please note that I have no financial interest or interest or relation of any type with Acacia Immigration Australia or any conflict of interest in this matter. I picked this article because it is comprehensive and covers the relevant matter well. People should check with Dept of Immigration & Border Control or Australian Embassy/High Commission or professional & reputed migration advisor/agent in their area before making any decision in regards to their immigration/studies matters.

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Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/12th June, 2014

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

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Blacktown City Festival parade was big, vibrant and multicultural!

Blacktown Parade 2 Blacktown Parade 3 Blacktown Parade 3 Blacktown Parade 4 Blacktown Parade 5 Blacktown Parade 6 Blacktown Parade 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I  participated in Blacktown City Parade on Saturday, 31st May, 2014.  I met hundreds of my friends from various segments of Western Sydney in the festival.

It was a great fun.

More than 50,000 people were there either in the parade or as spectators.

Parade was the culmination of Blacktown City Festival which ran from 24th May to 31st May, 2014. I understand that approx. 150,000 people took part in this week-long festival.

Blacktown Mayor, Clr Len Robinson, other Councillors, Local Politicians and X-Factor finalist, Taylor Henderson were there too. Taylor sang too, which people enjoyed.

It was big, vibrant and very multicultural.

Of 72 Floats which participated, there were floats from Australian Sikh Association,  Ahmediya Group, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu groups. Local Radio station, Dance schools and others were there too.

From the expressions on the faces of people, it was clear that people enjoyed the show greatly. I certainly did, and I am glad I took part in it.

In addition to enjoying a multicultural gathering in the heart of Western Sydney, I and others had the added benefit of physical exercise, with obvious health benefits, too.

I encourage Indian and South Asian communities as well as community associations/groups to take part in events of this nature with bigger numbers and more vigour next year.

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/4th June, 2014

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There isn’t anything which India and Pakistan can’t achieve if they work hard for it!

Narendra Modi
Nawaz Sharif

Mr Narendra Modi will be sworn-in as India’s Prime Minister today, 26th May, 23014.

SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation) leaders will be attending this ceremony.

This is for the first time that SAARC leaders have been invited, and are attending a ceremony of this nature. There is no doubt that it has created a lot of goodwill in the region. It is indeed a master-stroke by Mr Modi.

Among all leaders who are attending the ceremony today, attendance of Pakistan Prime Minister, Mr Nawaz Sharif, has a special significance.

India and Pakistan have been arch enemies ever since 1947, and have had 4 wars between them, the last being the Kargill war. In the process, they have been spending quite a significant amount of money on defence. This very money could have been used for tackling poverty, improving health facilities and providing better education facilities, if there were better relations between these two nations.

There is a desire, at least among people, for normalisation of relations, but it has not happened. Vested interests have created every possible obstruction in the process.

Terrorism and “Non-state actors”, often with support from Pakistan Army/ISI have been very effective in derailing the peace process. India has had many terrorism related attacks by people linked with terror groups based in Pakistan. Attack on Indian Parliament and Terrorist attack on Mumbai are two most important ones among them.

Army rule in Pakistan for most of the years after 1947 has not helped.

I am sure that Pakistan will also have its list of grievances against India, but we need to move on, instead of repeating the blame game against one another. It is not going to be productive.

We have to take note that things have changed as Pakistan had a civilian Govt for a full 5years period recently and then had a peaceful change of the Govt via a democratic election, leading to PML-N coming to the power. Mr Nawaz Sharif of PML-N is the Prime Minister of Pakistan now. He has a popular mandate with him. He is experienced and pragmatic. During election campaign, Mr Sharif spoke repeatedly about the need to have better relations with India.

It is very heartening to see that not only Mr Sharif is attending the swearing-in of Mr Modi, but in a gesture of good will, his wife, Mrs Kulsoom Sharif and son, Mr Hussain Nawaz Sharif, are accompanying him to New Delhi too.

Mr Sharif has said, before leaving for New Delhi that he is travelling to India with a “Message of Peace”. Pakistan is also releasing 150 Fishermen today as a gesture of good will.

India and Pakistan must bury the past and start a new beginning. Normalisation of their relations is in the interest for people of both countries. It is a no-brainer.

Pragmatism is required from the leaders of both countries.

Leaders of both countries need to show leadership.

Peace between two countries is possible if they,

  • Get after the terrorist groups who do not want peace in the region and eliminate them,
  • Do not allow terror groups to operate from their soil,
  • Change the mind-set of agencies which are against peace between two countries
  • Have supremacy of civilian Govt in regards to Foreign Affairs and trade,
  • Put “K” on the back-burner for at least 25 years and going for an “Out of Box”, pragmatic and practical understanding on Kashmir, instead of repeating the stated position ad nauseum, recognising that no third party including UNO can/will resolve this issue,
  • Provide MFN (Most Favoured Nation) status to each other without any further delay,
  • Encourage tourism between two countries

I am quoting Mr Nawaz Sharif’s daughter, Maryam Nawaz Sharif’s Tweets, which I found very enlightening and encouraging.

“Why can‚Äôt India and Pakistan team up to win the wars against diseases, illiteracy and poverty? We can …”

“Why India and Pakistan have to be the prisoners of the past? Should bury the enmity & start afresh. #PakIndiarelations”

“I personally think cordial relations with new Indian govt should be cultivated. Will help remove psychological barriers, fear & misgivings.”

India and Pakistan do not need to be like Koreas. They can be like European countries, where borders do not mean much, but this will only happen if leaders act like statesmen, with honesty and determination, and if terrorists have no role in the polity at any cost.

Nothing is going to work if they do not address “trust deficit”, which is the mother of all problems between the two nations! Words and solemn promises/assurances must be worth believing, without which nothing will change in regards to India-Pakistan relations!

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/26th May, 2014

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Sad, unfortunate and possibly avoidable death of a young family man in Sydney!

Doctor-4
I received an email from my friend, Sreenadh Brahmapuram, on 8th May, 2014. This email was addressed to Indian Consulate, with request for some help, and included a few from the community. I am not sure about their response.

After contacting Sreenadh, I visited Westmead Hospital. I met JK’s wife, LK, their 2 years old son and their close friends. Sreenadh and I were at JK’s bedside in the ICU for some considerable time and spoke with his doctors. Sreenadh and I have been in contact ever since. We were also working on getting emergency visa for JK’s sister.

JK’s wife is a student in Sydney. They belong to Punjab province of India. They both were working in part time jobs, and staying in Harris Park.

JK, a 27 years old young man, suffered from Bronchial Asthma, which he was self-treating with puffers. His Asthma kept getting worse, before he decided to go to the Emergency dept of Westmead hospital, at the suggestion of a neighbour, who is a nurse. His Asthma was really bad. On the way, he had further worsening and had a cardio-pulmonary arrest. CPR was initially performed by the neighbour who was accompanying him. Ambulance officers arrived soon after and took over the resuscitation. He was transported to Westmead hospital, where again he had a cardio-pulmonary arrest. He was intubated, ventilated and taken to ICU, but unfortunately, he sustained significant brain injury due to poor oxygen in his body prior to reaching the hospital. This led to brain-swelling, which finally turned out to be fatal.

His body has now been transported to India last Saturday, 17th May, with the cost of such transportation taken care by Indian Consulate.

Sreenadh has provided all possible assistance to the family. He deserves kudos and heart-felt gratitude. What a gem of a person he is!

After this sad and unfortunate news became public, many people offered help. Parklea Gurdwara offered financial assistance of $2100.00 and many others too provided assistance in whatever way they could.

This young man is the only son of his parents, with one married and one unmarried sister. His son is only 2 years old and is oblivious to the tragedy. His widow will have to fetch for herself and look after the kid by herself. It is pretty daunting.

Being a medico myself, I just think that this sad, unfortunate and devastating outcome could have been avoided if JK had sought medical assistance just a bit earlier. Bronchial Asthma can be fatal if acute attack is not treated promptly.

I know that everything looks better in hindsight, but it is worth keeping in mind.

When experiencing any medical problem, it is better and helpful to seek prompt assistance from those who are qualified to offer such assistance. Self-diagnosis and self-treatment can end up in avoidable adverse outcome including fatality.

It is not worth it to delay seeking medical assistance promptly.

People who are on student visa or on visitor visa in Australia are required to have valid health Insurance, which covers approx. 85% of the medical bills from doctors and hospitals. I might add that Health Insurance was not the relevant factor for JK as he carried this cover.

Finally, we, as the community, should do what we can do to assist this family, when LK and their son return to Sydney.

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/21st May, 2014

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*Names of JK and LK not disclosed.

 

 

 

With BJP/NDA Govt led by Narendra Modi, a new era dawns in India!

Narendra Modi

Sydney, 16th May, 2014.

Indian elections were a mammoth exercise, going for around 2 months. There were 930,000 polling booths, using 1.7 million voting machines for >500 million voters. These are precisely the factors why India is the largest democracy of the world.

Indian channels and newspapers were beaming the results of Indian elections on 16th May, 2014. With the trends available at 3PM Sydney time, it was clear that National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will form the next Govt. Mr Narendra Modi of Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), the biggest constituent of NDA, was going to be India’s next Prime Minister.

It became clear that NDA will have more than 300 MPs and BJP itself will have 272+ MPs. Congress-led UPA Govt seems to have been routed in a landslide victory for BJP/NDA.

At the end of counting of votes, BJP scored 284 seats (MPs) in Lower House of Parliament (Lok Sabha) and NDA scored 336 of the total 543 MPs. Congress was limited to only 44 MPs and much-hyped Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) could get only 4 MPs, despite the pre-polling claim of >100 AAP MPs.

BJP has managed a majority for itself. It is for the first time in the last 30 years when a political party has managed a majority for itself. It is not a mean feat!

This is a spectacular result from all parameters, and credits for this go to Mr Modi and his team. He ravelled extensively all over India, holding rallies, road-shows, Chai Pe Charcha (Tea Parties), and reaching out to people extensively via regular media and social media. Friends and supporters of BJP overseas too took part in political discourses, usually via social media, creating pro-BJP atmosphere in their circles back in India.

Despite the denials by political adversaries of BJP and Modi, there is no denying that there was a Modi “Lehar” (Wave). Scams after scams during the term of United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Govt led by Dr Manmohan Singh created a massive aversion to Congress-led Govt in the minds of people. They have had enough.

India will now have a stable Govt. This is good for India’s economic growth and development, and Governance. It is also good for India’s international affairs. Trade and investment from all over the world will increase. This will be a great outcome.

Indians all over the world will rejoice with the result of Indian election because they are sick and tired of;

  • vote bank politics
  • caste-based politics
  • pseudo-secularism
  • religion-based politics
  • region-based politics
  • corruption
  • Poor governance
  • policy paralysis
  • stagnation in the economy
  • poor management of foreign affairs
  • poor management of India’s borders
  • dynasty-based politics

Indians deserve better. They do not need to be divided based on their caste or religions. They do not want to be “used” by politicians as “vote-banks”. Indians are all Indians, with no superior or inferior claim on their Indian-ness or rights for economic growth and development.

Indians are truly sick and tired of “He is communal and I am secular” commentary by politicians for vested interest. Enough of this nonsense!

We have a leader in Mr Narendra Modi, who is focused on economic growth and development, good governance and has pan-India appeal.

He is decisive, determined and experienced, beside being assertive and eager.

He is able and capable to implement  “Eik Bharat, Shrestha Bharat” (One India, Better India), following “Development for all, appeasement for none”, because all Indians have equal claim on India and have equal right for development, without any consideration for their caste, religion or regional background.

A new era is going to dawn with the outcome of the Indian election and with Mr Modi as India’s new Prime Minister!

Congrats to Indians! Congrats to BJP and NDA! Congrats to Mr Narendra Modi!

Overseas Indians all over the world, just like Indians in India, burst into a joyous mood on 16th May, throwing celebratory parties wherever they were living. Australia was no exception, where several celebratory parties were organised by Indian Australians all over Australia.

Dr Yadu Singh/16th May, 2014

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Great to have attended celebration of 66th Independence Day of Israel in Sydney!

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies Yom Ha'atzmaut 120514Israel’s Independence Day Celebrations in Sydney have always been one of the key events of this city.

This year‚Äôs celebration on Monday, 12th May 2014 evening at Four Seasons Hotel was no exception, and in fact, was even bigger and better.

NSW Premier Mike Baird delivered the keynote address as 500 people ‚Äď diplomats, politicians and community, faith and business leaders ‚Äď gathered to mark the 66th anniversary of Israel‚Äôs Independence Day. The event was hosted jointly by the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, Zionist Council of NSW, Executive Council of Australian Jewry and Zionist Federation of Australia. The event was also addressed by Israeli Ambassador, His Excellency Shmuel Ben-Shmuel and Board of Deputies president Yair Miller.

A toast was raised to mark the 66th Independence Day of Israel.

Israel’s Independence Day is the celebration of the anniversary of the day on which Israel independence was proclaimed by Mr David Ben-Gurion, who read the Israeli Declaration of Independence on 14 May 1948.

In a very Israeli welcoming style, key leaders of the hosting bodies welcomed each and every guest entering the venue. Guests enjoyed the celebration with drinks and traditional Israeli food.

Key political leaders included Mike NSW Jewish Board of Deputies Yom Ha'atzmaut 120514Baird (Premier of NSW), Victor Dominello (Minister for Communities & Citizenship), John Robertson (Leader of Opposition), David Clarke (Parliamentary Secretary), David Elliott (Parliamentary Secretary), Matt Kean (Parliamentary Secretary) and Paul Fletcher (Federal Parliamentary Secretary).

Other notable people attending the celebration included Vic Alhdeff (Chairman, Community Relations Commission), Stepan Kerkyasharian (President of the Anti-Discrimination Board), Dr Tim Soutphommasane (Race Discrimination Commissioner,) and Tim Wilson (Human Rights NJBD_YH66_Mike_Baird_Yadu_SinghCommissioner).

Key community leaders included myself (Dr Yadu Singh, President of Indian Australian Association of NSW), Ahmet Keskin (Affinity Intercultural Foundation) and David Ossip (Hornsby Councillor), in addition to many NSW Jewish Board of Deputies Yom Ha'atzmaut 120514other key people representing various faiths and ethnic backgrounds.

More than 30 Diplomatic representatives were present too, along with media and business leaders.

Israel is a successful and thriving democracy in Middle East. Despite its difficult, and at times violent, neighbourhood, it has achieved success in many fronts. It wishes and strives for peace in the region under the principle of “Two States Solution” and Co-existence.

People in Israel celebrated their nation’s 66th year by heading out to the national NSW Jewish Board of Deputies Yom Ha'atzmaut 120514parks, watching IAF flyover, visiting army bases and watching the International Bible Contest on Tuesday, 6th May, 2014.

Happy 66th Independence Day to Citizens of Israel, people of Jewish ancestry in Australia and all over the world, and friends of Israel!

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/12th May, 2014

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Sydney Indians met and interacted with Former Karnataka Chief Minister, Mr Jagadish Shettar!

Mr Settar and community

On Wednesday, 30th April, 2014, members of Sydney’s Indian community, particularly from Karnataka, met and interacted with Former Chief Minister of Karnataka, The Hon Jagadish Shettar, at the home of Hemanth Raju in Glenfield, NSW. Mr J Shettar and CommunityHemanth is the current President of Basava Samithi, Sydney.

Approx 50 people were present. Prominent among them were Hemanth Raju, Paramesh Halaradhya, Satish Bhadranna, Mallikarjun Ramanahalli and Chidananda Puttarevanna.

Mr Shettar was in Australia to take part in “6th International Sharana Samskriti Sammelana” meeting in Perth recently. He visited Sydney after this meeting, before travelling to Melbourne and NZ.

He has a vast record of public service in Karnataka. He was a lawyer by profession, before entering Karnataka Assembly in 1994. His family members and he has been long term Jan Sangh/BJP members/supporters. He was an active leader of Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) during his student days. He has also held the position of Karnataka BJP President at one stage.

He served as Speaker of the Assembly in 2008-9, Minister in various Karnataka Govts at various times, and was the Chief Minister from 2012 to 2013. Currently, he is the Leader of Opposition in the assembly.

He is a senior leader of BJP, with a lot of influence, following and support in Karnataka.

Our interaction with him included topics of Indian Governance, Karnataka Politics and Indian Mr J Shettar and Yadu Singh talkingelection. He felt that a minimum of 20 MPs from Karnataka will be from BJP. He was confident that NDA (National Democratic Alliance) will form the next Govt at the centre and Mr Narendra Modi will be the next Prime Minister of India.

We enjoyed home-cooked and typical Kannada food, prepared by various members of the community.

We were very impressed with his down to earth nature and simplicity. We enjoyed his sense of humour.

It was indeed a great pleasure to meet Mr Jagadish Shettar!

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/2nd May 2014

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Why Section 18C of Racial Discrimination Act should not be repealed

Racial discrimination Act 1975, section 18C is in news, and is creating quite a bit of debate, discussion and disquiet in Australia.

United against Racism

It has become quite intense ever since Federal Attorney General, Senator George Brandis, said in the Senate recently that ‚ÄúPeople do have a right to be bigots, you know,” and “People have the right to say things that other people would find insulting, offensive or bigoted.”

I find these statements troubling. I do not agree with them.

Let us see what exactly is section 18C and what is exempted from 18C (Section 18D).

RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ACT 1975 – SECT 18C:
Offensive behaviour because of race, colour or national or ethnic origin:

(1) It is unlawful for a person to do an act, otherwise than in private, if:

(a) the act is reasonably likely, in all the circumstances, to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people; and

(b) the act is done because of the race, colour or national or ethnic origin of the other person or of some or all of the people in the group.
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), an act is taken not to be done in private if it:
(a) causes words, sounds, images or writing to be communicated to the public; or
(b) is done in a public place; or
(c) is done in the sight or hearing of people who are in a public place.
(3) In this section:
“Public place” includes any place to which the public have access as of right or by invitation, whether express or implied and whether or not a charge is made for admission to the place.

RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ACT 1975 – SECT 18D:
Exemptions: Section 18C does not render unlawful anything said or done reasonably and in good faith:

(a) in the performance, exhibition or distribution of an artistic work; or
(b) in the course of any statement, publication, discussion or debate made or held for any genuine academic, artistic or scientific purpose or any other genuine purpose in the public interest; or
(c) in making or publishing:
(i) a fair and accurate report of any event or matter of public interest; or
(ii) a fair comment on any event or matter of public interest if the comment is an expression of a genuine belief held by the person making the comment.
—————————————————————————————————-
In summary, Section 18C of the Act makes it unlawful for anyone to do an act that is reasonably likely to ‚Äúoffend, insult, humiliate or intimidate‚ÄĚ anyone because of their race or ethnicity. Section 18D of the Act outlines exemptions with the purpose of protecting freedom of speech. Thus, artistic works, scientific debate and fair comment on matters of public interest are exempt from section 18C, provided they are reasonable and are in good faith.
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Background of Racial Discrimination Act:
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) are two very important international agreements for the human race. Australia is a signatory to them, and thus has obligations to implement protections against racial hatred.

Furthermore, National Inquiry into Racist Violence and the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody established the linkage between racial hatred and vilification and emotional and psychological harm. It was also found that such abuse reinforces other forms of discrimination and exclusion. The enquiry found that even low-level behaviour of this type can create the environment for more severe acts of harassment, intimidation or violence by impliedly condoning such acts.

Taking all these into consideration, Australian Law Reform Commission published its 1992 report, Multiculturalism and the Law, which recommended the introduction of legislation to deal with racial hatred.
Sections 18C and 18D were therefore introduced in 1995 in response to recommendations of major inquiries, and for the right reasons.

Freedom of speech Vs freedom from racial vilification:
Freedom of speech is important in a free society, but it must also be emphasized that people have a right to have freedom from racial vilification too.

Freedom of speech can, and is, never an absolute right. Laws applying to defamation, advertising and national security do restrict the right of freedom of speech.

Australian courts have repeatedly held that for conduct to be covered by section 18C, the conduct must involve ‚Äúprofound and serious‚ÄĚ effects, not ‚Äúmere slights‚ÄĚ. They have also found 18C to be an appropriate measure to implement Australia‚Äôs obligations to prohibit racial hatred under the ICCPR and ICERD.

Having said that, Andrew Bolt, a right wing Journalist, was found to have breached Section 18C in regards to Fair-skinned aborigines. It led to statements from Coalition leaders, promising before the 2013 Federal election to repeal section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act ”in its current form”.

Senator Brandis has said recently that ‚ÄúNever again in Australia will we have a situation in which a person may be taken to court for expressing a political opinion.”

Senator Brandis told the Senate recently that ‚Äúhe would soon be bringing forward an amendment that would ensure The Andrew Bolt case would never be repeated.‚ÄĚ

Here is the Exposure Draft from Attorney General, Senator George Brandis, which is open to comment from the Public until 30 April 2014 at s18cconsultation@ag.gov.au

———————————————————————————————–
Exposure Draft

(http://www.attorneygeneral.gov.au/Mediareleases/Pages/2014/First%20Quarter/25March2014-RacialDiscriminationAct.aspx)

Freedom of speech (Repeal of S. 18C) Bill 2014
The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 is amended as follows:
1. Section 18C is repealed.
2. Sections 18B, 18D and 18E are also repealed.
3. The following section is inserted:

1. “ It is unlawful for a person to do an act, otherwise than in private, if:
a. the act is reasonably likely:
i. to vilify another person or a group of persons; or
ii. to intimidate another person or a group of persons,
and
b. the act is done because of the race, colour or national or ethnic origin of that person or that group of persons.
2. For the purposes of this section:
a. vilify means to incite hatred against a person or a group of persons;
b. intimidate means to cause fear of physical harm:
1. to a person; or
2. to the property of a person; or
3. to the members of a group of persons.
4. Whether an act is reasonably likely to have the effect specified in sub-section (1)(a) is to be determined by the standards of an ordinary reasonable member of the Australian community, not by the standards of any particular group within the Australian community
5. This section does not apply to words, sounds, images or writing spoken, broadcast, published or otherwise communicated in the course of participating in the public discussion of any political, social, cultural, religious, artistic, academic or scientific matter.‚ÄĚ
—————————————————————————————————-
You need to read the Exposure Draft (above) very carefully.
(http://www.attorneygeneral.gov.au/Mediareleases/Pages/2014/First%20Quarter/25March2014-RacialDiscriminationAct.aspx)

Three points are very disturbing.
1. This proposed legislation really would allow for almost any racist speech you can imagine. Any ‚Äúpublic discussion of any political, social, cultural (or) religious, artistic, academic or scientific‚ÄĚ matter will be exempt, irrespective of its seriousness and intentions. Basically, every racial abuse can be exempt under the proposed legislation. There is no limit here.

2. Whether something is ‚Äúreasonably likely‚ÄĚ to vilify is ‚Äúto be determined by the standards of an ordinary reasonable member of the Australian community‚ÄĚ, ‚Äúnot by the standards of any particular group within the Australian community.‚ÄĚ That means that the vilification will not be judged by the standard of whatever racial minority is being vilified. Instead, the ordinary reasonable Australian, meaning thereby White Anglo-Saxon Australians, will decide whether the minority groups are racially vilified or not.

If we have to trust ‚ÄúOrdinary reasonable Australians‚ÄĚ to decide what we should think or find racially vilifying, we may end up in serious troubles. You do not have to go too far. Just go to the comments column of any newspaper to have the taste of what some of the ‚ÄúOrdinary reasonable Australians‚ÄĚ think about minorities. You will find that plenty of members of ‚Äúordinary reasonable Australians‚ÄĚ are good at telling people from minority racial groups what they should and shouldn‚Äôt find racist, without having an idea of what is right or wrong in racial vilification sense.

3. There is more. This is in regards to the proposed offence of racial ‚Äúintimidation‚ÄĚ. To ‚Äúintimidate‚ÄĚ is ‚Äúto cause fear of physical harm‚ÄĚ according to the Exposure draft. Who decides whether a member of a minority racial group should have a ‚Äúreasonably likely‚ÄĚ chance of feeling ‚Äúfear of physical harm?‚ÄĚ Obviously, that too will be decided for them by someone else, not themselves. That is plainly unacceptable, grotesque and wrong.

Australia is a success story of multiculturalism, where almost half the population was either born overseas or has a parent who was born overseas.

This is in danger, if section 18C and 18D are tampered with, repealed or diluted.

With any change with 18C and 18D, the clear line between legitimate public debate and hate speech will be removed. “Anything goes’ will become the law.

We need the protection from Hate speech and racial vilification because not everyone is in a position of parity to speak back to those who denigrate them on racial grounds. Not everyone is Adam Goodes, Ben Barba and Ali Abbas, who can stand up for themselves, when racially attacked or vilified.

It is important that the average person had a way of holding others accountable for racial abuse and harassment.

I do not believe that the Federal Court’s ruling in the case involving Andrew Bolt in 2011 (which was never challenged by appeal) provides sufficient cause for dismantling part of our system and laws of racial tolerance and harmony.

We need to promote civility and tolerance, not bigotry, racism, racial abuse, racial vilification and racial intimidation. If Section 18C and 18D are repealed, tampered with or diluted, this is exactly what is going to happen.

I therefore, like a vast majority of people (as per a recent poll on this matter), do not want Section 18C repealed, tampered with or diluted!

I have had a discussion with many from various communities including Indian Australians, and know for sure that they too are opposed to the proposed repeal of Section 18C.

I have sent my submission to s18cconsultation@ag.gov.au. I urge you to do the same by 30th April 2014.

You could do so just by saying “I am opposed to the proposed repeal of Section 18C of Racial Discrimination Act”!

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/27th April, 2014
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Proud and privileged to be in the list of “Goldmine” leaders from the Western Sydney!

The Daily Telegraph Newspaper published a list of key people from Western Sydney, calling them “Goldmine” leaders!

I feel proud and privileged to be included in this list! Image

I must admit that it was a humbling experience to see my name in this list of great people.

Here is the article from The Daily Telegraph newspaper! http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/competitions/fair-go-for-the-west-meet-the-goldmine-leaders/story-fngy6zqs-1226881501042

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Fair Go for the West: Meet the goldmine leaders!

Sydney‚Äôs West is a goldmine of single-minded leaders who would rather make a difference than make excuses. 

Whether it be building some of Australia’s most successful businesses, mentoring new arrivals to the West, leading sports teams worth cheering for or simply breeding the best darn chickens you’ll taste, they are making Sydney a better place.

 

Paul Lederer

Paul Lederer runs Primo Smallgoods at Chullora.

Paul Lederer runs Primo Smallgoods at Chullora. Source: News Limited

 

The Primo Group chief executive has transformed a Hungarian family tradition of smoking meats into a $1.4 billion international enterprise run from Chullora with 4000 employees.

Estimated to hold a personal fortune of $630 million, he will indulge his passion for soccer when he takes control of the Western Wanderers from July 1, leading a new ownership team including Pirtek founder Peter Duncan and Filipino-Chinese businessman Jefferson Cheng.

 

Katie Page and Gerry Harvey,

Harvey Norman chief executive and chairman

This dynamic duo have been working and playing hard in Western Sydney since Harvey Norman opened its Auburn store in 1982.

The Harvey Norman business, of which Harvey is chairman and Page CEO, now has eight stores in the West, employing more than 1400 locals.

Harvey, who went to high school in Katoomba, is also Australia’s biggest horse breeder, while Page’s passions include the West’s exotic food and restaurant scene. They live in the northwest.

Harvey Norman chairman Gerry Harvey with managing director and wife Katie Page.

Harvey Norman chairman Gerry Harvey with managing director and wife Katie Page. Source: News Limited

 

 

Jihad Dib

For eight years, the Punchbowl Boys High School principal has been inspiring his students to lift their sights.

The results are easy to see. The school where drug gangs once ruled and barbed wire topped the fences now wins educational awards.

While only a handful of year 12 boys once thought about going to university each year, now about a third of the class go on and many more do vocational training.

Dib was able to joke recently that the school may be getting too soft when a fight broke out over hand cream.

Jihad Dib with students out the front of Punchbowl Boys High School

Jihad Dib with students out the front of Punchbowl Boys High School Source: News Limited

 

 

Raelene Castle

Since becoming the first female to lead an NRL club eight months ago, Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs CEO has won respect as a no-nonsense operator focused on instilling an honest, hardworking culture.

As she builds the Bulldogs‚Äô appeal to the families and businesses of the West, she has shown a strict attitude to player behaviour and doesn‚Äôt tolerate fools ‚ÄĒ as Cronulla‚Äôs Andrew Fifita recently discovered when Canterbury terminated his $3.5 million deal after some ill-chosen comments.

New Canterbury Bulldogs CEO Raelene Castle pictured at Bemore Oval.

New Canterbury Bulldogs CEO Raelene Castle pictured at Bemore Oval. Source: News Limited

 

 

Nick Moraitis has built a huge fresh produce business in the west.

Nick Moraitis has built a huge fresh produce business in the west. Source: News Limited

Cate Sydes, Marist Youth Care CEO.

Cate Sydes, Marist Youth Care CEO. Source: News Limited

Nick Moraitis

 

The Moraitis Group founder has worked in the West for 60 years, building a multifaceted food empire with revenues pushing $1 billion.

Through his partnership with fellow western tycoon Paul Lederer, he recently joined forces with Hungry Jacks’ founder Jack Cowin to produce salads and fresh soups for major retailers.

“The West is full of talented people but we need more businesses based here and more jobs,’’ said Moraitis, 79, who owned champion thoroughbred Might and Power.

 

Cate Sydes

The Marist Youth Care CEO is Western Sydney’s Good Samaritan, having worked with those on Struggle St since helping Aboriginal children in Mount Druitt 30 years ago.

Based at Blacktown, she leads one of Australia’s largest service providers for youth at risk.

‚ÄúI‚Äôve always been drawn to kids and young people in need,‚ÄĚ says Sydes, who lost both of her parents while still in her teens. ‚ÄúMy dream is that one day I‚Äôll be out of work.‚Äô‚Äô

 

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Tony Shepherd

From advising the PM on how to get our national finances under control to building Western Sydney freeways and a new sports franchise, the diminutive Greater Western Sydney Giants chairman is a serious power player.

As the outgoing Business Council of Australia president and former chairman of construction giant Transfield Services, he has a contact book than sprawls from west to east, as evidenced by his recent appointment as chair of the SCG Trust.

 

Jim Marsden

Described by ‚ÄúMr Olympics‚ÄĚ Rod McGeoch as the ‚Äúsmartest man in the west‚ÄĚ, the Marsdens Law Group senior partner has been at the centre of Campbelltown life since growing up in the local pub.

Whether it be handling the legal affairs of the region’s business elite or personally lobbying NRL chief Dave Smith to settle a team (ie his beloved Wests Tigers) in Campbelltown, Marsden is a passionate advocate of the southwest, where he has raised his four children.

He still gets a chuckle out of his late brother John Marsden‚Äôs famous quip: ‚ÄúThere are two great cities in the world ‚ÄĒ Rome and Campbelltown.‚Äô‚Äô

 

Louise Cordina

The Cordina family have been feeding Australia ‚Äúcage-free‚ÄĚ chicken since pioneering the concept in the 1950s.

The 34-year-old is the first fourth-generation member of the Cordinas to help lead the family’s famous business with her father John. It is now one of the top 100 family-owned firms in the nation.

She grew up next door to the family‚Äôs Girraween factory and adopts a typically unpretentious Western Sydney style, saying: “We have never had aspirations to be out there being the biggest.‚Äô‚Äô

John and Louise Cordina.

John and Louise Cordina. Source: News Limited

 

 

Lyall Gorman

The Wanderers chairman tapped into Western Sydney’s passion and energy to create the A-League soccer franchise.

Gorman, highly rated by soccer supremo Frank Lowy, leads a board which includes distinguished Australian-Chinese businessman Benjamin Chow and influential Aboriginal leader Warren Mundine.

‚ÄúOne of our major goals is to be a catalyst for true social change across western Sydney ‚ÄĒ part of that is inspiring young people to be the absolute best they can be,‚Äô‚Äô he says.

Executive Chairman Lyall Gorman.

Executive Chairman Lyall Gorman. Source: AAP

 

 

Christopher Brown

When the history is written of how an airport finally came to be built at Badgerys Creek, at least once chapter should be devoted to Brown.

As a member of the federal government’s panel that recommended Badgerys, the Parramatta-bred tourism advocate kept talking when others didn’t want to listen. He was also one of the first to talk up his home town as a genuine CBD.

Today, he chairs the Eels Round Table Forum and sits on the board of the University of Western Sydney and the Moorebank Intermodal Company.

 

Grant O’Brien

The electrical apprentice who rose to become CEO of supermarket giant Woolworths, headquartered in north-western Sydney’s Bella Vista, still keeps a focus on the workers of tomorrow.

O’Brien leads 190,000 employees, but is spearheading a major youth employment initiative called Generation Success to find ways to give more young people improved career prospects.

 

Jeremy Donovan

Jeremy Donovan Source: Supplied

Jeremy Donovan

 

Donovan, an internationally renowned didgeridoo player, was tapped last year to become the national ambassador in mining magnate Andrew Forrest’s GenerationOne indigenous initiative when Warren Mundine stepped down as CEO.

The 34-year-old, who is raising four children at Mulgoa, near Penrith, is part of the new breed of indigenous leaders who believes lives are only transformed through education and work, not welfare dependency.

 

Lionel Lee

The grandson of Chinese immigrant Bing Lee runs what has become the largest privately held electrical retail business in NSW with more than 40 stores visited by 120,000 people a week.

Old Guilford continues to serve as Lee’s corporate headquarters, harking back to the company’s early days in Fairfield selling black and white TVs to new immigrants who did not have a credit rating.

 

Rawand Al-Hinti

The Jordanian-born 21-year-old has been identified as one of the West’s articulate young voices.

“I believe if you work hard and aim for success you’ll flourish regardless of what suburb you are from or what school you went to,’’ she says.

The Macarthur Girls High School vice-captain, who mentors other university students while studying law and international relations, was recently appointed to the NSW government’s Youth Advisory Council.

 

Stuart Ayres

The enthusiastic Liberal MP for Penrith is winning praise since being promoted to become Premier Barry O’Farrell’s Minister for Western Sydney late last year.

The 33-year-old, who is the partner of federal Liberal Senator Marise Payne, has helped drive the government’s decision to relocate more than 3000 bureaucrats to western Sydney and understands the urgent need to create jobs and build new houses.

 

David Borger

The former Labor State Minister and Parramatta Mayor remains a strong campaigner for change as Sydney Business Chamber’s Western Sydney director.

“It sometimes feels like those in the east aren’t interested in the west and that’s a problem,’’ he said in his typically frank style last October.

James and Gretel Packer have sought his advice in relation to their $30 million arts gift to the West.

 

Barney Glover

The newly appointed University of Western Sydney Vice-Chancellor has wasted little time settling in, winning in-principle approval from his board this week to build a major campus in Parramatta’s CBD.

The former VC at Charles Darwin University will work closely in his new role with the UWS’ well-connected Chancellor Peter Shergold.

 

Yadu Singh

The Indian Australian Association of NSW president set up shop as a cardiologist in Baulkham Hills soon after arriving from India in 1991.

He has been writing and speaking passionately ever since as a leader of Australia‚Äôs ‚ÄĒ and Western Sydney‚Äôs ‚ÄĒ fastest-growing immigrant group.

His 12,400 Twitter followers are rarely left in doubt about his views, whether it be his advocacy on behalf of Indian students, his defence of Australia against claims it is racist or his support of a Western Sydney airport.

 

Tony Perich

The son of Croatian immigrants, the Greenfields Development Co managing director is turning dairy country into up-market housing developments in the buzzing southwest.

Estimated by BRW to be worth more than $850 million, the Perich family was once the biggest dairy farmer in the southern hemisphere through its Leppington Pastoral Company.

The family’s assets include the iconic former Oran Park raceway where at least 5500 houses and units are being developed, along with the biggest Woolworths in Australia.

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The End

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Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/23rd April, 2014

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People in detention centres in Australia should be monitored for mental health issues!

ImageI have just learnt about the sad death of a 27 years old Indian student, who was in Maribyrnong immigration detention Centre in Melbourne since Jan 2014. He was a University student and was in the Detention Centre because his Visa was cancelled for breach of Visa conditions. Details of his Visa situations are not clear.

Yesterday, he was found in an unconscious state. He later died. His death is not being considered suspicious, which usually means that he committed suicide. Further details are not known at this stage.

It is a sad news for anyone, but obviously for his parents and family. Our hearts go out to them. R.I.P!

Many members of Indian Australian community are asking why and how did this happen, and what was done to prevent it, knowing he would have been in severe distress. Full facts are not out at this stage, but we ask DIBP and Minister Morrison’s office to put Indian community in the loop with full information and take them in confidence. We also ask Indian High Commission in Canberra and Indian Consulate in Melbourne to take the community in confidence, sharing detailed information. It is not an ordinary death. A young man came to Australia, with his hopes and hopes of his family. All those hopes are shattered and his parents have to deal with the sad and unfortunate loss of his life. This must be naturally devastating to them.

It is well known that detention is a stressful situation and it creates distress and mental health issues for detainees. Mental health issues are number one health issues in Detention centres.

While no Govt can close detention centres, and detainees will continue to be detained for various reasons, they certainly can ensure proper pastoral care and monitoring of mental health issues among detainees. Staff in these centres must be properly trained to look out for any sign of severe distress and depression.

I understand, and believe firmly, that authorities  have a “Duty of Care” to those who are in any custody-Mental Health institutions, Hospitals, Police Lock-up places, Prisons and Detention Centres. Duty of Care also includes reasonable monitoring of signs & symptoms of distress and depression, and providing assistance and counselling to prevent self-harm or harm to others.

Recently, IHAG (Immigration Health Advisory Group), comprising of GPs, psychologists, psychiatrists, Social workers and Counsellors has been replaced with a single advisor. I hope this will not impact on the care of people in detention. 

We are a caring society, and must continue to remain so, within the constraints of our means and resources, while dealing with vulnerable people, and people in custody.

In regards to this particular unfortunate case, a thorough investigation should be done, which I believe is happening, to figure out all aspects of the case.

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/14th Feb, 2014

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All nett proceeds from INDAUS Fair on Sunday, 11th Aug, 2013 going to Uttarakhand Flood Victims!

INDAUS FAIR LR 26July

Uttarakhand State in India has had catastrophic and massive floods on 14-17th June, 2013, leading to huge loss of lives, property and infrastructure. Many roads, bridges, villages and towns have been washed away. Rescue efforts were heroically performed by Indian Army, Indian Air Force, ITBF [Indo-Tibetan Border Force] along with civic authorities.

Death toll stands at 5700. The devastation in the region is going to have a lingering and cascading effect on people for long time.

This is all very sad, shocking and upsetting. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families.

Indians, wherever they live, are doing what they can do to assist victims. Reconstruction in Uttarakhand needs as much help as possible. State Govt has requested Central Govt to provide a 13000 Crores reconstruction package to the devastated state.

Indians all over the world, and in India, are doing their bits to help the state and affected people. Indians in Sydney are doing their bits too. I am sure we all will contribute in some way to the assistance work.

INDAUS Inc team have resolved to contribute to this assistance by donating all net proceeds from their flagship event “INDAUS Fair” at Rosehill Race Course, Rosehill, NSW 2142, on Sunday, 11th Aug, 2013 to Uttarakhand flood victims.

INDAUS Inc had originally planned to send the net proceeds from INDAUS Fair to INDIA HOUSE project, but the tragedy in Uttarakhand is more pressing and is a more deserving cause. That is why we have decided to send net proceeds to Uttarakhand flood victims.

We, in INDAUS Inc, urge you to join us for this event on Sunday, 11th Aug, 2013. The ticket price of $7/per person is next to nothing, and is easily affordable. We seek your help re getting as many stalls & souvenir Ads as possible!

Let us spread the message in our networks and get there in big numbers!

Victims need your help and generosity! Please show our generosity for Uttarakhand Food victims by joining, attending & supporting INDAUS Fair on Sunday, 11th Aug, 2013!
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_North_India_floods
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57593939/india-raises-flood-death-toll-reaches-5700-as-all-missing-persons-now-presumed-dead/
http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/uttarakhand-seeks-rs-13-000-cr-package-from-centre-113071900780_1.html
http://zeenews.india.com/news/nation/uttarakhand-floods-death-toll-uncertain-minister-says-10-000-just-an-estimate_858805.html
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-23095184
http://www.indianexpress.com/picture-gallery/uttarakhand-floods-iaf-rescue-chopper-crashes-all-20-on-board-feared-killed/2952-2.html
http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/28/the-scene-at-ground-zero-of-uttarakhand-floods/?_r=0
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Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/20th July, 2013
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India is the top source of migrants to Australia!

[Source of Pictures: TOI article, Ravi Lochan Singh’s Blog and DIAC press release]Australian Migration Sources2Australian Migration Sources

 

With 29016 people from India who were granted migrant Visa to come to Australia in 2011-12, India is now the top source of migrants to Australia. This is 12.7% more than the  previous year. This is likely to continue for years to come. By now, Indian-born numbers have grown four fold in the last 15 years, while Chinese-born numbers have grown by three fold..

The Census in 2011 told us that there were about 400,000 people of Indian heritage in Australia. If we add the numbers up to June 2013 and add the numbers from people of Indian heritage from other countries plus those born here in Australia, the number of people of Indian heritage could well be about 500,000 by June 2013.

With 21768 Indians in 2010-11, India was the third top source of Australian migrants. With 29546 Chinese immigrants, China was the top source then. Things have obviously changed.

The latest list outlining the sources of migrants also tells us that 7 of 10 countries are from Asia, the region where Australia has its major trading partners.

China with 25508 is the second top source and Great Britain with 25273 is at the third spot.

India has many good universities with a large number of young people with the skills and English which Australia needs. These skills are in the fields of medicine, IT, teaching, nursing, Engineering, accounting, management and many others. These are all high value skills which are in great demand all over the world. Australia is now competing with other countries quite successfully.

I am quite pleased that increasing numbers of Indians are choosing Australia as the place to migrate to, despite exaggerated negative coverage of Australia in the Indian media in the recent past. This is the best certificate that Indian media was not factual in its reporting back then.

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/4th June, 2013

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Nalini Needs You. Can you help her please?

NaliniNeedsYou

 

 

Can you help? There is a better chance to help if you are from Kerala background but any Indian can help!

  

Dr Nalini Ambady, a professor at Stanford University, was recently diagnosed with a recurrence of leukemia, which she first battled in 2004. Now, she has only eight weeks left to live and urgently needs a bone marrow transplant from a genetically matched donor.

Originally from Kerala, Ambady became the first Indian American female professor in the Psychology Department at Harvard University, Tufts University, and Stanford University, according to a press release. Her research has been covered in Malcolm Galdwell’s book, ‚ÄúBlink.‚ÄĚ More details are available on www.NaliniNeedsYou.com 

People of South Asian descent have a lower likelihood of finding a bone marrow match, and in Ambady’s case, doctors have estimated that chance at one in 20,000. 

HOW YOU CAN HELP? 

Since every willing donor may not be a perfect match for Nalini, we need as many willing donors as possible in a short time.

If you are willing to help and in the age group of 18-45 years please ring RED CROSS on  131495  and register with Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry and donate.

ABMDR donor info is here  for your information. http://www.abmdr.org.au/

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Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/26th April, 2013

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Our team raised $22215 for recent Qld Floods victims!

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Qld-floods-charity2

OUR TEAM RAISED $22,215.00 FOR QUEENSLAND FLOODS VICTIMS!

 

Press Release:

Sydney, 3nd April, 2013.

 Indian Australian Association of NSW Inc [INDAUS Inc] members teamed with others in the Hills Shire and organised a hugely successful Charity fund raising event for Bundaberg Floods Victims, at Mother India Restaurant, Dural, raising $22,215.00 on Sunday, 24th March, 2013. 

Earlier on 29th January, our group was having dinner at Mother India when the idea was born to give something back to the community. It comprised of Dr Yadu Singh [INDAUS Inc President], Gareth McCray [Broadcaster & INDAUS Inc member], Ross Colossimo [CEO of The Australian Brewery & Bella Vista Hotel, Sanjeev Sharma [Mother India Owner & INDAUS Inc member], Rajiv Chaudhri [CEO of Hitek Australia & INDAUS Inc member], Poonam Verma [Jewellery Designer from India], and Kanika Chaudhri [Rajiv‚Äôs daughter]. 

This discussion came to focus on the myriad of disasters that had hit Australia since January. We got round to realising that the Regional city of Bundaberg had been worst hit. It was suggested and agreed that we contact the Hills Shire Mayor, Dr Michelle Byrne, and see if she would agree to front a committee to raise some funds to help the people of Bundaberg. We did that and she agreed. A committee was constituted and potential sponsors were decided to run a special Charity Dinner at Mother India. 

The steering committee consisted of the above people and had the following join us later:-

Dr Michelle Byrne, the Hills Shire Mayor, A/Prof Jim Taggart, Joseph Ishak from Skad Australia, Clr Jeff Lowe, John Ebbott, Ms Sonya Phillips [Former Hills Shire Mayor], Journalist Bev Jordan and David O‚ÄôNeill, the General Manager of the Castle Hill RSL.  

Meeting on a weekly basis, our team planned the event which included day time markets followed by buffet lunch and a lavish dinner with entertainment, auctions and raffles. Entertainment was provided by renowned singer, Angie Dean and a local Bollywood dance group, organised by Mother India. 

At $75 per person, the team did not take long to fill the restaurant with 120 people. They enjoyed a three course sumptuous dinner with Beer and wine donated by generous donors, The Australian Brewery, Australian Hotel Association & Castle Hill RSL. 

Master of Ceremonies for the event was media personality, Gareth McCray and auctioneer was A/Professor Jim Taggart who both brought the electrifying energy and enthusiasm to the event, thus helping in the collection of funds. 

Salvation Army Officer from Bundaberg, Mr Peter Evans was flown down to Sydney to witness the event. His flights and accommodation were sponsored, organised by the team, at no cost to him. 

The items for auction included a Cricket Bat signed by national teams of Australia and UK [bid successfully by INDAUS Inc Vice President, Stanley D‚ÄôCruz for $2000], Jewellery worth $3500 from House of Fraser, a necklace donated by Poonam Verma and many others. 

It was an absolute privilege working with each of these people in the team, who all knew fully well why this fund raising was important for the People of Bundaberg. 

Families and businesses in Bundaberg that had only just started getting on top of things since the previous flood had to watch again as their lives were upended and swept away by the Burnett River that raged with a ferocity that had never been seen before. 

The floodwaters did recede as quickly as they rose but nothing could prepare the residents for what they found when they crossed back across the Burnett River ‚Äď some houses had sunk into the ground, others were covered in mud so deep, bed lined in the trees roads turned up. The river turned Bundaberg into a war zone. However the spirit of Faith, Hope and Love grew out of this disaster. 

A Faith that is based upon the knowledge that we can always rely on each other to help when the need is there. 

A Love of the friends, family and people from across the nation, such as here in The Hills Shire, who have come to help those in great need. 

This is what makes the many national multicultural groups that make up Australia so special. We believe that thing we call ‚Äúmateship‚ÄĚ is something we should be so proud of, and which we can show whenever our fellow Australians are in need of. 

That is why we came together on Sunday March 24 to join in that spirit of Faith, Hope and Love and help the people of Bundaberg. 

In addition to INDAUS Inc members taking a key role in the project, Indian Australians worked shoulder to shoulder with Hills Shire community and raised this amount for people in Queensland who need it so desperately. 

We, in INDAUS Inc, were proud to be the key members of the committee, responsible for execution of the project and delivery of the outcome in a substantial way. It was a unique experience for us in INDAUS Inc. 

INDAUS Inc is indeed proud to be part of doing something for our fellow Australians.

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With contribution from Gareth McCray and released by Dr Yadu Singh

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/4th April, 2013
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Indian Australian groups contributed to Clean Up Australia Day on Sunday, 3rd March, 2013!

clean up4-13

Clean up1-13

clean up2-13

clean up3-13

 

 

Sydney, 31st March, 2013

Like last year, we took part in Clean Up Australia Day activities this year too.

On Sunday, 3rd March, 2013, friends from 3 organisations-Indian Australian Association of NSW Inc [INDAUS Inc], Basava Samithi of Australia [BSOA]-Sydney Chapter and Samarpan Inc [A group of people who have family members with disabilities] joined up for the clean up activities at GARRISON POINT, MURRUMBEENA RESERVE, OFF HENRY LAWSON DRIVE, GEORGES HALL, NSW-2198.

It started at 8 am and went on until 10.30 am.

After collecting several bags of rubbish, the clean up party had a tea/coffee session and general discussion, followed by certificates and pics. We discussed how important it is for all of us from all sort of backgrounds to get involved in Australian events/activities which will help Australia and Australians. Australia is after all our home!

People who took part in it included myself [Dr Yadu Singh], Chidanand Puttarevanna, Stanley D’Cruz, Gaurav Nirwal, Rajni Chandran, Uday Shah, Jaywanth Vaidya, Parul Shah, Hemanth Raju, Paramesh Halaradhya, Vishwas Suresh, Dayanand Mogale, Vishwanath Halyal, Prajwal Pradhan, Vijay Kumar and many others.

From the Clean Up Australia website:

“Australians have more than demonstrated their passion and responsibility for cleaning up their local environment. Over 550,300 volunteers have donned their gloves and picked up a bag to remove rubbish from around 7341 sites across the nation.

Early figures predict they will have removed around 16,150 tonnes of rubbish, just the beginning of what is shaping up to be a tremendous effort yet again.

Since the national event started in 1990 Australians have donated more than 26,100,600 million hours towards caring for the environment through Clean Up Australia Day, by removing an estimated 288,650 tonnes of rubbish across the country.‚ÄĚ

Clean Up Australia Day is truly a national event, in which everyone participates.

Indian and other multicultural groups have been increasingly participating in these activities.

Australia is a great & clean country and it is everyone’s job to keep it that way.

We did our part and are proud of it.

Dr Yadu Singh

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Parramasala, The Australian Festival of South Asian arts, is a milestone in multicultural NSW!

Parramasala1

Parramasala2

Parramasala4

 

Parramasala, the Australian Festival of South Asian Arts, was initiated by Premier Kristina Keneally, then Premier of NSW, in 2010. It was held in 2011 and 2012 too. I and my friends have enjoyed it every year. Thousands of people from all backgrounds have enjoyed it too.

There are some question marks over whether it will continue in 2013 and beyond .

The budget of the festival is approx $1.5 millions, out of which approx $300,000 is contributed by Parramatta Council.

I attended a meeting, called by Parramatta Mayor recently. There was a discussion regarding the direction Parramasala should be taking from now on.

There was a discussion regarding whether one segment of Parramasala should happen in the neighbouring Harris Park suburb where there are many businesses from Indian/South Asian community.

There was a discussion whether “Curry & Spice festival”, focused on Harris Park should be included in the Parramasala.

There was a discussion regarding what Parramatta Council should do to get Harris Park included in Parramasala event. There was also a discussion regarding what Parramatta Council should do if Parramasala does not include Harris Park in the event.

After this meeting, we, the members of the community and businesses from Harris Park, had some further discussions among ourselves. I had some further discussions with many people on this.

This is what people think/feel about Parramasala and related events:

1. Parramasala is a significant event for NSW and South Asian communities.

2. Parramasala should continue to happen in 2013 and beyond.

3. Parramatta Council should continue to be a partner in Parramasala, contribute its share of money and should have a significant role in organising the event.

4. It will be nice if Harris Park event-Curry & Spice festival- is a part of Parramasala.

5. Parramasala should still continue to be held, even if Harris Park event-Curry & Spice festival- is not a part of Parramasala.

6. If Harris Park event-Curry & Spice festival- is not a part of Parramasala, it should still be organised and it should happen separately. Money aspect for Harris Park event should be worked on separately and should not be mixed or confused with anything to do with Parramasala. Contribution in advertisement and other related costs should be based on some fair formula. Contribution share based on number of seats in the restaurants is one such formula. Non-food businesses need to be involved in the festival and their contribution will need to be reasonable and fair.

7. Harris Park event- Curry & Spice festival- should be organised with participation from local businesses, community reps and Parramatta Council, as it is not only about local businesses.

Parramasala Board should have only those people who have vision, ability and capacity to organise an event of this nature. This is important to help this event grow , make the event more popular and have bigger participation of not only South Asian communities, but also general community. This has not happened and this needs to be reviewed why it has not happened.

Nomination of  people in Boards of events of this nature should be guided by quality and ability, in addition to vision of such people, not who the Govt leaders like even if such members do not have the required quality and ability.

Parramasala Board should be reviewed and reconstituted. Details of the festival:www.parramasala.com

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/15th March, 2013
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What we need in Western Sydney?

Western sydney

 

I missed an important interview with Sunrise of Chanel 7 today because a usual 15 minutes’ drive took about 70 minutes.

Familiar story which happens far too frequently!

It is well known that transport is a big issue for people in Western and North Western Sydney.

Living and working in Western Sydney and interacting with people-professionally or socially, have given ample insight into what is needed in this part of Sydney where 2 million ie 1 out of 11 Australians live, and where majority of Sydneysiders live too.

As I see it, and from my perspective, these are the major issues;

I am listing them here without giving any consideration to the relative importance of these issues.

1. Crimes: Shootings have been in the news. There are gangs which are doing what gangs do. I am aware of many students who have been bashed up without any fault of theirs. One of them had a severe head injury and will probably never be able to work. There are people who get assaulted while getting out of train stations. People are scared about becoming victims of the shootings or assaults. Police are doing what they have to do or can do. Whatever has to be done by the Govt must be done to give Police resources to deal with the criminals. If more CCTV and more cops on the patrol will do the job, I am all for it. If anti-gang task force comprising of officials from various agencies will do the job, that is sweet too. We want safe streets where we can do things we want to do without worrying about the next drive by shooting, assault or knife attack. Let all good ideas come from all directions to help control crimes because we want real actions, not spins.

2. Transport: People in Western Sydney complain continuously about poor transport facilities in the region. They have to waste hours after hours on the roads which are full of cars, moving ever so slowly. We need better public transport with an efficient networking of the transport facilities. NSW Transport master plan has come out and a debate on it is ongoing. People have commented that it is Sydney CBD-focused. Comments have been made that 70% of Sydney people live in the West but 70% of jobs in Sydney are in area away from the West, thus forcing people to travel to Sydney CBD. We need more jobs in Western Sydney.

3. Jobs & employment: Unemployment rates are much higher in Western Sydney. Some say, it is double of the national standard. This is not good because it has a linkage with quality of life, general & mental health and so many more parameters. We need initiatives and incentives which will facilitate creation of jobs in various sectors right here in the West.

5. Proper utilisation of human resources: Western Sydney is very multicultural in nature with >40% of people with some connection with overseas ancestries. Western Sydney is generally the first place where new migrants choose to live. There are obvious reasons for this to happen. This phenomenon gives some boost to the economy, particularly housing and retail sectors, but more can happen, if dealt with smartly. What I have seen and heard is that their training and skills obtained overseas are not properly utilized. This happens mostly on the pretext of lack of ‚Äúlocal‚ÄĚ experience, leading to rejections of their applications for jobs. I believe that this should be addressed by offering incentives to the employers to employ suitable new migrants who have skills/training for the job, with provision of more active supervision and assistance for bridging courses/training to get them up to speed, if necessary. A smart country like Australia must utilise migrants who it accepted as residents fully and appropriately, making them a part of the economy.  

6. Industry & Infrastructure: More industries and infrastructure projects in the region will obviously create more jobs and rejuvenate Western Sydney. To encourage these projects and industries, and to kick start the economic growth of Western Sydney, Govts of all levels should offer incentives to the businesses to set their bases in the West.

7. Health services: The waiting lists for health services are bigger with longer waiting times in the West. Even emergency services take longer to be delivered compared to the East. Funding for the services must be such that they are equitable, sufficient and appropriate, not only for acute services but also for preventive services ie health education, and community care.

8. Airport: Independent studies have told us that Sydney will need second airport soon. Current airport will not cope with further load for long. If second airport is not coming forth, it will affect the economic growth of NSW. Multiple sites have been mentioned but they all get bogged down in politics. Politicians start worrying about votes. It is about time that Govts and politicians focus on economy, not just votes. If Sydney’s second airport has to be created, it has to be in Sydney basin, not Canberra. It will cost money [Approx. $10 billions] but then every mega project which is essential for our economy will need investment. An airport in Western Sydney is expected to give a major boost to the economy in the West, creating an environment for infrastructure projects and employment opportunities equivalent of approx. 40000 jobs,

9. WSROC & other stake holders: Wester Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils is a perfect group, comprising of Councils of Western Sydney. They know what is required in the region. Their views will be of significant importance. They along with key leaders from businesses, public policy and communities should be used as the key stakeholders for debates, analysis and sounding boards.

10. Cost of living: It is an important issue all over Australia but more so in Western Sydney. Rising prices of essential commodities like food, rising cost of electricity, high rents, cost of education, child care, high cost of petrol and so many items which are needed for day to day living are all adding to the pressure. Carbon tax has been an issue although not as bad as was predicted and there are some support available to compensate struggling families. No one can deny that there are people and families who/which are really struggling. Everything must be done to ease the pressure on them.

Two million people of Western Sydney need comprehensive policies/plans for the economic growth of the region. These policies must be outlined now and must be properly costed with source of funding outlined.

People in Western Sydney are smart people and they can see through the slogans and spins.

 We need decent, honest and meaningful plans/policies for the long term, not just for the election in Sept 2013.

A word of caution for both major parties: We want substance, not spins!

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/4th March, 2013

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Doing something for our fellow Australians!

MAYORAL CHARITY DINNER-Flyer


We have all heard about the devastation and damage which recent floods in Queensland caused to the communities there. This has been heart-touching.

Some of us from Hills Shire have come around and decided to do something about it to help rebuild lives. Gareth Mccray, Rajiv Chaudhri, Sanjeev Sharma, Adj/Prof Jim Taggart, Clr Jeff Lowe and myself in addition to Mayor Byrne and many others have been meeting on a weekly basis to organise a fund raising event for them. We have the full support from our able and compassionate Mayor from Hills Shire, Michelle Byrne, in addition to the support from Castle Hill RSL, local businesses and local newspapers.

The Hills Shire Mayor’s Care fund, under the leadership of Mayor, Michelle Byrne, is organising an event which starts in the day time with markets, buffet lunch followed by a gala charity dinner with entertainment, raffle draw and auctions of various articles. These items include a Cricket bat signed by Australian national team, a cricket bat signed by Ricky Ponting, jewellery items and so many more. It is simply amazing to see the generosity from Australians for a tragedy like floods in Qld.

Further details: http://tinyurl.com/cah8wue

Flyer: fb.me/2vjuvyhwb

We are more than 70% sold out and only few seats are left.

We would love one & all to join us either by visiting the markets/buffet lunch in the day time and/or joining us for the gala dinner.

Venue: Mother India, 1237 Old Northern Rd,  Middle Dural NSW 2158
(02) 9651 6555

Sunday, 24th March, 2013
Cost: $75/per person

I have already had positive response from heaps of people and of course, am looking for the support from more.

After all, this is a dinner for a noble cause!

To book a seat for the dinner, please contact me or any of the committee members.

It is about time that we do think about our fellow Australians and do something for them.

After all, Australia is our home and we all are Australians!

 

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/1st March, 2013 

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Health Seminar for the community:Eat to live and then, live to eat!

HealthSeminar-community.JEPGINDAUS-LOGO

Details for the next INDAUS Inc activity:
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“Eat to live and then, Live to eat”
-Health seminar for the community!
-Granville Town Hall, 10 Carlton Street, Granville, NSW
-Saturday, 23rd Feb, 2.30PM to 4.30PM
-Free admission.
-RSVP recommended! See the Flyer for details!
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Diet, nutrition, preventive care and primary medical care.
Talk and Q+A by Dietitian and doctors.

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/10th Feb, 2013
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Multiculturalism is in our Heart & Soul: INDAUS Inc celebrates Australia Day & Indian Republic Day with class & style!

Multiculturalism is in our Heart & Soul: INDAUS Inc celebrates Australia Day & Indian Republic Day with class & style!

ADIRD-23-CGADIRD24-CRCADIRD21-YSADIRD22-David-ClarkeADIRD11-Islanders-groupADIRD6-FlamencoADIRD19-Geoff-LeeADIRD12-SinhasADIRD13-ReddysADIRD14-CRCADIRD15-Michelle-ByrneADIRD16-FergusonADIRD16-Zangari-Grove-DattaADIRD17-Philip-RuddockADIRD18-John-Alexander<img src="https://yadusingh.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/adird7-cg2.jpg?w=300" alt="ADIRD7-CG" width="300" height="198" class="alignnone size-medium wp-image-3119" /Aus-IND-Flag>Sydney, 27th Jan, 2013

The Indian Australian Association of NSW Inc. [INDAUS Inc.] celebrated Australia Day and Indian Republic Day on Sunday 27 January 2013 with a style and a class of its own. A large gathering of 400+ people filled the Ryde Civic Hall to capacity.

Political and government dignitaries included federal parliament members Hon. Laurie Ferguson (Werriwa) representing the Federal Government, Hon. John Alexander (Bennelong) representing the Hon. Tony Abbott, the leader of the Federal Opposition and Hon. Philip Ruddock (Berowra).

Geoff Lee, Member for Parramatta, represented Premier of NSW, Hon Barry O’Farrell. Hon. Greg Smith, Attorney General & Minister for Justice and Hon. David Clarke, Parliamentary Secretary were present there too. The Minister for Communities and Citizenship, Hon. Victor Dominello, was represented by Matt Kean, Member for Hornsby and Guy Zangari, Member for Fairfield, represented Leader of NSW Opposition, Hon John Robertson. Other MPs and dignitaries included Kevin Conolly, Member for Riverstone, Dominic Perrottet, Member for Baulkham Hills, CRC Chair and CEO, Hon Stephan Kerkyasharian, Indian Consul General, Arun Kumar Goel, Mayor John Chedid from Parramatta, Mayor Ivan Petch from Ryde, Mayor Ross Grover from Holroyd, Mayor Michelle Byrne from Baulkham Hills, Councilor Karlo Siljeg, representing Blacktown Mayor and Councilor Raj Datta from Strathfield Council.

Guests were entertained to a welcoming Shennai instrumental music, which was played during the arrival of the guests.

Pics are here: http://www.desi.com.au/Australia_and_Indian_Republic_Day_Celebrations_by_INDAUS_Inc.html

The proceedings started with a short introduction by the event coordinator Mr. Abhilash Narendran in which he highlighted the importance of the Australia Day and the Indian Republic Day. He then introduced the president of the Indian Australian Association of NSW, Dr Yadu Singh, who also played the role of the MC. He officially welcomed all the attendees. He said it was indeed gratifying to see a large cross section of the Indian and Australian community attend this event.

The national anthems of Australia and India were presented followed by common Australia folklore Waltzing Matilda by Legendary Slim Dusty that was well received by the audience.

Several dignitaries delivered a series of brief official speeches. The list included Hon. Greg Smith, Hon. Laurie Ferguson, John Alexander, Geoff Lee, Matt Kean, Guy Zangari, Stephan Kerkyasharian and Arun Kumar Goel. Almost all the speakers dwelt on the similarities of Australia and India in multiple ways. They all wished for the improvement in bilateral relations between the two countries and wished India in its march towards progressive development in society, culture and industry. They all praised the good work the team led by Dr Yadu Singh have been doing with and before INDAUS formation.

In his brief address, INDAUS Inc. President, Dr. Yadu Singh informed that the Indian community in Australia is of a significant size, constituting 2% of Australian population, and is keen to play its role. A brief mention was made about what INDAUS team has been doing. He outlined that INDAUS Inc. is going to stay out of the annoying race to ‚Äúgive awards‚ÄĚ, which is so prevalent with every other association in the community. He outlined the resolve of INDAUS Inc. to bring ‚ÄúIndia House‚ÄĚ project to fruition, while working with all groups, associations and community in a smarter and efficient way.

A multicultural mix of entertainment was the highlight of the event. At the commencement, Ruchi Sanghi’s Group performed Kathak dances, followed by The Flamenco dancers providing a gutsy and excellent show in which a team of two women and one man entertained the gathering with a series of Flamenco dances. The main highlight of the evening was of course the Islanders’ dances. A group of five drummers and eight dancers from the Cook Islands mesmerized the audience by a series of superbly crafted intensive dances. They were so good that attendees could not refuse the request to participate in some of these cultural dances to the audience’s delight.

This event was supported by several media and business groups. Cricket NSW donated NSW Blues Team cricket bat, which was auctioned. Business groups donated several raffle prizes for the occasion. Details will be posted in INDAUS Inc. website soon.

A souvenir was released to commemorate this event. Generous support in the shape of sponsorships by many business organizations was acknowledged.

Mr. Anil Sharma, INDAUS Inc. Treasurer, proposed a vote of thanks in which he thanked and appreciated all those involved in making this celebration possible in a short time frame.

Renowned and popular caterer, Ajay Raj from Maya da Dhaba, as usual, dished out a superb Indian meal with excellent entrée dishes.

Overall the Australia Day & Indian Republic Day celebrations organized by the Indian Australian Association of NSW Inc. were splendidly successful and rewarding for the organizers and the audience. We received several excellent comments from the attendees for a well-organized great Indian community function.

The special points, separating INDAUS Inc. from others and proving again that it is an association with difference, included their Multicultural entertainment, large numbers comprising predominantly of younger people [>75%], huge political presence and staying away from ‚ÄúGiving award‚ÄĚ phenomenon which is so prevalent among other associations.

The executive committee of INDAUS Inc. is very grateful to the Indian community, businesses, media and others at large for their strong support and commitment to the organization. They will like members of the community to join them to help deliver projects for the community.

Press Release issued by Stanley D’Cruz, Vice President, Indian Australian Association of NSW Inc

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Dr Yadu Singh/3rd Feb, 2013
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Shiamak Sydney’s Summer Funk was a roaring success!

Shiamak-Summer-Funk-10Shiamak-Summer-Funk-8Shiamak-Summer-Funk-7Shiamak-Summer-Funk-5Shiamak-Summer-Funk-3Shiamak-Summer-Funk-2Shiamak-Summer-Funk-1Shiamak-Summer-Funk-4Sydney, NSW

30th Nov, 2012

I was supposed to see Skyfall, the latest Bond movie, in Parramatta on Friday, 30th Nov, 2012. We had 2 complimentary tickets. At the same time, we had the invitation to attend Shiamak¬†Sydney’s Summer Funk at C3¬†conference Centre, Silverwater.

Knowing the reputation of Shiamak Australia Group, we chose the latter. Having witnessed and enjoyed the high level of performances, we are glad we decided what we decided. We can see Skyfall any other day.

The performances were thrilling.  While instructors were expected to perform marvellously, which they did, I was specially amazed however that their students performed so spectacularly, only after a 4 weeks training.

Vihang Nikalje, Darshan Pawar, Kush Gupta, Radhika Singh, Karishma Singh, Mystie and others were simply wonderful.

Bollywood dances were performed with finesse, class and grace.

It is no surprise that they did so because some of them have actually performed in Bollywood movies like “Bunty¬†and Bubbly” and “Taare¬†Zamin¬†Par” after having trained by the legendary choreographer, Shiamak Davar himself.

You might also know that Karishma and Kush were in SBS Bollywood Star series.

This was their third performance in Sydney. The First was in Indian Independence Day celebration by Indian Australian Association of NSW [INDAUS Inc] at Parravilla, Parramatta, on 15th Aug, 2012. People were thrilled and mesmerised with what they saw. They still talk about it with nostalgia.

The second was on 28th Nov, 2012 when they rocked the Westin¬†Hotel’s ball room which was¬†full of 500+ Govt officials, Diplomats, business leaders and community leaders during Community Relations Commission’s [CRC] National Multicultural Marketing Award night. CRC Chair, The Hon, Stepan¬†Kerkyasharian¬†had seen their¬†performances on 15th Aug, 2012 and was so impressed¬†with it that he requested us to get Shiamak group for his function.

Summer Funk was their third, after training Sydneysiders over 4-5 weeks.

Shiamak Sydney honoured me and thanked our group for the support we have provided. I was given the honour to give away the certificates to the students/performers.

Shiamak Sydney has truly arrived in Sydney and has managed to rock Sydneysiders with their class and performances.

We look forward to their future activities right here in Sydney, the best city in Australia.

Thank you Shiamak Sydney for the honour given to us and more importantly, for entertaining Sydneysiders!

Dr Yadu Singh/3rd Dec, 2012

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Wishing you a happy Diwali!

13th Nov, 2012,

Sydney, Australia

May this Diwali bring you and your family all the joy, success, health and wealth!

May there be Peace in the whole world!

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On This Diwali Lets pray to Almighty God for :

ŗ•ź ŗ§Öŗ§łŗ§§ŗ•č ŗ§ģŗ§ĺ ŗ§łŗ§¶ŗ•ćŗ§óŗ§ģŗ§Į ŗ•§
ŗ§§ŗ§ģŗ§łŗ•č ŗ§ģŗ§ĺ ŗ§úŗ•ćŗ§Įŗ•čŗ§§ŗ§Ņŗ§įŗ•ćŗ§óŗ§ģŗ§Į ŗ•§
ŗ§ģŗ•Éŗ§§ŗ•ćŗ§Įŗ•čŗ§įŗ•ćŗ§ģŗ§ĺ ŗ§Öŗ§ģŗ•Éŗ§§ŗ§ā ŗ§óŗ§ģŗ§Į ŗ•§
ŗ•ź ŗ§∂ŗ§ĺŗ§®ŗ•ćŗ§§ŗ§Ņŗ§É ŗ§∂ŗ§ĺŗ§®ŗ•ćŗ§§ŗ§Ņŗ§É ŗ§∂ŗ§ĺŗ§®ŗ•ćŗ§§ŗ§Ņŗ§É ŗ••
Om Asato Maa Sad-Gamaya |
Tamaso Maa Jyotir-Gamaya |
Mrtyor-Maa Amrtam Gamaya |
Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih ||

Meaning:
1: Om, Lead us from Unreality (of Transitory Existence) to the Reality (of Self),
2: Lead us from the Darkness (of Ignorance) to the Light (of Spiritual Knowledge),
3: Lead us from the Fear of Death to the Knowledge of Immortality.
4: Om Peace, Peace, Peace.

 Brihadaranyaka, Upanishad 1.3.28

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Happy Diwali! Happy new year!!

From Dr Yadu Singh & family

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Community Health Education Series: Sleep Apnoea!

INDAUS Inc [www.indaus.org.au] is organising a Community Health Education Seminar on

 SLEEP APNOEA

At Ermington Community Centre, 10 River Road, Ermington, NSW

On Saturday, 24th Nov, 2012, 2-4PM

Admission is FREE.

Sleep Apnoea is an important and significant problem in the community. Some reports suggest it is more common among Indians. Its classical symptoms are snoring, day time sleepiness and lack of energy. It is implicated in traffic accidents, poor quality of life, lack of concentration and even cardio-vascular diseases. Obesity is significantly associated with Sleep Apnoea. Its diagnosis requires careful evaluation of symptoms followed by SLEEP Study. These days, Sleep study can be done at home, rather than needing to stay in the hospital for an overnight study. Its treatment requires life style changes, weight loss and C-PAP machine.

http://www.lungfoundation.com.au/lung-information/educationa-material/brochures-fact-sheets/91-obstructive-sleep-apnoea

Dr David Mikhail, a Respiratory and a Sleep Medicine Specialist will present information to the community during this seminar.

I will be moderating the presentation.

There will be plenty of opportunities for Q &A.

Join us for the seminar. Please let us know by sending an email to prindaus@gmail.com   if you are attending.

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/8th Nov, 2012

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Rajiv Gandhi Bust in UTS, Sydney!

I was privileged to take part in the ceremony this morning when the BUST of India’s former PM, Mr Rajiv Gandhi, was inaugurated in University of Technology, Sydney. The BUST was donated by Indian Council of Cultural Relations, [ICCR], Govt of India, New Delhi.

The gathering included Mr Arun Goel, Consul General of India in Sydney, Prof Ross Milbourne, VC of UTS, Prof William Purcell, Deputy VC of UTS, Neville Roach, Dr Daniel Chandran from UTS, myself and a few dozen more distinguished people.

Rajiv Gandhi was a popular PM of India, at least in the beginning of his rule.¬†He had a lot of goodwill on his side when he took over as PM of India, after Mrs Indira Gandhi’s assassination by her security guards. He remains the youngest PM of India and his victory in 1984 election gave him the biggest majority in Indian Parliament.

He lost some of that goodwill when he passed a constitutional amendment to negate the verdict from Supreme Court in Shah Bano case. His name was dragged into Bofors scam too.

His decision to intervene in Sri Lankan civil war was also controversial. Indian Peace-keeping force suffered unnecessary loss of lives because the whole strategy was not well thought in the advance.

Unfortunately, the matters from¬†IPKF¬†disaster¬†ware largely responsible for the killing of Rajiv Gandhi by a LTTE’s¬†suicide bomber, which forced India to harden its stand against LTTE. LTTE¬†later realized that killing of Rajiv Gandhi was their biggest blunder, from which they never recovered.

On the plus side, he brought Sam Pitroda back to India to start the telecommunication revolution, including Public Call offices [PCOs], thus making telephone facilities available even in remote area of India.

He acted to reduce¬†the control of “licence Raj” which was giving too much power to bureaucracy, thus stifling the economy.

He also initiated the process of improvement in USA-India relations.

His doctrine for nuclear disarmament and his efforts against Apartheid were his other noteworthy things.

After his assassination, Congress Party formed the Govt with PV Narsimha Rao as the PM.

There is an increasing presence of Indian philosophy and thought in Australian Universities either in the form of BUSTs or Chairs. Mahatma Gandhi’s Bust is in UNSW¬†where people assemble¬†on Gandhi’s birthday, 2nd October and Rabindranath¬†Tagore Bust is in Macquarie University in Sydney. University of Melbourne¬†hosts Australia India Institute, which is chaired by Prof Amitabh¬†Mattoo.

Yadu Singh/Sydney/18th October,2012

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Sachin Tendulkar’s Order of Australia: a brilliant piece of soft diplomacy!

English: Sachin Tendulkar at Adelaide Oval

English: Sachin Tendulkar at Adelaide Oval (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am happy to know that Australian PM, Julia Gillard, has announced an AM [Member of the Order of Australia] for Sachin Tendulkar, the only Cricketer who has scored 100+ centuries.

I also know that Indians in India and Australia are happy with this award. There should be no surprises there!

Sachin deserves it for the services to International Cricket, although there have been some comments in Australia against this award. Rob Oakeshott MP made his views known yesterday. He was in favour of Order of Australia reserved only for Australians and expressed that these awards should not be used for soft diplomacy.

Brian Lara, West Indian Cricketer received an Order of Australia in 2009 and Clive Lloyd received it earlier. Not only this, Indian Attorney General, Soli Sorabji, too received it in 2006. Many more international people have received such awards in the past. The sole criteria has been that they have helped relations between their countries and Australia.

 

Order of Australia: They are the top awards in Australia.

  • Knight or Dame of the Order of Australia (AK or AD – Civil division only – Closed to new appointments in 1986);
  • Companion of the Order of Australia (AC);
  • Officer of the Order of Australia (AO);
  • Member of the Order of Australia (AM); and
  • Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).

Sachin has been given an AM.

In case of Sachin, critics in Australia have mentioned that he has not done any thing of substance for Australia India relations and his role in “Monkeygate” scandal in 2008¬†was not that great. Initially, Sachin¬†said that he did not hear what Harbhajan¬†Singh said to Andrew Symonds but later on¬†he said that Harbhajan had used some other word in Hindi, instead of dreaded/racist “Monkey” word for Symonds.

It is hard to know what happened but smart thing will be to put that saga behind us and move on.

I don’t think Sachin spoke one or another way either when Indian students’ issue was a hot item in 2009.

Having said that, Sachin is a gentleman and a great cricketer. His achievements in cricketing field  are unmatched. Cricket fans love him all over the world including Australia.

The most important outcome from this award will be the image make over¬†Australia will get in Indian minds, after it was distorted in 2009 due to saturation coverage of attacks on students. Even though most of the coverage, especially the racism bit, was exaggerated and hyped up, it did nevertheless cause a serious harm to Australia’s image in India and damaged Australian education business from India and other countries.

Order of Australia to Sachin¬†is likely to reverse¬†the “Feel bad”¬†for Australia in India.

This, I believe, is a brilliant piece of diplomacy by Australian PM, Julia Gillard.

This may also be smart politics domestically too in regards to Indian Australians, knowing the numerical strength of the community in Australia. There are approx 400,000 Indian Australians [approx 2% of total population] with  some constituencies having more than 10% voters from our community.

While there would be some who will be swayed for supporting ALP because of this, I doubt it will be a significant factor because most of us, just like general population, decide who to vote for, based on policies and agenda of the political parties.

Coming to the real issues, I am hoping that PM Gillard and Indian leadership will deal with the real issues of Trade, Investment, International Education, security in the region and Uranium sale in a pragmatic fashion and have a win win outcome for both countries.

Yadu Singh/Sydney/17th October,2012

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INDAUS Inc’s “Felicitation & honouring” evening for visiting prominent Indian writers was appreciated and enjoyed by all!

Indian Australian Association of NSW Inc [INDAUS Inc]

organised a reception to honour visiting prominent Indian writers on Wednesday, 5th Sept, 2012

at Chutney Restaurant, Harris Park, NSW.

INDAUS¬†Inc’s “Felicitation & honouring” evening at Chutney Restaurant, Harris Park was enjoyed by all. Along with the visitors, Sydney’s prominent people¬†attended the evening event. Dr Shailja¬†Chandra, Mr Abbas Alvi, Mr Harmohan¬†Walia, Manju¬†Mittal, Dr Parwin¬†Faiz, Dr Manmit¬†Madan, Raymond Selvaraj [SBS Tamil Radio]¬†were there along with 65 people in total, representing various segments of Indian community in Sydney.

President of INDAUS Inc, Dr Yadu Singh, conducted the evening with the help of Abhilash Narendran, Anagan Babu and Chidanand.

 A welcome message to the writers was read in many languages-English [Dr Yadu Singh], Hindi [Gaurav Nirwal], Telugu [Upendra Gadey], Kannada [Veena], Punjabi [Harmohan Walia], Tamil [Anagan Babu], Urdu [Abbas Alvi], Bengali [Mridula Chakravorty] and Malyalam [Abhilash Narendran]. This was followed by honouring of individual writers, with a presentation of a Plaque and a brief speech by the writers. Dr Shailja Chandra and Abbas Alvi recited their poetry.

Dr Singh informed the visitors that Indians are doing fine in Australia, despite the reports in Indian media that we are not. He gave a few examples of how the societies in Australia and India operate as a community and politically.

Anand Arora sang some beautiful songs which were enjoyed by all. He even sang some songs which were requested by the visitors. He enthralled everyone with his melodious songs.

A vote of thanks was given by Anagan Babu, scretary of INDAUS Inc.

INDAUS Inc Press release is here: INDAUS+-PressRelease-3-writers-event

The party finished at 11.30PM. The visitors were able to feel what we feel about Australia and India. They enjoyed themselves tremendously.

¬† Sydney’s Indian community was fortunate to have an opportunity to meet and interact with prominent writers from India who were visiting Sydney to take part in Australia-India Literatures International Forum, organised by University of Western Sydney and NSW Library.

Details:

http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/events/series/australia_india_forum.html

Pics: https://www.facebook.com/#!/media/set/?set=a.515832245096938.130933.496959000317596&type=1 

All except two were present in the reception.

Here is  the brief info about 10 writers, 1 publisher and 1 literary consultant, who visited Sydney.

Gujarati: Prabodh Parikh is a poet, short fiction writer and visual artist. His book of poems, Kaunsman (Between Parentheses/In Brackets) published in 1993, represents thirty years of work in Gujarati literature, and won the Gujarati Sahitya Akademi Award and the G F Saraf Award for Best Gujarati Book. Other work include Mitro, Karan Vinana Loko, Priya Bhayani Saheb, and Kauns Bahar, a book of essays on philosophy and poetry. His work has been translated into Bengali, English, Hindi, Marathi and Punjabi.

Hindi: Uday Prakash is one of contemporary Hindi’s most important, original and audacious voices. He is an eminent scholar, prolific poet, essayist, journalist, translator and short story writer. Peelee Chhatri Wali Ladki (2001, The Girl with the Yellow Umbrella) is his best-known and longest continuous story. Other works include Ek Bhasha Hua Karti Hai (2009), Cheeni Baba (2008), Mohan Das (2006), Raat Mein Harmonium (1998), Abootar Kabootar (1984), Suno Karigara (1980), among others. His work has been translated into 10 languages, and in 2011, the University of Western Australia Press translated and published The Walls of Delhi. He is the recipient of the 2010 Sahitya Akademi Award and 2009 SAARC Literary Award, among numerous other honours.

Kannada: Girish Karnad rose as a prominent playwright in the 1960s and marked the coming of age of Modern Indian playwriting in Kannada. He is a recipient of the Jnanpith Award. He uses history, mythology and the fold theatre forms to address contemporary issues. Most of his plays, Yayati, Tughlaq, Hayavadana, Agni Mattu Male, Taledanda have been translated into English and several Indian languages. He has been conferred with the Padma Shri and the Padma Bhushan Awards by the Government of India. His famous play, Nagamandala, had its world premiere at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapois while he was a Fulbright Playwright-in-Residence at the University of Chicago in 1987-88. He is a screenwriter, actor and director. He could not attend due to a private engagement.

Khasi: Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih writes poems and short fiction in Khasi and English. He is the author of Around the Hearth: Khasi Legends , A Mid-Ager’s Tale, Time’s Barter: Haiku and Senryu and The Yearning of Seeds. He has co-edited Dancing Earth: An Anthology of Poetry from North East India. His awards include the first Veer Shankar Shah-Raghunath Shah National Award for Literature (2008) and the first North-East Poetry Award (2004). His latest book, The Great Unconventional Elegiac Tradition: A Study of Gray, Arnold, Rilke, the Welsh Hiraeth and the Poetry of the Khasi National Bard, Soso Tham, raises immediate questions about a tradition of lamentation and its place in the North-East, as also about aesthetics within a nationalist tradition. His work has been published in Wasafiri. He could not attend due to an illness.

Malayalam: N S Madhavan is a leading writer of contemporary Malayalam literature. In a long career spanning major writer’s blocks, Madhavan has produced numerous novels, short stories, plays and football columns. His contribution to the short story form is considered unique and noteworthy. They include Chulaimedile Savangal (Corpses of Chulaimed), Higuita (judged best in 100 years of the Malayalam short story), Thiruth (Blue Pencil), Paryaya Kathakal (Stories about Names) and Nilavili (The Cry). His latest novel, Lanthan Batheriyile Luthiniyakal (Litanies of Dutch Battery 2003) was translated by Rajesh Rajmohan in 2011 and awarded the Hindu Literary Prize.

Marathi: Sharankumar Limbale is a dalit activist, writer, editor and critic. His recent autobiography, Akkarmashi (The Outcaste) reveals what it is like to grow up as an impoverished outcaste in modern India. His novel, Hindu (translated by Arun Prabha Mukherjee, Samya 2010) explores the contradictions within individuals and the plight of those who suffer injustice because of gender, physical disabilities as well as reasons other than caste. Towards and Aesthetic of Dalit Literature: History, Controversies and Considerations is his provocative and thoughtful account of the debates among dalit writers on how dalit literatures should be read, and is the first critical work by a dalit writer to appear in English.

North-East: Mamang Dai is a journalist, author and poet from the North East. Her works include River Poems, Arunachal Pradesh: The Hidden Land and Legends of Pensam. She won the 2003 Verrier Elwin Award from the State Government of Arunachal Pradesh and the 2011 Padma Shri from the Government of India.

Tamil: C S Lakshmi is a Tamil feminist writer and independent researcher in women’s studies. She writes under the pseudonym Ambai. In the 1990s, she worked on two research projects, Illustrated Social History of Women in Tamil Nadu funded by the Ford Foundation and An Idiom of Silence: An Oral History and Pictorial Study sponsored by the Homi J Bhabha Foundation. She is the founding Director of SPARROW (Sound and Picture Archives for Research on Women) and a member of the University of Michigan’s Global Feminisms Project. Her Tamil books include Nandimalai Charalilae (1962), Andhi Malai (1967), Sirakal muriyum (1976), Veetin mulaiyil oru camiyalarai (1988), Kaatil Oru Maan (2000) and Varrum eriyin meengal (2007).

Telegu:¬†Gogu¬†Shyamala¬†is a Dalit¬†feminist and Telangana activist who writes captivating short stories about life in rural Andhra Pradesh. She regularly publishes in journals such as Bhumika, Prasthanam, Pratighatana, Mana Telangana, Praja¬†Kala Mandali and Nigha. Her latest collection is Father May be an Elephant and Mother Only a Small Basket, But‚Ķ¬†(Navayana). She represented Anveshi¬†and Dalit¬†Women’s Forum in the World Conference against Racism held in Durban,2001. She is a member of the Anveshi¬†Executive Committee. Shyamala¬†is¬† working on a project titled ‘Dalit¬†Women’s Biographies‚Äô (movement perspective of Dalit¬†feminism) which aims to write biographies of Dalit¬†women mainstream political leaders. This project is part of the Dalits and Minorities Initiative.

Urdu: Mahmood Farooqui: is a Delhi-based historian, writer and performer. After graduating from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge as a Rhodes scholar from India, he started his own theatre group called dastak. Over the last five years, he has been working to revive a lost form of story-telling in Urdu called dastangoi. His first book, Besieged: Voices from Delhi 1857 was published by Penguin in 2010. http://dastangoi.blogspot.com.au/

Mr Farooqui¬†was the script C0-writer¬†and Co-director for Aamir¬†Khan’s movie “Peepli Live”!

From the Publishing Side:

R Sivapriya is the Translation Editor with Penguin Books India, the most prominent literary publishing house in the Indian subcontinent.

Mita Kapur is the CEO of Siyahi, a Literary Consultancy, that liaises between writers and multilingual presses. She is also an Organising Member of the Jaipur Writer’s Festival. She could not attend due to an illness.

Some explanations:

1. The Jnanpith Award is the highest literary honour conferred in India.

2. Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan are the highest civilian awards granted by the Government of India, for lifelong achievements.

3. The Sahitya Akademi is the Literature Academy of India and the Sahitya Akademi Awards are the most respected and prestigious literature awards in the country.

4. All of the writers mentioned below have their works available in English translation from reputable Indian publishing houses, some international too.

5. Dalit refers to the tribal, indigenous and aboriginal writers of India.

[With input on writers from Dr Mridula Chakravorty, UWS and others for this Blog]

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/7th Sept, 2012

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INDAUS Inc is organising a reception in the honour of top visiting Indian writers in Sydney on 5th Sept, 2012!

INDAUS Inc is organising a reception in the honour of top visiting Indian writers in Sydney on 5th Sept, 2012!

Sydney’s Indian community is fortunate to have an opportunity to meet and interact with prominent writers from India who are visiting Sydney to take part in Australia-India Literatures International Forum, organised by University of Western Sydney and NSW Library.

Details:

http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/events/series/australia_india_forum.html

 Indian Australian Association of NSW Inc [INDAUS Inc]

Website:  www.indaus.org.au

Facebook: www.facebook.com/indaus.nsw]

has organised a reception to honour them on Wednesday, 5th Sept, 2012

7 PM

at Chutney Restaurant, Harris Park, NSW.

All except one [Girish Karnad] will be present in the reception.

Here is  the brief info about 10 writers, 1 publisher and 1 literary consultant, who are visiting Sydney.

Gujarati: Prabodh Parikh is a poet, short fiction writer and visual artist. His book of poems, Kaunsman (Between Parentheses/In Brackets) published in 1993, represents thirty years of work in Gujarati literature, and won the Gujarati Sahitya Akademi Award and the G F Saraf Award for Best Gujarati Book. Other work include Mitro, Karan Vinana Loko, Priya Bhayani Saheb, and Kauns Bahar, a book of essays on philosophy and poetry. His work has been translated into Bengali, English, Hindi, Marathi and Punjabi.

 Hindi: Uday Prakash is one of contemporary Hindi’s most important, original and audacious voices. He is an eminent scholar, prolific poet, essayist, journalist, translator and short story writer. Peelee Chhatri Wali Ladki (2001, The Girl with the Yellow Umbrella) is his best-known and longest continuous story. Other works include Ek Bhasha Hua Karti Hai (2009), Cheeni Baba (2008), Mohan Das (2006), Raat Mein Harmonium (1998), Abootar Kabootar (1984), Suno Karigara (1980), among others. His work has been translated into 10 languages, and in 2011, the University of Western Australia Press translated and published The Walls of Delhi. He is the recipient of the 2010 Sahitya Akademi Award and 2009 SAARC Literary Award, among numerous other honours.

Kannada: Girish Karnad rose as a prominent playwright in the 1960s and marked the coming of age of Modern Indian playwriting in Kannada. He is a recipient of the Jnanpith Award. He uses history, mythology and the fold theatre forms to address contemporary issues. Most of his plays, Yayati, Tughlaq, Hayavadana, Agni Mattu Male, Taledanda have been translated into English and several Indian languages. He has been conferred with the Padma Shri and the Padma Bhushan Awards by the Government of India. His famous play, Nagamandala, had its world premiere at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapois while he was a Fulbright Playwright-in-Residence at the University of Chicago in 1987-88. He is a screenwriter, actor and director.

Khasi: Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih writes poems and short fiction in Khasi and English. He is the author of Around the Hearth: Khasi Legends , A Mid-Ager’s Tale, Time’s Barter: Haiku and Senryu and The Yearning of Seeds. He has co-edited Dancing Earth: An Anthology of Poetry from North East India. His awards include the first Veer Shankar Shah-Raghunath Shah National Award for Literature (2008) and the first North-East Poetry Award (2004). His latest book, The Great Unconventional Elegiac Tradition: A Study of Gray, Arnold, Rilke, the Welsh Hiraeth and the Poetry of the Khasi National Bard, Soso Tham, raises immediate questions about a tradition of lamentation and its place in the North-East, as also about aesthetics within a nationalist tradition. His work has been published in Wasafiri.

Malayalam: N S Madhavan is a leading writer of contemporary Malayalam literature. In a long career spanning major writer’s blocks, Madhavan has produced numerous novels, short stories, plays and football columns. His contribution to the short story form is considered unique and noteworthy. They include Chulaimedile Savangal (Corpses of Chulaimed), Higuita (judged best in 100 years of the Malayalam short story), Thiruth (Blue Pencil), Paryaya Kathakal (Stories about Names) and Nilavili (The Cry). His latest novel, Lanthan Batheriyile Luthiniyakal (Litanies of Dutch Battery 2003) was translated by Rajesh Rajmohan in 2011 and awarded the Hindu Literary Prize.

Marathi: Sharankumar Limbale is a dalit activist, writer, editor and critic. His recent autobiography, Akkarmashi (The Outcaste) reveals what it is like to grow up as an impoverished outcaste in modern India. His novel, Hindu (translated by Arun Prabha Mukherjee, Samya 2010) explores the contradictions within individuals and the plight of those who suffer injustice because of gender, physical disabilities as well as reasons other than caste. Towards and Aesthetic of Dalit Literature: History, Controversies and Considerations is his provocative and thoughtful account of the debates among dalit writers on how dalit literatures should be read, and is the first critical work by a dalit writer to appear in English.

North-East: Mamang Dai is a journalist, author and poet from the North East. Her works include River Poems, Arunachal Pradesh: The Hidden Land and Legends of Pensam. She won the 2003 Verrier Elwin Award from the State Government of Arunachal Pradesh and the 2011 Padma Shri from the Government of India.

Tamil: C S Lakshmi is a Tamil feminist writer and independent researcher in women’s studies. She writes under the pseudonym Ambai. In the 1990s, she worked on two research projects, Illustrated Social History of Women in Tamil Nadu funded by the Ford Foundation and An Idiom of Silence: An Oral History and Pictorial Study sponsored by the Homi J Bhabha Foundation. She is the founding Director of SPARROW (Sound and Picture Archives for Research on Women) and a member of the University of Michigan’s Global Feminisms Project. Her Tamil books include Nandimalai Charalilae (1962), Andhi Malai (1967), Sirakal muriyum (1976), Veetin mulaiyil oru camiyalarai (1988), Kaatil Oru Maan (2000) and Varrum eriyin meengal (2007).

Telegu:¬†Gogu¬†Shyamala¬†is a Dalit¬†feminist and Telangana activist who writes captivating short stories about life in rural Andhra Pradesh. She regularly publishes in journals such as Bhumika, Prasthanam, Pratighatana, Mana Telangana, Praja¬†Kala Mandali and Nigha. Her latest collection is Father May be an Elephant and Mother Only a Small Basket, But‚Ķ¬†(Navayana). She represented Anveshi¬†and Dalit¬†Women’s Forum in the World Conference against Racism held in Durban,2001. She is a member of the Anveshi¬†Executive Committee. Shyamala¬†is ¬†working on a project titled ‘Dalit¬†Women’s Biographies‚Äô (movement perspective of Dalit¬†feminism) which aims to write biographies of Dalit¬†women mainstream political leaders. This project is part of the Dalits and Minorities Initiative.

Urdu: Mahmood Farooqui: is a Delhi-based historian, writer and performer. After graduating from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge as a Rhodes scholar from India, he started his own theatre group called dastak. Over the last five years, he has been working to revive a lost form of story-telling in Urdu called dastangoi. His first book, Besieged: Voices from Delhi 1857 was published by Penguin in 2010. http://dastangoi.blogspot.com.au/

He was the script C0-writer¬†and Co-director for Aamir¬†Khan’s movie “Peepli Live”!

 From the Publishing Side:

 R Sivapriya is the Translation Editor with Penguin Books India, the most prominent literary publishing house in the Indian subcontinent.

Mita Kapuris the CEO of Siyahi, a Literary Consultancy, that liaises between writers and multilingual presses. She is also an Organising Member of the Jaipur Writer’s Festival.

Some explanations:

1. The Jnanpith Award is the highest literary honour conferred in India.

2. Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan are the highest civilian awards granted by the Government of India, for lifelong achievements.

3. The Sahitya Akademi is the Literature Academy of India and the Sahitya Akademi Awards are the most respected and prestigious literature awards in the country.

4. All of the writers mentioned below have their works available in English translation from reputable Indian publishing houses, some international too.

5. Dalit refers to the tribal, indigenous and aboriginal writers of India.

[With input from Dr Mridula Chakravorty, UWS]

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/3rd Sept, 2012

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INDAUS Inc celebrates Indian Independence Day in Sydney on 15th Aug, 2012 with class and style!

Indian Australian Association of NSW [INDAUS Inc] celebrated Indian Independence Day in Sydney on 15th Aug, 2012 with superb class and style.

Here is the Press release about the event:

INDAUS -PressRelease-Independence-Day-21August2012

Here is the Video of the celebration:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLRBS-xkS6s&feature=youtu.be

Here are the pics:

https://www.facebook.com/#!/media/set/?set=a.507958422550987.128714.496959000317596&type=1

Special features:

  • 1. Invitation only event
  • 2. No ticket sale
  • 3. Shiamak¬†Davar Bollywood Dance group performances
  • 4. Attendance of politicians from both sides, despite this day being the sitting day for the Parliament.
  • 5. Attendance of Tim Cruickshank, NSW Cricketer
  • 6. Support from prominent businesses

It was the maiden event by this newly formed community organisation.

Everyone appreciated the organisers for organising it right on 15th August, which is a first for Indian community in Australia. Everyone enjoyed the celebrations, especially the performance by Shaiamak Davar group.  With the support and encouragement we have received, this event will be organised in a bigger and better way next year!

More details:

http://www.indaus.org.au

www.facebook.com/indaus.nsw

 

 

 

 

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/24th Aug, 2012

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Indian Independence Day celebration in Sydney, right on Independence Day, 15th Aug, 2012!

Indian Independence Day celebration in Sydney, right on Independence Day, 15th Aug, 2012!

Indian Australian Association of NSW [IndAus Inc]

www.indaus.org.au

is organising an exclusive Indian Independence Day celebration, right on Independence day

 Wednesday, 15th August, 2012

7pm-11.30 PM

At Parravilla, Parramatta, NSW.

INVITATION only event with NO Ticket sale!

Top Dance group, Shiamak Davar group, performing!

Catering by the TOP Indian Restaurant in Sydney, Maya Da Dhaba, Surry Hills, NSW!

Supported by many prominent businesses and people!

Some seats [invitations] will be given away for those who visit www.indaus.org.au¬†and express their interest to attend or visit INDAUS¬†Inc facebook site and “like” it.

Dr Yadu Singh

www.indaus.org.au

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Celebrating Indian Independence Day in Sydney on the Independence Day ie 15th August, 2012!

Celebrating Indian Independence Day in Sydney on the Independence Day ie 15th August, 2012!

India celebrates its Independence Day on 15th August every year. It does not matter whether it is a weekday or weekend. 15th August is the day of celebration all over India and for all Indians, irrespective of where they live. It shouldn’t be different for us in Australia either.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence_Day_(India)

We are proud Australians, but we are also proud of our Indian heritage. People from our community have done very well in Australia. It makes us proud to see so many successful businessmen/women, lawyers, doctors, Bankers, teachers, Movie makers, CEOs, CFOs, accountants, builders, Entertainers, Cultural performers, Artists, IT professionals, Realtors, restaurateurs and entrepreneurs from our community doing so well in this great country. Three cheers for their success!

I was thrilled to read the latest Census report, telling us that there are  approx. 400,000 people of Indian heritage in Australia. India is the number one source of migrants to Australia now. We are doing fine in many respects. The only thing we have not been that good is about our presence in politics. This will change soon. I was pleased to see so many among us contesting coming Council elections in September 2012. This is a good sign.

We have  a significant clout but we are not marketing, exhibiting and utilizing it appropriately due to our bickering and differences. This needs to change.

Just to illustrate a point, I was invited to the Israel’s Independence Day celebration at a 5 Star Hotel in the city a few weeks ago. I was highly impressed with the crowd. NSW Premier, Barry O’Farrell, about 10 ministers, Leader of Opposition [John Robertson], members of State shadow ministry, Top leaders from Federal Govt and Federal shadow ministry, along with Editors of national newspapers, media leaders¬†and ethnic community leaders were present. Close to 40 MPs were there.¬†Many Consul Generals, High commissioners and Ambassadors too were there.¬†It was indeed a hugely impressive gathering.

Can we match it or do something similar? Yes, we can, if we work together.

We have started the process from this year. I hope great people of Indian heritage share our passion and join us in this. We ourselves have done some significant networking in the community. While some very important businesses and entities are on board for this event of ours and are supporting us wholeheartedly, we need support from others who are equally important. We are¬†indeed thrilled with the support from Maya Da Dhaba, Sharma’s Kitchen, SHIAMAK¬†DAVAR¬†Group from Melbourne, Patel Brothers Group,¬†Parravilla, Murli¬†Bhojwani, Best & Less Travel, Go Kool, Tuli¬†Jewellers, FIAV [Federation of Indian Association of Victoria] and many more, and we are likely to have many more on board soon.¬†We also need to hear from you¬†about our great achievers [and sometimes, silent achievers],¬†who must be invited for an event like this. It is not just “my” function. It is indeed “our” function as a community.

Changing the usual style and going for a classy style, befitting the status of our community in Australia, this event [Indian Independence Day Celebration] is happening in the evening of 15th Aug, 2012. There is no ticket for it as it is an “INVITATION ONLY” event.

“Invitations” will be¬†mailed out soon.

More details about us at www.indaus.org.au.

It is beyond doubt that there is a need for an effective and smart networking of our people for so many reasons.¬† We need to start recognising “positives” among our people and not focus too much on the “negatives” as long as “positives” clearly outnumber “negatives”. We need this networking and understanding also for enhancing the reputation of our community. This is a no brainer.

Let the petty politics be buried and minor differences ignored. Let us move forward!

Let us come together and put up a wonderful celebration of Indian Independence Day right on Independence Day, ie 15th August!

Stay tuned!

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/26th July, 2012

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Recommendations to take Australia India relations to a new height! Australia India Institute [AII] does a fantastic job!

Australia India Institute [AII], based at University of Melbourne and led by Amitabh Mattooo, has released its report, The Australia-India Institute РBeyond the Lost Decade. recommending steps, which, if implemented by both Govts, will take Australia India relations to a new height.

Here is the link for Report: http://www.aii.unimelb.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Beyond-the-Lost-Decadeweb.pdf

Here are the recommendations from this report. See the Link above for the detailed report.

The Australian government should, in partnership with the States, education and corporate sectors and civil society institutions:

‚ÄĘ Undertake as an act of goodwill to extend the visas of Indian students who were in Australia on February 8, 2010, and whose pathways towards permanent residency in Australia were affected by changes to immigration regulations in that year. Such extensions or issuance of alternative categories of visa should be granted for at least 12 months from December 31, 2012.

‚ÄĘ Extend the post-study work entitlement currently¬†enjoyed by international students at universities to all TAFE institutes and reputable private colleges offering vocational training.

‚ÄĘ Initiate the training of adequate numbers of school teachers in the Hindi language in preparation for its introduction into the Australian Curriculum as soon as practicable. State and Federal education ministers should agree to specify areas of the curriculum in which Indian content must be taught, including Indian history, geography and culture. Re-establish language training for Australian diplomats posted to India.

‚ÄĘ Expand the study of contemporary India at Australian universities by providing initial funding for twenty B-level university teaching/research positions for the next five years, after which the universities fund the positions.

‚ÄĘ Seek talks with India on granting visa-on-arrival travel for Australians and developing a special category¬†visa for young Australians wishing to work in India. Initiate talks on new visa categories that cut red tape for visits by leadership figures such as university vice-chancellors and deans, Supreme Court judges, holders of national awards such as the Padma¬†Bhushan and Order of Australia.

‚ÄĘ Encourage the nomination of more foreign nationals, including Indians, for the Order of Australia awards, and more vigorously publicise foreign recipients by announcing them on the same day as national award winners each year.

‚ÄĘ Benchmark and fund scholarships for Australian university students to study in Asian nations to a maximum of one per 100 international students studying in Australia in any given year.

‚ÄĘ Double the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade‚Äôs paltry public diplomacy budget of $5 million, with the additional funds earmarked to raising awareness in India of exemplary initiatives such as the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund.

‚ÄĘ Modernise Australia‚Äôs approach to international broadcasting, with Australia Network (TV) and Radio Australia taking on a larger role as content providers to Asian broadcasters. Australia Network to retain¬†close links with DFAT but funding and editorial responsibility should rest with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

‚ÄĘ Establish an Australia-India senior editors‚Äô dialogue modelled on the Australia-Indonesia editors‚Äô dialogue, with initial funding for four meetings, in New Delhi,

Sydney, Mumbai and Melbourne over a six-year period.

‚ÄĘ Introduce an Australian education rating system for States that provide education services to international students, encouraging them to prevent and/or speedily

address problems that can damage Australia’s brand as an education provider by prioritising student safety, proper orientation, police liaison support, and the active

involvement of local ethnic communities as contact points for international students, including Indians.

‚ÄĘ Invite representatives of regiments of Indian troops who fought at Gallipoli to be Australia‚Äôs guests at the 100th anniversary commemorations of the campaign in

2015, and invite expressions of interest from documentary film makers interested in producing feature films and documentaries about the shared experiences of Indian and Australian soldiers at Gallipoli.

‚ÄĘ Establish a permanent naval attach√© position¬†in the Australian High Commission in New Delhi, in addition to the existing defence adviser position, which can continue to rotate between Army, Navy and Air Force personnel. Begin negotiations for joint training exercises between Indian and Australian Special Forces, as currently exist between India and the United States.

‚ÄĘ Fund the Australia India Institute to develop an online ‚Äėone-stop shop‚Äô website providing reliable information on all aspects of trade, diplomatic, educational, people-to-people cultural relations.

‚ÄĘ Increase support and funding of major travelling exhibitions on art, history, heritage and sport to and from Australia and India, including the Bowral-based International Cricket Hall of Fame‚Äôs effort to mount offshore exhibitions in India.

‚ÄĘ Expand the growing range of Australia-India annual lectures, such as the Gandhi Oration and Crawford Lectures to all academic disciplines and civil society sectors, and name one such lecture in honour of the late esteemed India expert A.L. Basham.

‚ÄĘ Encourage Australian political parties to pursue formal dialogues and party-to-party relationships between the main political parties in each country; increase interactions between Australian and Indian State and Federal parliamentarians via delegations, conferences and staff exchanges.

‚ÄĘ Fund the Australian Institute of Criminology to undertake ongoing research into racism and crime, with an initial reference to inquire¬†into the high profile¬†incidents that impacted on relations with Indian in 2009-10.

‚ÄĘFcilitate the entry of Australian Technical and Further Education Institutions to provide training in India and other countries on a not-for-profit basis.

‚ÄĘ Offer India the use of Australian expertise in developing distance education and the virtual classroom.

‚ÄĘ Create a web-based advertising campaign showcasing Indian students‚Äô opinions on Australia as a place to study, live and work.

‚ÄĘ Encourage Australian media organisations to revive regular staff exchanges with Indian media organisations.

‚ÄĘ Enlist Tourism Australia to develop an India wedding package that will encourage Indian honeymooners to take their holidays here, and couples of any

background to wed in grand Indian style at selected locations across Australia, including the Outback.

The Taskforce also recommends that…

The Indian government should:

* Propose institutionalised regular Prime Ministerial visits between New Delhi and Canberra. Establish a young political leaders program between India and Australia.

* Establish a naval attaché position at the Indian high commission in Canberra and open an Indian consulate in Brisbane in recognition of India’s economic interests in Queensland.

* Expedite the proposed restructuring of the territorial divisions of the MEA and split the 26-nation Southern Division, hiving off part of its mandate to a newly constituted Indo-Pacific or Australasia Division that could include Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

* Explore potential for shared humanitarian assistance and technical capacity-building programs in third countries. Australia has an expansive humanitarian assistance and technical partnership program with several countries through AusAID. India’s new Development Partnership Administration (DPA) Division in the MEA seeks a similar institutional profile. They can combine and contribute financial, material or human resources for specific projects, perhaps for programs in less-developed states of the Commonwealth.

‚ÄĘ Encourage the setting up of separate, track 2/track 1.5 taskforces and dialogues on Australia‚Äôs role in Indian energy and food security.

‚ÄĘ Consider a policy of visa-on-arrival for citizens of Australia, which is currently available to citizens of New Zealand, among others.

‚ÄĘ Encourage business associations such as the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and their member corporations to interact with their counterparts in Australia, and institute short-term work and exchange programs for young Australian and Indian professionals.

‚ÄĘ Accepting that democracy is a common and cherished principle shared by both countries, encourage a track 2/track 1.5 taskforce dialogue on democratic capacity

building, to explore possibilities of providing institutional and technical cooperation, including human resource training, to newly emerging democracies in, for example, the Arab world.

‚ÄĘ Encourage the Press Trust of India and Doordarshan¬†to establish a stronger presence in Australia, with a more robust network of stringers or fully fledged correspondents.

I believe that both Governments should review them and implement the recommendations to improve the relations between Australia and India. Federal Govt should do the necessary things including approving the Uranium decision in the Cabinet.

Yadu Singh/Sydney/17th July 2012.

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Gold Coast City’s Goodwill ambassador to India:My views in Gold Coast Bulletin!

Gold Coast Mayor, Tom Tate, has chosen Aiysha Saagar as a Goodwill ambassador to India. Aiysha has a few topless pics which she posted in her website. This has created a controversy. Aiysha is of Indian heritage. She is hoping to be a Bollywood actor and lives in Mumbai as well as Gold Coast. The Gold Coast Bulletin published a column named, FaceOff, which covered it. I was asked to give my views. Here is the link. Faceoff-opinion-GCBulletin What do you think?

Faceoff-opinion-GCBulletin

Yadu Singh/Sydney/3rd July, 2012

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Census 2011:My comments in Australian Financial Review story!

 

Yadu Singh

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Australian Financial Review

21st June, 2012

India tops migrant mix

By PIP FREEBAIRN

First they were British and Irish, then Greeks, Italian and Vietnamese, but now the fastest growing wave of migrants to Australia are Indians.

The 2011 census showed yesterday that the number of Indian migrants in Australia has doubled since five years earlier with around 150,000 new migrants arriving here.

The proportion of Australian residents born in India rose from0.7 per cent in 2006 to 1.4 per cent in 2011 as their number increased from 147,106 to 295,362.

Their growing contingent joins longer-standing migrants such as Yadu Singh, the president of Indian Australian Association of NSW. He came to Australia in 1991 to train as a cardiologist and enjoys the quality of life. He denies that Australia is perceived as racist and dangerous.

“Despite all the nonsense, Australia is a welcoming country and Indians know that. It was the Indian media that overreacted to the events a few years ago.

‚ÄúIndian migrants know while there are¬†a few [racists], the rules¬†and regulation of this country are not in anyway racist.‚ÄĚ

Dr Singh is referring to a series of incidents in Melbourne in which robberies and assaults on trains and in public places were perceived as being racially motivated.

Most Indians live in NSW, followed by Victoria, and most are located in capital cities. Melbourne had the highest proportion of Indian-born residents, at 2.7 per cent. But a regional bonus in the points test for permanent migration status means some Indian migrants are now branching out to Newcastle, Wollongong, and Bathurst.

Indian-born Australians are most likely to speak English at home, followed by Hindi and Punjabi, a language spoken in Northern India and regions of Pakistan.

The census reveals that the number of Punjabi speakers grew the fastest¬†of any language in Australia ‚Äď by 207 per cent between 2006 and 2011.

The growth of Hinduism has also matched the growth of Indian migration. While only 1.3 per cent of residents identify as Hindus, its numbers of adherents have almost doubled from 148,000 in 2006 to 275,534 in 2011.

Census director Andrew Henderson said the growth of Indian migration¬†meant the Indian-born had overtaken Italian-born as those migrants moved¬†into their second generation. ‚ÄúIt is fundamentally shifting the cultural mix in Australia,‚ÄĚ he said.

Australia and India share a number of cultural touchstones, not least widespread English usage in both nations and a legacy of common colonial histories. Cricket also binds the two nations, with Test matches that involve India in Sydney and Melbourne attracting large vocal crowds in support of the visiting team.

Indian permanent migration to Australia hit a monthly peak of almost 1800 in early 2008, before dipping to 680 in 2010 but has recovered to 1350 arrivals a month in early 2012.

Many Indians come to Australia not just for economic opportunity but to take advantage of the education system. Dr Singh said Indians who came to Australia tended to be young and highly educated and were often seeking further training in accounting, medical degrees, or nursing.

Indian-born Australians tend to be younger than the median age of the total population, 36 compared to 47.

Hass Dellal, the head of Australian Multicultural Foundation,which advises government, said the new wave of migration indicated that Australia was engaging more in the region.

‚ÄúBut we are not taking advantage of the opportunities it brings, economically or culturally. We need things such as languages in schools so¬†that we can make the most of the advantages of our multicultural society.‚ÄĚ

Australian Census 2011:what it says about India & Indians in Australia!

Australian Census 2011:what it says about India & Indians in Australia!

I was waiting for the latest Census 2011 data. This is out today. It has some very interesting information.

  • There are a total of 21,507,717 people in Australia.
  • 26% people were born overseas and 20% had one parent born overseas.
  • Top 10 counties by birth of migrants include India at 4th spot [295400 people]. UK, NZ, China are higher.
  • People of Asian background¬†by birth have moved up in proportion of people born overseas [33% in 2011 Vs 24% in 2001].
  • Before 2007, UK was the top source of migrants but India is the top source of migrants in 2007-11. India now contributes 13.1% of migrants [2007-11] compared to 12% from UK. Most of the top 10 countries from where migrants are arriving from are Asian countries.
  • 47% of all Indians in Australia are Indians who have arrived in recent years [2007-11]. Corresponding numbers for Chinese is 35.
  • 200,000 Indians have arrived in Australia between 2001-11. Corresponding numbers are 176,200 and 127,700 for Chinese and New Zealanders respectively.
  • 98 males¬†for 100 females¬†in Australia but numbers skewed adversely for Nepalese [144 Males for 100 females], Afghanistani¬†people [143 males¬†for 100 females] and Pakistani people [143 males¬†for 100 females].
  • 390900 [2%] people have identified their ancestry as Indian ancestry, compared to 866000 [4%] for Chinese ancestry. This number may be an underestimate as some second and third generation people of Indian ancestry¬†may have identified themselves as from¬†“Australian ancestry”.
  • Among those who identified as of Indian ancestry, 61% were born in India, 20% in Australia and 19% in other countries.
  • Among those who identified their ancestry as Indian, only 12.9% had one more ancestry, compared to much higher proportions from other groups. This means that¬†marriages outside Indian segment is much less common. One explanation is that Indian community is a newer community in Australia. It is likely to change in years/decades.
  • Indian ancestry numbers may be an underestimate as a section of Indian community¬†ran a campaign before¬†Census¬†to identify themselves as “Punjabi” ancestry, not Indian ancestry.
  • 61% people follow Christianity in 2011 compared to 68% in 2001 and 96% in 1911.
  • Non-Christian faiths have grown from 4.9% [900,000 people] to 7.2% [1.5 millions] between 2001 to 2011.
  • Buddhism is the commonest non-Christian religion [2.5%], followed by Islam [2.2%] and Hinduism [1.3%].
  • Hinduism had the fastest growth. It grew 189% between 2001 to 2011. 275000 people identify themselves as Hindu now. 275000 Hindus from a total of 391000 people with Indian heritage means Hindus constitute 70% of total number of Australians of Indian ancestry.
  • Growth of Islam and Buddhism have been 69% [476,300 people] and 48% [529000 people] in the last decade.
  • “No religion” category¬†grew too from 15% to 22% between 2001 to 2011.
  • Over half [56%] people born overseas are Christian.
  • Hindi is one of the Top 10¬†language, other than English, spoken by people at home.¬†104900 people [0.5%] speak Hindi at Homes. Mandarin, Arabic, Cantonese and Vietnamese are spoken by more Australians. Hindi is the only Indian language among the top 10¬†languages in Australia. Punjabi language is spoken by Punjabi sub-segment of Indian community significantly but I am not completely clear about the comparison between Hindi and Punjabi languages. There is some confusion about it. It is however safe to say that Hindi is the only Indian¬†language in the Top 10 languages in Australia. I will study this data more carefully and will seek clarifications.
  • Among those who speak Hindi, 80.2% speak English very well.

My take is that increasing numbers of ¬†young and highly trained Indians are choosing to migrate to Australia. This is despite¬†a negative campaign against Australia,¬†which was run by a segment of Indian media in recent years. It proves that Australia is a fantastic place to live, work and settle. Indians have rejected Indian media’s campaign to create a false characterisation of Australia as a racist nation.

One could argue that India is losing so many well-trained¬†young people but I doubt it is a relevant factor anymore. There is unemployment and under-employment in India, which is made much worse by perpetual, if not permanent, reservation system which reserves 50% jobs/training positions and even promotion opportunities to people who have been historically discriminated.¬†¬†India’s so-called loss is Australia’s gain. Australia should continue to attract and accept skilled migrants from all over the world.

Indian Australian community has grown significantly in recent years and will continue to grow in coming years. There is an urgent need to network this community [particularly newer migrants] for mentoring/guidance in regards to settlement issues and integration in the Australian community, and also pastoral care, when needed.

Indian community associations and leaders need to analyse how they can provide guidance to newer migrants, when such guidance and mentoring become necessary.

One does not¬†need to be an Einstein to predict that Indian Australian community will achieve¬†increasing importance in Australian politics. They will constitute¬†significant proportions¬†in many constituencies. I predict, and in fact hope, that some “good” people from amongst us will enter Australian Parliaments and Local Councils within next 5 years.

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/21st June, 2012

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USA brewer forced to rename “Kali Ma” beer!

USA brewer forced to rename “Kali Ma” beer!

I am sick and tired of people who use our religious symbols and pictures of our deities for commercial purposes, often¬†inappropriately. Previously, Goddess Laxmi’s¬†picture was used on a Bikini in Australia, which was withdrawn after protests. Someone used a picture of Goddess Kali in a night club in USA¬†and even, Lord Ganesha¬†was used for a sexual technique by a comedian in USA. Recently, Lord Ganesha was used in a satire in Australia, against which we ran a campaign. A Radio host in Sydney¬†abused River Ganges for which we forced him to apologise last year.

If this was not enough, a brewery named, Burnside Brewery in Oregon, Portland, USA, used Goddess Kali in¬†the promotion of its beer, calling it “Kali Ma” beer. The beer container even had the picture of Goddess Kali with 4 arms and severed heads of 3 men! It’s promotion used words like “Come worship the¬†Black one, Kali, the ultimate¬†reality of Brahma, this Tuesday”!

They have stopped this, only after, people protested against it vociferously. They will rename it shortly. They claimed to not know about the sentiments of the followers of ¬†Hinduism. How dumb were they? Did they expect that Hindus will “love” them for abusing our religion?

Goddess Kali, also called Ma Kali [Mother Kali] is a much revered deity of Hinduism and is worshipped by Hindus¬†through India and overseas. I too¬†worship “Ma Kali”.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kali

Someone rightly asked whether any of such people would ever use the symbols/prophets of other religions in this manner.

On a separate but still relevant note, I also believe that India must ban the use of religious symbols, names¬†or pictures of deities in any marketing material in India, where it is a common practice to use such symbols in anything from “Guthka” to Taxis!

Hindus are peace loving and tolerant people, but this does not mean they will tolerate such blatant and disrespectful use of pictures and symbols of deities of Hinduism.

Yadu Singh/Sydney/17th May, 2012

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Networking the community: Twitter or Facebook?

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Networking the community: Twitter or Facebook?

**Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney, 11th May, 2012

Social networking is very hip these days. Facebook [FB], Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogs, YouTube, Tagg, Digg and many more are increasingly popular in the world. According to EBizmba.com [an industry source], Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have 750 million, 250 million and 110 million estimated unique monthly visitors respectively presently. They are obviously very

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

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popular in Australia too.

Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, Tony Abbott, Former PM Kevin Rudd, Malcolm Turnbull, and Premier Barry O’Farrell are all into it. Indian PM, Man Mohan Singh, Shashi Tharoor, Ministry of External Affairs [Govt of India] are heavily into Twitter. Celebrities like Deepak Chopra, Oprah Winfrey and even Dalai Lama are in it. It would not be wrong to say that almost anyone who is anybody in the world has Twitter and Facebook presence.

I am a keen and regular user of social media for some time for my community interactions. When Kyle Sandilands¬†of 2DayFM¬†made nasty comments against India and River Ganges, a Twitter ‚Äúfollower‚ÄĚ sent me a link of the sound bites of his comments on my Twitter account. When Dept of Immigration & Citizenship [DIAC] had put an erroneous¬†map of India [excluding Jammu & Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh] in its website, someone sent me a link via Twitter. We ran a multi-pronged campaign, which included Twitter and Blog, on these matters, which were picked by other media, leading to successful result. Similarly, it was on my Twitter account that I received a response from Ministry of External Affairs [MEA], Govt of India, about who is our new Consul General of India in Sydney a few weeks ago, after I asked MEA about it via their Twitter account! The list of examples does not end here.

Many events and functions all over the world, including events from Indian Australian community, have a presence in the social media, and are indeed heavily promoted via social media.

With more than 150000 people of Indian heritage in NSW alone and more than 350000 Indian Australians all over the country, there would be obvious benefits in having a better and effective networking among us.  Radio programmes, most of which operate on a weekly basis, have some reach but they do not reach everyone because of time and language factors. Monika Geet Mala [Voice of India, Sydney, 8 hours], and SBS Radio programmes on Saturday and Sunday mornings generally do a good but still a limited job for obvious reasons. 24/7 subscription-based Radio programmes have their own limitations.  Similarly, Indian ethnic newspapers in English like Indian Link, The Indian, Indus Age, Indian Down Under and Navtarang do a good job too, but their reach is again limited. This reach can improve however with improved content, fewer advertisements [difficult proposition] and better periodicity. Newspapers in regional languages-Punjab Times, Gujarat Times and Tamil Osai, also do a good job for their exclusive audience. Despite this, it is known that ethnic Indian newspapers, even collectively, do not reach a big proportion of Indian Australian community. More needs to be done, and indeed, can be done, using social media, which can easily complement the conventional media.

People often say that Radio programmes and newspapers are the favourite of more established and older group of Indians but younger and newer Indians are not that much into them. They are definitely more into Social media. My anecdotal experience suggests that Facebook is their preferred tool currently. Facebook however has many limitations, including privacy settings, which prevent it from becoming a real tool for mass communication. Creating a page in Facebook or ‚Äúliking‚ÄĚ a site there may overcome it to some extent, but this is yet to happen in a big scale. ¬†To have someone as a ‚Äúfriend‚ÄĚ in Facebook, a request needs to be sent and then accepted by the recipient of that request. Twitter, on the other hand, has no such limitation. Anyone can ‚Äúfollow‚ÄĚ anyone and join the network of that person. Twitter has now become a common, and possibly a favoured, way for politicians, journalists and celebrities to ‚Äúbroadcast‚ÄĚ what they want to say to the world. People can also reach out to such people whenever needed, and that too without any hassle. Twitter, unlike Facebook, does not restrict the number of ‚Äúfollowers‚ÄĚ a Twitter account can have. Many believe that Twitter and Facebook, indeed, have become parts of mainstream media.

My view is that we should get more into social media. This should provide a better and more effective networking among us, even if we leave aside the fun component of being in the social media.  With increasing numbers in the younger segment of Indian Australian community, this is actually a necessity.

I will like to see most, if not all, of Indian Australians in Twitter and Facebook, communicating and networking effectively and smartly.

If a non-geek like me can join social media and use it effectively, anyone can do the same. It is not difficult at all to be on Twitter and/or Facebook or any other social medium.

Have you got a ‚ÄúFace‚ÄĚ on FB and tweeted on Twitter yet?

**Dr Yadu Singh is a Sydney based Cardiologist who uses Social media-Twitter [www.twitter.com/dryadusingh], Facebook [www.facebook.com/dryadusingh] and Blog [www.yadusingh.wordpress.com] regularly and effectively.

Rising above our differences and politics is a smart move for our community!

Rising above our differences and politics is a smart move for our community!

March 31, 2012

Indian Australian community is getting bigger in Australia. Some estimates suggest that there are about 150,000 people in NSW alone and the total population of Indian Australians will be over 350,000 in Australia. We will know the true picture only once Census data is made public.

It goes without saying that there would be more issues when we have more people. People and even Govt authorities have commented about the huge number of our associations, and also ‚Äúleaders‚ÄĚ, although it is also logical, but not mandatory, that there would be more associations, when there are more people.

We have multitude of events and functions, which is all fine. We do have a lot of fun. We are a fun loving community. Nothing wrong in it either.

More associations itself is not the issue in itself but unnecessary competition, differences for sake of differences, and hostility in certain cases is certainly a problem and is not desirable.

If it was not enough already, we have started an unhealthy trend at looking at and classifying people depending on their political persuasion. It has created its own problems. It is amusing to see Liberal and Labor politicians interacting and exchanging pleasantries with one another quite easily but people from our own community consider people from different political persuasion as enemies. This is childish, undesirable and unhelpful.

We need to, and in fact, can do better.

Indians generally do OK wherever they migrate to but they can do a lot better, as a community, if things are done in a bit better way. This is certainly true for political representation from our community in Australian political system. We need to keep the examples of USA, UK and Canada in our minds.

There can’t be any dispute that we need to be more organised. We need to be more united. We need to be more supportive to one another.

We need to start thinking on the lines of ‚Äúwhat do we need as a community? What does our community need? and how can we get those results?‚ÄĚ

We need to form a think Tank or an advocacy or a Lobby group, involving and including people who are capable, have the strength of character and a capacity to think, to advance our community agenda.

Since someone has to start this process, I am taking this initiative. I have already had some initial discussions with some such people.

I suggest that people with;

  • Leadership experience-present or near past
  • Vision
  • Capacity to think
  • Capacity to communicate effectively
  • Capacity to put community interests first
  • Understanding of moral and ethical behaviour
  • Understanding of conflict of interest
  • Flexibility to understand others‚Äô point of view and adjust their own

meet, discuss and chalk out the strategy to advance the interests of our community.

To decide who to include in this group, I must emphasize that it does not matter what political thought process they have, or which linguistic, religious or regional background [from India] they come from. Their outlook must however be Indian-encompassing diverse backgrounds.

I am sending this musing to a smallish group of people in the beginning but the numbers may increase or decrease as we go along this path.

Somewhere along the way, some key Indian media people will also be involved in this process.

Let a new beginning succeed in this venture!

It certainly needs the blessing and support from us all.

I have no doubt that rising above our differences and politics is a smart move for our community and there are clearly lot more commonalities among us, in contrast to differences!

Let us work on our “positives”, rather than just focusing on our “negatives”!

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/31st March, 2012

www.yadusingh.wordpress.com

www.twtter.com/dryadusingh

www.facebook.com/dryadusingh

Our Community work

Our Community work

5 June, 2020

I am an active part of my community and take part in its activities, either as an individual or as the leader of the team, in a meaningful way.


1. Community work in General:

  • leadership roles in Indian community Medical Associations and community organisations,
  • helping students in my district in India by visiting and giving scholarships etc.

2. My work as the coordinator of the Indian Consul General‚Äôs committee on students‚Äô issues: Indian Consul General‚Äôs Community Committee on Students‚Äô Issues, Sydney, NSW was formed at the Indian Consulate on 6th April 2009. It did intensive work and completed its task in a very efficient manner. After accomplishing its mandated task, it dissolved itself at the end of June 2009. The committee had Mr Harmohan [Harry] Walia, Mr Vish Viswanathan, Mrs Shubha Kumar, Mr Stanley D‚ÄôCruz and  I was its coordinator. This committee had done following activities;

  • met students numerous times.
  • organized a students‚Äô forum on 16th May at Strathfield.
  • co-organized a students‚Äô forum with UIA in Strathfield on 6th June.
  • arranged help to a woman student who was a victim of domestic violence.
  • arranged help to 2 women students who were stalked by another Indian co-worker.
  • arranged meetings with minister of education, NSW and her senior advisers and students from an aviation school.
  • arranged a meeting with the president, NSW upper House [Mr Peter Primrose] and Ms Helen Westwood MLA and Flying school students.
  • arranged a meeting with a community minded lawyer and aviation school students.
  • met the visiting mother of a student of an aviation school. This lady‚Äôs husband had died only 4 weeks ago due to the serious stress involved in losing the money with the school in Sydney.
  • arranged and participated in TV coverage of students‚Äô issues on Channel 7, 9, 10, SBS TV, ABC TV, and Bloomberg.
  • participated in the coverage of students‚Äô issues on ABC radio, SBS radio, SBS Hindi radio, 2UE, JJJ, Indian Link radio, Radio UMANG, 2GB radio and SBS Kannada Radio.
  • arranged talk-backs on students‚Äô issues on SBS radio and Radio UMANG [98.5MHZ, Fridays, 8-9 PM]. Radio Umang has ceased functioning now.
  • participated in coverage of students‚Äô issues on SMH, The Australian, Daily Telegraph, other newspapers and AAP.
  • participated in the coverage of students‚Äô issues on Indian newspapers in Australia [Indian Link, Indus Age, The Indian, The Indian Sub-Continent Times and Indian Down Under].
  • participated in the coverage of students‚Äô issues on TimesNow, NDTV, CNN/IBN, Headlines Today, AajTak and other Indian TV Channels.
  • participated in the coverage of students‚Äô issues on main Indian newspapers like Times of India and PTI.
  • assisted some top-grade Australian media programs like Four Corners from ABC, with wide audience in getting students‚Äô issues covered.
  • arranged funds for the accommodation for the relatives Mr Rajesh Kumar [the petrol bomb victim from Harris Park] at the request from Indian Consulate.
  • met and networked with Commander Robert Redfern, Parramatta Local area Command of NSW Police several times for students‚Äô issues.
  • counseled students to stop further processions after the ones in Harris Park streets.
  • participated in the community leaders‚Äô meeting with chairman, Community Relations Commission [CRC] at CRC HQ.
  • participated in a CRC organized meeting with Indian students at Parramatta RSL.
  • participated in the community leaders‚Äô meeting with the Premier, Mr Nathan Rees.
  • met Indian Consul General and Consul in regards to these matters several times.
  • discussed and formulated the strategy to solve the problems of our students.
  • submitted this strategy to the Consul General of India and NSW task force and other relevant authorities.
  • provided leadership in the matters relating to Indian students.
  • gave our after hours and week-ends for students‚Äô work and provided pastoral care to the needy students.
  • provided/facilitated medical help to the needy students/their family members.
  • met the visiting Indian journalists at the Consulate.
  • raised our voice forcefully against the exploitation of Indian students by some Indian employers.
  • appealed to the Indian newspapers and Radio programs to ask questions from every leader [on students’ issues] about their involvement in any activity which created a conflict of interest in those matters.

3. My community work beyond/outside the Consul General’s committee on students:

  • helped the refund of more than $12000 to a student of a Flying school.
  • arranged free legal assistance to the students from this Flying school from  solicitors/legal firms in Sydney and Canberra.
  • facilitated a good outcome between parties involving VETAB, Flying school and students. I was the mentor/support person of these students of the Flying school.
  • held several meetings involving VETAB Director and other authorities, the Flying school representatives and students in my office and VETAB offices.
  • worked and organized refunds/savings of $300000 [including waiving of about $50000 of the legal fees in regards to a legal proceedings in the Supreme Court where students had lost their case and costs were awarded against them] for the Flying school students from ESOS scheme with the help of VETAB, DEEWR and federal education dept. I was the key and the only Indian person in this work for these students. I did this as I felt it was my duty to help students from my community who were robbed of their money and were feeling powerless in Australian system.
  • helped payment of $2400 to a student which was originally denied by his employer in Western Sydney.
  • donated $500 to an Indian students‚Äô students association.
  • arranged sponsorship of $1000 for foods, meeting hall and public liability insurance for a students‚Äô association.
  • mentoring students for their careers and future in OZ.
  • donated $500 to Australia Hindi Indian Association‚Äôs [AHIA] seniors.
  • donated $500 to Fiji floods relief fund via International congress of Fiji Indians and organized $2000 donations from other doctors.
  • donated $500 to Sanatan Arya Pratinidhi Samaj, Shane Park, Sydney.
  • donated approx. $5000 for various needy/deserving causes involving victims of earthquakes, accidental deaths, injuries and illnesses.
  • helped several students including assault victims for their work comp, treatment and issues involving their parents.
  • liaised with NSW Police higher authorities and ensured actions in regards to the assaults of 2 Indians in Blacktown, Sydney.
  • advised/mentored several others in regards to the steps they needed to take when they were assaulted.
  • took leadership role on Indian Australian community matters in the media-Indian and Australia media [Chanel 9, SBS, NDTV, Indian ethnic newspapers].
  • helped Radio National in making a documentary on students [see details in this BLOG elsewhere].
  • helping community members from India and South Asia with a concessional fees structure. [a service worth more than $50000/year]. People from other communities, if they can‚Äôt afford specialist medical practitioner‚Äôs fees are also included.
  • tried to clean the community leadership and making them accountable.
  • exposed commission taking by some leaders of an Indian community association in Sydney.
  • took a leadership role against unfair portrayal of Australia as a Racist nation by Indian media with interviews and debates.
  • took part in ‚ÄúIs Australia a Racist nation‚ÄĚ debate with David Penberthy [Ex Editor, Daily Telegraph] in Sunrise programme of Ch 7 in 2009.
  • mentoring medical doctors from India in regards to their training and registration issues.
  • helped a House Surgeon who was facing exclusion from the medical work due to her unfair treatment in a Sydney hospital and then worked actively with this young doctor and her supervisors including Hospital administrators to get her into the internship at a different hospital, thus leading to a successful outcome.
  • worked as a catalyst in resolving the issues between Indian consul General, Sydney and some Indian businessmen with a successful outcome in 2010.
  • took an active and a leading role in resolving the issues between Indus Age [after a controversial ad] and the community in 2010.
  • formed a community committee, Friends of International Students,  www.fairgo4internationalstudents.org. against Visa Capping Bill in May 2010 and lobbied with the Govt ministers and Media against this Bill which was very harmful to the students. Worked actively for this committee, visiting community gatherings, temples and Gurdwaras to collect signatures against this Bill. We also met the Immigration minister, Mr Chris Evans, asking him to not proceed with this Bill.
  • spoke as the leading doctor in the Health Summit, organized by GOPIO, Sydney, educating/informing people on Health matters on 4th Dec, 2010.
  • helped a family locate their son [International student] http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/a-dumped-bike-a-glimpse-on-sydney-stations-cctv-what-happened-to-indian-student-abhijeet-20101006-166rs.html.
  • raised $7100 for Qld Flood relief on 28th Jan, 2011.
  • took up the matter involving HINDI in the Australian national draft curriculum-Languages and wrote to ACARA, in addition to supporting Australian Hindi Committee.
  • Organized India Day Fair, 7th Aug, 2011, at Parramatta Park, Parramatta.
  • Organized Australia Day and Indian Republic Day celebrations in 2010, 2011 and 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.
  • Took part in ‚ÄúClean Up Australia Day‚ÄĚ events in Liverpool and Toongabbie many times.

4. Health Education Seminars for the Community:

  • First such Seminar with GOPIO in Dec, 2010.
  • Second such seminar in Dec, 2011.
  • Third such Seminar with GOPIO, 28th April, 2012.
  • Multiple Radio interviews and talk backs [Darpan Radio, SBS Hindi Radio, Dhanak Radio, Navtarang Radio, SBS Punjabi Radio] on Health matters.
  • Anchored Radio UMANG Health Show.

5.  Sri Mandir Temple matter:

  • took up the issue of attacks on Sri Mandir temple, Auburn and brought it to the national media.
  • attended meetings with Police, along with temple committee members.

6. Australian Uranium to India Issue:

  • raised the issue of Australian Uranium sale to India during the Australia India Day celebration on 24th Jan, 2010 where several ministers, MPs, MLAs, MLC, and media people were present.
  • wrote an Opinion Piece on this issue in the prestigious Journal of Mining & Investment Australia.
  • wrote in Foreign Policy Research Centre [FPRC] Journal twice-one on India-Australia relations and 2nd on India‚Äôs Look East Policy, advocating sale of Australian Uranium to India.
  • raised Uranium issue during Australia Day/Indian Republic Day event, in Jan, 201o and 2011, in presence of senior Australian politicians.
  • raised Uranium issue in India Day Fair, Parramatta on 7th Aug, 2011, in presence of senior Australian politicians, including Ministers.

7. Incorrect Map of India in DIAC [Dept of Immigration and Citizenship], Australia website:

  • campaigned effectively for removal of an incorrect map of India [which had excluded Arunachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir] in DIAC website and succeeded.

8. Kyle Sandilands & 2DayFM issue:

  • campaigned against insulting comments from Kyle Sandilands, 2DayFM and forced them to offer an apology for his comments against India and River Ganges.

9. Lord Ganesh Vs Third Reich play and Goddess Lakshmi picture on a Bikini matters:

  • campaigned along with others on these matters and made our concerns known assertively, via Blog, calls, Facebook and interview with The Age newspaper.

10. Community Relations Commission [CRC] Working Group on International students 2009-10:

  • participated as an active member of the working party with CRC on students including inputs for Z information card.

11. Diwali in NSW Parliament and CRC Deepavali Committee 2011-12:

  • successfully campaigned/lobbied with NSW to host Diwali celebration in NSW Parliament
  • Worked as a member of this committee to assist NSW Govt to host Deepavali in NSW Parliament-the only such Indian event.

12. Ministerial Consultative Committee for Indian Australian Community in NSW 2011-12:

  • NSW Minister Victor Dominello appointed me as one of the members and worked as a member of this committee to deal with issues relevant to Indian Australian community in NSW.
  • Contributed as an active member of the sub-committes [of this MCC] on Community service, communication, Trade & Investment, Immigration, Youth and new migrants

13. Worked with a team in The Hills Shire & raised >$22000 for Qld floods Victims in March, 2013.

14. Organised INDAUS FAIR, Sunday, 11th Aug, 2013, at Rosehill Race Course

15. Indian Independence Day Celebration on 15th Aug, 2012 at Parravilla, Parramatta: Ôā∑ Free [no cost to guests] event with performances from Shaimak Davar group, Melbourne.

16. Organised a Meet and greet event for visiting prominent writers and Mr Oscar Fernandes MP [Indian National Congress General Secretary] in 2012.

17. Australia Day & Indian Republic Day celebration on 27th Jan, 2013, Ryde Civic Centre, Ryde, NSW.

18. Parramasala working group with Lord Mayor, Parramatta Council-advising about what should be done to make Parramasala more vibrant and popular.

19. Ran a campaign to remove pictures of Hinduism deities from the label on Beer bottles from Brookvale Union brewery

20. Interacted with relevant people and agencies on Ms Monika Chetty’s tragic death in Sydney, including interviews with SMH, ABC news, Radio National Background Briefing, Channel 9 A Current Affairs and ABC 7.30 Report programmes.

21. Interviewed for emigration from Australia by Newes.com.au and SBS Radio.

22. Interviewed for an article on Indians in Taxi industry in Australia, perceptions and realities.

23. Interviewed by Radio National ABC on Hinduism religious affairs.

24. Organised (as part of the team) the Farewell to Consul General, Mr Arun Goel, 18th March, 2014, Harris Park.

25. Took up the matter against Federal Government’s repeal proposal of Sec 18C of Racial Discrimination Act via Blog, Social media and Indian and Australian newspapers like Hills News, Blacktown Sun, Penrith Gazette.

26. Helped a senior member of the community to get his OCI issues sorted out from the Consulate without unnecessary expenses and trouble.

27. Helped an Indian Intern doctor (Dr A. K) in regards to her issues with a Sydney Hospital.

28. Took up the matter of  “upside down” display of India’s national flag during Master Chef Australia broadcast, and got it rectified by the concerned agencies.  

29. Took the matter of Manjit Singh in regards to his issues for Passport and PCC with Indian Consulate General offices, Perth, Nov 2014, and achieved the successful outcome.

30. Took a leading role in Breast Cancer screening seminar with various agencies, Ermington Community Centre, Ermington, NSW, on Sunday, 16th Nov, 2014.

31. Took up the matter of inappropriate label, depicting Hinduism deities, on a Beer bottle, Jan 2015. See Sydney Morning Herald newspaper article (http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/new-controversy-brews-over-offensive-ginger-beer-brand-using-hindu-imagery-20150110-12kv0j.html)

32. Australia Day & Indian Republic Day celebration, Parravilla, Parramatta on 25th January, 2015

33. Included as one of 20 Goldmine leaders of Western Sydney by Daily Telegraph (http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/competitions/fair-go-for-the-west-meet-the-goldmine-leaders/story-fngy6zqs-1226881501042?nk=58ed0c98bf8a436c82ec636e42b57043)

34. Co-organised a Health talk with AHIA on Prostate Cancer for the community, Pennant Hills Community Centre, Saturday, 11th April, 2015

35. Took up the matters with Parramatta Park Trust, Parramatta Council and other relevant authorities for a security review and addressing those concerns. Published in newspapers.

36. Took up the matter involving stereotypical comment from a Chanel 9 anchor in regards to Indians and 7-Eleven shops.

37. Organised INDIA DAY, a mega celebration of India’s Independence Day,  Saturday, 15th August, 2015, Parade ground, Old King’s School, Parramatta, NSW.

38. Took up the matter involving gun shots firing at a business owned by an Indian Australian in Harris Park on 11th April, 2015.

39. Raised $23000 for “Help Nepal” campaign to help victims of devastating Earthquake in Nepal. https://yadusingh.wordpress.com/2015/05/28/proud-pleased-to-have-raised-23000-for-nepal-earthquake-victims/

40. spoke as an invited keynote speaker at University of Western Sydney event, Parravilla, Parramatta on 24th Nov, 2014.

41. Worked and arranged the rectification of incorrect Indian Map in a Western Union-Australia Post advertisement. https://yadusingh.wordpress.com/2015/04/15/western-union-proves-it-is-a-great-business-and-cares-for-the-feedback-from-people-and-customers/

42.  Took up the matter with authorities when Billu’s Eatery was fired with gun shots in Aug, 2015.

43. Organized a Vigil for Prabha Arun Kumar on 7/3/16 at Parramatta Park, where she was murdered a year ago.

44. Organized a Meet and Greet event for a visiting ministerial delegation from Uttar Pradesh, India and the new Consul General of India, His Excellency Mr B. Vanlalvawna and his wife, Dr Rosy Vanlalvawna at Madison Function Centre, Dural, NSW on 1/4/16.

45. Organised INDIA DAY Fair to celebrate Indian Independence Day in Parramatta, NSW on Sunday, 14th August, 2016. More than 10,000 people attended the event.

46. Meet and greet the Hon Craig Laundy MP, Assistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Commonwealth of Australia, Harris Park, 13 May, 2016.

47. Took part in a discussion with Scott Matheson, South Asia Manager for Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) at DIBP offices in Parramatta on 18th May, 2016.

48. Organised a tea and interaction between Indian Australian community and visiting Indian journalists, in collaboration with Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Harris Park, NSW, Saturday, 17 September, 2016

49. Organised Shadhanjali (Tribute) event for martyrs of Uri Terror attack, Dezire Function Centre, Blacktown, NSW, Sunday, 25th September, 2016

50. Participated in a Roundtable discussion, organised by Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Holiday Inn, Parramatta, Thursday, 27 October, 2016.

51. Campaigned for Hindi classes at the weekends at Consulate General of India, Sydney, and achieved a successful outcome.

52. Took up the visa matters for Mr MK and Mr DV with Indian Consulate in Sydney, and achieved a successful outcome.

53. Organised a tribute/Vigil for Manmeet Sharma “Alisher” at The Robyn Thomas Reserve, Parramatta, 2 November, 2016.

54. Attended a charity fund-raising Badminton tournament (for Westmead Children’s Hospital), organised by Basava Samithi, Glenfield, NSW, 23 October, 2016.

55. Attended a charity fund-raising Cricket tournament (for Westmead Children’s Hospital), organised by Basava Samithi, Glenfield, NSW, 6 November, 2016.

56. Organised Australia Day & Indian Republic Day celebration on Wednesday, 25 January, 2016.

57. Radio National profiled FIAN President, Dr Yadu Singh recently. https://www.facebook.com/radionational/videos/10154646233077378/

58. Acting as a key leader and working with multicultural community leaders for Keep NSW Safe  campaign to get section 20d of Anti-Discrimination Act of NSW amended.

59. Invited to present my views for 18c of Racial Discrimination Act in front of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights, I February, 2017 at NSW Parliament.

60. Federation of Indian Associations of NSW was one of the finalists for the Australia Day awards by the City of Parramatta Council on 26 January, 2017.

61. Invited as a guest to the welcome event for Prime Minister of Israel, His Excellency Benjamin Netanyahu, Central Synagogue, Bondi Junction, Sydney, 22 February, 2017. Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull, former Prime Ministers (John Howard and Tony Abbott), NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and many Ministers and MPs from both sides of politics were in attendance in this event.

62. Invited as a guest, representing Indian community, by AFL for a pre-match reception and the match between GWS Giants and Gold Coast SUNS teams at Spotless Stadium, Olympic Park, NSW, 1 April, 2016.

63. Invited as a representative of Indian community, for the welcome Reception for new NSW Minister for Multiculturalism, Ray Williams MP, NSW Parliament, 22 March, 2017.

64. Invited to participate in Israel’s 69th Independence Day celebration, Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney, 2nd May, 2017

65. Organising 350th Birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh ji and Vaisakhi at NSW Parliament, 31st May, 2017.

66. Organised Wreath Laying Ceremony, working with Australian Indian Historical Society (AIHS), at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra for Pte Sarn Singh Johal and Pte Nain Singh Sailani at their 100th death anniversary, 10 June, 2017.  They fought alongside Australian soldiers in WW1 and were killed in Europe on 10th June and 1 June 1917 respectively.

67. Organising INDIA DAY 2017 to celebrate Indian Independence Day, Saturday, 12 August, 2017, Parramatta Park, Parramatta.

68. Was interviewed by ABC 7.30 on Census data for Indian community on 27 June, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4v1Dp5ebINk&sns=em

69. Invited as the guest of the NSW Government to attend Premier of NSW’s Multicultural Media Award, Sydney Olympic Park, 30 August, 2017.

70. Q and A with Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Alex Hawke MP, on 20th September, 2017, Madison Function Centre, Dural NSW

71. Appointed Community Ambassador for 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games on 20 September, 2017.

72. Invited to meet Australian High Commissioner to India, Ms Harinder Sidhu, along with a few more community members, in Parramatta on 11 October, 2017.

73. Co-organised Dementia Forum at the Consulate General of India, Sydney on Friday, 27 October, 2017.

74. Christmas Drinks and Dinner for multi-faith Community leaders, Madison Function Centre, Dural, NSW, Tuesday, 12 December, 2017.

75. Co-organised Baisakhi and Sikh New year celebration at Ryde Civic Hall, Sunday, 8 April, 2018.

76. INDIA DAY 2018 FAIR, Saturday, 11 August, 2018, Parramatta Park, Parramatta (In progress).

77. Community Education Seminar Series: Diabetes Mellitus, Sunday, May 20, 2018, 2.15-4pm, Wentworthville Community Centre, Wentworthville, NSW

78. Community Education Seminar Series: Dementia, Sunday, 17 June, 2018, Epping Leisure Centre, Epping, NSW (Working with Hornsby Indian Seniors Group and Dementia Support Group for Indian Australians).

79. Community Education Seminar Series: Health & Wellbeing, The Lake Neighbourhood Centre, The Ponds NSW 2769 (Organised by Punjabi League of Australia)

80. Diwali Fair, Holroyd Gardens, Merrylands, NSW 2160, 28 October, 2018

81. FIAN participated in Cumberland Council’s Diwali celebration, Station Street, Wentworthville, NSW on Saturday, 17 November, 2018.

82. Community Education Seminar Series: Law & You, Sunday, 18 November, 2018, Holroyd Function Centre, Merrylands NSW 2160

83. Invited to the Australia Day Lunch, hosted by the Premier of NSW and NSW Australia Day Council in Internation Conventional Center, Darling Harbour, Sydney, Friday, 18 January 2019.

85. Invited to the Australia Day Reception, hosted by the Premier of NSW in Old Governor’s House, Parramatta, NSW, Saturday, 26 January 2019. 

86. Invited to attend Parramasala Media launch on Friday, 15 February 2019 at Parramatta River Foreshore, Parramatta.

87. Organised a condolence meeting, in the memory of 44 CRPF Jawans in Kashmir, killed by Jaishe-e_mohammed terror group, at Dezire Function Centre, Blacktown NSW on Sunday, 17 February 2019.

88. Invited to, and attended, a Candlelight vigil organised by Indian Diaspora Council of Australia and International Fiji Girmit Association in the memory of 44 CRPF Jawans killed by Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group in India,  in Liverpool NSW on 20 February 2019.

89. Invited to attend International Mother Language Day by Cumberland Council at Auburn Library on Thursday, 21 February 2019.

90. invited to, and attended, the Harmony Dinner, hosted by Premier of NSW at Rosehill Gardens, Rosehill NSW on Thursday, 28 February 2019.

91. Invited to a community leaders’ meeting with NSW Multicultural minister, Ray Williams MP, for an announcement of $400K funding of NSW Rigby League for sports’ promotion in multicultural communities at NSWRL HQ in Olympic Park Sydney on Tuesday, 5 March 2019. 

92. Met the Immigration minister in Sydney on 7 March 2019 in regards to changes in visa matters. Previously,  I submitted a report to Immigration Minister re issues our temples are facing while recruiting priests for the religious work. Pleased to know that suitable changes have been made. 

93. Invited to a community leaders’ meeting with Multicultural minister, Ray Williams MP, for an announcement of $900K funding of festivals and events of the Indian Australian community in Parravilla Function Lounge on Saturday, 9 March 2019.

94. Organised Holi 2019: Festival of colours in Prince Alfred Square Park, Parramatta, NSW on Sunday, 10 March 2019.

95. Invited to the VIP reception for Parramasala at the Prince Alfred Square Park on Friday, 15 March 2019.

96. Attended Girmit Day and spoke at Ram Krishna Temple on 17/5/19.

97. Took part in a debate with Manbir Kohli on PM Modi’s victory in Indian election on Voice of India-Monika Geet Mala Radio on Sunday, 23/5/19.

98. Attended “Spreading a culture of peace”, organised by IPYG and spoke at the event in Centenary Square, Parramatta on 25/5/19.

99. Attended the welcome reception for new Multicultural Minister John Sidoti in NSW Parliament on 28/5/19. Premier of NSW was the chief guest.

100. Attend Chand Raat Eid festival, as their guest,  in Rosehill Gardens, Rosehill, NSW on 4/6/19.

101. Attended Australia Telugu Samith’s “Telugus have Talent”evening on 9/6/19.

102. Attended a meeting with Indian seniors in Epping and organised attendance of Ms Li from Transport NSW to explain facilities for seniors on Sunday, 16/6/19.

103. Attended “An evening with Indra Nooyi”, former CEO of PepsiCo in ICC, Sydney on 18/6/19.

104. Took a stand on 19/6/19 for Hitender Kumar, a former employee of Consulate General of India in Sydney. Interviewed by SBS Punjabi and other news media.

105. Attended International Yoga Day in the Ponds, NSW on Sunday, 23/6/19. Organised by Art of Living group in Sydney.

106. Organised “Collaboration and dialogue” meeting for Indian Australian community associations/groups, involving 55 people, Wednesday, 3/7/19, Madison Function Centre, Dural, NSW.

107. FIAN team and I met the Hon John Sidoti MP, Minister for Sports, Multiculturalism, Seniors and Veterans in his office on Thursday, 4/7/19.

108. Delivered a lecture on “Heart Health” for the community at Parramatta West Public School, Parramatta on Sunday, 7 July 2019

109. Organised INDIA DAY Fair, 11 August, 2019, Parramatta Park.

110. Organised many health seminars for the community in 2019.

111. Attended Premier’s Australia Day Reception, 26 Jan, 2020.

112. Organised support for Indian international students, March-June 2020

113. Organised support for stranded Indians in Australia, March-June 2020.

114. Lobbied with federal and state Governments for the support to international students, March-May 2020.

115. Took part in videoconferences with High Commission of India, Canberra, April to June 2020.

116. Took part in media campaigns to educate people for the prevention from COVID-19, Feb-June 2020.

117. Made many educational videos for COVID-19 prevention, Feb-June 2020.

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Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/5 June 2020

Community politics by Indian diplomats not acceptable!

I have been of double mind about writing this post for a while. I have raised this issue in Canberra on 17th Dec, 2011 when I participated in the meeting of Indian community leaders, organised by High Commission of India. High Commissioner of India in Canberra, Consul Generals of India in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth along with many other diplomatic staff and about 200 community leaders/media people were present in this meeting.  I expressed my strong objections against politics by one Indian diplomat.

So, what is it that I am concerned about?

Guess no more. This is about community politics from one Indian Diplomat in regards to Uranium decision by ALP on 4th Dec, 2012 when ALP National Conference passed a motion to support sale of Uranium to India.

Many from Indian Australian community  had raised the Uranium issue with political leaders. It includes various community groups including ourselves and many individuals. Uranium has been in the minds of Indian Australians. We all worked to get ALP reverse its policy to ban Uranium trade with India.

I wrote about it in the Blog posts http://tinyurl.com/7bytnbo, http://tinyurl.com/2eumejb, and http://tinyurl.com/8yawduc since 2009, unlike others who appeared in the scene only recently.

Despite all this, I believe Indian Australian community had only a minor role, if any, in this decision.

Few individuals, however, with the active support of a Member of Parliament from Western Sydney had tried to claim credit for this decision.¬† This Western Sydney MP has many Indian Australian voters in the constituency and will need support from them in the election in 2013.¬†This MP has been actively working on the plan to “promote” one of these two and a few more¬†from the MP’s political¬†party to¬† be recognised as Indian community leaders for obvious reasons. I am neither against this MP nor such people generally but I have issues with “manufactured” or “parachuted” leadership of anyone by anyone.

Unfortunately, a senior Indian diplomat got involved in this politics too.¬† I will explain it a bit later. A Link¬† http://tinyurl.com/848v5b7 from an unknown Indian¬†newspaper was sent to every one by an individual as a certificate of his claim that “he delivered Uranium to India”.

They were even credited to shape the foreign policy of Australia!

Even “Gandhi” connection was evoked indirectly, ignoring the fact that these gentlemen are just pushing the barrows for their political party!

This is of course totally ludicrous and laughable.

Talking about grandstanding, you can’t get a better example!

This claim is incorrect too. This question was directly asked from Prime Minister by a journalist from Indian Down Under newspaper recently. She did not confirm it at all. Please visit The Indian Down Under newspaper  [www.indiadownunder.com.au ], edited by Nina Badhwar here http://tinyurl.com/7pa5rp7 page 9.

Australia decided to sell Uranium to India because of;

1. its national interest as it was not a smart policy to deny Uranium to India but sell it to China, thus damaging Australia-India relations when India has so much strategic importance in Asia Pacific region

2. active encouragement by USA-very important factor [confirmed by many MPs]

3. pressure and support from Australian Think Tanks and Press-Lowy Institute and The Australian newspaper

4. India’s impeccable nonproliferation records

5. Coalition parties [Liberal and National Parties] supporting such trade since 2007

It definitely was not due to a few individuals¬†who are claiming to have “delivered Uranium to India”, just like Mahatma Gandhi delivered freedom to India!

Any such claim actually lowers the office of Prime Minister and must never be repeated or permitted.

I do not believe Indian community in Australia had a major role in it. This was the opinion of the top Indian diplomat in Canberra too. We all made noises at every available forum but still, it was not instrumental in this decision. I asked a few MPs and even Resources Minister, Martin Ferguson about it. They too were broadly in agreement with the points I had listed earlier. They laughed when I told them about the claims for credit by a few individuals from Indian community. They denied it was the case.

Indeed, we all did what we believed was our duty towards India, Australia and India-Australia relations. Taking Olympic motto, we all participated in it. We should be proud of that too. It would of course be wrong, inappropriate and unwarranted for anyone  from our community to claim a sole or exclusive credit for it.

Out of sudden, all Indian ethnic newspapers in Sydney¬†and others were sent¬†a link http://tinyurl.com/848v5b7¬†from an unknown Indian newspaper “Express Buzz”, which is not linked at all with or a part of¬†reputed Indian national newspaper, Indian Express. “Express¬†Buzz” article quotes an¬†anonymous¬†senior Indian Diplomat in Australia, attributing credits to two Indians for Uranium decision. Ms¬†Devirupa¬†Mitra, who is¬†of Bengali background,¬†of Express Buzz online newspaper gave a clear indication¬†of this diplomat being male, thus ruling out High commissioner, Mrs Sujatha¬†Singh. I had a discussion with High Commissioner¬†about it and know for sure¬†that it was not her who was quoted¬†in this article. I contacted Ms Devirupa¬†Mitra in India and asked about the veracity of the claims and the identity of the diplomat but she declined to reveal¬†the source. I sensed her feeling of being “used” in the politics. She encouraged me to write to her when I asked her to retract the article. I did not write to her but will be sending this post to her.

I have no doubt that this Indian diplomat “arranged” with Ms¬†Devirupa¬†Mitra for this story to be published¬†in this paper. No other¬†newspaper in India¬†has published this type of¬†story. This was an attempt to “manufacture” and “promote”¬†leadership of “some” people¬†in our community.

Some here in Sydney have¬†mistaken “Express Buzz” for “Indian Express” newspaper, which of course is untrue. “Express Buzz” has no link with “Indian Express” newspaper.¬†I hope,¬†Indian newspapers in Sydney¬†can check facts before printing factually incorrect¬†stories, sent to them by interested people.

This senior Indian diplomat was so blind in his politicking that he ignored the work by anybody else. We have been raising Uranium matter for the last 4 years. I raised it in our Australia Day and Indian Republic Day function in 2010 where heaps of ALP and Liberal pollies were present.  Senior Coalition leader, Joe Hockey, shadow treasurer declared the policy of Coalition to sell Uranium to India, putting ALP leaders on the spot light. This was the first such public announcement in our community functions. I urged ALP leaders to do the same as Coalition has done.We raised it in every function we organised and we raised it with every politician we met. I wrote Blog posts on it [see my Blog for details] and wrote an opinion piece http://tinyurl.com/6s7d7dx  on pages 40-41 in Mining and Investment Australia Journal which is a reputed journal. I wrote two opinion pieces in FPRC Journal [Foreign Policy Research Centre, New Delhi, India], highlighting Uranium issue http://tinyurl.com/7dec8mu .

Many others have done their bits all over Australia. This was all ignored by this diplomat in his blind desire to promote and glorify his friends. There are many theories and possibilities about the reasons for this promotion.

Both the individuals, who this diplomat gave credits to, are members of Unions and are from ALP. I must clarify here that there is nothing wrong in being a member of any Union or ALP. That is not my concern as to which party they belong to, but I have serious issues when diplomats try to glorify them without any basis or truth, ignoring equal or superior claims for such accolade or credit for others. This is indeed wrong, unethical and dishonest.

Both these individuals are close to one Indian diplomat for various reasons.

Both these individuals are from Sydney.

So, my questions are;

1. Who is this senior Indian Diplomat?

2.Why is he playing this game?

3. Is it not political interference in our community?

4. Is he not playing politics in our community by “promoting”, glorifying¬†and “propping” up two community members who are very close to him?

5. Is it not unwarranted, objectionable and offensive for a diplomat to play this type of politics?

6. What benefits he is getting? What is in it for him?

No Indian Diplomat is owning up these false claims, when challenged. And challenged they were quite forcefully, both privately and publicly!

So typical for Diplomats!

A little more info before you made your own mind as to who this senior Indian diplomat is. There are 4 senior Indian diplomats in Australia.

1.¬†High Commissioner in Canberra, Mrs¬†Sujatha Singh-Served for 4 years and had just left for the posting in Germany. She is not this “senior diplomat” quoted in the paper.

2. Consul General in Sydney, Mr Amit Dasgupta-here since 2009.

3. Consul General in Melbourne, Dr S K Behera-relatively new arrival in Australia.

4. Consul Gneral in Perth, Mr M. Subbarayudu-very new arrival in Australia.

I have spoken with many people from our community and they all have expressed their disgust with politics played by one of the senior Indian diplomats. This is not within the definition of the core jobs of Indian diplomats. They are to stay away from community politics. They should not promote or prop up any community member [s]. Just in case you are wondering, I must clarify that it is not an one off activity.

Indian diplomats must stay away from community politics, avoid playing favouritism game and conduct themselves in an impartial manner. If they are not careful, they risk harming the prestige of the position they occupy in Australia.

If not heeded, this might well lead to complaints to the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi, Ministers in India and MPs in Indian Parliament.

After all, Indian diplomats are not the only who can do politics. We too know how to do politics!

Indian diplomats are here to represent Govt of India and help Indian Australians, when needed, but definitely not to do politics in our community!

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/16th March, 2012

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Multiculturalism in Australia: what it means to me

Multiculturalism in Australia: what it means to me

Australia is a great place where one can meet people from all backgrounds, cultures and religions. They can enjoy food from diverse backgrounds-Indian, Chinese, Italian, Sri Lankan, Thai and many more, including, of course, Australian.

People can and do enjoy festivals from diverse backgrounds. I myself¬†have participated in events and festivals from Chinese, Philippines, Pakistani, Arabic and of course Indian backgrounds. I enjoyed Chinese Opera and a performance by Shen Yun cultural group immensely. I remember the “Nagar¬†Kirtan” by Sikh community with fondness and enjoyed walking with the crowd from Circular Quay to Martin Place in Sydney. I also remember with fondness my participation in various Hindu religious festivals in either various temples and even in Darling Harbour. These events were organised without any disturbance or incidents.

Increasing number of people from diverse backgrounds take part in national activities. Only yesterday [4th March, 2012], I took part in “Clean Up Australia Day” activities with my friends from Basava¬†and Tamil backgrounds, led by Basava¬†Samithi¬†[an Indian group] and Australian Tamil Association [another Indian group]¬†respectively.

People can see movies and functions from various cultural backgrounds in the national TV. SBS TV helps us share diverse cultures and celebrations in so many ways.

It is such a fun living in Australia. Australia is a success story of multiculturalism.

I am therefore a strong proponent of multiculturalism in Australia. It benefits not only people from diverse backgrounds, but also Australia as a nation.

Australia is truly a multicultural nation. One in four Australian was born overseas and 44% of 22 million [9.68 million] Australians were either born overseas or one of their parents was born overseas. We speak 260 languages and identify with 270 ancestries. This is an amazing statistics!

With well more than 100000 people coming to Australia through migration programme every year, this will continue to benefit Australia for a long time. With growing numbers of aging population, migration programme is crucial for Australian economy as it provides skilled people which Australia needs for its economy and service sector

Multiculturalism has been in the news lately, specially after the certain events were reported from France and Europe generally. German Chancellor, Angela Merkel’s statement that multiculturalism has failed in Germany¬†has been widely reported.

Despite this, I believe that multiculturalism in Australia is unique and  is the right policy. European examples are not applicable to Australia.

Its importance can be¬†judged by this little example.¬†Previously, Dept of Immigration used to be¬†called Department of Immigration and Multicultural affairs [DIMA] which later became Department of Immigration, Multicultural¬†and Indigenous affairs [DIMIA]. It was later changed to Department of Immigration and Citizenship [DIAC] a few years ago and “Multicultural Affairs” was dropped. While¬†Chris Bowen is still the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship,¬†I am pretty happy to¬†note that the word “Multicultural Affairs” has been restored in so as¬†Kate Lundy has the portfolio of Minister for Multicultural Affairs.

What does Multiculturalism mean?

It basically means;

1. Recognition and respect for cultural diversity of Australian people, within the overall framework of general Australian values.

2. Non-discriminatory Immigration policy which encourages people with the right mix of skills to migrate and then acquire citizenship with the pledge of loyalty to Australia and its people, uphold its laws and democracy and respect for our rights and liberties.

3. Non-discriminatory opportunities for everyone to achieve the best for themselves irrespective of race, gender, religion or other criterion.

It must be understood that Australian values will always be superior if there is any clash between the cultural practices, values and ideas and Australian values. Australian values of democracy, justice, equality, rule of law and tolerance will always remain supreme.

English will always be the national language with encouragement to learn it. Other languages including the languages which people identify as a part of their heritage will be encouraged but they will not be a substitute for English.

It is generally accepted that a full sense of belonging to any society or nation is achieved¬†only if people are encouraged¬†to participate, without any hindrance or discrimination. People who are encouraged¬†to migrate can’t be treated as “guest workers”, with obstacle in their ways to prevent them from availing opportunities and participating meaningfully.

Despite some commentary in the media that some migrants want to change Australia, instead of adapting to the Australian values, I believe that it is generally an exaggerated account and and not true. An overwhelming majority of people, if not all, who come to Australia come here only because Australia is a better nation with better opportunities, and not to change Australia to suit their values or ideas.

Multiculturalism encourages participation which in turn promotes a sense of belonging. That, in turn, promotes a better citizenship, better society and of course, a better Nation, where “Take and Give” is accepted as a better and a noble notion, instead of “Take and Take”.

Everyone needs to contribute to the nation building to make Australia a better nation than it already is. That of course is only possible if their culture and heritage is valued, within the overall frame of Australian values, if opportunities are available without any discrimination, and if people are encouraged to achieve their best without any hindrance in doing so. Only then they will be able to contribute to the nation meaningfully.

Recognizing this, Australian Govt has constituted Australian Multicultural Council [AMC] with the mandate to advise the Govt for these matters, which, indeed, is a good step at the federal level.

At the state levels too, multiple steps have been taken¬†to implement¬†the policies in regards to multiculturalism. In NSW,¬† Minister Victor Dominello¬†[Minister for¬†Citizenship, Communities and Aboriginal¬†Affairs] and¬†Community Relations Commission [Chairman and CEO, Stepan¬†Kerkyasharian]¬†have the overall responsibilities for policies in these matters. By constituting Ministerial Consultative Committees [MCC] for various multicultural communities to advise¬†NSW Govt, Premier Barry O’Farrell¬†and Minister Victor Dominello have done a commendable job in this direction.

There is a role for everyone, not just political leaders and People of Australia Ambassadors [appointed by federal Govt under AMC], to make Australia a better place than it already is. Community leaders and religious leaders have a big role in helping new migrants settle-in in the new society and integrate well within the broader Australian value system.

We all are stake holders in promoting the narrative of not only “successful Australia” but also “successful multicultural Australia”!

Yadu Singh/Sydney/5th March, 2012

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Participating in “Clean Up Australia Day” today was fun and a pleasure!

Clean Up Australia logo

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I enjoyed participating in “Clean Up Australia Day” today. It was a fun too.

In the morning, I joined up with my friends from Basava Samithi of Australia [an Indian group] in Collimore Park, Liverpool, NSW, where we, as a team, collected a lot of things. It was a pleasure to see the Council Truck coming and picking up things which we had collected. Dayanand Mogale [President of Basava Samithi], Panchaksaraiah Palya [Secretary of Basava Samithi] and Chidanand Puttarevanna were the key people in this group.

In the afternoon, I met up with friends from Australia Tamil Association [another Indian group] to participate in the activity at Best Road Reserve, Seven Hills, NSW.

We collected rubbish, broken TV, cups, bags, shopping trolleys, clothes, damaged fans and many more things. I was pleasantly surprised to know that Clean Up Australia organisation and local Councils provided gloves, and collection bags for the volunteers. Qantas also supported these events by donating Tea shirts and even small grants.

The prediction about weather was that it would rain but it turned out to be a bright and sunny morning, which, unfortunately, left an unwanted side effect. I had sun burn on my face, for which I was teased by my children. This also disproved my theory [without any basis] that brown-skinned people do not suffer sun burn. From now on, I will be better prepared!

Based on what we found there, I was sad to see the abuse of our environment by people. Obviously, we need to look after our environment and this Planet. This is a job for everyone and every day, not just for Clean Up Australia Day.

Basava¬†Samithi¬†and Australia Tamil Association [ATA]¬†volunteers¬†turned the events into “fun” events.¬†At ATA event, Thiru¬†Arumugam¬†[President of ATA] and Susai¬†Benjamin were also present. I was requested to¬†give away certificates¬†to the volunteers, which was a real honour and a matter of great pleasure.

I am more convinced now than before that there is a need for all of us to look after the nature and this planet.

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/4th March, 2012

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$100,000 [52 Lacs Rupees] reward for information on the killer [s] of Pardeep Kumar from Mildura, Victoria, Australia.

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/what-happened-to-pardeep-100000-reward-on-offer-20120206-1r081.html

Pic from SMH.

This gruesome killing of Pardeep Kumar, 33 yrs old fruit-picker,  in Mildura, Victoria [Australia] has remained unsolved since 2009. Police believes that some people with information may be in India, apart from some who may be in Mildura and elsewhere in Australia..

Please spread the word and help Police track down the criminals and bring them to justice.

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/6th Feb, 2012

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Finally, Uranium trade with India has bipartisan support!

My article>>> Uranium-Bipartisan-article                                                                                                                             

 

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/8th Dec, 2011

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IIFA in Sydney: How, when and by whom?

Indian actor Abhishek Bachchan with wife/actre...

Image via Wikipedia

IIFA Awards [The International Indian Film Academy Awards] are the most prestigious awards from Bollywood, the premier movie industry in India, and are presented every year by the International Indian Film Academy to recognise professionals and artists from Bollywood.

The first IIFA event was held in 2000. So far, they have been held in different countries around the world, details of which are as follows.

2000: Millennium Dome London, United Kingdom,

2001: Super Bowl Arena, Sun City, South Africa,

2002: Arena of Stars Genting, Highlands, Malaysia,

2003: Coca-Cola Dome, Johannesburg, South Africa,

2004: Singapore Indoor Stadium, Singapore,

2005: Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam, The Netherlands,

2006: Dubai International Convention Centre, Dubai, United Arab Emirates,

2007: Hallam FM Arena, Sheffield, United Kingdom,

2008: Siam Paragon, Bangkok, Thailand,

2009: The Venetian Macao, Macau, Macau,

2010: Sugathadasa Stadium, Colombo, Sri Lanka,

2011: Rogers Centre, Toronto, Canada.

Social and economic benefits of hosting IIFA Awards are many. No wonders, there is a fierce competition among cities to host the event.  IIFA reaches out to millions of viewers and fans across the world providing them with an opportunity to see legends of Bollywood together on one stage. Toronto IIFA event was reportedly watched by >600million viewers. The Academy’s main objective has been to develop and promote relationships between film industries and organizations across the world. The focus is on foreign exchange and interaction, creating a common forum and meeting ground for enhancing business opportunities, apart from showcasing Bollywood cinema.

To prove that the hosting city benefits greatly, here is the latest evidence. Government of Ontario invested US$ 12 million to host 2011 edition of IIFA at Toronto and believed to have gained direct economic impact of over US$ 100 million in tourism. The organisers felt the returns of holding IIFA far exceeded the expectations estimated by the Government of Ontario.

IIFA have never been held in Australia, but Melbourne is trying to host them. They have already started the process.

Sydney is truly a world city with plenty of attractions for the Bollywood artists and fans. After all, who can beat Opera House, pristine beaches like Bondi¬†Beach, and Blue Mountain, along with Hunter Valley which is only a short distance away? NSW can rope in our cricketers too, knowing that some of them have a huge fan following in India. Sydney will beat any city, if it decided to bid for IIFA. NSW should definitely bid for it, as it is indeed¬†going to bring heaps of tourists around the time of the event, and thereafter too, which should generate more than $200 million for the NSW economy. With the flow-on effect on the inward tourism from India, and with the improved¬†image of Australia as a travel destination for Indians, this benefit may well cross 500 millions easily over the short to medium term. I know, I am not a NSW treasury official and can’t predict what the monetary outcome of this event would be for NSW, but one thing is certain that it would¬†be¬†beneficial to the economy.

If IIFA is held in Sydney, they will be the best ever (to match the best ever Olympics) and will help strengthen ties between India and Australia. Basically, there are many positives, and no negative.

Organisations of Indian Australians, and Indian Australians in NSW generally, can play a vital role by helping the NSW Govt in the bidding process. There are >150000 people of Indian heritage in Sydney [more if you add the fans of Bollywood from Asian and Middle Eastern backgrounds], who would be a potent force on behalf of NSW in attracting the event for Sydney.

My discussions with many prominent people have given me a clear impression that they would love to have IIFA in Sydney in the near future. To succeed in this however, the work has to start soon. It might be a bit late to bid for 2012, but we can start the process now for 2013 event or thereafter.

NSW Premier, Barry O’Farrell¬†is visiting India with a trade delegation¬†next month. I think, it would be a perfect opportunity to initiate¬†the¬†process before the visit and follow it up during the visit.

I, for one, can’t wait to see IIFA event in our beautiful¬†city, Sydney!

PS: I am not in favor of frauds and fake people, with no integrity and value system, getting anywhere near events like IIFA, because they will destroy the whole concept and the brand image. We all know that there are people who can con people to make money, and are very keen to promote themselves as event organizers. They operate with no principle and have no ethics.

Yadu Singh/Sydney/25th October, 2011

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Finally, Amitabh Bachchan accepts the Honorary Doctorate from Queensland University of Technology!

Amitabh Bachchan

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We remember very well that Bollywood super star, Amitabh¬†Bachchan¬†had declined to accept the Honorary Doctorate from Queensland University of Technology [QUT] in 2009, when students’ unrest was at its peak in Australia. At that time, a segment of Indian media was running a campaign, calling each and every incident involving Indian students a racist attack.

Living in Australia, we knew that “racism” was not the sole motive or the reason for those attacks. We tried to counter the vicious campaign by Indian media but had only limited success.

Hearing about the news that Amitabh Ji had declined to accept the Doctorate, we made an appeal to him to visit Australia, accept the Doctorate, and see for himself that Australia is not a bad country, unlike the image Indian media had created. That did not work either.

See my previous Blog: https://yadusingh.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/amitabh-bachchan-ji-we-need-your-assistance/

We are pleased that he has now accepted the Doctorate and is travelling to Brisbane to receive it on 20th October, 2011. He is currently in Sydney, shooting for the Hollywood film, The Great Gatsby [directed by Baz Luhrmann], which also has Leonardo Di Caprio, Tobey Maguire and Joel Egerton in the starring roles.

Amitabh Ji, congrats for the honour!

I did not think he was right to reject that honour then, but there was nothing anybody could do, due to madness in Indian media. He has obviously analysed everything now, and agreed to accept the honour. Happy to see this happen, and¬†say “Der Ayad¬†Durust¬†Ayad”! [ŗ§¶ŗ•áŗ§į ŗ§Üŗ§Įŗ§¶ ŗ§¶ŗ•Āŗ§įŗ•Āŗ§łŗ•ćŗ§§ ŗ§Üŗ§Įŗ§¶ <===> BETTER LATE THAN NEVER].

Amit Ji, please enjoy your stay in Australia, and enjoy this beautiful country!

I am certain that you would find Australia a great place, and Australians to be friendly people.

You have a great number of fans in Sydney, who would love to meet you, before you return to India. Hope, you will find time to meet them. 

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/18th October, 2011

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Diwali celebrations in NSW.

We are very pleased to know that NSW Coalition Govt led by The Hon Barry O’Farrell¬†has decided to host Diwali celebration in the NSW Parliament this year. We are thrilled with it and look forward to participating and contributing to this celebration.

It is great that the NSW Govt is hosting the function and thus giving an official status to Diwali celebration. It is a big plus for Indian Australian community in NSW. More details to follow.

Premier, The Hon Barry O’Farrell,¬†and Minister for Citizenship and Communities, The Hon Victor Dominello, deserve a big thank you from Indian community.¬†This is indeed late by a few years, but¬†“now” is better than “never”. NSW Govt hosts celebrations for many other communities. This is the first for Indian Australian community in NSW.

Diwali celebration in NSW Parliament is separate from The Diwali Fair, which is being organised by Hindu Council at Parramatta Stadium on 30th October, 2011. Apart from this, there would many more Diwali celebrations in Sydney.

I want to outline what Diwali is about and why Diwali deserved the honour of being hosted by NSW Govt. This is for those who might not be aware of the significance of Diwali.

Diwali is the biggest festival of India that celebrates the victory of good over the evil. It symbolizes the age-old culture of India which teaches mankind to vanquish ignorance that subdues humanity and to drive away darkness that engulfs the light of knowledge. Diwali, the festival of lights even today in this modern world teaches us to uphold the true values of life.

“Diwali” is the easy-to-pronounce form of Deepavali¬†or Deepawali. In Sanskrit ‚ÄúDeepavali‚ÄĚ is the marriage of two Sanskrit words-¬†Deepa¬†meaning light and Avali, meaning a row. Indeed celebrating the row of lights forms one of Diwali‚Äôs main attraction.

While Diwali has a religious significance for an estimated 1 billion Hindus world wide, Diwali is clearly much more than that. It is a truly Indian festival which is celebrated by Indians throughout the world in a joyous mood, with zeal and enthusiasm. Diyas [oil lamp usually made from clay, with a cotton wick dipped in Ghee or vegetable oils] and candles are burnt in every home. People clean their homes, sweets are shared and people wish each other well.

It heralds the beginning of new year as per the Hindu calendar. Diwali is normally celebrated in October or November.

Diwali is also an important event for Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism.

Diwali is truly an Indian festival, not just a Hindu festival!

In NSW, Diwali celebration takes the highest spot on the Indian community Calender.
It is estimated that there are over 150 thousand people of Indian heritage in NSW. It can be safely said that Most of them celebrate Diwali each year in one or the other form. The number is growing each year  as more skilled migrants and students arrive from India and make NSW their home.

With multiculturalism recognised as part of the Australian way of life and as a valued asset of New South Wales, it is highly commendable that the Government of NSW recognised this major festival by hosting an official annual celebration at NSW Parliament for Diwali Рthe festival of light Рsymbolising and renewing the vows of the people of NSW to uphold the true values of life.

Indian Australian community believe in integration and participation of Indian Australians in the general Australian community. We are strong believers and supporters of multiculturalism and multicultural Australia.

We are thrilled with the new status of Diwali celebration and applauds NSW Govt for their decision to host Diwali celebration in the NSW Parliament. We are committed to working with the NSW government through the appropriate ministry, minister and agency to organise a grand Diwali celebration this year and in future.

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10 Reasons to Celebrate Diwali.
The Festival of Lights is for All

Why do we celebrate Diwali? It‚Äôs not just the festive mood in the air that makes you happy, or just that it’s a good time to enjoy before the advent of winter.

There are 10 mythical and historical reasons why Diwali is a great time to celebrate. And there are good reasons not just for Hindus but also for all others to celebrate this great Festival of Lights.

1. The Victory of Rama:¬†According to the epic ‚ÄėRamayana‚Äô, it was the new moon day of Kartik¬†when Lord Ram, Ma Sita and Lakshman¬†returned to Ayodhya¬†after vanquishing Ravana and conquering Lanka. The citizens of Ayodhya decorated the entire city with the earthen lamps and illuminated it like never before.

2. Special Day for the Sikhs: The third Sikh Guru Amar Das institutionalized Diwali as a Red-Letter Day when all Sikhs would gather to receive the Gurus blessings. In 1577, the foundation stone of the Golden Temple at Amritsar was laid on Diwali. In 1619, the sixth Sikh Guru Hargobind, who was held by the Mughal Emperor Jahengir, was released from the Gwalior fort along with 52 kings.

3. Goddess Lakshmi’s Birthday: The Goddess of wealth, Lakshmi incarnated on the new moon day (amaavasyaa) of the Kartik month during the churning of the ocean (samudra-manthan), hence the association of Diwali with Lakshmi.

4. Krishna Killed Narakaasur: On the day preceding Diwali, Lord Krishna killed the demon king Narakaasur and rescued 16,000 women from his captivity. The celebration of this freedom went on for two days including the Diwali day as a victory festival.

5. The Return of the Pandavas: According to the great epic ‚ÄėMahabharata‚Äô, it was ‚ÄėKartik Amavashya‚Äô when the Pandavas appeared from their 12 years of banishment as a result of their defeat in the hands of the Kauravas at the game of dice (gambling). The subjects who loved the Pandavas celebrated the day by lighting the earthen lamps.

6. Coronation of Vikramaditya: One of the greatest Hindu King Vikramaditya was coroneted on the Diwali day, hence Diwali became a historical event as well.

7. Special Day for the Arya Samaj: It was the new moon day of Kartik (Diwali day) when Maharshi Dayananda, one of the greatest reformers of Hinduism and the founder of Arya Samaj attained his nirvana.

8. Special Day for the Jains: Mahavir Tirthankar, considered to be the founder of modern Jainism also attained his nirvana on Diwali day.

9. Special day for Buddhism: Newar Buddhists celebrate it because Emperor Ashoka converted to Buddhism on this day.

10. The Pope‚Äôs Diwali Speech:¬†In 1999, Pope John Paul II performed a special Eucharist in an Indian church where the altar was decorated¬†with Diwali lamps, the Pope had a ‚Äėtilak‚Äô marked on his forehead and his speech was bristled with references to the festival of light.

[With input and contribution from Tony Colaco, President, Goan Overseas Association of NSW].

UPDATE: Community Relations Commission [CRC] is the body on behalf of NSW Govt to organise/conduct Deepavali celebration in NSW Parliament on 10th Nov, 2011. 

Yadu Singh/Sydney/1st Oct, 2011
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Yes, tapping into Asian boom is in Australia’s national interest!

Julia Gillard

Image via Wikipedia

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/foreign-affairs/julia-gillard-commissions-white-paper-to-look-at-ways-to-exploit-asian-boom/story-fn59nm2j-1226149322811

Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has outlined in a speech in Asia Society today¬†that Australia wants to tap into the booming economies of Asia, especially China, India and Indonesia. Australia’s raw materials, education and manufactured goods are in high demands in Asia. It is in the national interest of Australia to deal with Asian economies actively.

A white paper will be released by mid 2012, outlining various issues, risks, opportunities and benefits. Mr Ken Henry, ex-treasury secretary is the person who will do this job. This white paper will have detail of the short term initiatives [up to 5 years] and long term initiatives for a period up to 2025.

It is a no brainer for Australia to do so. In coming years and decades, Australian economy will get increasingly integrated with Asian economies. China, Japan, South Korea, India, Taiwan, Singapore and other nations from Asia are already our most important trading partners. This is going to increase more in the coming years. The booming economies in Asia have made people call it “Asian Century”, and indeed,¬†it is a smart move for Australia to tap into these economies more actively and speedily.

There will be some political issues which may create some obstacle, but they can all be managed with varying degree of ease. 

As far as India is concerned, there is one potential obstacle which comes to mind. Some have called it an unnecessary irritation. There are enough justifications for Australia to sell Uranium to India and earn goodwill with India. People who know this issue have all suggested that Uranium issue needs urgent attention, and sale agreed, to take the India-Australia relations to a much higher level. PM Gillard should not have any trouble in getting the relevant amendments of the existing Acts passed in the Parliament, because Coalition already supports Uranium trade to India.

 In 2009, the bilateral trade between Australia and India was $20.87 billions. By now, it would have easily crossed $23 billions. With Uranium issue sorted, the bilateral trade can go to the top gear and easily double from the current value in a short to mid term.

To take the trade and relation at the higher level, it would be helpful to have an expertise in the national languages of these nations. In India’s case, there is a lot of points in favour of including India’s national language, HINDI, as a secondary language in the national curriculum. My previous Blog on Hindi is here. https://yadusingh.wordpress.com/2011/04/02/australian-national-draft-curriculum-for-second-tier-languageswhy-is-hindi-missing-from-it/

I am looking forward to this White Paper next year.

Yadu Singh/Sydney/28th Sept, 2011

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Related articles

The Age newspaper reports on “Ganesh versus the third Reich” play in Melbourne festival.

Ganesh festival in India

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http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/hindus-want-to-ban-play-that-has-ganesh-reclaim-swastika-from-germany-20110926-1ktkb.html

Barney Zwartz, the Religion editor of The Age newspaper has reported on “Ganesh versus the third Reich” play being organised in Melbourne festival from 29th September, 2011.

See more details in my earlier posts.

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/27th september, 2011

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My interview on ABC PM covering the comedy Ganesh versus the third Reich in Melbourne Festival.

http://bit.ly/n3wkNC

Yadu Singh/Sydney/20th Sept, 2011

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Don’t use deities of Hinduism inappropriately and disrespectfully!

I am concerned about the trend of using the symbols of Hinduism inappropriately and disrespectfully. Previously, Goddess Lakshmi was printed on a swim suit and a Sydney-based radio host made some adverse comments about the beliefs of followers of Hinduism, who consider River Ganges as sacred. Both these matters were tackled and remedied with withdrawal of the offensive actions and an apology. 

With this background, I find it very disappointing that Back To Back Theatre, in collaboration with Malthouse Theatre in Melbourne, is doing a play ‚ÄúGanesh and the third Reich‚ÄĚ in Melbourne Festival on 29th Sept, 2011. This play is going to use Lord Ganesha as matter for comedy and laughter.¬†

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganesha

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swastika