Sydney, 1 March, 2020
Joint press release from key Indian Australian community associations is posted below.
1 March 2020
We, the Indian Diaspora in Australia, which is over 700,000, strongly condemn the recent speech of Treasurer Josh Frydenberg in the Australian Parliament (on Feb 27th 2020) where he mocked those who chant “Om”, “Wear Robes”, “Burn Incenses”, and practice the ancient tradition of Yoga.
Given the fact that these are practices of Hindu religion, we are extremely disappointed by his speech. It lacks sensitivity and respect for a religion that is practiced by over half a million Australians and almost a billion people globally. This coming from a senior Federal government minister is appalling, offensive, and unacceptable.
Yoga and Meditation are also an integral part of the Australian lifestyle with one- in-six Australians practicing meditation, and one-in-ten Australians practicing Yoga as part of their everyday lives. Over 4,000+ Australian “Yoga-based” small business owners contribute over $700M to the Australian economy every year.
We understand that the remarks may have been unintentional and without malice, however, the fact is that they are hurtful and appear as mockery. We request that the Minister takes into consideration our concerns and take the necessary action such as withdrawing his statement in regard to the mockery implied in his speech.
Federation of Indian Association of ACT Inc. Dr Sunita Dhindsa. Ph: 0403 113 007
Federation of Indian Associations of NSW Dr Yadu Singh. Ph: 0413 375 669
Federation of Indian Associations of WA Atul Garg. Ph: 0421 456 200
Federation of Indian Communities of Queensland Dr Ram Mohan. Ph: 0421 652 132
Federation of Indian communities of South Australia Umesh Nagasandra. Ph: 0401 034 456
Global Hindu Association for Reform and Sustainable Societies Ltd.
Amit Jadaun & Rakesh Raizada.
Ph: 0455 599 900/ 0434 470 095
India Australia Exchange Forum Amith Karanth. Ph: 0422 362 583
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Dr Yadu Singh