Australia’s High Commissioner to India Barry O’Farrell AO on January 20 said that Australia is shocked at the vandalism of two Hindu temples in Melbourne, and authorities are investigating the same.
India on January 19, condemned the vandalisation of Hindu temples in Australia and said that the matter has been raised with the Australian government in Canberra and asked for expeditious investigation against the perpetrators.
“We have been shocked at the vandalism of two Hindu temples in Melbourne, & Australian authorities are investigating. Our strong support for freedom of expression does not include hate speech or violence @DrSJaishankar @MEAIndia,” O’Farrell tweeted.
Like India, Australia is a proud, multicultural country, O’Farrell wrote.
Responding to a media query regarding the vandalization and graffiti being written on Hindu temples, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi has said, “We are actually aware of the couples of temples that have been vandalised in Australia. We condemn these incidents. If I remember correctly, both of them are actually near Melbourne in Victoria. We strongly condemn this action. These actions have been publicly condemned by Australian leaders, community leaders, and religious associations there.”
He also said, “Our Consulate General in Australia has taken the matter with the local police. We have requested expeditious investigation against the perpetrators and of course measures to prevent such incidents in future. The matter has also been taken up with the Australian Government, both in Canberra and New Delhi. And we are looking forward to the action that we have requested.”
Earlier, Victorian Liberal Party MP Brad Battin has said that “In no way our future can be built on hate when it has been built on working together for so long. There is no place in Victoria or Australia for this kind of behaviour what we are seeing here.”
“Victoria is and will remain the best multicultural state in the world as long as people learn to work together not against each other,” added Brad Battin.
The Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple in Australia’s Carrum Downs was vandalised on January 17, with anti-Hindu graffiti. This has left Australia’s Indian-Australian community in shock, The Australia Today has reported.
It comes a week after the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Australia’s Mill Park was smeared with anti-India and anti-Hindu graffiti.
The act came to notice on January 16 after temple devotees came for ‘darshan’ amid the three-day long “Thai Pongal” festival which is being celebrated by Australia’s Tamil Hindu community.
Usha Senthilnathan a devotee of Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple told The Australia Today, “We are a Tamil minority group in Australia, a lot of us came as refugees to escape the religious persecution.”She urged premier Dan Andrews and Victoria Police to take strict action against the goons who are trying to scare the Victorian Hindu community.
Sachin Mahate, a member of the Melbourne Hindu community, said, “If these Khalistan supporters have the courage, they should go and draw graffiti on the Victorian Parliament building rather than target peaceful Hindu community’s religious places.”
On the evening of January 15, 2023, Khalistan supporters tried to draw support for their referendum through a car rally in Melbourne. However, they failed miserably as less than two hundred people gathered out of an almost 60,000-strong Melbourne community, according to The Australia Today.
Hindu Council of Australia’s Victoria chapter President Makrand Bhagwat, as quoted by The Australia Today, said: “I can’t tell you how upset I am for witnessing a second Hindu Temple vandalised for Khalistan propaganda.”