Indians in Australia demand strict actions against vandalisation of Hindu temples

Sydney: In January 2023, several Hindu temples were vandalised in different parts of Australia allegedly by Khalistan supporters. The Indian community in Australia condemned the vandalism of Hindu temples in several parts of the country and demanded strict action against the perpetrators. An Indian in Sydney, while speaking to media “I expect the Government to take appropriate actions against this. We are Hindus and in our culture, the meaning of Hinduism is a way of life and we respect every religion”. “Every time we hear something like this, it makes us concerned. As a Hindu or a Christian or a Muslim, we’re all one and we support each other. The government has to take care of this and take action against people creating problems for a particular community,” said another Indian in Sydney. While speaking, another Australian of Indian origin mentioned, that what is happening in the country against the community is a matter of concern. “The Government says we are a multi-culture country but they should take strict actions against the miscreants and should show support for our temples”. Earlier in January, Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple in Australia’s Carrum Downs was vandalised with anti-Hindu graffiti in the walls. The act came to notice on January 16 after temple devotees came for ‘darshan’ amid the three-day long “Thai Pongal” festival which was celebrated by Australia’s Tamil Hindu community, reported the Australia Today. On the evening of January 15, 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. On January 12, a week before the incident the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Australia’s Mill Park was smeared with anti-India and anti-Hindu graffiti. The temple was vandalised by anti-India elements with anti-India slogans written on the temple’s walls, located in the suburb of Mill Park. Patel, an onlooker shared how he witnessed the vandalised walls of the temple when he visited the site. “When I reached the temple today morning all walls were coloured with graffiti of Khalistani hatred towards Hindus,” said Patel. “I am angry, scared and dismayed by the blatant display of religious hatred towards the peaceful Hindu community by Khalistan supporters” he added. The management of Melbourne’s International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) temple also known as the Hare Krishna Temple found the temple walls vandalised with anti-India graffiti. The attack on ISKCON Temple came two days after Victorian multifaith leaders held an emergency meeting with Victorian Multicultural Commission, per the news report. The Victorian Multicultural Commission had issued a statement condemning the vandalism of Hindu temples in Mill Park and Carrum Downes. Later, India had 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. The Ministry of External Affairs, spokesperson, Arindam Bagchi, assured that “Our Consulate General in Australia has taken the matter with the local police. We have requested expeditious investigation action 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.” Australia’s High Commissioner to India Barry O’Farrell AO had also condemned the incidents and said that Australia is shocked at the vandalism of two Hindu temples in Melbourne, and authorities are investigating the same. (with inputs from ANI)