India Forums Australia organised a peaceful gathering – “Stand For Ganesha” to raise awareness throughout Australia. People gathered in Melbourne Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth in different numbers but all Ganesha worshippers who protested peacefully against the might of the powerful Meat & Livestock Australia (“MLA”) who have chosen to ridicule God Ganesha by putting Him on a dining table among other ‘feasting over Lamb and Alcohol.
Through a media release they named a number of politicians who are supportive of their call for banning the advertisement. The list includes:
Hon. Michael Sukkar MP, Assistant Minister to the Treasurer, Australia
Hon. Zed Seselja MP, Assistant Minister for Social Services and Multicultural Affairs, Australia
Hon. Julian Leeser Federal MP, Chair Parliamentary Friends of India
Hon. Michelle Rowland MP, Shadow Minister for Communications, Australia
Hon. Robin Scott MP, Minister for Finance & Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Victoria
Hon. Tim Pallas MP, Treasurer of Victoria
Hon. Inga Peulich MP, Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs Victoria
Hon. David Feeney MP
Hon. Peter Khalil MP
Hon. Ray Williams MP, Minister for Multiculturalism NSW
Hon. Luke Foley MP, Leader of the Opposition in New South Wales
Hon. Jodi Mckay MP
Hindu community is one of the fastest growing and positively contributing community in Australia.
“We are over half a million strong with highest numbers in professional roles with lowest in unemployment and crime rate. In conclusion, we pride ourselves as most Productive, Positive and Peace loving community,” says the group.
A large number of Hindu community organisations and individuals have raised this concern to relevant authorities (ACMA, ASB etc) and directly to MLA itself. We have also received huge support from other communities including Anglican Church, Bahais, Muslims, Jewish Community, Buddhist Community etc. We are very grateful for this support.
“Even after this huge outrage in the community, MLA, very arrogantly, has not agreed to take off this Ad. Hindu community respects the expression of Art and Freedom of Speech. Yet, such ill-motive Ad campaign only creates mistrust and divide in our proud multi-cultural Australian society”, laments the group in their media release.
Hundreds of people attended rallies in Australia’s major cities yesterday to protest against an advertisement the Indian community described as “highly insulting” in its depiction of the Hindu deity Lord Ganesha.
IFA president Nihal Agar said on Sunday the MLA had not listened to the Indian community’s earlier concerns when the ad initially screened.
“To say something is legal is one thing, but it’s something else to touch the heart and that is how MLA has failed our community.
“This is not the multicultural Australia that we truly love,” he added.