When miscreant Khalistanis vandalized the Swaminarayan Temple in Mill Park, some could be forgiven to think that would be an isolated incident.
Within days, those miscreants vandalized the Carrum Downs temple – Hindu Society of Victoria’s – Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple at 52 Boundary Road, Carrum Downs and the ISKCON temple in Albert Park.
These were no random act and a clear design seems to be emerging. If not stopped, these miscreants will try and terrorise Victorians.
Victorian Indian community was shocked to see the BAPS Mill Park temple vandalized, yet everyone who felt hurt, appealed for peace and strictest action against the miscreant khalistanis by the authorities.
They wrote on the temple building front: ‘Modi Hitler; Sant Bhindrawale Martyr’.
At Shri Shiva Vishnu temple wall they wrote:
’26 January Delhi D-Day, Khalistan Zindabad Target Modi’
At ISKCON Albert Park, they wrote:
‘Khalistan Zindabad Hindustan Murdabad Sant Bhindrawale is Martyr’
BAPS Mill Park released a statement:
Appeal for peace, Mill Park, Melbourne, Australia
We are deeply saddened by the anti-India graffiti at the gates of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Mill Park, Melbourne, Australia by anti-social elements. The BAPS temple in Mill Park, like all temples of BAPS worldwide, is an abode of peace, harmony, equality, selfless service, and universal Hindu values.
At this time, His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, has prayed for peace and unity and has appealed to all devotees and well-wishers to maintain peace.
We are thankful to the appropriate authorities, including the governments of Australia and India as well as local community organisations, for their continued support. BAPS Mandirs across Australia are symbols of a thriving multicultural society which nurture Australian values of respect, mateship and tolerance.
Let us all join in worldwide prayers, in private and at home, that God blesses and guides us all to continue to do good and think good of all.
Many Victorians – Victorian Council of Churches, the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, Gurdwara Siri Guru Nanak Darbar and Sri Durga Temple issued statements condemning the acts of vandalism and expressing their support for the local Hindu Community.
Within a week, on January 16, the historic Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple in Carrum Downs comes is vandalized. It came to notice when devotees came for the morning prayers.
And in less than a week again, on the night of January 22, Graffiti appeared on the walls of ISKCON temple in Albert Park.
Victorian Hindus are urging the authorities to take strict action against these goons who are trying to scare the Victorian Hindu community.
Bharat Times understands the number of people who support the concept and demand for ‘Khalistan’, is small. Local Khalistan supporters called for a rally to support a referendum in Melbourne. In a video on Youtube, approximately 20 cars (including some Utes) can be seen displaying Khalistan flags.
Only in November 2022, the Indian government was reported to have passed on their concerns of possible khalistani elements planning activity in Melbourne. It was reported at the time and it was understood that the Albanese government had put a team together to get appropriate readiness if and when things happen.
A report by The Australian (December 6, 2022) had quoted an Indian government official saying that Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government in India wanted to convey the Australian ministers that the Khalistan movement had ties to “proscribed terrorist organisations with a history of violent terrorism and lots of violence in the past”.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, including Khalistani supporters. But no one has the right to attack temples and others’ property.
The vandalism at not one but three temples suggests – Modi government’s concerns were well founded and the Albanese government could not do enough to foresee the miscreants springing into action.
Not every Sikh is a Khalistani and not every Sikh is a supporter of Khalistan. And this vandalism, is not supported by anyone in the Indian community Sikhs included other than the miscreants and their masters.
For fear of retribution, although grievously hurt, everyone is keeping a low profile; they are being circumspect.
If Indian Australians want to continue living in peace and harmony, their voices in condemning such illegal activities need to be much more vocal. To expect the Indian government to come to their rescue through the Indian High Commission and Consulates – is wrong and misguided. The Indian government can only do so much, that too, through diplomatic channels.
All of us Indians – Hindus, Sikhs and everyone who have been living peacefully in Victoria for so long before these acts of vandalism, have to reach out to our local MPs, generally seen posing for an odd photo opportunity to help nip this problem in the bud, before it gets out of hand.