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‘Not a Sikh-Hindu conflict’ – Australian Hindus call out state-owned media for whitewashing pro-Khalistani activities in Australia

Speaking to OpIndia, AHA president AHA Amendra Singh said, "The ABC and SBS (another State-owned broadcaster) have a history of being propaganda mouthpieces for anti-Indian and anti-Hindu causes such as the Khalistan movement."

On June 11, the Australian Hindu Association Inc (AHA) called out state-owned media houses, including ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) and SBS (Special Broadcasting Service), for whitewashing pro-Khalistani activities in the country. Speaking to OpIndia, President of AHA Amendra Singh pointed out that a recent report on ABC by journalist Stephen Dziedzic sidelined the concerns of AHA and Indians living in the country. Furthermore, Dziedzic extensively quoted members of a dubious non-registered organisation named ‘Sovereign Sikh Society,’ which justified the referendum 2020. The report also skipped the known links of the Khalistan moment to violence and terror.

The report talked about the so-called tension flaring up among Sikhs and Hindus living in Australia in the wake of voting designed to build “political support for an independent Sikh state in India”.

While the report mentioned that the so-called referendum has no legal standing, it failed to explain why the recent voting was held at a construction site. Interestingly, local Hindus, mainly AHA, and the government of India raised objections to the rising Khalistani elements in Australia that impacted such events.

Prime Minister Modi mentioned the issue while meeting with the Australian PM Anthony Albanese multiple times. The Ministry of External Affairs officials also mentioned the rising Khalistani elements to their counterparts. AHA wrote to the law enforcement agencies of the areas where referendum voting was scheduled and informed the venue officials about the real intentions behind the voting leading to the booking cancellation multiple times. So much so that when the Masonic Centre of Sydney learned that they were misinformed about the 2020 referendum, they cancelled the event leading to massive embracement for the Khalistani elements.

ABC’s report made it look as if it was Hindus who attacked the Khalistani elements. Quoting New South Wales police spokesperson, they mentioned two men were arrested for carrying a knife in a public place. They also quoted a Sikh organisation that claimed a man with a pro-Khalistan sticker on his car was attacked.

Sovereign Sikh Society was quoted by ABC saying, “The “proof of the pudding lies in examining the incidents themselves. It is crucial to objectively assess which community members were involved in carrying weapons to harm or were hurling abuses.”

The report made it look like a Sikh-Hindu conflict. Quoting spokesperson for the NSW Minister for Multiculturalism, Steve Kamper, suggesting recent arrests were concerning. “The Minister for Multiculturalism and Multicultural NSW are continually engaging in ongoing dialogue with community leaders to mitigate risks to community harmony and to de-escalate tensions. We all need to respect each other as Australians and respect the laws and democratic freedoms we all enjoy.”

It is clear from the statement that the Australian media are systematically whitewashing the wrongdoings of Khalistani elements. Remarks on “community conflict” coming from state-owned media and state officials are concerning.

Notably, AHA mentioned in one of its tweets that there were more supporters compared to voters at the Sydney event.

Concerns of AHA were ignored despite detailed interaction with the reporter

Speaking to OpIndia, Singh said, “The ABC and SBS (another State-owned broadcaster) have a history of being propaganda mouthpieces for anti-Indian and anti-Hindu causes such as the Khalistan movement.”

He added that he was surprised when ABC contacted him for comment. However, upon reading the questions Dziedzic had posted, it was clear what the agenda was. He said, “When I read the questions Dziedzic had posed, it became apparent that his agenda was trying to associate the AHA and Hindus with violence and to characterise the referendums as some kind of Hindu-Sikh conflict, none of which is true.”

Despite the fact it was going on the wrong line of discussion, Singh decided to provide a detailed response to each of the questions posed by Dziedzic. He also provided him with a copy of his letter to NSW Police, which set out why a Khalistan Referendum should not be held at the Sydney Masonic Centre.

However, the report skipped essential parts of the discussion. It did not mention how members of Sovereign Sikh Society, including Laddi Lahoria and its spokesperson Naseeb Kaur have insulted India, Hindu and Hindu deities.

Singh said, “Sovereign Sikh Society is a front for the banned terror outfit – Sikhs for Justice. Neither entity is registered in Australia. Yet, no Australian journalist has bothered to investigate how these referendums, the costs of which must be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, are funded by invisible organisers.”

He added that Australians have complained about bias in the ABC and SBS in the past, but the complaints were ignored. “Independent Ombudsmen must be appointed to ensure fairness in reporting both the ABC and SBS,” Singh said.

Singh also provided a list of questions and answers that AHA provided to the journalist. While the report mentioned five temples were attacked, the details of other attacks that AHA provided were not included. Furthermore, ABC completely ignored the concerns raised by AHA over terror links to the Khalistani movement. AHA expressed concerns over the non-action from the federal agencies, Victorian Police, to investigate crimes against Hindus.

Furthermore, AHA sought a task force to investigate the spate of hate crimes against Hindus and Hindu institutions, public enquiry into the activities of the Khalistani movement in Australia, including its source of funding and links to Sikhs For Justice, uniform law against carrying weapons in public places, uniform law to make it a serious indictable offence to commit at, on or towards a place of worship and uniform law against installing illegal posters and hoardings in public places. All these demands did not find a place in the report.

Rise of Khalistan in Australia

Recently, Australia has seen multiple attacks on Hindu places of worship and Hindu establishments initiated by pro-Khalistani elements living in the country. These attacks are in sync with the rise of supporters of the pro-Khalistani movement at the behest of terrorist organisations such as Sikhs For Justice. Notably, SFJ, the Khalistani terrorist organisation banned by the Indian Government in 2019 under UAPA, is conducting the so-called voting demanding a separate nation named Khalistan. A demand that the Khalistani terrorist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale raised.

The khalistani movement that paced up in the late 1970s and early 1980s spread like wildfire in Punjab, and it took authorities around two decades to eradicate the movement from Punjab’s soil. Unfortunately, those who sympathised with Khalistanis are now reigniting the movement. Furthermore, Khalistani terrorists who fled India went to the United Kingdom, United States, Canada and Australia, among other countries and continued their operations.

There have been reports of Khalistani elements rising in Australia but failing to gain support like in Canada. However, the incidents will increase as five Hindu temples have already been attacked in Australia, and 2023 has just started. Apart from the attacks on temples, here are some examples that point towards the uprising of Khalistani elements in Australia.

Incidents such as referendum voting, pro-Khalistani slogans and posters during Nagar Kirtan, and pro-Khalistani displays at Gurdwaras have raised concerns.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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