After almost two and a half months of advocacy by multiple stakeholders within the Indian Australian community, finally, the good news of retaining the ‘Hindi language course’ at La Trobe University was received with jubilations.
Prof Nick Bisley is Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at LaTrobe University.
He wrote an email to advise concerned community members of the decision.
Indian Consulate of Melbourne was the central point to coordinate the campaign to save the Hindi program. A number of meetings were organised with multiple stakeholders for community consultations.
Consul General Raj Kumar told The Australia Today, “We are delighted to hear about the retention of Hindi courses at La Trobe University.”
Twice, I met with Vice-Chancellor of the La Trobe University and appraised him with community sentiments, said, Mr. Raj Kumar.
He says, It was a consolidated effort by Hindi speaking and Hindi loving community members and groups.
However, He doesn’t forget to remind that work is only half done with the retention of the Hindi program, now it’s up to the community at large to help and secure enrollments so that the courses continue to run.
Yadu Singh is President of Federation of Indian Associations of NSW.
He says, “This is a welcome decision. Congratulations are due for the multitude of community groups, which actively campaigned on this matter. We speak Hindi at home and are thrilled that the Uni has listened to our appeals.”
But, Dr Singh is also concerned.
“While we are happy with the decision by La Trobe Uni, our community is concerned and unhappy about the agenda-driven activities of some academics of some Australian Universities.”
He explains, “These academics get a pedestal due to their position in the Universities, which they use for influence peddling. They are paid by the tax-payers like us and are required to be fair, neutral, and balanced in their views, activities, and behaviour, on and off-campus.”
Ragini Vasisht* is actively associated with Hindi teaching in Melbourne.
She says, my daughter had Hindi as a subject in VCE but I not comfortable to encourage her to study Hindi at University.
“I don’t want my daughter to be pushed or cornered because of her social, cultural, religious or political beliefs.”
Indian Consul General Raj Kumar says, “I can’t comment on an individual’s conduct, it’s up to the Universities who they want to employ to teach.”
We can facilitate a ‘Hindi Chair’ if La Trobe or any other University want to start Hindi course, said Mr Kumar.
Dr. Yadu Singh says, “The academicians should not be part of the hate brigade, spreading lies and misinformation in the name of activism. Such activities are hurtful and unacceptable to the vast majority of our community. They must not be allowed to inculcate and promote their agenda-driven politics. If they cannot stop themselves from their agenda-driven politics, they should quit their university employment or the universities should remove them from their respective positions.”
Note: * Name changed to protect the identity of the person.