After a consolidated response by the united Hindu community in Victoria, the state government has agreed to edit its Hate crime reference website.
For the last two days, The Victorian government negotiators were working behind the scene with the top leadership of the Hindu Council of Australia and the Australian Hindu Temples Council to understand and accommodate their objections to the reference website.
Earlier, Victorian Hindu community leaders meet saw some angry outbursts of emotions by concerned community members amid a potential ban on Swastika. In this meeting, the Hindu Council of Australia’s Victoria chapter President Makarand Bhagwat was authorised to talk to the government with the help of a support group.
The Australia Today understands a joint letter was send by the Hindu Council of Australia to Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews along with Multicultural Minister Ros Spence and Justice Minister.
After this letter, on Friday afternoon government agreed to edit the webpage with reference to the Swastika issue and include the Hindu community in further negotiations.
A highly placed source who does not want to reveal her name has told The Australia Today that The Jewish Community Council of Victoria also sees a significant difference between the Nazi symbol and Hindu Swastika.
“Genuine religious symbols of peace, which should not be banned and instead should be welcomed and celebrated.”
Australian Hindu Temples Council released a press statement which explained the concerns of the Hindu community.
“We are extremely disappointed with the announcement of the Victorian Government that they have accepted the recommendations of the “Legislative Assembly Legal and Social Issues Committee’s Inquiry into Anti-Vilification Protections.”
The Victorian Hindu community were not consulted even after the objections were raised regarding the proposed prohibition and criminalising the use of “SWASTIKA – Hindu Holy symbol.
“We are dismayed with the Government’s statement regarding the consultations for these recommendations, in which the Hindu community is conveniently left out,”reads the statement.
Hindu Council of Australia also issued a statement saying We stands united with the Victorian Government and the Jewish community to promote the important work of fighting anti-Semitism and other racist and exclusionary ideologies and wholeheartedly supports a prohibition on the Nazi hate symbol Hakenkreuz.
“Hindu Council of Australia (Victoria) strongly opposes the prohibition or criminalisation of our ancient, auspicious and holy symbol, the Swastika.”
We are extremely disappointed that the recommendation 24 which conflates, prohibits, and criminalises the display of the ancient Hindu symbol Swastika. Recommendation 24 does not even mention consultation with the Hindu community in Victoria under the considerations mentioned in attachment B of the announcement under this recommendation.