Australian Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi made a powerful statement in the Federal Senate criticising the Australian Government’s refusal to call out “Modi Government’s far-right nationalist politics.”
The Pakistan born Senator, the first South Asian born senator in the Australian Parliament, said, “When Donald Trump was US President, Prime Minister Scott Morrison was rightly criticised for his cosy friendship with this white nationalist leader, who was impeached twice and tried to steal an election.”
“But not much has been said about the Prime Minister’s cosy friendship with another far right leader: Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India.”, she said, adding “Dangerous nationalism and authoritarianism with strong anti-Muslim and anti-Sikh elements have skyrocketed in India under Modi, and his administration should be condemned.”
Senator Faruqi is not the first Australian parliamentarian to raise concerns about India. In February this year, in a speech on human rights, Senator Janet Rice accused the Indian Government of “increasingly undermining human rights“.
Expressing her concern about the impact of Indian nationalism on the social cohesion within the Indian diaspora, Senator Faruqi added, “This escalating nationalism has had direct impacts for the Indian diaspora in Australia too, as racism and hatred threatens communities who belong to minorities, and who have been critical of Modi’s agenda.”
“Community members have shared with me logs of messages in large online communities, particularly on Facebook and WhatsApp, that are directly influenced by Modi’s nationalist agenda and contain hate speech targeted at minority groups. This includes labeling the target groups as terrorist sympathisers, criminals, rapists and vermin.”, Senator Faruqi said.
Referring to the incidents of anti-Sikh violence on the streets of Sydney in the past year, Senator Faruqi said, “This year, there have been several publicly-reported incidents of violence and altercation between groups, including an attack on four young Sikh men in Harris Park, Sydney, at the height of domestic protests in India over Modi’s farming laws.”
Expressing concern over the the impact of this hateful politics “on many in our community”, Senator Faruqi said that it was “a direct result of the importation of the nationalist politics of Modi and the Australian Government’s refusal to call it out”.
“I call on the members of the Government and the Prime Minister to condemn far right politics and call out the Modi administration for its authoritarian nationalist agenda.”, Senator Faruqi concluded.