Tejasvi Surya, who is in Australia to participate in the Australia India Youth Dialogue, had a bumpy start to his visit as the first event on his calendar was cancelled after protest calls by human rights organisations.
An ‘Interaction with Students’ event was cancelled at the eleventh hour where Tejasvi Surya was supposed to talk. Sources in the know told NRI Affairs that the organisers cancelled the event after a discussion with Swinburne University officials.
Education Center of Australia (ECA), who had organised this event, could not be reached for comment. However, according to sources, the event was not organised by the Swinburne University of Technology, Sydney. The Education Centre Australia (ECA) had planned the event in the building at Parramatta, where Swinburne Sydney is also located.
BJP MP Tejasvi Surya, known for his amplified nationalism on social media, is in Australia on the Australia India Youth Dialogue (AIYD) invitation as a delegate to participate in their annual conference.
A group of concerned academics, global activists from the Indian Diaspora and members of various civil society groups belonging to the Australian Alliance Against Hate (AAAH), have raised serious concerns about the invitation forwarded to BJP leader Tejasvi Surya from the Australia India Youth Dialogue (AIYD).
Renowned Australian author of Indian origin and Lecturer in Creative Writing at UNSW, Roanna Gonsalves, appealed on Twitter not to support Tejasvi Surya in Australia.
“Hinduism = beautiful, spiritual way of life. Hindutva = fascist misogynist militaristic supremacist ideology. Please do not support such a misogynist Hindutva fascist in Australia. Please sign the petition here,” tweeted Ms Gonsalves.
“It is reprehensible that a misogynistic, militaristic ideology is being platformed in a higher education context. We need better South Asian literacies instead of engagement in a transactional sense which is inadvertently harmful,” tweeted Dr Sukhmani Khorana of Western Sydney University.
An online petition has also been launched to stop the controversial BJP leader’s visit in association with the event.
The AIYD has not replied to our email queries regarding the protests or partners pulling out.
Meanwhile, Monash University and Global Victoria say they will continue to support Australia India Youth Dialogue despite several human rights groups’ concerns regarding the invitation sent to BJP MP Tejasvi Surya.