Australian senator calls for action against VHP, other Hindu extremist groups for hate crimes

New Delhi: Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) State Senator David Shoebridge Friday called for action against workers of Hindu extremist organisations such as Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in the country.

“Are these neo-Nazi groups on the government’s radar, and if so, what is going to be done about it,” he asked during a meeting with State Senator Geoff Lee, the Acting Minister for Sport, Multiculturalism, Seniors and Veterans held on March 5.

Shoebridge referred to an incident in which a group of four young Sikh men were attacked after leaving a restaurant at night on February 28. Their car was surrounded by approximately a dozen assailants — whom the victims identified as Indians — and smashed with baseball bats, hammers, and even an axe. One victim identified at least one of the attackers as a participant in the allegedly RSS-BJP sponsored car rally from two weeks earlier.

“I have not seen a single report of a violent act coming from any part of the political spectrum from the Indian community other than the extremist, right-wing Hindu nationalist part of the community,” he noted.

Incidentally, the attack came hours after Shoebridge had raised the issue outside the Indian Consulate in Sydney at a press conference called by the Australian Alliance Against Hate and Violence to raise awareness about the rising threat to the country’s social cohesion posed by far-right Hindu extremism.

“We’re seeing the Sikh temple being attacked by right-wing Hindu extremists. Well, we are calling it out today and saying that must end. It has no place in a successful and vibrant multicultural society like Australia. And we’re saying to those other politicians: it doesn’t matter what party you’re from, it doesn’t matter if you’re local, state, or federal — when you see that kind of right-wing, intolerant violence on the streets of Sydney, call it out, name it, and stand with the communities that are under attack,” Shoebridge had said.

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