APRO all religions leaders condemn Temple attack

APRO Australian Participation of Religious Organizations condemned the recent attack on a Hindu temple in Reagents Park. APRO aims to  promote and advocate for inter-faith harmony, and understanding and respect between the adherents of the various religions in Australia and to combat religious prejudice and discrimination. It has members from Council fo Australian Jewery, Bahai, Buddhist, Hindu (represented by Hindu Council of Australia), National Council of Churches, Muslims and Sikh faith.

Hindu Council of Australia has been an active member for last ten years.

All the leaders condemned the attack in strong terms and issued following Press Release :

“We,  leaders and representatives of faith-based organisations in Australia, condemn the shameful attack on the Hindu Temple in Regents Park on 14 October 2018. 
 
Attacks on religious institions are intolerable and shameful.
 
Australia enjoys and celebrates religious diversity and is rightly recognised as a leading example of fairness, tolerance and inter-communal harmony and cooperation and it is incumbent upon us to do our best to ensure that incidents such as this are exposed for what they are and the perpetrators punished. 
 
We call upon the police to make every effort to speddily identify the culprit/s and for the courts to deal with any guilty party promptly and appropriately.
 
We further call on our political leaders to publicly and unambiguously condemn the attack”
 
  • National Council of Churches in Australia
  • Muslims Australia (Australian Federation of Islamic Councils)
  • Executive Council of Australian Jewry
  • Australian Baha’i Community
  • Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils
  • Hindu Council of Australia
  • National Sikh Council of Australia

Hindu Council condemns attack at Hindu Temple in Sydney

Hindu Council of Australia expresses its pain on learning of the vandalism that occurred at the Hindu Temple in Regents Park on Sunday, 14 October 2018. Unfortunately it happened in the most holy period of Navaratri in Hindu calendar.  The vandalism has caused lot of pain and anguish to the devotees.

We do not have enough information to know if the vandalism was a criminal act or a protest against multi-cultural Australia. More than 30 Deities and other accessories were broken. The financial cost of replacing the deities and rebuild temple will be in many thousands of dollar, but the emotional cost will be much higher.

HCA requests the police to investigate this matter and clarify the intent of the perpetrators. Considering the room for confusion such incidences can cause and hurt the multi-cultural fabric of the Australian society, we urge the police to investigate the matter considering other than just the financial cost to repair the damages. 

HCA offers its assistance to meet with the perpetrators if they have done this in ignorance of our beliefs as it effects their way of life.

The Hindu community sincerely hopes that such incidences do not occur in future. HCA offers all the help that is needed to inform the wider community about Hindu beliefs and practices so that such incidences do not happen due to ignorance.

HCA appeals to the wider Australian community to support the affected community and help them to rebuild the temple and ease their pain.

 

 

Prakash Mehta

National President,

Hindu Council of Australia

An Old Hindu Temple desecrated by Vandals in Sydney

A Hindu Temple situated at Regents Park in Sydney Australia has been set on fire and all statues and icons of Indian Godheads have been smashed and left in ruin. They do not know who has done it but it has caused lot of pain and anguish to devotees celebrating the festival NavRatri or nine nights dedicated to worship of God in female form. Popularity of the NavRatri period for Hindus can be compared to popularity of Christmas to Christians but it continues for a period of nine days to worship nine different form of female Shakti or source of power or God manifest as and in this world.

The temple has been there for about twenty years and but for an incident of stone throwing ten years ago, the Fiji Hindu community has not had any problems until now. During the period of nine days, Hindu hold regular Prayer sessions in the evening. When devotees came at 6pm to open the temple on Sunday evening 14th October 2018, they found smoke coming from inside their temple. Upon investigation, they found some people inside and when challenged, the miscreants jumped out of the window and vanished.

 

The head priest of the temple Pandit Paras Ram Maharaj was in tears on seeing his Gods broken and strewn all over the floor. The Vandals had not only desecrated the God statues and icons but had also shamelessly thrown prayer material around. They had even set the alter on fire. Luckily the fire was quickly brought under control before it could do any further damage to the temple and the building. The temple is visited regularly by about 250 devotees who come from all over Sydney including from places as fas away as Penrith.

After serial coup in Fiji, a large number of Fijians of Indian descent had migrated to Australia. About twenty years ago, some of them collected funds while others put their homes on mortgage to raise funds and purchased an old Anglican church building. The devotees were all Hindus and brought their own Hindu icons to install in their new temple. Being an old church building, the building has a typical church architecture with lead glass color tinted windows and a wooden cross which is almost a part of the wall.

 

God is one. People worship HIM in different forms

Although as owners of the building, they could have removed previous faith symbols, the temple committee decided not to remove or dismantle old christian symbols. They placed their Gods beside these symbols and started their worship in their new temple. There is only one God and different people worship HIM in different forms believe Hindus. So, how could these Hindus show any disrespect for the symbols of God worshiped by HIS earlier and different devotees.

 

 

 

Hindu Temple in Reagents Park

The young girl broke in tears and asked me, when we respect their symbols of God so much, why have they desecrated our forms of God. This sobbing young girl had spent countless hours in decorating the temple which has now become a crime scene with broken glass strewn all over.

Her mother who had come to the temple with her other friends ready to do the prayer of the fifth day of nine days was in a state of shock. Nav Ratri prayers are done together communally and now there is no place left to conduct prayers. Quickly, the kitchen building next door was vacated and converted into a make shift temple to continue the most important rituals of the day. The police came and did their forensic work and left at 2am next morning.

The big worry we have now, said the temple president is to restore the temple building back to its earlier glory. We will rebuild the temple he said with a determination, we are not going to go away, this is our home too. Australia is a very fair society. Australians have given us shelter and freedom to practice our religion. A few miscreants among them can not scare us away. Other committee members had more pressing thoughts and were discussing practical matters like how shall we raise funds to restore our place of worship. 

Donations to reestablish the previous glory of the temple can be made at https://bhartiyemandirsydney.org/donations/

The temple has also set up a GoFundMe campaign at
https://www.gofundme.com/bhartiyemandirsydney?fbclid=IwAR3TQZn-5e2OP58PzncK5no495hRy99n8BuDq5SpQqwRaInvIGflsqWskxc

It is time that Australians of all walks of life show their solidarity with these new Australians.

It is time for leaders of all faiths to come in their support and condemn this criminal act by a few vandals who do not represent fair dinkum Australia.

It is time for elected local, state and federal representatives to come and wipe the tears of that young girl and assure her that you are also a valuable part of our society and are free to practice your faith.

It is time that state and federal Parliaments pass a resolution condemning this disgraceful act.

If it has happened to one temple today, it may happen to other places of worship tomorrow.

Lets make sure it never happens again.

Lets keep Australia fair.

Hindus in anguish

AUSTRALIA CONDEMNS

Australian Leaders Condemn this shameful act :

  • Victoria Bismire

It’s terrible that someone did this to you – Australia is better than this. Hope this helps with the restorations.

 

I stand with the Hindu community

I was horrified to see the awful damage to your holy place.

I am so sorry that this has happened.

Even though I am an agnostic, I firmly believe in the freedom to practise one’s faith. This vandalism was completely unacceptable. Shame on the perpetrators.

As an atheist who strongly believes in a multicultural and pluralist community free of religious bigotry and violence, I am proud to stand with our Hindu community.

I stand in solidarity with the Hindu Community.

I saw the sbs news article and was sad to see such a thing happen. Whilst I’m not religious I wish your temple well

COVERAGE BY AUSTRALIAN MEDIA

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

Dowry abuse submission by Hindu Council of Australia

On 26 June 2018, the Senate of Australia (Upper house of Parliament) referred the practice of dowry and the incidence of dowry abuse in Australia to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by 6 December 2018. The committee’s focus is on the broad issues raised in the terms of reference of the inquiry with a focus on explore the nature of dowry as a cultural practice, and the adequacy of current Australian policy settings and legal frameworks regarding dowry and dowry abuse.

Hindu Council of Australia has made a submission to the Committee.

A large number of submissions have been made and all of them can be viewed at

https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Legal_and_Constitutional_Affairs/DowryAbuse/Submissions

HINDU COUNCIL SUBMISSION

www w.hinducouncil.com.au | Phone: 1300 HINDUS Fax: (02) 8208 9810| ACN 082 437 670
Head office: 17 The Crescent, Homebush, NSW 2140, AUSTRALIA
Hindu Council of Australia
Submission to Senate Inquiry into Dowry Abuse in Australia

Hindu Council of Australia (HCA) is a peak body organisation founded in 1998 with an aim to
preserve, promote and share Hindu religious values and culture in Australia. Since HCA was
founded, it has been acting as a representative of the Hindu community in Australia in dealing with
the federal, state and local governments, apart from reaching out to other Hindu organisations
and institutions.

Currently Hindu Council of Australia has established chapters in all the mainland states of Australia
and forty-two Hindu associations located in all states, are member of the HCA.
HCA is pleased to provide submission to this inquiry as follows:

1. The single largest cause of spouse mistreatment is due to the Australian immigration
processes. The processes are opaque and totally controlled by the sponsoring spouse. Admittedly
all the information is available online but as can be clearly seen it is not adequate for the spouses
who get trapped between a mistreating spouse and immigration procedures.

Our first strong submission is that once a marriage is verified to be legal:

(a) the migrating spouse
gets full and complete information about the sponsoring spouse,

(b) the migrating spouse is given
an option (probably for a small fee) to have a one-on-one consultation with a representative of
the High Commission or the Embassy about their legal rights, and

(c) the rights of the migrating spouse should be the same as the sponsoring spouse.

We again reiterate that the opacity, behaviour, and the processes of the department of
immigration is the single most important factor in the mistreatment of migrating spouses.

2. Unfortunately some Australian media have displayed a propensity towards Hindu bashing. In
the past HCA had to pursue several misreporting by the SBS with the tribunal. Dowry is not a part
of core Hindu beliefs and does not find any mention in the authentic Scriptures. The practice of
dowry is further confined to only a few communities in India. All the reform movements in India,
including HCA, are against the practice of dowry and no one will be more pleased than us if this
ugly practice disappears.

Our second strong submission is that please don’t make this Senate Enquiry a Hindu bashing
exercise. We say this because the setting of the enquiry draws heavily from ABC and SBS reporting
and please let that not colour the proceedings of the enquiry.

3. The role of the Hindu clergy is limited to performing rituals. If the clergy has any influence it is
due to their personal relationship with the community and not as clergy. A Hindu priest in general
has no role in family matters and especially in these complex matters that involve immigration
processes and family history.
 
Our third submission is that the Hindu Clergy be considered for what it is: responsible for rituals
and worship and not for any role within the family.

4. The frequent reference to Manu Smriti is baffling for us. Independent India made its own laws
with scant regard to Manu Smriti. Most of us hear about Manu Smriti the first time from the news
reports that have an anti-Hindu agenda. We say this because all the journalists know well that the
parts of Manu Smriti they quote are obsolete and find no connection with the present Hindu
society.

Our fourth submission is that the Hindu community in Australia is fully committed to the lawmaking
process in Australia and we will assist in whatsoever manner to make laws that prevent
spouse abuse. Please don’t get distracted by the journalists and “social” scientist with anti-Hindu
agenda. Hindus are fully committed to the laws of the land, no exceptions. We are confident of
pursuing our religion and culture and thriving in every society that makes its laws in a democratic
manner.

5. Male domination in any society is due to the poor education of women. In the Indian state of
Kerala, with almost hundred per cent education, there is a complete gender equality in the society.
In the regions with poor women education, the situation is the opposite. Indian women are taking
up education at a record rate, more than fifty per cent of students in professional courses in India
are now women.

Our fifth and final submission is that let the male domination theme be not used to run down our
culture and religion. We are working extremely hard to overcome our historical deficiencies. Hindu
bashing will be detrimental to this effort. The best way to correct gender power imbalance is to
encourage educated women to help other women and yet preserve the wonderful family structure
that the Indian society has created.

We look forward to cooperating with the Australian Parliament in making laws and establishing
processes which prevent the abuse of one human by another.

Thanks for giving us this opportunity to make our submission. We will be happy to make an inperson
presentation to the committee.

Kind Regards
Prakash Mehta
National President
Hindu Council of Australia, Email:
Mobile number: 17 August,
2018
Page 2 of 2
The practice of dowry and the incidence of dowry abuse in Australia
Submission 57

Nominate a woman for Gargi Award

Click here to find out more about Gargi Award and to nominate someone for the award. Self nominations are encouraged.

Tributes to Prof Raja Jayraman, former Vice President

Prof Raja Jayraman is remembered by us all. He did so much work for Hindu education in schools and for promoting interfaith harmony in Australia as Vice President of Hindu Council of Australia. Tributes are still pouring in.

Surinder Jain

Professor Raja Jayaraman left his mortal body on last Thursday; his funeral will be at 2 pm on Monday, June 4, at Lotus Pavilion, Macquarie Crematorium, Delhi Road
Nihal Agar
 
He will be missed and at our meeting of RfP we will remember him with a minute silence led by Gayatripana. May his memory be a blessing.
Josie
 
Deeply sad to hear the news about Raja ji. He will be missed for his enthusiasm , witty comment and thorough knowledge on many aspects . 

Sanjeev Bhakri

Sad to hear that the towering Personality Raja Jayramanji passed away , but relieved that this fighter, kept fighting till the end, true to his usual grit. 
I would say that I was one of the fortunates to have interacted with this Committed Hindu & hope to live and imbibe a fraction of his commitment towards social & Dharmic cause.
HSS ( Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh)prays the almighty to provide sadgati to this wonderful aatma. 
We hope that the family can recover from this great loss. 
Om Shanti Shanti Shantih 
Ramyavaran
 
Really sorry to hear the death of Raja ji. 

I used to call him Good Jayaraman. He was so humble, polite, receptive and good listener. 
May God bless him to Rest in Peace 
Jay Raman
 

Saddened to hear  Revered Sri Raja Jayaraman ji passing away. it  is a great loss to us all and the Hindu community at large.  May Bhagwan GauriShankar ji bestow peace to the departed Soul of revered Rajaji and give strength to the family to bear this great loss.

Om Tryambakam Yajamahe Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam
Urvaarukamiva Bandanaan-Mrityormuksheeya Maamritat
Om Shantih Shantih Shantih 
Radha Krishna Sharma
 
Very sad to learn about Raja jis passing away. He was a truely committed  to social work.

It was a great pleasure and honour to work with him for many years. 
Soul never dies, only changes body. May he travel to next journey peacefully.
I sadly will miss him.
Tara 
 

Very sorry to hear about the passing away of Dr Jayaraman ji. May God bestow peace to the departed soul.

Vijai Singhal

Very sorry to hear about Raja ji. May his soul rest in peace.
Vikas Chopra
 
It’s really sad and hard to believe that Prof Raja jayraman ji not with us. I’m with Rajajis family at this hour of time. May god give solace to the departed soul. 
Chandrakant Kulkarni 
 
Very sad to know that Dr Raja ji is left us. I  am deeply sad that I couldn’t meet him in last few weeks. I am not in Sydney for last month and will be back on 10th so I am not be able to with you all at this moment of sorrow.
Dr Raja ji will always be an inspiration to us all the time.
I pray for him and convey my deepest condolences 
Bhagwat Chauhan
 
Very sad to hear. Om Shanthi.
Sai Pravastu
hari om 
 
very sad to hear. Om shanthi shanthi shanthi 
Manju Nath
 
Sorry to hear that. RIP.
Ashwani Jain
 

OAM Honor awarded to Kanti Jinna Vice President

Congratulations to Mr Kanti Jinna, Vice President of Hindu Council of Australia for being awarded OAM MEDAL, (OAM) OF THE ORDER OF AUSTRALIA IN THE GENERAL DIVISION on Queens birthday in 2018. Such an honor has earlier been bestowed by the Australian government to other Hindu Council members including Dr Balasubramanian (Current Director and Ex-President) , Prof Nihal Agar (Current Director and Ex-President), Mr Jay Raman (Current President NSW Chapter) and Mr Vijai Singhal (Current Director).

Hindu Council is proud of their acheivements.

The medal has been awarded to Mr Kanti Jinna for his service to the multicultural community of the Australian Capital Territory.

His service to the community includes :

Hindu Council of Australia:
Vice-Chairman, since 2009.
Member, current.

Hindu Temple and Cultural Centre, Australian Capital Territory:
Co-founder, current.
Former President.

Royal Commonwealth Society, Australian Capital Territory
President, 2014-2016.
Council Member, since 2017.
Member, current.

Canberra Multicultural Community Forum
Advisor Ageing, since 2010.
Member, since 2005.

Indian Senior Citizen’s Association, Australian Capital Territory
Vice President, since 2010.
Member, current.

Board Member, Australian Capital Territories Public Cemeteries Authority Board, since 2015.
Member, Partnering with Consumers and Carers Advisory Group, Calvary Hospital, since
2015.

Patron, Fiji Australia Association of Canberra, since 2008.

Member, ACT Chief Minister’s Council of the Ageing, 2005-2011

Hindu Council of Australia welcomes the Integration multiculturalism model of Australia

Australian government has been agonizing at the growth of terrorism among some of the immigrant communities in Europe and USA. Its think tanks have been working hard on how to keep Australian multiculturalism a continuing success story. The Australian Government wants newly arrived migrants to succeed by integrating and make the most of the opportunities while maintaining a cohesive society.

Hindu Council of Australia welcomes the Integration multiculturalism model of Australia and calls upon all Hindus in Australia to integrate as proud citizens. Hindus can demonstrate their successful integration in Australia by

  1. Taking employment and contribute to society and have an immediate network of Australian people to interact with.
  2. Become an entrepreneur even it if it is by starting a small business thereby creating business and employment in Australia
  3. Interact with your neighbors and become part of local community groups
  4. Secure success for your children, which in large part is done through higher education.
  5. Stay out of poverty and flourish.
  6. Reach the highest levels of society; in business, politics and the arts.
  7. Support Australian charities

Most Hindus place a strong emphasis on employment as most Hindu migrants to Australia have been skilled migrants only. Many Hindus who came as non-skilled migrants under family reunion, students or other schemes have taken up small business like grocery shops, franchise of food restaurants etc. There are very few Hindus who live in poverty after having been in the country for more than a few years.

Hindu Council of Australia has started many projects to help Hindus achieve these goals of integration. These projects include :

  • Karma Kitchen – to help feed the homeless and thereby help the Australians in poverty
  • Hindu Chaplaincy – To help people in crisis by providing emotional support in Australian institutions like Hospitals, Jails etc
  • Diwali Art Space Exhibition – To bring Hindu Art among Australian Art galleries and buyers
  • Gargi Woman Award – To recognize contribution of individual Australian women on behalf of Australian Hindu community
  • International Yoga Day – Help other communities in Australia to benefit from Yoga
  • Interfaith forums – To mingle with and increase the understanding between communities
  • Ecology and Vegetarianism – Hindu Council has been working with a number of multi-faith organisations like the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change and Faith Ecology Network to promote actions for addressing the impact of climate change.
  • Education – Provide a platform of eLearning for non-Hindu individuals and Australian institutes like Police etc to learn about Hindu sensitivities and Hinduism
  • Diwali Mela – to preserve music, dance and other culture and provide a glimpse of it to non-Hindus
  • Organ donation – to promote cohesiveness between communities and health of Australians

Hindu council plans to start new projects to

  • Bring Hindus boys and girls into popular sports like Cricket, Swimming and Rugby
  • Encourage Hindu youths to join police, army, the legal profession and trades such as plumbing, mechanics, electrical repair, tiler etc so that Hindu youth easily integrate with wider Australian community
  • To help those in politics to connect with Hindus at gross root level and to raise Hindu voice in elected bodies
  • Encourage Hindus in Business and mentor each other through a Business Council.

According to Alan Tudge, MP and Minister for Citizenship and Multicutural Affairs of Australia, our multiculturalism is different to what is termed “multiculturalism” in other nations (particularly European ones) due to our strong emphasis on integration.

Integration according to Minister Tudge, means that a person who comes here shares our values, engages in the community and has full rights to government services. In exchange they must obey the law, participate and uphold democratic principles and support other Australians. They make friends at work and in their neighbourhood and hopefully join or start sporting or other community clubs.

This model of integrated multiculturalism is different to an “assimilationist” model or a “separatist” model. Assimilation is the idea that we must all be identical, and abandon our cultural and religious heritage. We don’t expect or want that in Australia, says the Minsiter. Where there are conflicts in cultural behaviours, Australian law and values must prevail, but otherwise we welcome the diversity that people can bring from being born elsewhere.

A separatist model of multiculturalism, while being the opposite to assimilation, is when people bring their entire practices, languages and cultures and plant them into the new land, with little desire to share or mix in with their local community. They live side by side, rather than merged with the existing population. 

Separatism is resulting in the “slow death of Europe” as groups effectively colonise parts of it and erode the values that made Europe so prosperous, free and (consequently) attractive to migrants.

The successful Australian model is one of integration; not assimilation and not separatism, says the Australian Government.

Minister’s speech can be found here

Surinder Jain,

National Vice-President and Director

Hindu Council of Australia

Gender Equality Declaration by Hindu Council of Australia

Hindu Council of Australia stands for Gender Equality and Respect for Women

By Prakash Mehta, President

As a peak Hindu body, Hindu Council of Australia is working to help Hindus live in harmony with all the other communities in Australia. To achieve this we have a mission to work for a strong, cohesive and active Hindu community that is committed to Gender Equality and Respect for Women.

Our tradition has it that: where women are worshiped, prosperity is there. There is a famous story which is the basis of one of the most celebrated festivals in India. In the story, all the divine forces fail to overcome powers that obstruct human progress; they approach Mother Goddess, and convince her to fight the dark powers. She achieves victory over the forces of darkness and makes our progress possible. This story is a statement of a deep spiritual realization that in critical stages of progress Mother Goddess is essential.

The biggest challenge the Hindu community faces today is to again make these deeply held beliefs as living realities where Mother Goddess is worshiped in temples, in homes, at work, and everywhere.

We have a commitment to gender equality and respect for women is in-built in our cultural values. Hindu council of Australia believes that women and men must have equal rights, opportunities, as well as responsibilities that enable each person to actively participate in all aspects of life that includes social, religious, political and economic activities. We believe that men and women must have equal participation in decision making processes and thereby creating a socially inclusive community.  In our culture, women always have been and will continue to be treated with full dignity and respect. We have a strong focus on bringing women in leadership roles.

Hindu Council acknowledges the important role of women in our community, the silent achievers and home makers as well as those women who have made contributions in professional roles. On this occasion we will be honouring outstanding women who have made significant contributions and celebrating their achievements. 

I would like to take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude to all these women whose contributions shape us, our children and our community.

Please join us  today to celebrate International Women’s day and let’s stand together, for Gender Equality and Respect for Women, not just for International Women’s Day but as a foundation of our community and the society.

Prakash Mehta,

National President

11 March 2018

Hindu Council announces Winners of Gargi Woman Award 2018

The winners of Gargi Woman Award were announced today.

The winners of 2018 Gargi Woman Award are :

1. Jacinta Tobin – Service to her Aboriginal Community

2. June Bullivant – Academic Research

3. Dr Meenakshi Srinivasan – Educationist

4. Anju Kalra – Dementia Consultant

5. Jayanthi Ramnan – Carer Service

6. Poornima Sharama – Performer

7. Paramita Roy – Film Producer

In a function held as part of Parramasala festival in Sydney, Hindu council of Australia announced the winners of Gargi Woman Award at a function held to celebrate International Women’s Day 2018.

The event was attended by Deputy Lord Mayor Michelle Garrard, Federal MP Julie Owens, Federal MP Michelle Rowland, State MP for Parramatta Geoff Lee, State MP Julia Finn, State MP for Strathfield Jodi McKay, councillor Reena Jethi, councilor Sameer Pandey and councilor Suman Saha.

In this celebration, Hindu Council of Australia also recognized a young riser Pallavi Sinha and lifelong community service provided by Ms Akila Ramiratnam, Saraswathi Shashi and Amitha Saxena for their services to teach our languages, culture and religion to young students.