Demand for Australian Envoy’s resignation echoes in Australian parliament after he meets RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat

CANBERRA, Australia—On December 1, Australian parliamentarian Janet Rice raised the issue of Australian Envoy Barry O’ Farrell’s meeting with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat in the upper house of parliament for Greens. She sought his immediate resignation while describing the RSS as a fascist organization.

On November 15, Australian envoy to India, Barry O’ Farrell had met RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat in Nagpur. He had also praised the RSS for relief work during the pandemic while posting the visuals of his meeting with Mohan Bhagwat over social media.

Embarking on her speech in the upper house of Australian parliament, Janet Rice recalled that she had recently spoken at two round-tables on human rights in India, with particular concerns about RSS.

“The RSS is a fascist organization that openly admits admiration for Adolf Hitler and the appalling genocide that occurred under his Nazi regime,” she maintained.

“The contemporary RSS rides roughshod over people’s human rights. Time and time again, the RSS has attacked Indian people’s rights to freedom of expression, freedom of religion and safety. Their advocacy of a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ is for an India where, by definition, minorities are denied rights and privileges. They demonize and encourage persecution of some of the non-Hindu citizens of India, particularly those of Muslim background,” she said.

“He [Farrell] is only the second senior diplomat from any country to meet the RSS at their offices in recent times. This is a disgrace,” she noted.

Notably, German Envoy to India was the first one to meet RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat last year.

“We believe that the high commissioner should resign. I’m seeking further information about what advice the department of foreign affairs and trade provided to him before that meeting,” said senator Rice.

“I’m keen to continue this discussion here in this parliament in the new year, because I believe that issues related to the erosion of human rights and democracy are things that need to be drawn to people’s attention and for us to discuss here in this national parliament,” she added.



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