His Holiness Baba Hardev Singh Ji, the head of Sant Nirankari Mission, visited the Victorian Parliament on 11 February following an invitation from President of the Legislative Council Parliament of Victoria Bruce Atkinson. The tea meeting hosted by Bruce Atkinson at the Victorian parliament was attended by Consul General of India in Melbourne Ms Manika Jain, Speaker of the Victorian Parliament Telmo Ramon Languiller, Member of Naree Warren and Parliament secretary to Deputy Premier Judith Graley among members of Melborune’s Sant Nirankari Mission’s core team.
During the 30-minute tea meeting, Atkinson welcomed His Holiness Baba Hardev and a delegation from Melbourne’s Nirankari Mission to the Victorian Parliament. Baba Hardev is in Victoria for the fifth time, but the current visit was after a break of seven years. Atkinson, a “very close friend” of the Mission in Melbourne, told His Holiness: “Your visit was much anticipated. We are glad you are here to share your wisdom and teachings to your followers. We are very proud of your group and the activities they have taken up in the community.” In his brief welcome, he listed the activities taken up by the Mission in Melbourne to promote community welfare. The Mission is active in Blood Donation camps across Melbourne. They have also actively participated in Clean Up Australia Day activities.
His Holiness thanked Bruce Atkinson and the Victorian Parliamentarians for extending support to the Sant Nirankari Mission to flourish in Victoria. In his remarks to the gathering, His Holiness said: “We want bridges, not walls. Our belief is based on unity in diversity. We want people to concentrate on harmonious coexistence and not hate each other’s ways of lives.”
Sant Nirakari Mission is a spiritual movement spreading “universal brotherhood”. The Mission works on spreading message of harmony through “spiritual enlightment”. Victorian Parliament Speaker Telmo Ramon Languiller in his speech emphasised how the Mission’s work and belief is close to Australian beliefs and values. Thelmo said: “The Mission’s work and beliefs are similar to the core values of Australia. We believe in unity in diversity. I’m an example of how that belief supports people from minority groups.” Thelmo, born in Uruguay, is growing in popularity among Indians in Wyndham. He’s from the Tarneit electorate.
Moving away from a discussion centred around spirituality and diversity, Atkinson asked His Holiness which Football team he supported since it was his fifth visit to Victoria. To this question, Baba Hardev Singh Ji said: ‘Manchester United!”
The Nirankari Mission is hosting an event for His Holiness Baba Hardev at the Drum Theatre on Friday the 13 February.
Bruce Atkinson later presented a plaque bearing the image of a gum tree to the His Holiness. Thelmo Languiller presented another plaque bearing the image of a Koala to Savinder Kaur. The Nirankari Mission planted over 6 million trees across the world in the recent past.
His Holiness Baba Hardev Singh Ji will turn 61 years on 23 February.