The Hindu community across Australia has expressed their joy, ecstasy, and deep emotions as they celebrated the historic milestone of the inauguration of the Bhagwan Shri Ram Temple in Ayodhya, India, on 22 January. However, the jubilation has been marred by what the Vishva Hindu Parishad of Australia Inc (VHP Australia) refers to as biased reporting by prominent media outlets.
In a strongly-worded statement, a spokesperson for VHP Australia has expressed disappointment with the coverage by ABC, SBS, and 9News. According to a press release by VHP Australia, these outlets published articles containing false accusations against the Hindu community, thereby hurting the sentiments of Hindus in Australia and worldwide.
The VHP Australia, representing the Hindu community of Australia and over 250 Australian Hindu Organizations, temples, and associations (HOTA Forum), condemned ABC, SBS, and 9News for what they perceive as peddling a false narrative and spreading hate against Hindus.
While Australia prides itself on being a successful experiment in multiculturalism, the spokesperson highlighted concerns regarding publicly funded media outlets providing biased reporting on events significant to Hindu Australians. The VHP Australia called on the government and the Australian Press Council to take strong action against what they deemed as malicious and irresponsible reporting.
The spokesperson questioned the basis on which ABC, SBS, and 9News sourced their opinions and facts, pointing out individuals like Avani Dias, Meghna Bali, and Som Patidar, whom they labeled as Hindu haters. They expressed disbelief that these media outlets couldn’t find reporters capable of presenting unbiased, factual, or at least alternative views to balance the reporting.
In their demand for accountability, the VHP Australia urged ABC, SBS, and 9News to immediately remove the news articles from their websites, issue an apology to the Hindu community, and only republish the articles after incorporating all relevant facts and statements from supporters of the temple construction.
The VHP Australia argued that such false narratives promote anti-social Hindu-phobic extremism against the peace-loving, hardworking, and contributing Hindu Australian community, potentially disrupting peace and social harmony in society.
The spokesperson concluded by calling for increased diversity in sources for reporting on India and Hindus, insisting that it deeply affects the Australian Hindu community. They emphasized the need for a more comprehensive and inclusive approach to reporting on such significant cultural and religious events.
The inauguration of the Bhagwan Shri Ram Temple in Ayodhya symbolized the culmination of 500 years of anticipation, as devotees gathered to witness the revered deity moving from a makeshift tent to a sanctified temple.
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The Hindu community in Australia celebrates Bhagwan Shri Ram Temple inauguration but condemns biased reporting by ABC, SBS, & 9News, urging corrective action for peaceful coexistence. 😡🇦🇺🕊️🕉️🚫 #TheIndianSunhttps://t.co/Q7arTeuo1J
— The Indian Sun (@The_Indian_Sun) January 24, 2024