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Wednesday, 1 December 2021
Page: 6981

Senator FARUQI (New South Wales) (13:52): When Donald Trump was US President, Prime Minister Scott Morrison was, rightly, criticised for his cosy friendship with this white nationalist leader who was impeached twice and tried to steal an election. But not much has been said about the Prime Minister's cosy friendship with another far-Right leader, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India. Dangerous nationalism and authoritarianism, with strong anti-Muslim and anti-Sikh elements, have skyrocketed in India under Modi, and his administration should be condemned. This escalating nationalism has had direct impacts for the Indian diaspora in Australia, as racism and hatred threaten communities who belong to minorities and who have been critical of Modi's agenda. Community members shared with me logs of messages in large online communities, particularly on Facebook and WhatsApp, that are directly influenced by Modi's nationalist agenda and contain hate speech targeted at minority groups. This includes labelling the target groups as 'terrorist sympathisers', 'criminals', 'rapists' and 'vermin'. Words can escalate. This year there have been several publicly reported incidents of violence and altercations between groups, including an attack on four young Sikh men in Harris Park, Sydney, at the height of domestic protests in India over Modi's farming laws.

The impact of this hateful politics on many in our community is extremely concerning. It's a direct result of the importation of the nationalist politics of Modi and the Australian government's refusal to call it out. I call on the members of the government and the Prime Minister to condemn far-Right politics and to call out the Modi administration for its authoritarian, nationalist agenda.