Ganesha Ad: Logic, wisdom prevail over ASB verdict

By The IST News Network

In September 2017, a video Advertisement by Meat and Livestock Australia that depicted Lord Ganesh promoting meat created furore in the world. There were lot of protests in Australia by practising Hindus.

This internet advertisement depicts various religious figures seated around a table enjoying a meal together. The figures include Thor, Aphrodite, Jesus, Moses, Buddha and Ganesha. Jesus is shown doing a ‘reverse miracle’ by turning Aphrodite’s wine in to water because she is the designated driver. Moses is shown parting the peas on his plate. The hostess declares herself as having no religion and says that lamb is the meat we all can eat.

A complaint was lodged with the Advertising Standards Bureau but was dismissed.  A review appeal, seeking an independent review as allowed in the Advertising Standards Bureau process,  was filed by a Melbourne community member, Karthik Arasu, who used logic to get this decision reviewed by an independent review process of Advertising Standards Bureau. Independent Review has now upheld the appeal by Karthik Arasu.

Karthik deserves praise and appreciation for using objectivity and logic to challenge the decision of Advertising Standards Bureau.  It proves that following the process and using wisdom can give results in this country.

In contrast, a small group of people, who present themselves as “Hindu leaders”, did something which in reality exposed Hindu community into ridicule. Using the platform “Stand for Ganesha”, they organised protests in various cities, without consulting or involving various community groups.  It became a Hindu Council project, which failed miserably.  About 10-15 people attended such protests in Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne; around 50 attended it in Sydney.  Interesting aspect here, and as an indicator of its futility, was that this protest took place in Parramatta, not North Sydney, where Meat and Livestock Australia, the creator of the Ganesha video, has its offices. This was an abject failure not only as far as protests go, but also of the vision and leadership abilities of the Hindu Council.

With this outcome, their claim of representing Hindus in Australia is questionable.  There are 450,000 Hindus in Australia and all they could gather is less than 100 people. This is not surprising because their mantra is to promote themselves in the names of Hindus and exclude everyone else. They are incapable of understanding the value and importance of inclusion. This crash politicking by Hindu Council is neither helpful nor desirable.

It will not be out of place to mention that community members have not forgotten how IACF (Indian Australian Community Foundation) was formed by the same group in the names of various community organisations, with no sharing of details of money collected and spent during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Sydney in November 2014.  No information is available as to whether any money was left and if so, what happened to that money. Emails to Mr Yateender Gupta and Dr. Nihal Agar seeking information in this regards have gone unanswered.

However, though the review order has been passed, MLA Ad has been taken off from their facebook page but the copies of the video are still available on you tube.

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Ashok Kumar

Ashok Kumar is an accomplished journalist with over 38 years of experience in the profession in various capacities. He was a sub-editor in Patriot and later Chief Sub-editor in The Hindustan Times, New Delhi. He has several published articles and reports in Patriot and HT. Published reports in The Blacktown Sun in Sydney. He had also been a tutor in journalism in the University of Western Sydney. He is currently Editor at The
Indian Sub-continent Times, Sydney.

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