IACF gone or still existing?

By Ashok Kumar
Sydney, 7th September, 2016

When Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was scheduled to arrive in Australia for the G20 Summit in November 2014, the Indian High Commissioner reportedly, on the instructions of the PMO in India, set up a welcome panel and called it Indian Australian Community Foundation (IACF) headed by Dr. Nihal Agar. There was no discussion about it with anybody except RSS-affiliated groups. Not much is known about IACF but it is believed that Mr. Ram Madhav of the RSS contributed to the induction of other members of this panel. They were drawn from the OFBJP, VHP and Hindu Council of Australia and HSS (Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh), an affiliate of RSS. Community associations were forced to register as “reception partners” if they wanted tickets for the event for their members. They were used as tickets’ distributors for Modi event with hardly any contribution in decision making process.

This created quite a bit of anger and dissatisfaction, which was vented out in media and social media. The whole process was quite high-handed. Dr. Nihal Agar had announced in a community meeting that IACF was formed ostensibly to welcome Mr. Modi and will be disbanded once Mr. Modi returned to India. Indian community Newspapers were given accreditation at will with subjective criteria, one of which was the undertaking from the media outlets to publish a story about Mr Modi. Some refused to do this and therefore did not get media accreditation. Demands were made to publish flyers of Modi event, if media wanted to have passes.

This news paper had written about the welcome euphoria and raised with the panel members the questions about the finances, how much money was received, how much was spent for the event and how was the shortfall met, if any, and by whom, as well as about how much money was left over and who has this money. People, who had donated, began asking these questions. But the IACF panel members chose not to reply, a true trait of politicians.

Now, coming to the main question: The panel was supposed to be disbanded after Mr. Modi’s visit as publicly announced by Dr. Agar in front of the community. If this was so, then how and why Dr Nihal Agar went to meet Mr. Modi on 25th March, 2015 in the official capacity as President of IACF? Community was told in November 2014 that IACF will disappear after Mr Modi’s visit but it appears that this promise was another famous “Jumla” (a promise without any intension to deliver) which BJP president, Amit Shah, has made so famous in India.

There is no information in public domain whether IACF still exists or whether it has been disbanded as promised.

Will Dr Agar answer this questions about IACF, which this paper and others are eagerly waiting for?

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About 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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