Please let me introduce myself. I am a cardiologist in Sydney. I am a patriotic Indian and a loyal Australian. I care deeply for our great Indian values and heritage. I also believe that we do need to introspect ourselves from time to time while believing in our great value system. We must learn to criticize ourselves in a constructive way if we wish to achieve greater goals.
I attended a meeting of senior Indians in Hornsby area of Sydney today. Mrs Mira Raheja was the chairperson of this meeting. She is a great lady who must be in her 70s but she is very active. I spoke about the “know your heart and look after your Heart”-basically a cardiac health related talk for our elderly people. It was a well attended meeting. They asked me lots of questions. I enjoyed answering them. It was a fun being there. Thank you Mrs Raheja for inviting me.
We both raised our concerns about the division of Indian community into language and region based groups. We believe it is wrong. There is only one India and we ought to get rid of our narrow identifications. We ought to take the pan-Indian identity. When Dr Death [Dr Patel from Qld] was reported extensively in Australian papers, no body was calling him a Gujarati doctor. He was called an Indian doctor. When the whole world calls us Indian, then why are we promoting the regional identifications rather than the Pan-Indian identification. Our current leaders must think about it. We must not encourage division of our community then pretend to unite them by having something like UIA [United Indian Associations] in Sydney. This is clearly a wrong model for our community. It can remove its deficiencies by opening its membership to all Indian community members and then having the annual and genuine elections. It should encourage such membership and not discourage it by asking $250 membership fees. It can not represent our community by including small pocket associations of some “players” from our community who have been in its governing council [GC] from the day one with not much to show as the output. It is not sufficient to have photographs with ministers and a “mela”. They need to do lot more substantial and get out of the GC after 4 years. Will they listen? I doubt it.
I believe quite strongly that we have to learn from our history and not make the same mistakes which our forefathers made. Our divisions allowed the foreigners to rule over India for centuries. We must unite and take our due place in Australian political establishment. I and hundreds of my friends in Sydney feel that we must have a genuine “Indian” association which is above the region, language and religion. It must have the representation for whole India and all Indian community. We are “Indians” first before anything else. We would achieve this if we have a good leadership. I do not believe we have a good leadership for Indian community in Sydney because they are too interested in being “Kannada”, “Bengali”, “Telugu”, “Tamil”, “North Indian”, “South Indian” or any other leader for that matter rather than true “Indian” leaders. We must change this. I hope it happens soon. If it does not happen, then we must create a true “Pan-Indian” association. More on this later……. and yes, I am interested in your views please. Regards Dr Yadu Singh, Sydney