Sydney Indians met and interacted with Former Karnataka Chief Minister, Mr Jagadish Shettar!

Mr Settar and community

On Wednesday, 30th April, 2014, members of Sydney’s Indian community, particularly from Karnataka, met and interacted with Former Chief Minister of Karnataka, The Hon Jagadish Shettar, at the home of Hemanth Raju in Glenfield, NSW. Mr J Shettar and CommunityHemanth is the current President of Basava Samithi, Sydney.

Approx 50 people were present. Prominent among them were Hemanth Raju, Paramesh Halaradhya, Satish Bhadranna, Mallikarjun Ramanahalli and Chidananda Puttarevanna.

Mr Shettar was in Australia to take part in “6th International Sharana Samskriti Sammelana” meeting in Perth recently. He visited Sydney after this meeting, before travelling to Melbourne and NZ.

He has a vast record of public service in Karnataka. He was a lawyer by profession, before entering Karnataka Assembly in 1994. His family members and he has been long term Jan Sangh/BJP members/supporters. He was an active leader of Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) during his student days. He has also held the position of Karnataka BJP President at one stage.

He served as Speaker of the Assembly in 2008-9, Minister in various Karnataka Govts at various times, and was the Chief Minister from 2012 to 2013. Currently, he is the Leader of Opposition in the assembly.

He is a senior leader of BJP, with a lot of influence, following and support in Karnataka.

Our interaction with him included topics of Indian Governance, Karnataka Politics and Indian Mr J Shettar and Yadu Singh talkingelection. He felt that a minimum of 20 MPs from Karnataka will be from BJP. He was confident that NDA (National Democratic Alliance) will form the next Govt at the centre and Mr Narendra Modi will be the next Prime Minister of India.

We enjoyed home-cooked and typical Kannada food, prepared by various members of the community.

We were very impressed with his down to earth nature and simplicity. We enjoyed his sense of humour.

It was indeed a great pleasure to meet Mr Jagadish Shettar!

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/2nd May 2014

http://www.facebook.com/dryadusingh

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

Participating in “Clean Up Australia Day” today was fun and a pleasure!

Clean Up Australia logo

pic.twitter.com/T7DsMNFg

pic.twitter.com/ZTPekVAP

I enjoyed participating in “Clean Up Australia Day” today. It was a fun too.

In the morning, I joined up with my friends from Basava Samithi of Australia [an Indian group] in Collimore Park, Liverpool, NSW, where we, as a team, collected a lot of things. It was a pleasure to see the Council Truck coming and picking up things which we had collected. Dayanand Mogale [President of Basava Samithi], Panchaksaraiah Palya [Secretary of Basava Samithi] and Chidanand Puttarevanna were the key people in this group.

In the afternoon, I met up with friends from Australia Tamil Association [another Indian group] to participate in the activity at Best Road Reserve, Seven Hills, NSW.

We collected rubbish, broken TV, cups, bags, shopping trolleys, clothes, damaged fans and many more things. I was pleasantly surprised to know that Clean Up Australia organisation and local Councils provided gloves, and collection bags for the volunteers. Qantas also supported these events by donating Tea shirts and even small grants.

The prediction about weather was that it would rain but it turned out to be a bright and sunny morning, which, unfortunately, left an unwanted side effect. I had sun burn on my face, for which I was teased by my children. This also disproved my theory [without any basis] that brown-skinned people do not suffer sun burn. From now on, I will be better prepared!

Based on what we found there, I was sad to see the abuse of our environment by people. Obviously, we need to look after our environment and this Planet. This is a job for everyone and every day, not just for Clean Up Australia Day.

Basava Samithi and Australia Tamil Association [ATA] volunteers turned the events into “fun” events. At ATA event, Thiru Arumugam [President of ATA] and Susai Benjamin were also present. I was requested to give away certificates to the volunteers, which was a real honour and a matter of great pleasure.

I am more convinced now than before that there is a need for all of us to look after the nature and this planet.

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/4th March, 2012

www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

www.facebook.com/dryadusingh

Australia India Day [celebrating Australia Day and Indian Republic Day] function:Report

Report

Australia India Day Function

[Celebrating Australia Day and Indian Republic Day]

Held on the 24th Jan, 2010 [6-11PM]

Venue – Ryde Civic Centre, Ryde NSW 2112

 

Australia India Day Function Council celebrated its first Australia / India Republic Day at the Ryde Civic Centre, Ryde on the 24th January 2012.  The program was an astounding success with more than 500 prominent Indians, representatives from over 20 Indian Associations, and star-studded politicians from both the Labor and Liberal parties from State and Federal level attending this event. 

The celebration started with the singing of Indian and Australian anthems, followed by entre which was followed by the first part of the entertainment programme. The guests were welcomed by Harish Velji and the MC was Dr Yadu Singh. Vote of thanks was given by Ms Shubha Kumar.  

At no time in the past 20 years, any function organized by any Indian Association/s had such massive response for such events.  The only limiting factor in getting more numbers to attend the event has been the capacity of the Ryde Civic Centre function hall. 

One of the major aspects contributing to the success of this program was the enormous representation from both the Labor and Liberal parties. ALP took 2 tables and Liberals took 1 table in our function. More than 40 political leaders and party workers from both sides attended the event.  Prominent people from the political leadership included: 

Hon Ms Maxine Mckew [Parliamentary secretary, Fed Gov & representing Prime Minister of Australia], Hon Mr Joe Hockey [Shadow Treasurer, Fed Parliament & representing Hon Tony Abbott, Leader of Opposition in Fed Parliament],Hon Mr David Borger [NSW Minister], Hon Mr Peter Primrose [NSW minister], Hon Ms Barbara Perry [NSW minister & representing NSW Premier], Ms Angela D’amore [Parliamentary secretary, NSW], Hon Mr Laurie Ferguson [Parliamentary secretary, Fed Gov], Mr David Clarke MLC [Shadow Parliamentary secretary & representing Mr Barry O’Farrell, Leader of Opposition, NSW], Mr Phillip Ruddock [Shadow Cabinet secretary, Fed Parliament], Mr Greg Smith [Shadow Attorney General, NSW], Hon Ms Amanda Fazio [President, Upper House of NSW], Hon Ms Tanya Gadiel [Deputy speaker of NSW parliament], Mr Chris Hayes MP, Mr Michael Richardson MP and Mr Shaoquett Moselmane MLC.

Clr Mark Adler – Canterbury Council, Clr Tony Hay – Hills Shire, Clr Barbara Burton – Hills Shire, Clr Vaseekaran Rajdurai – Holroyd Council, Clr Bill Whelan, Hawkesbury Council, and Crl Trent Zimmerman, North Sydney Council also attended this function.

Hon Mr Amit Dasgupta, Consul General of India, Sydney and Mr Gautam Roy, Consul from the Indian Consulate, Sydney also graced this function with their presence.

In a highly emotional and charged up speech, Mr David Clarke [representing Mr Barry O’Farrell] from the Australian Liberal Party, said that if his child goes to India he is sure the parents in India would treat him as their son and look after him.  On a similar manner, he urged that the Australian Moms and Dads to treat the Indian students as their own sons and look after them.  He went on and paid tributes to India and its traditions by saying that ‘India practices what it preaches. 

Ms Barbara Perry [representing the Premier of NSW] spoke eloquently about the contribution of Indian Australians and declared that violence against Indian/international students will not be tolerated. She said that students are very welcome in NSW. She was dressed in Indian attire which people appreciated with enthusiastic applause. She spoke about the interest of NSW premier and Gov in working actively with the Indian Australians.

Hon Joe Hockey, speaking at the function, said the Liberal party is fully committed to its policy of supplying Uranium to India.  Dr Yadu Singh, while responding to Hon Joe Hockey’s speech encouraged the Labor party to consider similar policy and implement it as early as possible. He explained that the issue of NPT is not relevant in case of India after India has been given an India-specific exemption from NPT by the NSG [Nuclear Suppliers’ Group] in Vienna last year.

Ms Maxine Mckew also spoke very highly of India, Indian Australians and multi-culturalism in Australia. She also explained that India and Australia have a great relations and it will get even better despite some hiccups. She was very impressed with the enthusiastic participation of women Indian Australians in this function. Her speech generated a thunderous applause from the audience. 

All the speakers from both the major parties spoke highly of India, Indian traditions, Indian sports – in particular Cricket, and the Indian political landscape, which stood the test of times for more than 62 years since securing independence from the British rule in 1947. All speakers were enthusiastically applauded by the audience.  

The event was also graced by Mr Amit Dasgupta, the Consul General of India.  Speaking on the occasion the Consul General touched on two fundamental issues.  On the issues related to the Indian students the Consul General paid glowing tributes to the NSW Police force and the political landscape of NSW for containing the student issues in NSW.  As a clear indication to vindicate this matter the Consul General said that out of the 1340 attacks on Indian students in 2009, only 13 such attacks occurred in the state of NSW and South Australia – the States which fall under the jurisdiction of Mr Amit Dasgupta.  He further stated that these statistics do not however condone the vast majority of attacks on Indian students that occurred and still occurring in other States.  He urged that the law enforcement agencies and the political parties should work closely in this direction and ensure safety of the Indian overseas students 

On a second major issue, the Consul General spoke about exploitation of the Indian students by Indian business – in particular the food/restaurant industry whereby the restaurant owners pay less than the wages stipulated under the labor law.  He insisted that all business owners must do ethical business.  He further went on to say that ‘I will not attend any function where he is not assured of suppliers to that function follow ethical standards in conducting their businesses’.  The entire hall including all the politicians from both major parties echoed with a big applause. 

The overwhelming response to this event is an indication of the ‘changing times’ and ‘changing outlook’  to the leadership and responsiveness to the current issues and challenges being faced by various sections of the Indian migrant and student community living in the State of New South Wales.  

Surely the representation of more than 40 students from the International Student community is an indication that they want to hear from the leadership and also from the large number of politicians on their views and actions proposed to be taken to address their issues. The Chief of VETAB [Ms Margaret Willis] and her assistant, Mr Shona Tannock and Mr Robert Redfern, Commander, Parramatta Police command [representing NSW Police Commissioner] were present as our guests. Ms Willis’ and Mr Redfern’s presence was meant to send out the message that quality of training and safety of students are 2 key issues in relations with Indian students.

It is noteworthy that students had paid at a very subsidized rate and all others including the organizers, except a very small numbers of VIP guests, had bought the tickets for their participation in the function.

The representation from more than 20 Indian Associations is a clear indication which shows they are bewildered with the current policies and practices, and financial management of our current top associations and leaders. The one fundamental reason for this large support stems from the fact that they found a new leadership in the AIDFC which can respond to the current issues and make representations at both Australian and Indian Government levels with a solid and united voice.   Some of the major Indian organizations who supported the event included the India Club, The Sydney Sangat, Australian Punjabi Business Association, Australian Indian Business Congress, Punjab For Ever, The Australian Tamil Association Inc (ATA), Hindi Samaj and the Aligarh Muslim University Alumni Association (AMU) in addition to others.  

ACR International Tours and Travels added spice to the event by offering one return air ticket through Singapore Airlines for auction.  The auction added nice A$1,000 to the much badly needed money for the ‘benevolent fund project’. Mr Navneet Chaugar was the winner of this ticket. For the raffle draw which helped us collect about $750, the Good Guys offered a Plasma 26 inch TV which was won by Councilor Bill Whelan of the Hawkesbury City Council.  Congratulations to the winners! 

Media-both Indian and Australian, were represented with Indian Link, The Indian, Punjab Times, Hamare Rang [Pakistani] and most importantly, Channel 9 team present in the function. This was the very first time that Channel 9 crew was present in an Indian function.

Many other ethnic community leaders also graced the occasion with their presence.

The Future – the AIDFC Benevolent Fund

AIDFC has made a number of public announcements at the function to the community as a part of its commitment for the future.  Prominent among them is the creation and implementation of the AIDFC’s Benevolent Fund.  We are committed to get this fund going and make a significant contribution to the well being the Indian migrant and student community, our fellow Australian community and finally to our mother country – India.   

Finally we promise you that we will provide you a solid leadership and will representation at various levels.  We will have clean governance in all matters of the AIDFC management – in particular finance management. We will adopt an ‘open book’ approach in all these areas.  Consideration will be given to broaden the current AIDFC to include more Associations, individual members and businesses.  The community will be getting more frequent updates in the coming weeks and months! 

Ghungurus Group of Shalini Patel was the provider of the entertainment programme which was of 50 minutes duration and had the mix of Bhangra and Bollywood songs/dances. Every one enjoyed it tremendously.

Catering was done by Billu Group with great food, dessert and wines.

This function was so well attended and so well done that it has become a matter for the discussion among Indian Australians and the political eaders in NSW and Canberra.

This function has now become the talk of the town.
 
 JAI HO! 

Dr Yadu Singh

President

Australia India Day Function Council (AIDFC)

www.Twitter.com/dryadusingh

www.facebook.com/dryadusingh

www.yadusingh.wordpress.com

Email: singhyadu@gmail.com

31st Jan, 2010

Australia India Day celebration: Sunday, 24th Jan, 2010, Ryde Civic Centre,Ryde, NSW.

Dear friends

Australian India Day Function Council [AIDFC], in a partnership with several Indian Australian associations/Groups, has organised a combined celebration of Australia Day and Indian republic day on Sunday, 24th January, 2010.

Venue: Ryde Civic Centre, 1 Devlin Street, Ryde NSW.

Time: 6-11 PM, Sunday, 24th January, 2010.

As you all know, Australia day and Indian Republic day fall on the very same day.

We have had a great response from Indian Australian community in Sydney and we are thrilled beyond expectation.

In addition to a gala dinner, the celebration will include a vibrant Indian entertainment programme with classical, Bollywood and Bhangra dances. We will keep the speeches to the minimum.

We have invited the top political leaders and Indian Gov officials, and are expecting their presence with us on that day.

Our vision is to make this celebration as a signature & key event of our Indian Australian community in NSW. Some innovative ideas will be outlined during the function. Indian benevolent fund is one such idea.

This function is a real deal and will start a new era in the matters involving our community.

So, come, join us, network and celebrate with us, the great occasion of Australia Day and Indian Republic Day on 24th Jan, 2010.

We have kept the costs per person at $40 and the table of 10 is for $400.

For business/corporate sponsors, we have a special package with advertisement in the souvenir and promotion during the function. Please discuss with us re the business/corporate sponsorships.

We invite you to be a part of this great celebration.

Kind regards

Dr Yadu Singh/27th Dec, 2009

On behalf of the organising committee

Australia India Day Function Council [AIDFC]

singhyadu@gmail.com

www.yadusingh.wordpress.com

www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

PS: Please contact us [Dr Yadu Singh singhyadu@gmail.com, Rahul Jethi Rahul.jethi@boq.com.au, Jitendra Verma jv.platform@gmail.com

Indian Australians:are we relevant in Australia & its systems?

There are about 300000 people of Indian heritage in Australia. About 100000 Indian students are in Australia too. Our numbers are probably more if we take Indian people from Fiji, Malaysia, South Africa and other countries into account. Basically, we have a significant mass of people from Indian background in Australia.

We are nicely represented in Medicine, law, teaching, accounting, IT and banking but not so in the higher level of administration and politics. Talking about the politics, there is not even a single person from Indian heritage in the state parliament or Federal parliament. This is not going to change in the near future either. This is so despite several of us in the major political parties, usually as cheer squad members.

Is it so because people with questionable calibre are in the political parties and such people do not have what a leader must have- the capacity to lead or is it because political parties are happy to take support from us but not willing to give us a share in the power? There are merits in both arguments.

I for one believe that we will not get what we should unless we do certain things. We have to “arrive” at the scene. We have to become politically active and smarter. We have to participate in the process, rather than just being happy with some photographs with  the ministers. We have to become demanding.

To achieve something in the political arena, we have to identify people among us who can lead. We have to unite our community too. “Unite our community” does not mean ghettoing ourselves however as we are very much a part of the broad Australian community. We have to achieve many things as part of Australian community.

Someone can ask  whether it is important that we have one or more Indians in the political power. It is really not that important if you think about it superficially. It is however important when you think about it more deeply. We are part of Australian community and must be part of Australian political systems. Politics affects us from all the angles and we need to participate in it.  If we participate in it, then we must get our share in the power too. Remember the ultimate justification for us to be in the political power. This is what we say “why not?”.

You may not agree with me but that is my view. I welcome your view point.

We will achieve many things in this country and be more relevant in the processes here if we;

1. join political parties in bigger numbers

2. participate in the political processes and are willing to take leadership roles in the systems/parties

3. become more supportive of right type of people from any community but do not hold it against a person if that person is from our community. We need to rise above our region/language based identities and take our “Indian” identity.

4. unite our own community which has hundreds of associations, often in the same community.

5. we persuade assertively/actively those “leaders’ who have been in their positions for years without any real productivity or outcome, to move aside.

6. work for a genuine umbrella group/organisation which can represent all of us. The constitution, membership, agenda and leadership of such group/organisation should be transparent and dynamic with potential for required changes to fit with the prevailing circumstances. United Indian Associations [UIA] falls sort of these goals significantly. UIA can however reform itself if it is honest to its published goals. The Jury is out whether UIA can reform itself though. I have seen two examples recently which do not give me lot of hope however. High Commissioner of India had a meeting with Indian community leaders in Canberra last Wedbnesday. Everybody who is anybody in our community from all over Australia was there but no body from top 3 of UIA office bearers [President, Vice president and secretary] was there. Similarly, in the meeting with NSW Premier yesterday, neither the president was there nor the vice president. UIA secretary was there but the person who “spoke on behalf of UIA” was Raj Natarajan who is not in UIA executive committee [EC] currently. This is indicative of a dysfunctional organisation. This is sad but true that UIA is not able to lead us. Our community needs lot more than what UIA is able to deliver. It is the capacity issue. UIA  needs to shape up or ship out! Oh yes, UIA leaders need to keep in their mind that they are not particularly popular in our community and they can’t blame any one else except themselves for this situation. UIA leaders, please remember that our community needs lot more than a “MELA” [fair] to show as the output from UIA. I ask you to lead all of us but do you have what you need to have to lead us? We need the honest answers! I do not believe in criticising for sake of criticising only. To prove this, we are willing to help you and work with you with all the integrity and honesty, recognising that our community does not need one more association as we already have too many.

7. do everything to enhance the reputation of our community. Indian Australians have had a great reputation but it has been damaged recently. Some from our own community were exploiting Indian international students in all sorts of ways. Some of them did facilitate false work experience certificates, pay below-award wages, take bribes for work certificates and even arrange false IELTS certificates after taking some money. Some students have come to Australia, not to study but to have PR at any cost, often using fraud/false certificates. We need to demand the cleaning of rorts/scams and punishment for those who are involved in these rorts/scams.

8. have the Indian ethnic media which is committed to the restoration of our image. Publishing good reports or the photographs of such people [rorters/scammers] for whatever reason-friendship or advertisement dollars- should not happen.

9. network effectively among ourselves and other relevant people when it comes to the core issues in regards to our community. Uranium sale to India, more time in SBS TV/radio for India/Indian culture based on our numbers, statue of Mahatma Gandhi in a prominent place in Sydney, reception of the Indian community of NSW by the Premier of NSW as is the case for Chinese community of NSW and culturally appropriate/conducive nursing homes for our seniors are some issues which I can mention but there are many more.

10. learn to respect/support our people and shun the so called “Tall Poppy Syndrome” when we find that one of us is doing well. We should not have any problem if Neville Roach gets nominated to be a member of Indian PM’s Global advisory council or Susai Benjamin gets nomination for a membership in Multicultural advisory council of Immigration minister or Dr Yadu Singh gets interviewed by all the newspapers/TV stations on students’ issues. We need to curb our envy and not start attempting coups against our own people. I was disgusted to see hundreds of people, claiming leadership role on students’ issues during the peak of students’ trouble, forgetting that they were the ones who were exploiting these students. Even the “CHORs” [thieves] and looters from our community became leaders. Such below-standard people only made our work more difficult and gave us lots of anguish even when we were doing things for students without any personal benefit or conflict of interest. Thankfully, they have all disappeared. I did not see them in the meeting with NSW Premier yesterday. I was happy to note their absence, partly because they are good for nothing but more importantly, we are able to do lot more for our people without their insincere/harmful meddling. I would be meeeting VETAB/Ministry of education, NSW Gov on Thursday, 5th Nov in reference to Flying school students [School guys and students will be there too] and then chief of the NSW task force next week.

I am exhorting the Indian Australians to think over the issues we have and do introspection about where we are and where we are headed to as a community.

We need to work as a team if we want to achieve anything for any one we claim to serve for. Having said that, such team can not and will not have these “CHORs” [thieves] though.

I am ready and many of my friends are too but I am asking a question, “are you ready too?”

Yadu Singh/Sydney/03-11-09

I am now twittering:Its fun!

Join me on

www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

Its fun and I am enjoying it.

Lets tweet to our heart’s content.

Tweet…. tweet….. tweet….

Yadu Singh/Sydney/05-10-09

Looking for the real leaders from Indian Australian community:where are they hiding?

Dear Indian Australians in Sydney

With the exposure of rorts/scams through the Australian media recently, a significant damage has happened to the image of our community. We can not be happy about it as it is about us. A beginning has to be made to mend/repair the harm to the image and standing of our community.

Recently, a fellow from our community committed suicide in Harris Park, NSW. There were some issues in regards to arranging transportation of the body to India.

Also, recently, a young man died unexpectedly in Sydney. I understand that it was due to a heart illness. The person in question was a heavy drinker and smoker. He was the only son of his parents.

Mental health and cardio-vascular health issues are significant problems in our community.

“Racism” is a much used term which gets used, rightly or wrongly, as an explanation for all sorts of problems. I know one who tried to employ this word when caught travelling on the city rail without a valid ticket!

Basically, we have issues involving health, settlement and leadership in our community which are very relevant for the new arrivals.

For obvious reasons, we will have to do something about these issues. We have to think about the best mechanism/tools to address these issues. We have to help our community where our help is needed. Our community leaders have a special responsibility in this regard.

I do not claim to be “Mr know it all” but I do not mind in speaking my mind. I recognise that others would have good ideas too.

I propose that;

1. we do not encourage the participation of those members of our community who are known to be involved in the exploitation of students or are parts of the scams/rorts, in the social functions/gatherings.

2. we do not support the business owners who fall under the category 1.

3. we have a meeting of community minded people and those who have impeccable integrity with good reputation soon. I propose the United Indian Associations [UIA] president to preside this meeting.  

4. we identify those people quickly who are operating as the leaders but have a clear conflict of interest in those matters and ask them to take a back seat.

5. we help set up the system which is there to help our students and Indian Australians when they are in desperate needs for the help. This should include the establishment of a Benevolent Fund.

6. we support UIA to grow and become an effective organisation by discussing, debating, reforming by bringing out the required changes. UIA Constitutional review is long overdue.

7. we urge UIA to become a more open and inclusive organisation by co-opting well-meaning and capable people from outside UIA in its committees.

8. we think about forming a new organisation with the required goals if UIA leaders are not able/wiling to reform UIA to make it a relevant and an effective body.

9. we take a stand against the rorts/scams and ask Australian Gov authorities to stamp out these activities quickly.

10. we start identifying people with leadership qualities and help them reach the places of influences including political offices ie MLAs/MLCs/MPs.

11. we re-energize the leadership by taking a back seat voluntarily if we have been leaders for a long period and have not been contributing meaningfully and encourage others with abilities to take the leadership roles in our associations.

12. we work actively to promote the pan-Indian identity of Indians and discourage the regional identities in Australia.

13. we do everything to promote a better understanding/integration among Indian Australians with themselves and with Australian community in general. The distrust has to go.

14. we work effectively and collaboratively to encourage SBS TV to have the programmes on India/Indian people, based on our numbers, as is the case with other communities.

15. we and Indian Govt Missions work collaboratively to have a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in a prominent place in Sydney and Melbourne.

16. we network, interact, co-ordinate and execute the health education programmes which are relevant to our communities.

Until recently, our Indian Australian community has had a great reputation. We want this reputation restored to our community.

We must promote only those who have a genuine ability to lead, understand the needs of our community and also understand the meaning of “conflict of interest”.

Let the seniors guide us in our goals! Let us learn from their experience and wisdom!

The community has to grow and we have to grow with it!

Let the debate begin!

Kind regards

Dr Yadu Singh

Sydney/03-10-09