Canberra: Australia’s Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has been accused of making “racist” comments about Hinduism and other Indian religions in Parliament. Frydenberg made several references to the Indian religions in Parliament on February 28 while responding to the Opposition Labor Party’s proposal to pursue a “wellbeing budget”, reports Xinhua news agency
“They (Labor) are inspired by their spiritual leader, the member for Rankin,” he said, referring to the party’s treasury spokesperson Jim Chalmers.
“I was thinking yesterday, as the member for Rankin was coming into the chamber fresh from his Ashram deep in the mountains of the Himalayas barefoot in the chamber, robes flowing, incense burning, beads in one hand, wellbeing budget in the other, I thought to myself: ‘What yoga position the member for Rankin would assume ... to deliver the first wellbeing budget?’”
In a statement issued on February 29, the Hindu Council of Australia described the comments as “brazen, racist and Hindu-phobic”, calling for an apology. “The comments made by Frydenberg are derisive and very offensive to the Hindu community,” the statement said. (IANS)