On May 24th, one of the most embarrassing moments in the recent history of our country occurred. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese shared the stage at Homebush with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, joined by 21,000 Indians, as part of Modi’s diplomatic mission to Australia.
The event was billed as an ‘Indian community and cultural event.’ In reality, it was an Indian political rally on Australian soil, in support of Modi’s bid for reelection in 2024. The Australian Prime Minister was a mere stage prop in his own country, referring to Modi as “the Boss,” and serving as the events’ MC while Modi spoke in Hindi for his domestic audience. ‘Arch conservative’ Peter Dutton, leader of our alternative government, was also there to show his support.
Adding further insult to Australia’s dignity, Albo shared the podium with Modi at a joint press conference in Sydney, where he committed to come down hard on the vandalism of Hindu temples by groups who support separatist movements in India. Never mind that this is a matter for state police, Albo was eager to do as his Indian counterpart suggested.
In response to such a comment, you would anticipate an enterprising Australian journo would ask Modi about the well-known repression of ethnic and religious minorities under his government. No interrogation was forthcoming, as media were not allowed to ask questions of Modi during his visit. Indian media are not permitted to ask him questions at home, nor are the ‘free press’ on our own patch. It begs the question, what will we be willing to sacrifice in the future? When India is even more powerful, and its citizenry in Australia is even larger and more mobalised?
It’s bad enough when Australian leaders prostrate themselves to the Americans. At least they are our treaty ally, a country we have fought alongside and depended on at times for our freedom. At least we and the Americans share a common origin and cultural ancestry in Britain. India is its own civilization, a culture completely alien to our own, and a country we have never before had true friendship with.
Australia and India recently reached two important agreements on migration and education. The first, scant on public detail, is known to liberalise two-way mobility between the two countries. The second, on education, introduces mutual recognition of university qualifications. India’s top tier universities are rated comparably to Australia’s lower tier universities, so it is hard to see how employers will treat them equally. India is already the largest source of migrants to Australia. Get ready for the Indianisation of our country to accelerate.
It is reasonable that we would seek to engage with India. They are a rising power who we see as a partner in containing an aggressive China. It is now the most populous country on earth and will one day soon overtake China to become its second largest economy. India is already an important market for Australian businesses, and its economic importance to Australia will certainly grow.
What we see however is not pragmatic and independent diplomacy, which places the interests of Australians at its centre. Instead, we see Australia play second fiddle, and Australians put last.It is hard to separate the events documented here with the recently announced loosening of requirements for 482 visas, which migration experts have declared will be ‘ripe for rorting.’ We know already that Indians are suspected of the systemic cheating of other education visas, leading to applications from several Indian states been banned by a cohort of Australian universities.
We also know that the mass migration experienced by Australians in recent decades is to the detriment of their pay and conditions, as well as the affordability and quality of essential goods and services.
It is very sad to see the Australian Labor Party persistently undermine the interests of Australian workers. The party has a rich history of supporting immigration restrictions for the benefit of the Australian working man. Today, we find ourselves governed by a neoliberal uniparty that places diversity and profit before its own citizens.