Indian Australians gathered at a function centre in western Sydney have said Pakistani actors and singers working in Bollywood should leave India because they failed to condemn a recent terrorist attack on an Indian Army base in Indian-administered Kashmir.
The early morning raid on September 18 by four heavily-armed militants killed 18 soldiers, one of whom later tragically succumbed to his injuries at a hospital in New Delhi. Ever since, there has been a serious escalation of military posturing in South Asia as the world, already too many problems to handle, watches on. The Indian government has been campaigning to isolate Pakistan as a “terrorist state” for its alleged support of terrorist groups operating within India. Pakistan, on its part, maintains innocence in what is happening in Jammu and Kashmir claiming India instead is using brutal force on the Kashmiri people demanding their right to self-determination.
When around 100 members of the Indian community met in Sydney Sunday afternoon, the mood was “sombre” but angry at what happened back in their country of origin. Condemning the incident, prominent community leaders asked India and the world to take a serious note of the situation and work together to deal with these terror groups and their patronage in the region.
“There was a unanimous support for asking Pakistani actors and singers to leave India since they too have not condemned the terror attack,” Federation of Indian Associations NSW said in a press statement released by its president Dr Yadu Singh.
Participants of the programme, however, pointed out that their issue was with the Pakistani state, not the Pakistani people with whom they enjoy cordial relations, “Terrorism which India suffers from across the borders was condemned in strongest possible words. It was made clear that our issues are with Pakistan’s support and use of terrorists groups, not with Pakistani Australian community with which we have a good relations (sic).”
S. K. Verma from the Indian Consulate in Sydney also participated in the programme which reverberated with the Indian national anthem as members of the community sang it with much “patriotism and enthusiasm”.