Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese have been photographed wearing saffron scarves bearing a symbol used by right-wing Hindu nationalist groups from India during an event hosted by the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) Australia.
A warm reception in Parramatta tonight with leaders from the Hindu faith and subcontinental communities. pic.twitter.com/6m79gzXhDz
— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) May 6, 2022
This is not the first time a high-level Australian politician has attended a similar event recently. Home Affairs Minister Kristina Keneally attended a function hosted by the same organization, and she wore the same scarf.
Australia’s national elections are to be held at the end of May. As usual in any racially diverse democracy, politicians will do whatever they can to appease as many different groups of people as possible to secure more votes.
A famous example of this outside of Australia is Donald Trump attending a Black Church Service in Detroit, dancing off-beat compared to everyone else around him.
As Australian journalist Grant Wyeth puts it in an article he wrote for The Diplomat, “Australian politicians are generally a socially awkward group and often lack the cultural sophistication to be able to engage meaningfully with Australia’s multicultural communities. The under-representation of minority communities in Australia’s parliament also limits the necessary knowledge political parties require to connect with minority groups, but also be attentive to any overseas political issues they may be walking blindly into.”
The VHP’s political ideology is Hindutva based where they want to establish India as a Hindu Nation-State, disregarding any other religious minority.