India Post News Service

CANBERRA: The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has finally confirmed the acceptance of a complaint regarding refusal of Hindu opening-prayer in the Australian Parliament, after rebuffing the issue three times.

Rajan Zed, the President of Universal Society of Hinduism, who spearheaded this issue, AHRC Senior Executive Rachel Holt, SAID that the “Commission confirms acceptance of ” your complaint(s)”, against Commonwealth of Australia. “Please note that due to a large increase in complaints received and resource constraints, there may be a delay in actioning the complaint(s) of more than 6 months”, she added.

Three denials by AHRC said: “It does not appear to be covered by the Commission’s complaint handling powers”; Rajan Zed thanked AHRC for finally understanding the gravity of this matter of blatant unfairness and inequality. Zed suggested AHRC President Rosalind Croucher and Chief Executive Leanne Smith to send AHRC staff for re-training so that they get enlightened about the “real” role of AHRC, the taxpayer-funded “body with a statutory responsibility to ensure the observance of human rights in Australia”, which self-proclaimed itself as “Australia’s human rights watchdog”.

 Both the houses of the Parliament of Australia, Senate and the House of Representatives, have turned down earlier requests to have Hindu opening-prayer in one of their sessions.

At the beginning of each sitting day, on taking the Chair, Senate President and Speaker of House of Representatives of Australian Parliament read Lord’s Prayer, a well-known prayer in Christianity; which has reportedly been the prayer since Australian Parliament came into existence in 1901.

Adherents of minority religions and non-believers, who had made a lot of contributions to Australia and continued to do so and paid their share of the taxes, thus felt left out by this monopoly on prayer. Not allowing prayers of minority religions in the Parliament seemed like efforts at belittling these faiths under government patronage; Zed pointed out.

Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about 1.2 billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.