Sydney Pravasi Divas turns into a self-promotion platform

Letter to the Editor:
Dear Editor
At the recent function of the Indian Consulate in Sydney you refer to, I was also a victim in the captive audience category sitting through the proverbial monologue and ‘Death by Powerpoint’!We as members of the Indian community expected the so-called panel discussion to address questions relevant to our collective interest. Instead, in the time constrained discussion it became a self-serving talkfest where speakers indulged in self promotion and business interests. The facilitator had lost control and the whole session was to put it mildly, a disaster.

Such behaviour of so-called community spokespersons makes an already difficult task of the Consul General and his team even more difficult.

We as members of the Indian community are fragmented with a plethora of community organisations. Governance and accountability are not transparent and a founder may even want copyrights on constitutions they helped draft, making AGMs a mockery where amendments are moved. In some, I was told by its president the so-called director positions were for life!

Part of the problem lies in people exploiting lax laws in NSW to set up community organisations that are deemed not for profit and where they are not monitored for compliance.

While the Indian HC cannot and would not and should not interfere on the character and governance of these outfits, surely they can restrict the number of organisations shown as Indian community organisations on the HC website. Unfortunately, the organisations that appear on the Indian HC website may be misunderstood  as tacit approval of their existence even when they are ones with membership to fill an old time telephone booth!

I suggest that the Indian HC simply asks these organisations to make a one page submission to press their claim for recognition by the HC stating their purpose, membership and service to fellow Indians here, as well as ask for annual reports submitted to the respective State Government Office of Fair Trading. Should these be complied with, I see no reason why they should not be on the Indian HC website. With this, my hope is that many organisations will simply disappear off the HC list and we only have the genuine ones with proper governance and accountability to its members and community at large.


Short URL: