Indian High Commission joins offensive lamb ad protest

12 September, 2017. Probably fearful of the Islamic backlash, Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) ”˜Lamb Ad’ video does with an apology from Prophet Mohammad, but bankrupt of clever ideas and understanding of religious sensitivities, they stoop low to advertise lamb through gods from various religions sitting around a table, including Lord Ganesh raising a toast with lamb.

In a meeting organized by Dr Yadu Singh on 11 September at the Multicultural NSW Offices in Parramatta, Indian community representatives met with the Minister for Multiculturalism, Ray Williams, and Chair of Multicultural NSW, Dr Harry Harinath to express their displeasure with the offensive video.

Lord Ganesh is one of the most revered deities of Hinduism and is invoked at the beginning of every religious activity among Hindus. Associating Lord Ganesh with meat and Alcohol is inappropriate, incorrect, offensive and hurtful, they said.   It generates a bad image of Australia, which, otherwise, is a successful example of multiculturalism.

The Minister agreed that the community was offended and agitated. He agreed to write a letter to the Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) and to the Federal Government authorities, seeking remedial action.

The High Commission of India, Canberra, taking note of the protests of Indian community in Australia, have made a demarche to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Department of Communication and Arts and Department of Agriculture bringing to their notice an offensive advertisement by Meat and Livestock Australia that hurt the religious sentiments of the Indian community.

An MLA media release said, “The new integrated campaign continues with the theme that Lamb is the dish that brings everyone together, with the creative content for online, social and TV showing the Gods, Goddesses and Prophets of different faiths and beliefs coming together over Lamb at a modern day spring barbecue.”

MLA, with about 50,000 livestock producer members, “delivers research, development and marketing services to Australia’s cattle, sheep and goat producers”, according to their company profile.

The offensive advertising has caused international uproar as president of Universal  Society of Hinduism, Rajan Zed, called in a statement from Nevada (USA)  for strong action against MLA.

On September 12 today, Ms Julia Finn MP, State Member for Granville gave notice of a motion which may be debated in NSW Parliament calling on MLA to withdraw the ad and apologise unreservedly.

Senior Greek Orthodox Christian Priest Stephen R. Karcher, Buddhist Priest Matthew T. Fisher and well-known Jewish Rabbi in Nevada-California Elizabeth Webb Beyer also denounced lamb marketing using religious figures which, they said, trivialized various religious figures.



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