Australian Shadow Minister Accuses Government of 'Racist' Policy Against Indian Visitors

Australia accused of "prejudiced approach" against Indian visitors, amid reports of expulsion of Indian spies, straining diplomatic ties between the countries.

Ayesha Mumtaz
New Update
Australian Shadow Minister Accuses Government of 'Racist' Policy Against Indian Visitors

Australian Shadow Minister Accuses Government of 'Racist' Policy Against Indian Visitors

Matthew Guy, Victoria's Shadow Minister for Transport, has accused the Australian government led by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of implementing a "prejudiced approach" against Indians trying to visit their families in Australia. Guy called the policy "racist" and questioned why the Labor Party "despises" the Indian community.

The accusations come amid reports that the bilateral relationship between Australia and India has improved in recent years. However, the government has declined to comment on media reports that two Indian spies were secretly expelled from Australia four years ago.

According to the article, the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO) had removed the two spies, who were allegedly operatives of India's foreign intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing. The spies were accused of targeting relationships with current and former politicians, monitoring the Indian diaspora in Australia, and obtaining classified information regarding Australia's trade relationships and defense technology.

Why this matters: The accusations of a prejudiced approach against Indian visitors and the alleged expulsion of Indian spies highlight the complex and sensitive nature of Australia's relationship with India. As both countries seek to strengthen their ties, particularly through the Quad security partnership, such incidents could strain diplomatic relations and raise concerns about foreign interference in Australian affairs.

In 2021, Australian intelligence officials revealed that they had uncovered a "nest of spies" sent from India to Australia to steal defense secrets and monitor expatriate communities. While Australian officials have refused to comment on the specifics of the intelligence matter, they have stressed the importance of maintaining the resilience of Australia's democracy and dealing with any suggestion of foreign interference.

The revelations are politically sensitive for the Australian government, which has sought to develop closer trade and defense ties with India despite concerns about the democratic backsliding of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu-nationalist government. The allegations, which have not been officially confirmed by Australian ministers, threaten to damage the growing security relationship between the two countries.

As the Shadow Minister for Transport, Matthew Guy's accusations against the government's alleged prejudiced approach towards Indian visitors have brought the issue into the political spotlight. The Labor Party, currently in power, will likely face pressure to address these concerns and clarify its stance on the matter. The government's response and handling of the situation could have implications for Australia's relationship with India and its Indian diaspora community.

Key Takeaways

  • Australian opposition accuses govt of "prejudiced approach" against Indian visitors
  • Allegations of Indian spies expelled from Australia 4 years ago, not confirmed
  • Spies allegedly targeted politicians, Indian diaspora, and trade/defense info
  • Allegations strain Australia-India ties, raise concerns about foreign interference
  • Labor govt faces pressure to address concerns, clarify stance on Indian community