Melbourne: India on Friday (September 8) took up with Australia a recent “offensive” advertisement which features Ganesha and other divinities promoting the consumption of lamb meat and demanded its withdrawal.
The advertisement was released last Monday by the Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), triggering protests from the Indian community in the country.
“High Commission is taking note of the protests of Indian community in Australia, have made a demarche to 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,” the Indian High Commission in Canberra said in a statement.
In a video advertisement released by MLA recently, Ganesha along with other religious figures is found to be toasting lamb, which the Indian community considers to be offensive and hurting their religious sentiments.
The Consulate General of India in Sydney has taken up the matter directly with MLA and urged them to withdraw the advertisement, it said.
A number of community associations have also registered their protest with the government of Australia and MLA.
MLA’s latest campaign for lamb features a number of religious figures including Jesus, Buddha, scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and Greek goddess Aphrodite sitting around a lamb lunch.
The advertisement has led to protests by Hindu organisations and the Indian community in Australia, who have demanded it be taken off the air.
Hindu Council of Australia called on MLA to voluntarily take the advertisement off the air.
“We strongly urge MLA to withdraw the offensive advertisement immediately and extend an unconditional apology to not only the Hindu-Australian community but to members of all religious groups that are hurt by this nonsensical advertisement,” the Hindu Council of Australia said in a statement.