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Opinion

Australian High Commissioner Meets RSS Head Bhagwat and Discusses Covid-19 Relief

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Australia’s High Commissioner for India, Barry O’Farrell AO, met on Sunday with Mohan Bhagwat, director of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Tweeting about the meeting, O’Farrell said the RSS has been “actively supporting the community during Covid-19.”

“… I met with Dr. Mohan Bhagwat, sarsanghchalak, who shared the relief measures the organization has taken during these difficult times,” he tweeted.

The tweet was a throwback to the 2019 meeting between Bhagwat and German Ambassador Walter J. Lindner. The German ambassador also tweeted about the meeting, which sparked a social media storm with many people criticizing the meeting.

Commenting on their meeting, the Australian High Commissioner said: “Since arriving in India, I have communicated with all sectors of society, civil, business, government and politics, in my quest for a greater understanding of the country. During my political career I had an ‘open door policy, which served me well; I intend to continue as the representative of Australia in India. ”

The RSS for its part said that the meetings are in line with the scope of the organization. Sangh officials have been meeting formally with diplomats since 2009, when an ambassador from a European nation arranged a meeting between Bhagwat and 27 other ambassadors.

More recently, the head of the Sangh has started holding meetings between diplomats and representatives of the foreign press to answer their questions about the Sangh, the ideological source of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Read also: It is wrong to think on the basis of an ideology that overshadows the national interest: PM at JNU

In the past, then-Singaporean Deputy High Commissioner and Minister Counselor Jonathan Tow was present at Vijayadashami’s speech in Nagpur in 2012; In August 2016, the Chairman of the Central Tibetan Administration, Dr. Lobsang Sangay, met with Bhagwat, and in 2018, Kieran Drake, Minister Counselor of the British High Commission also visited Bhagwat, which was later described as a call from courtesy.

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