Ms. Alexandra Kaur Bhathal who contested the federal elections in Australia, was targeted with vitriolic and racist propaganda in Melbourne, Australia. A flyer was recently distributed in her electorate targeting her background and beliefs. The residents in her constituency received anonymous printed flyers terming Sikhism as ‘violent, racist and homophobic’, and claiming Bathal supports the ‘Khalistan terrorist movement’ to create a ‘racist’ nation in Punjab.
The flyers also carried a picture of her speaking at a Sikh congregation in Melbourne commemorating the ‘Sikh Genocide Remembrance Day’ on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots anniversary last year, however there were other elected MPs of other parties also present in the congregation .
Bathal says she is appalled and disturbed at the vicious defamatory attack on Sikhs and Sikhism. She is a proud Sikh and this hatred won’t sway her from her political commitment. Condemning the racial slur, Ms. Bhathal said, "The leaflet contains vicious and racist statements about me and my heritage as a Sikh…. It won't sway me from my political commitments as a Greens candidate. I have lodged a complaint with the Australian Human Rights Commission. This kind of racism has no place in our politics. We cannot allow hatred to grow unchallenged".
She further said that she could not get information about who was behind distributing the material and she is further trying to get a complaint registered with the Australian electoral Commission and the Australian Human Rights Commission.
Ms. Alexandra Kaur Bhathal is a Green’s party candidate for the House of Representatives from the seat of Batman in Victoria. There are nearly 3,000 Indian voters out of 80,000 in Bhathal’s constituency. Polling for the general election in Australia was recently held on 2nd July, 2016 and the outcome of the elections are still awaited.
Bathal is a second generation Australian. Her father migrated to Australia in 1952.