Published On : Mon, Nov 16th, 2020

Australian High Commissioner meets RSS Chief in Nagpur

Discuss Covid-19 Relief Measures

Nagpur: Australia’s High Commissioner to India Barry O’Farrell on Sunday visited Nagpur and met Sarsanghachalak of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Dr Mohan Bhagwat. O’Farrel and Bhagwat discussed an array of issues including the relief work done by the RSS during Covid-19 pandemic.

On Sunday, the Australia’s High Commissioner, accompanied by Deputy Secretary in Australian High Commission Jack Tailor and Counsel General Sara Roberts, visited the RSS Headquarters in the city and acquainted himself with the activities being carried out by the RSS. O’Farrel later visited the Mahal residence of RSS founder Dr Keshav Baliram Hedgewar. He also took darshan of Hedgewar Samadhi in Reshimbagh’s Smruti Mandir premises and samadhi of second RSS Sarsanghachalak Golwalkar Guruji.

Tweeting about the visit, O’Farrell said the RSS has been “actively supporting the community during Covid-19. I met Sarsanghchalak Dr Mohan Bhagwat who shared relief measures the organisation has adopted during these challenging times,” he tweeted.

The tweet was a throwback to the 2019 meeting between Bhagwat and German Ambassador Walter J Lindner. The German Ambassador had also tweeted about the meeting, which set off a storm on social media with many people criticising the meeting.

Commenting on his meeting, the Australian High Commissioner said, “Since arriving in India I’ve reached out to all sections of society, civil, business, government and politics, as I seek to gain a greater understanding of the country. During my political career I had an ‘open door policy, which served me well; I intend to continue it as Australia’s representative to India.”

Visits of foreign dignitaries:
The RSS for its part said the meetings are in keeping with the organisation’s outreach. Sangh functionaries have been meeting diplomats formally since 2009 when an Ambassador of a European nation hosted a meeting between Bhagwat and 27 other Ambassadors.

In the past, the then Deputy High Commissioner and Minister-Counsellor of Singapore, Jonathan Tow, was present for the Vijayadashami speech in Nagpur in 2012; in August 2016, the President of the Central Tibetan Administration Dr Lobsang Sangay met Bhagwat and in 2018, Kieran Drake, Minister-Counsellor at the British High Commission also called on Bhagwat, which was later described as a courtesy call.