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Cultural Milestone – Australia’s First Bhagavad Gita Oath in the Senate

 Cultural Milestone – Australia’s First Bhagavad Gita Oath in the Senate

In a historic moment for Australian politics, Varun Ghosh, an Indian-born Australian senator, has made headlines by taking his parliamentary oath on the Bhagavad Gita. This significant event marks a moment of cultural and religious inclusivity in Australia, illustrating the diverse fabric that constitutes modern Australian society. Ghosh’s choice to use one of Hinduism’s holy scriptures for his swearing-in ceremony not only underscores his personal beliefs but also reflects the growing acceptance and integration of different cultures in Australian public life.

Varun Ghosh’s swearing-in ceremony was not just a personal triumph but a public statement on diversity and acceptance. By choosing the Bhagavad Gita, a 700-verse Hindu scripture that is part of the epic Mahabharata, Ghosh highlights his heritage and the multicultural tapestry that is Australia today. This act is a first in the history of the Australian Senate, where traditionally, the Bible has been the text of choice for such ceremonies.

Ghosh’s journey to the Australian Senate is as inspiring as it is exemplary. Born in India, Ghosh migrated to Australia at a young age. His career trajectory has been marked by a deep commitment to public service and a passion for community development. His political path reflects his dedication to issues such as immigration, multicultural integration, and economic reform. As a member of the Australian Senate, Ghosh represents not only his constituents but also the broader aspirations of the Indian community in Australia.

Ghosh’s oath-taking on the Bhagavad Gita sends a powerful message about the importance of cultural and religious inclusivity. Australia, known for its diverse population, is home to a significant number of immigrants from across the globe. This diversity is mirrored in the variety of religious beliefs and cultural practices present in the country. Ghosh’s act of including the Bhagavad Gita in such a formal and significant moment of his career reiterates the Australian values of acceptance and multiculturalism.

The Bhagavad Gita, revered in Hinduism, is known for its profound philosophical and spiritual guidance. The text is a conversation between prince Arjuna and the god Krishna, who serves as his charioteer. In this dialogue, Krishna imparts spiritual wisdom and guidance on duty and righteousness. Ghosh’s choice to swear an oath on this scripture not only personalises his commitment but symbolically pledges his adherence to these universal principles of justice and duty, which are also key aspects of serving in public office.

Varun Ghosh

The reaction to Ghosh’s swearing-in has been overwhelmingly positive, with many seeing it as a step forward for cultural diversity in Australian politics. Colleagues from various political spectrums have expressed support, noting that such actions are a reflection of Australia’s progressive social and cultural ethos. Additionally, members of the Indian-Australian community have expressed pride and encouragement, seeing Ghosh’s success and his acknowledgment of his heritage as indicative of their own potential paths in Australia.

Senator Ghosh’s use of the Bhagavad Gita may set a precedent for future political figures from various cultural backgrounds to incorporate their traditions and beliefs into their official roles. This act of inclusion could encourage an even more open expression of cultural identity in Australian politics, enhancing the democratic principle that governance should reflect the society it serves.

Beyond politics, Ghosh’s choice educates and inspires. It serves as an educational tool for those unfamiliar with the Bhagavad Gita, inviting Australians of all backgrounds to learn more about the cultural heritage of their fellow citizens. It also inspires young Australians, particularly those from immigrant backgrounds, to engage in public service and consider roles in governance, knowing that their diverse identities are respected and valued.

Varun Ghosh’s swearing-in on the Bhagavad Gita is a landmark moment in Australian political history, symbolising a broader acceptance and celebration of cultural diversity. It reflects the evolving nature of Australian identity and highlights the role of multiculturalism in enriching the nation’s democratic and social landscape. As Australia continues to navigate its cultural complexities, such gestures of inclusivity from its leaders will be pivotal in shaping a cohesive and inclusive society.

Chirag Thakkar

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