Hundreds of people attended rallies in Australia's major cities on Sunday to protest an advertisement the Indian community described as "highly insulting" in its depiction of the Hindu deity Lord Ganesha. The India Forum Australia (IFA) arranged the protests in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth in response to a Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) advertisement, aired earlier this month. The ad featured various religious figures including the Hindu god, considered vegetarian by followers, sitting down to a meal of lamb.
IFA president Nihal Agar said on Sunday the MLA had not listened to the Indian community's earlier concerns when the ad initially screened.
"To say something is legal is one thing, but it's something else to touch the heart and that is how MLA has failed our community," he said. "This is not the multicultural Australia that we truly love."
Earlier this month, India's High Commission in Canberra lodged a complaint with the Australian government asking for the ad's removal. The Advertising Standards Bureau dismissed complaints, saying Lord Ganesha was depicted positively and that the advertisement’s intent was to be inclusive.
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