âI thought yesterday, as a member of Parliament for Rankin, [came] in the room fresh out of his ashram deep in the Himalayan mountainsâ¦ barefoot in the room, flowing dresses, burning incense, pearls in one hand, well-being budget in the other, I said to myself: “[what] yoga position that Rankin’s member would assume … to provide the first wellness budget? ‘ “
The treasurer then named a series of yoga poses.
Video footage of Question Time antics shows Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Nationals Leader Michael McCormack and other Coalition figures laughing during Mr Frydenberg’s tirade.
Hindus in Australia condemned the treasurer on Friday.
âWhy was he trying to be humiliating to Hindus by trying to counter the opposition? Would he dare [do that] with other religions? I condemn his behavior, âRam Ramaswamy told SBS News.
âHindus who are naturally aligned with the Liberals will have to rethink our alliance. Let these politicians understand that they cannot take a peace loving community for granted. “
Mitra Desai said she was deeply offended by the treasurer’s âinsultâ.
âWhat is still painful is the fact that this was not just a passing ignorant statementâ¦ it was a deliberate and well-repeated mockery and insult of Hindu practices. Would he dare to make similar comparisons. with other Abrahamic practices? ” she said.
“I ask for a wholehearted apology.”
Hrishikesh Desai said Mr Frydenberg’s rant was hurtful.
âThe most hurtful aspect about it was that the treasurer made these comments to score cheap political points at the expense of an entire community,â he said.
Many have pointed out that Hindu is the fastest growing religion in Australia, according to the 2016 census.
Liberal MP Dave Sharma defended Frydenberg, telling SBS Hindi the comments were not racist.
âJosh was making a joke at the expense of Jim Chalmers, the shadow treasurer, that was really the focal point of his joke. I don’t think anyone with a sense of humor would find this offensive, âsaid Mr. Sharma. SBS Hindi.
However, he apologized to those who felt offended.
Please spare us the artificial indignation @KKeally. The end of the joke was @JEChalmers, & for good reason. Let’s not forget that it was @tanya_plibersek criticized for saying “We cannot count on an Indian mining company to create jobs in central and north Queensland”. Glass houses … https://t.co/LTvjwlddJa
Mr. Frydenberg, who is Jewish, has spoken openly in recent months about the need to fight anti-Semitism.
On Wednesday, Frydenberg hailed a curriculum change in Victoria that will force high school students to learn more about the Holocaust.
âRacism and hatred stem from ignorance, which is why education, especially of our young people, is so important,â Mr Frydenburg tweeted in response to the announcement.
SBS News has contacted Mr. Frydenberg’s office for comment.