SBS Hindi

Meet the Indian Australian Greens candidates vowing to bring change to Labor-held seats

SBS Hindi

Chetan Sahai, Apurva Shukla

Chetan Sahai (L) and Apurva Shukla (R) are two Greens party candidate for the federal election this year. Source: Supplied by Chetan Sahai and Apurva Shukla.


Published 4 May 2022 at 4:10pm
By Natasha Kaul
Source: SBS

Here's what the Greens candidates from Indian backgrounds think about climate change, racism, the health system, dual citizenship and representation of the younger generation and immigrant community in Australian politics.


Published 4 May 2022 at 4:10pm
By Natasha Kaul
Source: SBS


In this federal election, candidates from the Liberal, Labor and Greens parties aspire to be among the first MPs of Indian heritage to sit in the House of Representatives. 


Highlights:

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  • Several Indian-born candidates are running for the upcoming federal elections
  • Few Indian diaspora members in Australia have been elected to federal or state parliaments
  • For 31-year-old Chetan Sahai and 22-year-old Apurva Shukla action on climate change, racism, and cost of living are important issues 

The Greens party in New South Wales has two young candidates of Indian background who want to shake up the Labor-held seats this year. 

Apurva Shukla, 22

Greens
Mr Apurva Shukla, 22, with his parents. Source: Supplied by Apurva Shukla


"At 22 I decided to join politics because our future is not looking bright at all when we look at the issue of climate change. I think the biggest elephants in the room are climate change and emergencies and no other party is addressing them," Mr Shukla, who is running from the seat of Werriwa in New South Wales, says.

Chetan Sahai, 31

Mr Chetan Sahai
Chetan Sahai, 33, is the Greens candidate for Sydney. Source: Supplied by Chetan Sahai


"One of the first things I noticed as a young boy was racism in this country, where people like me were seen as outsiders and were seen as unwelcomed. And I know many people with Indian backgrounds here have experienced the same. This is really unfortunate but it can be addressed. In our plan, we want to make hate speech part of the criminal code of conduct and establish a national database for tracking hate crimes," Mr Sahai, who is running from the seat of Sydney, shares.

In the past, very few members of the Indian diaspora in Australia have been elected to federal or state parliaments, unlike those in the UK, Canada, and the US.

Lisa Singh was the first woman of Indian origin elected to the Australian Parliament as a senator from the state of Tasmania in the federal election in August 2010. 

In the 2019 federal election, Liberal party member Dave Sharma was the first Indian-origin politician to be elected to the House of Representatives in the Australian Parliament.

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