I’m just gonna say it: Prime Minister Scott Morrison trying to make curries part of his personal brand is fucking infuriating considering his treatment of actual South Asian people whose culture he enjoys borrowing (and butchering) so much.

In case you haven’t had the displeasure of witnessing Scott Morrison’s curry obsession (I wish that were me), the “daggy dad” does a well publicised ‘curry night’ every Saturday. He takes multiple photos of the prep and cooking process, uploads them on Facebook and Instagram, and essentially plays the part of a family man.

This has irritated me for a long time, and no, it’s not because I want to gate-keep curries.

At the best of times, Scott Morrison’s treatment of ethnic and religious minorities, including South Asian communities, has been questionable.

There’s the more obvious offences we know him for — that horrid little trophy proudly displayed in his office which celebrates his rejection of asylum seekers that arrive by boat, and how he spent $185 million to re-open Christmas Island for no reason.

Or how he has refused to intervene in the attempted deportation of the Tamil family that Biloela is desperately fighting to protect.

Really, Morrison’s entire anti-asylum seeker stance is inherently hurtful to South Asian people since many of those seeking asylum are members of our communities.

And more recently still, during the COVID pandemic, Morrison not only defended, but supported, the Australian government’s racist travel ban and threats to literally jail people trying to enter Australia from India.

Not exactly the kind of attitude you’d expect from someone who touts his love for that same country’s culture, but this is exactly my point.

Just yesterday, Scott Morrison posted another set of images of himself making curries. This time, with a comment about how when he’s cooking curries, he likes to listen to a ‘Desi Hits’ playlist.

A screenshot of Scott Morrison's Facebook comment saying he listens to Desi Music.
Image: Facebook / Scott Morrison

Not only is this gross considering his consistent disregard and lack of compassion for actual South Asian people, but even worse is the fetishistic nature of turning cooking curries into some kind of ~ethnic experience~, complete with the music to match.

This orientalist fascination with South Asian culture as a fun, gimmicky thing to try on and enjoy on Saturday nights is already icky — but it’s especially frustrating when the man involved is responsible and complicit in harm perpetuated against members of the South Asian community.

Ultimately my rage comes from the fact that Morrison shouldn’t get to profit off and enjoy our heritage while actively preventing some of our people from entering this country, by leaving them to languish in detention centres. And I’m not the first person to argue this, either.

Until Scott Morrison treats South Asians with the same privileges and respect as white people, grants families like the one struggling to stay in Biloela permanent residence in Australia, and stops locking up refugees, he can stay the fuck away from our curries, thanks.