Racial Discrimination? Is it a Matter Just of Boundaries or More of Human Feelings

Man migrated from villages to towns, from towns to cities and from cities to countries in search of better opportunities and life. Unfortunately this dream for progress has turned into the worst nightmare of the present times.

The quest for satisfaction has resulted in the ethno-cultural discontentment. The rights of indigenous people are challenging the rights of the migratory population. India faces this situation both at the global as well as at the domestic level.

Recently the north-eastern community expressed their concerns in Delhi. They alleged that they were constantly targeted, labeled and humiliated by their fellow Indians. Their physical features have been the basis of their continuous harassment through out the country. Similar issues are faced by the North Indian community in states like Maharashtra. Take for example Dhwaj, an engineer who works in a Multi National Company was proud to serve the state but at the same time he felt that the forces like Shiv Sena had effected the communal and regional harmony of the place.

But now this discrimination has surpassed national boundaries. It has been about a year now that the Indians are facing harassment in Australia. International students are worth $13bn (£8.1bn) to the Australian economy each year. The Australian tourism forecasts predicted a 21 percent drop in education arrivals from India, resulting in an economic loss of 78 million Australian dollars (69.5 million U.S. dollars). There is continuous threat to lives of Indians in Australia. They are the targeted group and sources suggests that about 1447 persons of Indian Descent have been victims of the wrath in Australia. The Ministry of Home Affairs has not done much in this regard. All official actions stand fail when we look at the ground reality. The news paper articles are flooded with information describing the misfortunes of the victims. Jaspreet Singh was set ablaze by a group of four attackers in Melbourne. He was fortunate to survive but the luck did not favor Nitin Garg(21 years) and Ranjodh Singh(25 years) who were found dead.

Australia was considering to make hate crimes as a statutory offense which would have protected the interest of the targeted groups like Indians and Homosexuals. This declaration was done in June and but no further step was taken. The country already has some laws but their implementation is questionable.

Let us assume that the Australian police favors the minority rights but what if they don’t? What if they are not taking stringent steps against the attackers. The sequence of attacks which started with minor assaults and robbery have now resulted in deaths of the victims. The hate crime has increased tremendously in a year and chances are it would increase further. Only a drop of 20% is expected in the enrollment of Indian Students in Australian Universities. This decline does not put more pressure on the Australian Government. The Ministry of External Affairs is engaged in diplomatic dialogues and cautions the Indians to take due care. The attitude of both the Australian and the Indian Government is disappointing.

At least India should take stringent actions to prevent the problem. Indian Students contribute almost 2.5 billion dollars to the education industry of Australia. For safety the country should discourage prospective students from going there. Moreover diplomatic pressure must be created. The youth in the country should also support their comrades.  Peaceful demonstrations and awareness programs should be instituted by the students in the country. The media should take up the issue seriously and influence the government to take requisite actions.

The official stand would definitely make a difference but the real responsibility lies on the people. They should live in harmony with each other and if they cant then the Australian government should not encourage its institutions to enroll large number of foreign students. Immigration laws should be made stringent by them if they intend to discourage Indians to be a part of their economy, but resorting to violence would not only harm the Indians but would also malign the image of Australia on the world forum.

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