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

By at 10 January, 2010, 12:21 am

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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Categories : Education | Travel | World

CodePoet January 11, 2010

Nice article!

I agree to most of it but not end conclusion. I think countires would never want foreign students to not come in . They very well know that these students are bringing nothing but benefit to their country. The problem lies with those extremely patriotic illiterate group of peple who are unable to view the complete picture. They just view foreigners as a threat to their culture, jobs, other resources etc. As you mentioned the Govt should create laws to protect the rights of minorities. Honestly it’s hard for me to ask Australia to do something about these crimes knowing that there is so much worse happening in India and our govt is unable to do anything about it. May be India should tackle it’s own issues first and set an example for the world. At that point I think we could proudly demand justice for our citizens.

meghna January 12, 2010

Vinay you are right that India needs to take actions first at the domestic level but the situation in Australia is worse than in any part of the country. The hate crimes which started with minor attacks have now turned into cases of murders. Australian Government had promised to frame laws (under the broad ambit of hate crimes not particularly for Indians but for other targeted groups like homosexuals as well) but has done nothing so far .
In my conclusion I intended to say that if a country invites students or tourists, it should take the responsibility of protecting them as well. And if the majority disagrees with the decision then they should take democratic steps to resolve the issue. There are several countries which have no relaxation in their immigration laws, which is definitely better than the inability to protect the immigrants.

I appreciate your thoughtfulness and concern about the situation. You are right people who create the problem are extremely patriotic and some (people like you) who wish to improve the situation of their own country are patriotic.

Magnus January 29, 2010

Interesting post. I’m not very sure the Indian Govt could do much as far as the situation in Australia goes, except put pressure on the Aussie Govt which till now seems to have had no effect. I, however feel that the attack is more about Aussies feeling insecure about their jobs/education than mere racism.

meghna January 31, 2010

Thanks Magnus. You have a valid argument. I had written about the same a year back when the whole controversy had started in meghnaatnliu.wordpress.com. You may like to read it.

Ravin February 2, 2010

Good effort i appreciate your article………

meghna February 2, 2010

thanks ravindra ….

terry morris February 7, 2010

Oh!, so you really believe that bullshit, fed to you by the Indian press. That Indian who was set fire to, in fact, tried
to set fire to his car to claim the insurance, he set fire to himself as well, and tried to cover it up saying he was set alight, that story is known Australia wide and he has been charged….. No mention that is ASIAN gangs who have been attacking Indian students, not, Australians… get your facts right before reporting, or did you know the facts???

terry morris February 7, 2010

P.S %90 of taxi drivers in Australia are Indian Nationals. Research is the first commandment of reporting, just sitting there typing, shows your ignorance.

meghna February 8, 2010

Mr. Terry Morris I would suggest you to work on your reading skills before analyzing and giving your biased view. In my article I have no where said that those who attacked Mr. Singh were Australians. I quote “Jaspreet Singh was set ablaze by a group of four attackers in Melbourne.”
Moreover the Insurance theory came later on and was supported by international press (after my blog was published on 10 January 2010) and BBC supported the police theory on 3.February.2010.

If you read the BBC article carefully you will come to know that it has not been proved legally as Mr singh will appear in court next month….Moreover as the article says “Australian authorities have conceded that some of the assaults on Indian students in recent months were racially motivated, but believe the majority were the work of opportunistic criminals.” (3rd last paragraph ) even the Austrailian authorities have agreed that assaults on Indians were racist. For your convenience I’m attaching the link (which is not posted by “a manipulative Indian Press” but by a trustworthy U.K. authority).
And if 90% of Indians are serving Australia as Taxi Drivers the country has more responsibility to protect them. Rather every resident has right to live with dignity irrespective of his occupation and ethnicity.
Quoting your words I would say “Research is the first commandment of reporting, just sitting there typing, shows your ignorance.”

PS: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8494866.stm

Prabhakar Singh February 8, 2010

Bullshit or no bullshit, the truth is that Indian were wronged in Australia. I agree to Meghna that in hindsight we can develop theories to sweep “real” issues under the carpet. But my concern is that as multiculturalism is on the rise, the issue of identity becomes salient – who is a true Australian, the typical “white” guy or a “symond” or an Indian who has now been an Australian for little over 2 generations. Some students “now” students now pursuing studies in Melbourne told me that “she” feels safe and that attacks are happening in neighborhood that are poor, and full of immigrants. During my LL.M. stay in Barcelona I was constantly warned by my new Pakistani friends – I am an Indian by the way – that I should be careful of “Moroccans” – a word synonymous to “thugs”, pick-pockets and criminals. 5 people from a batch of 24 got mugged in a span of 9 month- i was luckier.
Now in a Catalan society – Barcelona being the centre, these are both outsiders, the mugger and mugged, still adding to list of crime in Spain. In Australian case “we” have to know who is the “doer” and the “doee”. In other words going back to the question; who is an authentic Australian?
Job, resource and politics theories all fine – while reply to Meghnas post regardig Minaret ban is Switzerland” I had said that “As the newest member of the EU, Switzerland’s ban on minarets can be seen as an example of how “multiculturalism” is being curtailed in the EU sphere. But I still think that Switzerland is an exception and ban is not localism as yet. It is merely a stance of a particular nation defining the limits of the visibility of its cultural plurality. Such actions come from national conviction toward a salient model of multiculturalism and not all promises of plurality look alike. Islam, like other religions, has its internal factions. It is further subdivided into Shias and Sunnis etc. Hidden in a minaret might be the faith of a sect that might engender insecurity into the other for a race like this. Given the stress on land, environment, space and visibility, Switzerland has to be selectively accommodative to new constructions. Expecting globalisation to integrate cultures is a utopia of our false internationalism; at best globalisation should only mandate consolidation. Also important in this regard is the history of Switzerland as a nation. It is a very immigrant-friendly nation and thus multiculturalism in Swiss society is way more than can we found in other societies”
I guess the truth will only emerge when all the theories are put together.

meghna February 8, 2010

thanks a lot ….

terry morris February 11, 2010

2 Men hop into a taxi, give an address, then bash the man from behind, steal his cash, and run, the money is spent on drugs, taxis are the easier-est targets. Have I mentioned a nationality, no, and It doesn’t merit a mention in any press, but what if he is Indian or Asian?. Stop press, front page news….. Racial attack!, Indian taxi driver bashed…… Hmmmm, Why would I wanna read a BBC article about something that happened in Australia. Indians don’t serve as taxi drivers, they earn good money driving taxis, People who serve means they are in service, we got rid of that 150 years ago, but not in India, Nooooo, service and slavery mean much the same. Shame on you…..

meghna February 11, 2010

First of all, Let me tell you that we Indians never consider “People who serve us as our slaves”. May be in India professions with physical labour are not highly paid but it no where means that we don’t respect them. We always address them with respectful connotations like bhaiya, didi, akka or anna (which means brother or sister).
Now let me make it clear again I have not targeted any nation in any sense. I have just addressed the issue of attacks on Indians. Now about the BBC article, you had doubted the credibility of Indian Press so I gave you a more credible source to rely upon.
I agree with you that robbery is one of the motives of the attacks. My concern is not just who is carrying on the attacks but what is done by the government to stop them.

terry morris February 14, 2010

you’ve got foot in mouth syndrome again meghna?. (We always address them with respectful connotations) to quote you, you call the (Laborers unskilled workers), them, automatically putting them in a lower class then yourself, and you call us (australians) racists. Besides, we don’t set fire to 4wDrives with a father and 2 boys trapped inside!!. We don’t blow up railways nor hotels?. I spent 12 months in hospital with 85 percent burns, after a car accident, there is no worse way to die then to be burnt alive. How many of your country’s leaders have been slain, your Mosks set alight while people inside pray. We are a comparatively young country, you have been around long enough to have sorted out your differences, but you haven’t,and you still try to lay that old racist crap on us…

meghna February 14, 2010

Mr Morris, instead of diagnosing my syndrome you should work on your language. You have been really rude and abusive. There are various other ways to show your discontentment rather than using words like bullshit, shame on you etc. Still I would like to respond to your comment.
If you read my other posts or even this post for example I have never supported any act of violence in India or elsewhere in the world. A wrong act cannot be justified on any grounds. You can not kill Afghans just because Taliban which was functional in their country is an oppressive force.
I would recommend you to be polite in future.

тнє ∂єνιℓιѕн αηgєℓ...!!! February 14, 2010

OMG..! What’s going on here…? I guess the motive behind the publishing this article wasn’t to fight or argue here but to find out the ways to curb these kind of incidents happening in the world and not only these two countries… and what is going on here…?
Mr. Morris am sure you are a responsible citizen and we would rather like you to be a bit polite and indulge in creating awareness and finding solutions rather than blaming the other people…. the energy you are putting in posting all these statements..You can divert that energy in finding solutions and supporting the cause…
Just think how we all can actually stand together against this cause and discuss something positive rather than just blaming the other country… I don’t see any point of this kinda mud fight going on here rather guys it’s a serious issue and let’s discuss what can we do….and not what the other has done..

meghna February 14, 2010

You are right blaming nations is not a solution to the issue. I truly stand by your statements and thoughts.

Prachi February 14, 2010

@Mr. Terry Morris
I think that your level of knowledge about international affairs is very poor. You are totally ignorant about the facts that prevail worldwide. If you want to know about the country’s leaders then you must go through the freedom struggle of India where innumerable leaders laid down their lives for their nation… if you want to know about attacks on innocent people then you will find a long list including attack on Akshardham temple, attack on Mumbai on 26/11/2008, etc etc… India has always forgiven those who attacked her and there lies the greatness of this old country… But it seems that people like you can never understand this. Actually you need to be sensitive enough to understand such values. India has always supported unity and non violence. And we as indians look upon people from other nations also as our own kins.
Here in this article also, the author talks about humanity and feeling of brotherhood among people from different background, castes, religion, region or country. Why does a man kill another man??? It is this feeling of hatred that should be despised and not a particular community!
And just to talk about “that old racist crap on you”, i would like to mention two things.. First, India never called Australia a racist country.. And secondly, why are people been attacked like this in Australia only and not in other countries….
I would suggest you to go through the facts first and then comment….!

arun February 14, 2010

Terry Morris you behave, think and act like your name ‘terry’ as an icon terrorist of racism . If racism is treated to be a neoteric religion then you will be a god for this religion (which will never happen… as ur sick thinking will never last). Hoping Jesus purifies your thoughts as none on this celestial boby i.e. earth can do so.

terry morris February 15, 2010

arun… yeah your name fits, arun away. (Terry Morris you behave, think and act like your name ‘terry’) that makes no sense, at all, (as ur sick thinking will never last) more of your perfect engulish. Prachi… (( And just to talk about “that old racist crap on you”, i would like to mention two things.. )) your quotes are back to front, what dose (And just to talk about) mean, It makes no sense in any language. I can’t answer you, if you don’t make any sense. A bit of advice, stop trying to pritty up your sentence with words cut and pasted from other sites. In other words, keep it simple stupid!!.

Prachi February 15, 2010

Mr. Terry Morris
If you are not able to understand these simple English languages sentences, then you should consult an English Professor. I hope you must be literate enough to understand what a Professor means..
I would also suggest you to join some English Language Learning Course to improve your language skills…
And honestly, i had not expected that besides your ignorance about worldwide facts, you would be ignorant about simple language statements…
Well actually your poor skills at English language explains your lack of knowledge about international affairs and also poor understanding of the content of this article!
I wonder whether you studied English at school or not…oh actually i wonder whether you attended school or not….

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