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Racism Down Under

Racism exists universally . Agreed . At least a  tint of racism exists in every society across the world. Its a naked truth that we have to live with.

Racism  exists in India too . In my views , even the prevalent casteism is pure racism . So why this hue and cry about racist attacks in Australia ?

The media in India has whipped up the anger among the Indian public. Obviously the images coming from Australia to Indian shores are quiet disturbing .



Sravan Kumar Theerthala, 25, was assaulted Sunday in Melbourne along with three other students. The attackers allegedly hurled racist abuses at the Indian students and hit Theerthala with a screwdriver.


Baljinder Singh


Lone traveller Baljinder Singh, an Indian studying in Melbourne, had left Carnegie railway station when two men carrying weapons approached , they stabbed him and laughed at him.



The callous stabbing of Baljinder Singh came soon after a menacing attack on  yet another Indian on a train as it travelled along the Werribee line on May 9.

Terrifying footage shows victim Sourabh Sharma, 21, being beaten by a group of thugs, one of whom laughs during the attack. Sharma suffered a fractured cheek bone and a broken tooth in the attack.


If all this terrifying , disgusting news were not enough , soon within days came yet another news.

Hospitality graduate Rajesh Kumar received 30 percent burns after an unidentified person hurled a petrol bomb through the window of his Harris Park home in Sydney he shared with other Indians

And last heard there was yet another attack on an Indian student yesterday , with 5 people attacking him  with one slashing him across the chest with a weapon believed to be a box cutter, causing minor lacerations.

So India was shaken with all this visuals and news bytes . Its quiet natural for the mass to be agitated in such situation.

To rub salt to the wound came the visual of Victorian police manhandling the Indian students who were on a sit-in peace protest . The visuals of the usage of excessive force to break the protests , the high- handedness and dragging of the student protestors gave enough fuel for the already raging anger and disbelief in India.

Now coming back to the question I raised in the start of the topic : “why this hue and cry about racist attacks in Australia ?”

  • Pictures says a thousand words : The visuals that poured in every alternate days with new stories of violence against Indian students would shaken any society .
  • Australia has around 430,000 foreign students enrolled in their various universities and Indians count around 90,000 . They make around 20% of the foreign students. With such huge numbers , its obvious such news of attack would stir a storm  here.
  • Racism is a disease. If the disease has to be treated , the disease has to be acknowledged. Without accepting a problem , one cannot find a solution to the problem. Australian government till this point of time is in a denial mode , attributing the violence as “urban violence”
  • The police action against the protesting students was the last nail in the coffin. It just made the public in India to make a generalized conclusion about the whole episode.

I would not generalize and tag Australians as racist. A few percentage of population are enough to give a bad name to any society and that is what has happened in this case. What I would like is the Australian population to come ahead and assure Indians of their safety . I should appreciate Bret lee for voicing his concern over the attacks on Indian students. More such voices of assurance should cool down the tempers.

Most problem in the society comes with minuscule percentage of the population proactive in negativity and the majority of the population silent over it. Common Australians should come forward to cleanse the blot in their country’s image , the law should enforce strict hate laws to tackle the menace and bring back peace in the air.

After all , Australia happens to be most sought destination for Indians – travelers as well as students and ya how can I forget the connection between Bollywood and Australia !

0 03 June, 2009 World Around June 3, 2009

About the author

He is the lead man of GingerChai and plays the multi role of chief author, editor, business development and also of a chaiwala! (Tea maker!) He is the master brewer at Ginger Chai.

View all articles by Lakshmi Rajan

1 comment

  1. omsherryom

    what is happenning is horrifying !
    these incidents are same as MNS or shiv sena doing to Northians…
    like here in India these Australian incidents seems more of law and order issues rather than being racist in nature…strong government will can stem this rot…

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