Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Racial Attack Down Under

“The hysteria in the Indian Press last year about racial attacks on Indians there has almost subsided now. Now a little more balanced reaction is seen. Perhaps one reason for this is that some of these attacks were found to have been by their own compatriots. These were the outcome of ulterior motives or as observed in one case due to a sudden brainwave.

Besides this similar attack on other nationalities has challenged the presumption that all Australians are racial. Recently handicapped Canadian and Scottish travelers were attacked. Thus, if Whites are also at the receiving end it seems that the Australian stree gangs believe in equal treatment to all even in violence. It is also clear that no specific, racial reason was found in the attacks on Indians. These were just criminal acts. There were many different social factors behind the attacks on the Indian students. However, we did not miss any opportunity of branding the Australian Authorities as accused as it created an impression that we were innocent lambs. In fact, we earnestly desired that the attacks should prove racial as it provides an opportunity of presenting them as strife between Good and Evil.

Of course this does not repeat not mean that Indians living overseas do not have to face racial prejudices. But we tend to present these attacks as an attack on India as such.. However, we prefer to observe diplomatic silence on partialities on the ground of religion, caste, language.

.One unfortunate aspect of such imaginary tales of racial attacks is that it deadens our sensitivities towards other aspects of prejudices which our compatriots have to suffer overseas. Just a fortnight ago an Indian lady Miss Rashmika Patel, 44 won a civil case of sexual harassment against her employer. However, there was not the slightest mention about this victory of hers anywhere in the Indian Press. A similar other instance of just last fortnight relates to an Indian settled in Hongkong. This Indian Mr. Baldev Singh was at the receiving end of physical torture last year at the hands of the Police there. He was charged with drinking and also fighting with officers. However, he was finally absolved of all the charges and he has filed a counter case of harassment against the officers.

This only goes to prove that the harassed overseas Indians also receive better legal relief that he may perhaps not get here in India. In spite of such adverse experiences many an Indian prefer to settle down overseas for a better life. “

Honestly, when I read about the ‘racial’ attacks on Indian in Australia I was also prejudiced. The assurances by the Prime Minister there really did not convince me. I had advised some of my Indian friends and relatives studying and working there to come back to Home, Sweet Home. The assured me that there was no cause for panic. Even if Australia did follow a White Australia policy before WWII after that it is slowly moving towards Asia and is taking more interest in Asian Affairs.

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