Is Australia safe for Indian students?

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SAY NO TO RACISM

Parents are worried to send their children to Australia for studies…

In the wake of the recent attacks on the Indian students in Australia, questions are being raised about the safety of the Indian students as well as the Asian based out there. Is it a case of racism showing up its ugly head again in what can be termed as a gruesome assault on a student of Indian origin, Shravan who is in hospital after being stabbed by a screw-driver.

The entire Indian community is in utter disbelief over whatever has happened in the past week in Australia and equally baffled by the role of the Australian media and the Australian Government. To add salt to the injury, is the case of an Indian cabbie, whose dead body had been found near the railway tracks. While the Government has termed it as a suicide, foul play is being suspected from his parents as the body has no injury marks at all.

Press, which is popularly known as the Fourth Estate, has shamed the world and particularly India in trying to suppress the incident which happened to Shravan Kumar. The role of the media is indeed questionable as such an act of inhumanity was tried to be covered up and closed. The role of the Australian Government is equally questionable but being a writer myself I am much hurt by the Australian Press’ decision to keep mum when such injustice was done in their homeland.

When news ultimately broke out, through the students friends and relatives, Indian media made it a point to let the world know what was going on in Australia. It was an incident of extreme inhumanity when a group of drunk Aussie teenagers tried to stop a party which was taking place in Shravan’s house. When Shravan intervened he was mercilessly stabbed with a screw-driver and also hit his other friends. Shravan Kumar was in coma for a couple of days before being declared safe, saving the embarrassment to Australian Government, had he died.

Indian Government, immediately took it up with the Aussie Government, with the Indian foreign minister, S. M. Krishna, exchanging words with his Australian counterpart. After assurances from the foreign minister, the shock lessened a bit but the mental dent it has caused is not going to be forgotten for many a days to come. The Indian students in Australia also held a peace procession in the streets of Australia on Sunday followed by lighting of candles to bring a sense of peace and harmony in Australia. This leaves us with an important question – Is Australia safe for Indian students?

Is it a case of racism which has popped up its ugly head again? If so Australia has to take firm steps against it. Racism has been dealt with utmost attention in America and its neighboring countries. Even Europe has very strict rules with even football players being banned from matches even for a single gesture or talk revolving around racism. With such stern rules against racism even for players, it is shocking to see that the hooligans in Australia have got away with such a heinous crime. It also highlights the apathy of the Australian Government in dealing with such matters.

LIVE AND LET LIVE

Things don’t look pleasant for Indians and other Asians in Australia, particularly with the magnitude of hate mails and blogs doing the rounds in Australia showing utter disrespect to the Indians in what can be termed as a ‘text full of racist remarks’. Things like the behavior and lifestyle of Indians have been criticized and even feeling of not getting along with the Indian students in project work has also been blogged about. Some extreme terms were used, which even I don’t have the heart to write here.

With such mentality among the Australian community, even if it is of a select few, is surely going to cause anxiety and worry in the Indian community living there or planning to go there for studies or profession. Hard measures have to be taken be the Australian authorities to bring the situation under control and bring the perpetrators of these crimes to book. Australian Government now has a uphill task of gaining the confidence of the international student community which have all along perceived it as a safe abode for education. Given the fact that education generates so much revenue for the Australians, the Governments role in the entire episode raises serious doubts about its policies. A police authority has further angered the Indian by suggesting that Indians must live in serenity and not show off their expensive lifestyles which angers the local Australians.

India is in a state of shock still with what has happened and the Indian Government is leaving no stones unturned in diplomatic talks with Australians and ensuring that proper measures are taken for the safety of the Indians. Indians are making their stand very clear that such acts cannot be tolerated at all. Indian iconic superstar, Amitabh Bachchan has turned down an honor given to him by an Australian University. In his blog he writes, “mean no disrespect to the institution that honors me, but under the present circumstances, where citizens of my own country are subjected to such acts of inhuman horror, my conscience does not permit me to accept this decoration from a country that perpetrates such indignity to my fellow countrymen.”

Another famous Bollywood actor, Aamir Khan, has made his displeasure evident by terming the act as horrific act against inhumanity and expressed shock over the entire incident. Meanwhile Indian students in the UK also plan to write to the Australian Government to ensure that peace is maintained among the locals and the visiting students.

The gravity of the situation lies in the fact that it is not the illiterate or ignorant population who are behind these attacks, but a group of well-educated teenagers who know very well what racism is and what is human and what inhuman. It is with great hope that I end this article that things will return to normal and the world will be a better place for people to live in irrespective of a persons’ nationality, race, color, background, age, and gender.

“Let peace flourish in this world”. “Live and let live”

JUSTICE ALONE SHALL PREVAIL

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