Racist attacks or a planned conspiracy?

Recent attacks in Australia have attracted everyone’s sight towards plight of Indian students in foreign countries. Students are being threatened, beaten, stabbed and even bombed. Is this a student fate? Does a student travel foreign country bearing huge financial burden to suffer these crisis?


From march09 onwards more than 60 attacks have been done on Indian students alone. A count which is known. Nobody knows the actual figure which may be even twice.


Foreign students contribute a lot to Australian economy. As cost of studying in Australia is cheaper than other nations and government policies also encourage welcoming students. The international education industry provides 15 percent of the combined revenues of Australian universities, up to 50 percent in individual universities. In 2007, according to Australia Education International, student enrollments from various nations mainly are China (107071); India (63604); Republic of Korea (34674); Thailand (19987). In 2007 around 378000 international students enrolled in Australian universities from more than 190 countries which accounted for $11.7 billion in 06-07 which may have accounted more in 08-09.


In Australia tuition fees level for domestic student is limited but not for international student. Universities lose money on every local student they enroll while international student is a bonus. Due to large enrollment of foreign students a number of resources are bagged by foreigners which otherwise would be available to local students. High competition to get an entry in good course at prestigious university may be a killing factor evolving among nationals.


With an economic slowdown stretching around the globe, job scenarios are also worsening. Job crunch and insecurity may be another factor too. While Australians are getting fired, foreign students are capping opportunities which are intolerable for a national.


Are these attacks really racist or a conspiracy which isn’t smelled yet? These attacks will lower down the enrollment by foreign students initially by Indian students later on followed by other nationals too. These lowering enrollments will free up resources grabbed by international students easing up competition for the locals. Also if such incidents happens in corporate world too in Australia which is still to be reported, locals will become a choice at the time of hiring thus creating more opportunities for them.


With Chinese students in majority why only Indian students are being targeted is an area of concern. Increasing influence of Indians around the globe may be a point of choosing them. Recently India has been challenging Australian supremacy in many fields whether it is cricket or nuclear fuel availability model which may trigger a feeling of hatred amongst the common man. May be Chinese students were also victims of such attacks and their voices got suppressed by the huge outcry by Indians. In recent rally by Indian students in Australia against these attacks was hugely joined and supported by other international students which proves that they are also victims of such incidents and this time they got a platform to raise their voices too.


Australian government is trying to find out solution to this problem with no direction in sight. Tightened security, high patrolling and awareness among students won’t do much. They should link all the incidents together in order to find out the root cause of the problem, whether it’s a conspiracy or mere discrete incidents. Also they should try to find out what is causing these incidents. Is there any outrage growing in local students or the feel of insecurity is causing this? Or is just an after affect of the meltdown that has rendered the native Australians jobless only to find that the suitable jobs have been occupied by Indians?


Racism is an issue that plagues the society,, it discriminates people. Such feelings mostly stem from fear and inability to accept a foreigner in one’s own land, but with the world turning into a global village, something must be done to remove this menace from its roots.


Saurabh Agarwal

[Image source:http://www.quakerhouse.org/QH%20Exhibit/images/end_racism_thru_unity.jpg]