The Recent Racist Attacks on Indians in Australia

The recent acts of violence against Indian citizens ,in general, and Indian students ,in particular, in Australia have once again abhorred the myth that globalization empowers pluralism and multiculturalism. It is high time India realises that globalisation for the first world countries means the free mobility of capital to usurp the land and livelihood of people of developing countries; it has never meant the free movement of laborers to their countries. Predictably, in the wake of the current economic recession spawned by their disastrous policies, we are seeing a renewed vexatious offensiveness of racism against migrant workers from the Third World in these countries – from attacks on Sikh cab drivers and retrenchment of Asian teachers in the US, to Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s call for “British jobs for British people”.


The most recent addition to this story of the aftermath of globalization that is racial discrimination, are the attacks on Indian students in Australia. Some 20 incidents of racist violence have been reported in Sydney alone in the past one month. The most severe ones include the attack on the 25 -year –old Sravan Kumar Theerthala, who was attacked in Melbourne with a screwdriver and is now battling for life at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. Another student Baljinder Singh was robbed and stabbed outside a railway station. The situation was made worse by the callous attitude of the Australian police who refused to brand these attacks as acts of racialism. Instead, the Australian authorities indolently tried to waft the issue by categorising this violence as being opportunistic in nature. Students protesting through carrying out peace march were man-handled by the police, who, it seems finds it more important to curb the innocuous protests rather than taking concrete action against the root cause for such protests.


The tone of racial discrimination is inherent in the Australian State Policy. The aborigines have faced violence since decades and relinquish to such outrageous acts of discrimination such as their non -participation in the Australian Assembly. In the current scenario, the Indian economic headway progress has been a major cause of concern for the first world countries. Myriads of Multinational Companies and the entire BPO industry is thriving because of cheap and highly efficient and strong intellect -endowed Indian human capital. With incomparable intelligence being recruited by the MNCs from the IITs and IIMs, the youth of first world has started feeling insecure. They view it as a seizure of their rightful employment by their Indian counterparts. This insecurity and threat is in a way seeking an outlet and metamorphosing into racist attacks that have been witnessed in the recent times However, it must not be forgotten that these condemnable acts do not necessarily reflect the perception of the first world society as a whole. Reason and rationality are slumbering but not non-existent. Every country has its share of cantankerous, fanatic masses. This, however, does not imply that every Australian is against every Indian or vice-versa.


It is the due responsibility of the Australian government to ensure the security of the humungous Indian student community which is 90,000 approximately. It was only when the attacks received overwhelming media attention that the Australian government decided to put certain security measures into place like increasing patrolling in the University areas and the installation of a help line. These ,however, are only makeshift measures aimed at bringing about peace and order by force. In the long run, there is an immediate need for multicultural tolerance among people if the vision of a global village is to be materialized.


Neha Maheshwari

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