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Australia confronts racism

Indian students have been victims of violent attacks


 

Australia confronts racismAfter weeks of refuting allegations of Australian racism, PM Kevin Rudd may be pulling an about-face. In response to a spate of violent attacks against Indian students, Rudd announced Thursday that he would consider a new set of federal laws aimed at curbing violence against overseas students. The amendment would strengthen the powers of police to respond to attacks, and also make “inciting violence” against an individual, on the basis of race, a federal offence.

It’s a move that was slow in coming. The first of the assaults—which left a 21-year-old student in a coma after he was stabbed with a screwdriver—took place over a month ago. Since then, over a dozen such incidents have been reported. But Australian officials have steadfastly denied that the attacks were racially motivated. Police said the violence was nothing but pedestrian street crime; Indian students were “soft” targets because they were walking alone at night. Rudd similarly dismissed race as a motive, calling the violence “just a regrettable fact of urban life.”

That dismissal sent hundreds to the streets in protest. It also provoked a barrage of criticism in India, which has threatened to sour diplomatic relations between the two countries. Headlines have denounced “incidents of ‘curry bashing’ ” and admonished Australia’s “racist element.” The Australian government hopes that the new legal measures will quell the mounting anger among Indian residents. But critics charge that they come too late. Early this year, officials launched the Diverse Australia Program in response to racially motivated beatings on two Sydney beaches, but ethnic clashes have still taken place. Now, as the proposed laws are being considered, Rudd warns Indian students to resist taking “vigilante action.”


 

Australia confronts racism

  1. I can understand Kevin Rudd's scepticism. As an Australian, all I see the Indian media cite 17 assaults assaults over the space of 6 weeks as if it's the Night Of Broken Glass.

    Slightly harder statistics cited in the media allege 81 assaults against Indians over the space of about a month. But even this is actually surprisingly low, if you look at Australia's modest assault rate and compare it to the number of Indians living here.

    It's only seems significant if the press gives front page coverage to each individual incident, but statistically it just isn't so. What's going on in India looks like media generated mass hysteria to me. And that's probably why the India's own politicians are need to publicly appeal for objective reporting on the issue, as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh did recently.

  2. Australians like their friends belonging to that race in Europe US and Canada , Generally like to be Rock stars and Celebrities do drugs and feel good . they really feel threatened when they see Indians who really want to study and make a difference in the world .Their primitive fearful animal instincts want to kill those they perceive as a threat. The Govt can mince words and call it something else than filthy racism. Call it over reaction but a few Australians were killed in Bali and they wanted to turn the world upside down. They still believe that they are superior race, have more rights and are entitled to their racism.Their lives are more important than the lives of those they kill and do not even count. I think this kind of behavior is self destructive at best . It paralyzes their capacity for creative thinking. We don't need to learn any thing we are a superior race!

  3. India is flexing it's muscles and the white man better start listening. Ten years ago you could have killed a hundred Indians in broad daylight in Sydney and the Indian press wouldn't have mentioned the 'R" word. Instead they would have been looking inward and blaming India for all the problems it's citizens face.

    Fast forward to today and you've got a country giddy with success and a deap seated urge to rid itself of it's "coolie" heritage. It is australia facing the music today , soon it will be Canada.

    • Face the music? What music? Are you implying that Australians are paying some penance for simply being white?

  4. Australians, excluding the migrants in recent years, are descendants of convicts. What makes them think they are superior, seriously? I can't figure that one. Of all people, them Aussies, born out of crime and dirt, have no right to feel good about themselves. Stupid Bastards!

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