Racial Discrimination in Australia

For the past few days the treatment which is being met out with the Indian students in Australia is not only a matter worth lamenting it is a cause of anxiety too. This is so because India and Australia's relations have never been bad, but in certain aspects they are quite significant. It should be recalled that Australia has an important position from nuclear energy point of view. It is a member of that group which provides nuclear energy on non-military grounds or it is carrier country for it's source, other than that it has a key role in the Commonwealth. It has an important role in world politics as it is America's friend and it's closeness with UK has historic importance. It is considered as one of the developed nations. It has its importance due to some other reasons too. It is one of the countries where Indian citizens go in pursuit of higher education. This process is going on for quite a long time now. But since last few days the Indian students have started facing discrimination. Not only that they are also becoming a target of violence. The incidents which have occured in the past few days are a cause of great anxiety. The matter of anxiety is the fact that there is a hatred against Indian students here and based on their race they have been made targets of violence. The students are so frightened that some of them have returned back without even completing their education. They feel that they should not go to Australia for higher studies now. Due to this, bitterness has started creeping in the bilateral relationship.

Earlier when a similar incident happened with Dr.Mohammad Hanif of Bangalore, then it was linked with 'Islamic terrorism', but now it is common that the Indian students are being targeted. As far as the Indian foreign policy is concerned Australia has been given a lot of importance. There is no point of conflict with Australia. But this hatred against Indians in Australia is astonishing as well as worth pondering too. It can not be neglected by considering them as few stray incidents. Thought should be given to it and it should be analysed why this is happening and it is also important because it is related to the reaction of the public. That means that the public is involved in the attacks on the Indian students and the discrimination against them. Naturally this is a common instinct which can not be developed in a day or two. If few incidents had taken place then they could have been termed as accidental incidents but since few months or even more, the occurrence of these incidents at regular intervals show that this trend is nurturing at the level of the common man. The Government of Australia has also considered it as an important issue and have assured that they will try to bring it under control. The Indian Government's concerns in this regard is justified. They have communicated their concerns to the Australian Government and have made an appeal to them to provide the required protection to the Indian students and citizens in Australia. It can be expected that the Australian Government will pay an attention to it and take up such measures which ensure that no such incidents take place in the future.
04/06/09 Editorial by Parwaaz Rahmani, sehrozaDAWAT, translated by: Asma Anjum Siddiqui

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