I just do not understand all this finger-pointing, all the “there is a strong undertone of racial ill-feeling towards Indians in Australia” canard that is getting play in the popular Indian press.
Give me a break mite.
I mean if there is one society that is sensitive to racism it has to be the Australian. Remember all that outrage in the Aussie Press when Harbhajan (whose cousin’s death in Australia was passed off as “suicide” apparently without a post-mortem) supposedly called Symonds a “monkey” and sections of the crowd made simian gestures at that same man. At that point of time, I remember the Australian press telling us how sensitive the country is about issues of race, sensitive in a way that us Indians, with a history and continuing tradition of caste, cannot even comprehend.
When some Indians, jingoistic as they are, tried to make the argument that noone in India saw Symonds as black (since he is whiter than most Indians) and that Symonds with his tough abusive shoulder-charging playing philosophy was raising the bogey of racism to hide the fact that he couldn’t take on-field abuse it half as good as he gave , we were told that we were justifying the most vicious form of racism. They were right of course. Having had a “White Australia policy” as recent as 1973, they sure are better qualified to understand the concept of racism and identify it than us casteists.
Which is why I totally believed the police head dude when he said that the recent spate of attacks on Indians in Australia were not racist in nature but merely opportunist since Indians are perceived as weak,an impression that may have been strengthened after watching Venkatapathy Raju bowl. Now again a case may be made that the perception of vulnerability follows directly from the color of skin making this classic racism. It could also be argued that since the motivations behind the acts were primarily hate and not just simple “crime” for the sake of pecuniary benefit, calling the whole thing “non-racial” sounds like, to paraphrase the famous Fosters commercial, “Australian for hogwash”. But of course the police are right. This is Australia you see.
So what are these assaults if not racism or as it is known “curry-bashing” ? I would say that these are isolated lapses in security on the part of the Australian administration, a minor stain of chicken masala on their spotless whites. After all, this is a country which takes security very seriously. If someone even passes a noisy fart in the brown swamps of the subcontinent, they call off cricket tours on the grounds of threats to their well-being (unless of course they are being paid some hundred thousands in dollars). Surely being so paranoid about safety especially that of guests, the police would make sure that a group of foreigners who were in hospital after being brutalized (one fighting for his life) would not have their rooms burgled (actually cleaned out, not even a scrap of their belonging reportedly remain) by the same set of “opportunist” Aussies a few days after they had been attacked. Of course they would. Which is why it never happened. Opportunists who beat up four people and then come back to rob their houses a few days later, all of course without the police lifting a finger, could only happen in “third world countries” (quote: Monsieur Hayden). Right?
Police inaction. In Australia. Never? See the protesting Indians being dragged off the streets for peaceful protest. See police brutality on Indians. Number of Indians arrested for protesting= 18. Number of opportunists brought to book so far. Emm. Okay.
A few comments on messageboards, probably from some locals, have also been pretty convincing in their line of reasoning. In essence what they say is that if things in Australia are so bad, why dont the reeking of curry Indians go back to their little hell-hole and stop taking Australian jobs (like they do when they play local Australian tournaments like IPL) ? The argument is pretty logical when one considers that the students who had been attacked were “contributors” to the Australian economy through their tuition dollars, the potential loss of which has apparently led to widespread concern among educators and may or may not be the reason why the Australian government is “mulling” hate-crime legislation.
Finally the fundamental fact remains, as many Indian commentators are quick to point out, Indians are the most racist people in the world. Do not we make racist comments at students from the North East and the exchange student from Nigeria? We should put our own house in order before we can point fingers at people pointing sharp objects and chucking firebombs at us.
So honestly people. Go easy on the whining. Geez.
A screwdriver please bartender.