Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Racial attacks on Indian Students......a serious concern

Over the years, Australia has always been a safe haven for travel & migration, especially for the Indians. It has been a country with low crime rates, vibrant economy, great escape destinations & high standards of living. The Australian Govt has been encouraging students from the subcontinent & also work permits, which made the land down under a favourite destination for many Indians.
However, things seem to be taking an ugly turn & the recent racial attacks on students have left a huge Indian contingent completely miffed. The last few weeks have brought to light, multiple cases of attacks on unsuspecting Indians, who have become easy targets of probably the jobless aborigines. Infact, some Indians mention that such incidents have been on the rise since the last few years, & the Australian Govt has failed to control such attacks.
The Federation of Indian Students in Australia(FISA), who feel that the authorities are not taking this seriously, have already staged peace march in Melbourne, which had thousands joining them on the streets, demanding justice for the victims & action against the culprits.
Our PM, Dr Manmohan Singh has already approached his conterpart in Australia, Kevin Rudd, for quick action, demanding protection for the Indians in Australia & a high level enquiry. Trying to face this rather rude shock, the Aussie Premier has said in a press release that, a task force has been set up with high level officials to deal with the problem.

The worry, however, is the nature & the number of the attacks. Young miscreants seem to be bullying & mugging the Indians & getting hostile as well. Shravan Kumar, one of the victims, was attacked with screwdrivers & had to admitted to the hospital, where he had slipped into coma. While he has recovered & has been taken off life support, doctors are unsure whether Kumar would fully recover. Another student received serious burn injuries from a petrol bomb thrown at him, while he was studying at home in Sydney. There seem to be a rise in such brutal attacks & Indians are feeling very insecure in Australia.
There are more than 100,000 Indian students in Australia currently & possibly a double of that as Australian citizens, who are from Indian origin. The recent attacks pose a real threat to all of them, & the Govt of India needs to set up diplomatic pressures to ensure safety for these people. A mass exodus by the Indians could mean a serious blow to the earnings of the Aussie Govt as tution fees are a healthy source of income for the Australian Universities. This could also seriously dent the safe image of the country.

Kevin Rudd has a job at hand, where he needs to come up with quick solutions.