Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hate crimes down under

For the 90,000 odd Indian students living in Australia, the events that had transpired in the last two weeks were the worst they would have ever experienced. A series of attacks aimed particularly at Indian students led to massive protests by the students in Australia and even in India. India’s external affairs minister, S M Krishna said that he was appalled by such attacks and wanted the Australian government to act swiftly. Aussie premier, Kevin Rudd was quick to reply :"I speak on behalf of all Australians when I say that we deplore and condemn these attacks”.

Hate crimes are bad- wherever it takes place and whatever form or shape it is executed. I sincerely hope that this issue is solved quickly. I am happy to see that the two countries are taking measures to bring this issue to an end.

The worst part regarding this issue was the way these incidents are portrayed in the Indian press. These incidents are spiced up in the local television channels and newspapers and getting the parents worried.A recent report showed that there is a decline in the number of applications by Indian students to Australian universities.

My brother lives in Melbourne and my worried parents are watching the “hourly news” in all the TV channels and call him every day.Talking to my brother, it was clear to me that it was not as serious as it was portrayed in the Indian press. Recently, the number of crimes in general increased a lot in Victorian province and it so happened that some of the Indian students also got affected. (I am talking about robbery. Hitting Indian students, setting ablaze cars owned by Indian students are an altogether different issue and should be condemned).

Hope the Australian government takes measures to correct this issue quickly or else it would be difficult for the Australian universities to attract Indian students for the next term. Rs. 7600 crore in foreign exchange for Australia and more importantly, lives of Indian students are in line.

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