‘Indians’ Down Under

Posted in society by jrahman on August 11, 2009

‘Indian’ students in Australia have attracted a lot of attention lately.  There has been racist violence — see this Economist artcle — as well as fairly dodgy practices in Australia’s education exports industry — see here.  Ironically, much of the violence has been perpetrated not by ‘Anglos’, but by youths of other ethnic groups.  And the students are often ripped off by members of their own communities.

Education is a major service export for Australia, and these scandals pose a major risk to the sector.  That’s why the country’s Prime Minister made formal statements in the parliament promising an end to the attacks, sent a high level delegation to India, and received the Indian Foreign Minister earlier this month with much pomp and ceremony. 

Of course, attackers don’t ask the victims for their passports — they don’t discriminate on which side of the Radcliffe Line their victims comes from: Indian/Pakistani/Bangladeshi all are ‘fair targets’. 

The number of young Bangladeshis in Sydney and Melbourne run well into five figures, and they too have faced similar troubles.  It’s however difficult to imagine the Australian government reacting that strongly if the attacks were solely against Bangladeshi students. 

I guess it’s about time India’s neighbours benefitted from its hegemony.

Meanwhile, when Lateline, a major Australian current affairs talk show, ran a story on this, they got two people who do not subscribe to any form of the ‘Indian’ identity.

(Cross-posted at A-A-A)

Tagged with:

3 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Udayan said, on August 12, 2009 at 2:30 am

    What percentage of the “Indians” in question are not Indian?

    What has the government of Bangladesh done regarding the welfare of any Bangladeshis affected?

  2. jrahman said, on August 12, 2009 at 6:45 am

    Don’t have any hard data. Anecdotes suggest about half the Desi population in western Sydney are not Indian nationals. In addition to other South Asian nationals, there are South East Asian, African and Island ‘Indians’. Unless the attackers were targetting Sikhs, who are recognisable by the turban, it’s reasonable to assume that up to half of the violence victims in Sydney would be non-Indians. The dodgy practices by education/migration agents are rife in all communities.

    I am not aware of any action taken by GoB on this matter.

  3. Diganta said, on August 13, 2009 at 1:03 am

    You have overall a very good blog. You’re a rational analyst and a patriot. Great blog!!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: