H C Singh

Racial Attacks on Indians in Australia

During 2009 more than 400 cases of assault on Indian’s in Australia were recorded. In no European or American country such a racial discrimination and attacks on Indians and South East Asians has been reported. Govt of India has, through Australian High Commissioner in India, has expressed resentment as never before. Unfortunately even during first half of January 2010, a number of assaults on Indians have been reported, particularly four assaults in three days from 13th to 16th January 2010. In addition possibly for the first time six South East Asians, including three Indians, were not allowed to enter a bar in Australia on 16th of January 2010.

Paul John Brogden, an Australian was traveling in a taxi driven by Indian. As John had taken lot of alcohol, he was fully drunk. All of a sudden he started abusing the Indian cabbie “when you drop me off I will kill your mother…. (Unprintable) Indian bastard. As he got down he started thrashing the Indian cabbie. Luckily for Indian there was Australian police nearby that heard the shouting and abuses as well as saw the assault. The police took the Australian into custody then and there. As he confessed the guilt immediately, to save his skin and himself, he was sent to jail within couple of hours for three months. The horrible act was of setting on fire a place of worship of Indians (Gurudwara). Ministry of External Affairs of government of India, through Australian High Commission in India and also through Indian press and Media expressed unhappiness and strong resentment. So far Australian Government had hood-winked all the cases of 400 assault on Indians but the unholy act of burning of Gurudwara, an Indian place of worship seems to have woken up the Australian Government and it acted spontaneously in the case of assault on Indian cabbie.

It appears that Australian Government, to avoid worsening of relations with India, for the first time indirectly accepted that attacks on more than 400 Indian were racial. It seems that none from China, Japan and South East Asia, so far, had been assaulted even once. India and Australia are members of Commonwealth and have quite strong bonds. Still it is to be watched and seen during next 2-3 months. If relations become harmonious as before then Indian students may apply for Australian Visa though not in such large number as before 2009 assault on Indians. It is heartening to note that the Australian High Commission in India, Peter Vargiese on 15th January 2010 said that the Australian Government was determined to take action against these Australians involved in attacks on Indian nationals in Australia though he said that hasty conclusions may be avoided about the motives of such attacks on Indian nationals.

On behalf of Government of India, Minister of State for External Affairs, Parneet Kaur, emphatically said on 15-1-10’ we are doing our utmost to register our absolute displeasure and concern about what is happening to our citizens in Australia” she further added “we can only hope that Australia gets its act together like they are telling us and brings the perpetrator to book.”

It must be said that Government of Indian slept over the atrocities to Indians for more than a year. Had India shown strong and absolute resentment when just 10 or 20 Indians had been attacked during early 2009 possibly there would not have been attacks on more than 400 Indians and finally burning of Indian holy place (Gurudwara) .

Aboriginals in Australia had been discriminated upto 1967. They are one 1% of population of Australia now. It is only in 1967 that discrimination against aboriginals was ended by amendment of the constitution of Commonwealth of Australia. Prior to 1967, they were mostly confined to remote areas, many of the aboriginals were “killed” when British occupied Australia, just as many aboriginals were killed in South America when British and other Europeans landed and occupied the vast continents. As in USA today the Australian Government has “numerous projects to improve the health, education, skills and living conditions.” But today, as in USA, aboriginals want ” to regain control over all their traditional tribal territories not only these lands occupied by Aboriginal Communities.”

Similarly in Argentina, when in 1500, more than five centuries back the population of aboriginals (called Indians) was 2,50,000. Lakhs were mercilessly killed to make place in best areas for Europeans. As a result, “Today Argentina has only 50,000 Indians of unmixed ancestry”. Ordinarily in 500 years Indians (aboriginals) would have been more than 5 million in today’s population of 33 million composed of immigrants from Spain and all European countries. “Huge waves of immigrants” as the country had only about a million people in mid 1880’s.”

The facts about hatred, killing and confinement of remaining aboriginals in Australia for centuries are relevant because even today in Australia there is some racial hatred for non whites. That is one of the reasons that because of racial factors more than 400 Indians were attacked molested and many killed in just one year ie. 2009 and finally an Indian place of worship was burnt. In USA, discrimination against coloured and aboriginals ended more than a century ago. That is why a coloured person Mr. Obama has been chosen President of USA. But as in Australia discrimination against Aboriginals officially ended only in 1967, it is likely take a number of years more before all whites in Australia start treating Aboriginals and coloured immigrants like Indians, Chinese, Japanese and South East Asians as equal, provided the Australian Government is firm in ending racial discrimination, attacks and killings.

January 21, 2010 Posted by | Racial attacks on Indians | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment