The recent Racial Attacks on Indian students in Australia have been making headlines for almost a month now. And reports of fresh attacks just keep coming in every week.
The outrage of Indians close to the attacks and here at home has been predictable and understandable. Diplomatic ties between India and the land down under are being tested as Protesters are marching in both countries. The situation is obviously one which has caused much grief to the Australian authorities.
But before we get into any more details,let us pause for a minute and ask ourselves, Is racial abuse prevalent only in the western world? India has its own share of racist or at least discriminatory acts of violence. The most prominent one being the immolation of the Australian Graham Stewart Steins, and his two sons by an irate mob in Orissa. The Christian Missionary along with his children was burnt alive in the night while sleeping in his station wagon.
Such acts of discrimination have not been limited to foreigners. In the Indian province of Rajasthan, between the years 1999 and 2002, crimes against Dalits average at about 5024 a year, with 46 killings and 138 cases of rape. Incidents of the lower caste populous being tormented and victimised by the upper caste “elite” are so common that they have stopped becoming newsworthy.
Can we truly point fingers at a another when we ourselves are incapable of demonstrating anti-discriminatory behavior?
What makes the recent attacks so significant as to overshadow our own violent past? Economic conditions are worsening globally. Recession has caused many companies in the west are being forced to execute layoff procedures and find cheaper alternatives. India has been one of the prime destinations for outsourcing jobs at very low costs. Indians are therefore perceived by many victims of the aforementioned layoffs as the cause of their financial disparity.
This article is in no way intended to be an argument to defend the actions of those Australians who committed the attacks against our fellow Indians. Rather a call for introspection and action. Justice is required for those who have been wronged by racists, outside our nation and also within.