It’s caution, not obfuscation

An Australian view of the attacks on Indian students

Over at The Lowy Interpreter, Rory Medcalf writes:

Even if most of the violence against Indian students has been opportunistic street crime, some of it no doubt has had a racial edge. And if any of the latest attacks on Indians in Australia are proven to involve motives of ethnic prejudice, the governments in Canberra and – especially — Melbourne will need seriously to question their policy settings and statements.

It is difficult to explain to Indian friends that Australians typically are very cautious in the way that they talk about race and crime, for the very reason that we are proud of how far this country has come in recent decades in building ethnic harmony and equality. But this multiculturalism-induced silence is being interpreted in India as denial or obfuscation. [The Lowy Interpreter]

In general, it is just as well that the Indian government is compelled to take the security of its citizens more seriously. Yet the focus on Australia distracts attention from the region that deserves a lot of it—the Gulf. As you read this around 100 Indian labourers find themselves in the refuge of a gurudwara in Kabul, after being at the receiving end of sharp business practices in Dubai. There’s no commotion at all in the Indian media.

7 thoughts on “It’s caution, not obfuscation”

  1. Nitin,

    India does not have any leverage over gulf countries, and gulf official policies related to workers are crap and well known. Indian media knows that getting access to such workers in gulf is not easy, basically creating stories out of them is not going to help them. Indian media understands this, and domocracies like Australia provide the necessary space for media to make an impact.

    Media can not make such inpact when the countries are like gulf, russia, china etc…unless Indian government such some leverage.

    1. IMO Media's main job is to inform or give its "opinion" at best, not making IMPACT. Highlighting some incidents and not reporting others at all shows biased reporting.

  2. Manu

    I do not understand (and do not agree with) Swapan Dasgupta's disparaging remarks about Australia's immigration model. Their policies are for them to decide. Indians can very well decide not to go there.

    That said, I do agree with Mr Dasgupta on the fact that Australia should face up to the consequences of its policies…and GOI should take up the matter with the requisite seriousness.

    The point missing in Mr Dasgupta's piece is this: shouldn't GOI liberalise education such that genuine students of engineering, management, hairstyling and cooking have good domestic options.

  3. Hi Nitin,
    I’m pretty new to this blog – and am only beginning to form an opinion. Sadly, for the past many decades I’ve been fed the lies & false history of NCERT books and only a personal event in my life had made me to question the very history of India and the Evil Social Practices of Indian Society [not the ones highlighted in NCERT – but the ones they happily missed out].
    That Wahabbi money and much of the Zakat money flows into various forums, clubs or other organizations – and that such flow can neither be accounted for nor be traced – is proof enough for any lay man to understand how many untoward incidents are funded.
    I’d like to include the Mainstream Media’s senseless prejudice [I got a glimpse of it in Vishnu’s cool sweeping of the Saudi treatment of their minorities under the carpet] towards a specific class [Wahabbi] as part of the ‘untoward incidents’ that are being launched at unsuspecting guillible individuals [such as yours humbly was, till a few months ago].
    Saudi torture, if any, will be pushed under the carpet – stating it is *regular* for them to do so. I’d like to make a parallel here. We find Blue Cross and some other organizations that have stood up to protect animals – and some people even think of not killing animals for meat or food. There are certain groups of people that do not take meat or even milk, for that matter [The Vegans in the USA are a case in point]. I attribute this to their feeling of guilt when a cow or chicken or prawn or fish is killed in order to satiate their taste buds.
    However, what I’d like to point out is that almost no human being has ever felt guilty that millions of wheat grains or rice or pulses or fruits or vegetables are killed for the same reason. The association of guilt towards killing pulses, food grains and fruits, vegetables has been completely removed from the collective conscience of human beings – this same dissociation of guilt from killing can be observed from another set of human beings that are ready to kill other forms of life for consumption.
    When this same dissociation has been deftly, tactfully & patiently induced into unsuspecting, guillible kids/ young juveniles [like Kasab], we end up spending crores of Tax Payer money to provide fantastic security [compare with the SI Vetrivel who was killed in broad daylight in front of an IAS officer and two Ministers].
    I accede, I’ve been ranting about dissociation of guilt on a comments section of an unrelated article. However, what would be your views on this perspective? Now, the 100’s of Dubai-resident Indian workers being abused, tortured is being considered sans-guilt by the media houses [possibly due to the indirect Wahabbi funding, I suspect] – whereas a demoratic Australia failing to protect a mere fraction of a percentage of its immigrant or foreign workers, becomes a full-blown apartheid, almost.
    Forgive me for the exceedingly elongated comment. I apologize.

  4. And here again we have completely overlooked the central fact in this whole mess: The attackers are Lebanese Muslim gangs NOT WHITE AUSTRALIANS. It is absolutely central to the whole topic who the attackers are.

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