Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Paradise Lost?

"Jaya Sankar, 22, an Indian student studying in Melbourne, watched as his friend was stabbed in the head with a screwdriver, putting him in a coma. Now, Sankar’s parents want him to quit his studies and return home."

Violent crime against Indian students, including attacks with machetes, knives, and knuckle dusters, has risen by a third in the past year in the state of Victoria. A poll on the Indian students’ federation Web site shows 83 percent of respondents believe there has been an increase in racism in Australia. In one court case, accused youths described the attacks as “curry bashing,” Gupta (secretary of the Federation) said. “If they are using words like ‘curry bashing’ and ‘Indian hunting’ I fail to see how it is not racism,” he said. Gupta said he’s scared to use public transportation after 8 p.m.

The recent media attention on the Racist attitudes in Australia brings forth some questions. Again, is it really worth it? To be called names, to be kicked, insulted, mocked, and to be told to go back home, maybe even killed...is all this crap worth it?

Not many weeks ago, An NRI living in Australia (supposedly) was commenting away to glory in this blog. From women's rights to cleanliness to other things, she painted a picture of the perfect place to live. But the statistics tell a different story. The hate crimes against Indians in Australia are not "few" by any standards. They are continuing without any signs of abating, in spite of all the media attention.

Life as an NRI cannot be very different from the life of a Bihari/UP bhaiya living in Delhi, Punjab or Mumbai. The locals do not like them. The locals do not accept them as one of their own. There may be more money or better living standards than back home. But there is no respect and you can never break the barriers of race.