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How justified are India’s beliefs about Australian racism?

[I've also got two other blog posts on this subject: here and here]

[Addendum, 6 June 2009: This blog post has received a lot of visits and many comments. Going by some of the comments posted by readers, I suspect that some of them have only read parts of this post. But most importantly, probably none will spend the time to read my draft manuscript 'The Discovery of Freedom' – which is over 500 book-pages long – that I have cited as reference, and which contains extensive discussion on 'racism'. There is therefore great potential for readers to misunderstand what I am saying. Therefore, let me make a few comments upfront:

(1) Biological fact: Genetically speaking, we are ALL – each and EVERY human on earth – essentially BLACK North African brothers and sisters. The white skin emerged as recently as 5500 years ago. We ALL have one COMMON great-great–grand mother, with some of us having a few harmless mutations of skin colour that arose to help us adapt better to low sunlight and snow in the higher latitudes. So welcome to this post, brother, sister. (If you don't agree with this biological fact, you may be a part of the problem. Read up biology and become a part of the solution!). And consider this simple fact: I have donated blood in India, USA and Australia. My blood has therefore gone into the veins of people with all skin colours and helped them live, or even saved their lives. So please, before considering this issue further, let us be clear that we are a single species which is surprisingly homogenous given its vast spread across the world.

‘It is impossible to look at people’s genetic code and deduce whether they are Black, Caucasian or Asian.’[1] ‘Modern human genetics … deliver[s] the salutary message that human populations share most of their genetic variation and that there is no scientific support for the concept that human populations are discrete, non-overlapping entities.’[2]

[1] Henderson, Mark, ‘Gene tests prove that we are all the same under the skin’, Times Online, October 27, 2004, [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/health/article499598.ece]

[2] Lynn Jorde and Stephen Wooding of the University of Utah, cited in Henderson, Mark, ‘Gene tests prove that we are all the same under the skin’, Times Online, October 27, 2004. [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/health/article499598.ece]

(2) Racism violates equal freedom. Racism is not merely discrimination against others on grounds of their skin colour, but also on the basis of nationality, state of origin, caste, and tribe. I condemn all forms of racism as these are both false in their underlying logic and violative of equal freedom for all. Everyone should be treated on merit, not on a prejudicial basis.

(3) Individual justice, not paint-brushing entire collectives. Freedom demands individual accountability. (My comment of 4 June says it thus : It is individuals who must be accountable for their actions, not entire communities. There is a serious error of analysis in jumping to collectivist conclusions and generalising beyond the particular incidents. Such errors of analysis, if uncorrected, can themselves become the cause of future problems.)

(4) The challenge of explaining the causes of crime. A hypothetical multivariate equation explaining the incidence of crime would look like:

Incidence of crime = f (availability, opportunity, motive) + Delta, where 

availability = f (availability of victim, availability of criminal), being in turn, a function of (place of residence and work, time of the day, level of drugs use and unemployment in society )

opportunity = f (level of isolation, level of police or other surveillance, level of use of knives and guns in society)

motive = f (greed, hatred – including racism, fear, revenge, etc.)

It is very hard to distinguish the racist element from the ordinary statistics of crime.

5) Why do Indians have to leave India in the first place?

This is a vital issue. It must be noted that the Indian education system is broken, its governance, its police etc. are broken. Its residents continue to flee India because discrimination is rampant, corruption is perhaps the only way to prosper, and because life and property are in constant danger. Its rich live in walled houses and cities, with guards and dogs to protect them from chronic crime. A major part of the solution is to fix India. India needs leaders who can take it out of its mess. I encourage you (if you are from India) to look at the Freedom Team of India and consider whether you are willing to lead India to greatness, so that others will come to India, and Indians not have to leave India for simple things like good education.

6) India own crime rates are sky-high but no frenzy seems to emerge:

At least 6,000 (and up to 25,000) women are killed (not just injured) each year for bringing inadequate dowry. These are called dowry deaths. But there is stunned silence in the media and TV about it. Thousands of murders and thefts, of which very few get reported because the police will not lodge a report without a bribe. Why is the Indian media silent about it? Not to diminish the attacks against Indian students outside India, but to ask: why this frenzy? Why is there no balance in the Indian media reports?

7) Read the report on Overseas Student Education Experience Taskforce (Victoria) chaired by Marsha Thomson: http://tinyurl.com/mewm9f

Addendum 22 July 2009. Complexities involved, including data: Visa crackdown will hit numbers (Australian 22 July

Now Read On!

An Indian student was recently attacked in Melbourne. This is not the first such time. S M Krishna, India’s Foreign Minister said he was appalled by the racist attack (SIFY headline: http://tinyurl.com/nzw6jz. "SM Krishna condemns 'racist' attacks on Indian students in Australia" or Economic Times: http://tinyurl.com/m7xm5s "India on Wednesday expressed shock over the racist attack on four Indian students in Melbourne and asked Australia to take steps to prevent such incidents on Indian students.")

NOTE added on 31 May 2009: I now gather that there has been serious misreporting in the media on this issue, and that SM Krishna's written statement does not allege racism as the motive. See statement of SMK http://www.hcindia-au.org/pr20090529_01.html). As a result of the new information, I'm deleting the paragraph of this blog posted yesterday that read: "I agree that more can be done to ensure the safety of Indian students. But I am personally outraged at the unsolicited allegation being made about Australian racism by the Indian Foreign Minister (and India’s High Commissioner as well). This amounts to the pot calling the kettle black. Look into the skeletons in your own cupboard, SMK, I would ask!" I should have done due diligence and checked original sources. However, I continue to have the strong impression from many sources that many Indians see Australia as a particularly racist country. And so the rest of this post is still relevant and will remain broadly 'as is' except for minor editorial tweaking {1 June 2009: I've taken part of a comment I posted below into the main text now, and reshuffled the order of the post to make the flow of logic more evident. In addition, I've brought part of the text of my other 'sister' post on this subject here as well, to better substantiate a statement made earlier} The rest of the post should now read thus.

I agree that more can be done to ensure the safety of Indian students. (Addendum 4 June: Here's a write up by Miranda Devine in today's Age that points to the need to beef up Police more generally in Victoria, a matter on which I have no expertise.) (Addendum 5 June: There is plenty of violence going around in Melbourne on an average night.) Let the criminals who perpetrated these crimes be brought to book, and let various steps be taken to improve security of all citizens in Australia/Melbourne. I have nothing to say on that.

But if India tries to use the
'race card' in this debate, it enters deep waters. The allegation of the Indian High Commissioner that there may be "a racist element in some of the attacks" is perhaps unexceptionable although unsubstantiated. But unsolicited allegations in parts of the Indian media about Australian racism are quite excessive. Yes, there is some racism in Australia (and I'll touch upon it below), but we have to be very cautious either about claiming that racism was a causal factor in these attacks or, worse, generalising about a society that has done so much about this issue over the past 30 years.

Indeed, beliefs that attacks on Indians in Australia are racist raise many significant issues.

1) Proof needed that this (or these) attacks are driven primarily by racism

Addendum, 9 June 2009. It now appears from the police chief that there is proof that at least some of the attacks are racially driven. See here. "Some of these crimes are racially motivated; however I also believe that many of the robberies and other crimes of violence are simply opportunistic." Except for white supremacists, other crimes can be easily muddled with racism. The loafers and louts of a society will obviously use foul language that can be construed as racist. But I would suggest these crimes are still largely (not entirely!) opportunistic because of the vulnerability of Indian students who live in crime-infested places.

Crime happens. Others too get attacked. Melbourne is not crime free! It is broadly safe, but not crime free. (Addendum: The violent street culture in Melbourne is significantly on the rise – The Age 16 July 2009). India must prove (apart from getting its own house in order first) that racism is either rife or increasing in Australia; AND that racism was involved in the recent cases. If not, it should treat this as a regular criminal matter and stick to non-inflammatory language. Particularly the Indian media.

Mixing crime with racism is bad statistical analysis. The vast bulk of crime in Australia is 'white against white' crime. Drug related crime, robbery, etc., happens to everyone. All kinds of weirdos exist in all societies. The local Police investigated this particular matter and I recall reading somewhere that they believe that the current incident was not race based. [Addendum 3 June: a news report confirming my hypothesis: "police believed that Indian students had suffered disproportionately because they were more vulnerable. Many needed to take jobs, often at late hours, to support themselves, and they used public transport heavily, often at times when few other passengers were travelling." Addendum 8 June 2009: Came across this article from The Age today ("Indians an easy target for cowards lurking in shadows" by Anson Cameron) which tells a different story to what the Police have been publicly saying, and seems to confirm that Indians are being disproportionately attacked. Apparently the local Police told the author of this article informally that "it's usually Indians or Asians who are targeted because they're small and non-aggressive."If true, and if the Police at senior levels are aware of this, then this is a matter of great concern: a) First, because the reported incident was from Port Melbourne, an otherwise wealthy area with presumably low crime [which means the earlier argument doesn’t apply]. b) Second, the informal argument of the local Police doesn't make sense because there are small and non-aggressive people from all nationalities and 'races'. Are all of them equally vulnerable? Why are small and non-aggressive people of Asian and Indian origin being singled out for attacks? If evidence of this sort is confirmed, I may need to partially change my views and agree that 'race' – if not racism – is perhaps a factor underlying some of these attacks. Addendum 25 June 2009: Indians safer in Australia: Rudd, The Hindu, 25 June 2009. Addendum 4 July, 2009. Some issues with death data Age 1 July, Age 4 July. ]

Although louts and ruffians will always use foul language which can be construed to be racist, ordinary crime should be treated as crime. Period. Except for white supremacists who are genuine racist criminals (and these are seriously curbed by the Police), the rest of the criminals are just that – plain louts. Melbourne has had a spate of stabbings of all kinds of people: not just Indian students. It therefore doesn't behove the Indian media to characterise one of the most multicultural societies in the world as racist. Racism (to the extent it does exist in Australia and in the West) operates more at the economic level. Racists are not, as a rule, criminals who will use violence. Criminals who use violence are usually a totally different category altogether.

The only proof of these incidents being caused by an increase in racism (or being motivated purely by racism) as claimed in the Indian media will be to demonstrate statistically that the crime rate experienced by people of Indian origin in Australia is HIGHER than that experienced by the rest of the Australian population, after controlling for place of residence and work.

It is important to understand that out of the roughly 90,000 Indian students in Australia, some will inevitably get caught in crime. Indian students are particularly vulnerable to crime because they tend to live in high risk and high crime areas and work late night and return back by public transport, walking on empty streets, or driving taxis that collect all kinds of weirdos, drunkards, and drug addicts at late night. For someone with that residence and work profile, I don't think Indian students are experiencing a particularly higher crime rate, ie. they are not necessarily being discriminated by the louts and criminals of Melbourne on the ground of their 'race' . But I'm not the expert on this and will leave it to the Police to investigate and tell the people what is going on.

Addendum 10 June: "According to Victoria police officials, in 2007-08, there were 36,765 victims of crimes such as robberies and assaults in the state, of which 24,260 were Caucasian victims and 1,447 victims were people of Indian origin" (here). This is disproportionately high in relation to the population of peole of Indian orgin. But this data could do with some further analysis. I recall reading somewhere that the Police cluster all kinds of Indian-looking people as people of Indian origin, including Philipinos, so the robustness of this classification needs to be confirmed. Second, the relevant control variables which need to be factored in are: place of residence and work, time of attack, kind of attack (ie. group bashing or simple robbery), nature of occupation, whether around public transport, whether around taxi, etc. Addendum 1 July 2009. Here's some more data [The Age 1 July 2009] that shows possibly higher rates of death of Indian students, but it could well be from higher accidental drownings or suicide – ie. analysis is incomplete. Addendum 14 July 2009. The Australian, today outlined the possibility of high rates of suicide in this group given the complex interaction of corruption in India and expectations of parents.]

2) Pot calling the kettle black

But far more problematically, using a blanket 'race' card for all of Australia amounts to the pot calling the kettle black. Yes, there are racists in Australia. No doubt about it. But look into the skeletons in your own cupboard is what I would ask those who make wild statements about Australia or allege racial motives to what does not appear to be (as reported by the Police) race-based crime. And even if it were, the whole context would need to be seen: history, comparisons over time, and so on and on…

India is currently, in my view, one of the world's most racist countries. A fair skin not only gets you a better spouse (higher status husband, higher dowry from the wife, etc.) but a better job. Even in elections the fairer candidate generally receives higher votes; hence posters of candidates paint them almost pink no matter what their real complexion! Fair and Lovely creams do brisk business. But that is only the cosmetic element, no matter how deep rooted in the Indian psyche. [Addendum 25 June 2009: There is only one test of racism (or its lack of): How many Indians will marry a pitch black African from Somalia or allow their son/daughter to marry such a person? My guess is less than 1 per cent. Accordingly I deduce that 99 per cent of Indians are racists. On the other hand there are a good number of such marriages in the West now. Indeed, Obama is a product of one such marriage. Addendum 29 June 2009: Similarly, Indians have imported 1000 totally untalented British actresses to work in Hindi movies, whereas none from dark Africa. – See this article in The Age.]

The worst form of racism relates to the caste system which is in many ways based on historical differences in skin colour. Tens, if not hundreds, of people are brutally beaten/killed in inter-caste violence each year in UP and Bihar. Roughly half the population in India (if the rural people are included) deny merit a chance and give preference to someone based on caste in jobs. Tribal racism in the North East is rife. If you are a non-Khasi in Meghalaya your risk of physically being attacked by Khasi ruffians increases quite substantially, and so on across almost all parts of India. If you are a Bihari you can be beaten up in Assam, and vice versa (horrendous incidents of this nature have occurred not so long ago). And if you are a Bihari in Mumbai, then expect to be beaten up at whim (at least that is what they were threatened with not so long ago).

The media in India of course loves to highlight residual Western racism (which, as I said, is real). But it fails to point out how small it is in comparison to Indian racism. Yet India remains a horribly racist society. [Addendum 21 June: Here's an article that shows just one aspect of it – Diepiriye Kuku: 'India Is Racist, And Happy About It'. Addendum 29 June: Our True Colours, Outlook, 29 June 2009]. Racism is embedded in its Constitution through the recognition of the caste system. Why would caste matter to a government? India needs its governments to crack down on all kinds of racism including casteism and parochial xenophobia within India and stop worrying about the residual racism in the West.

THE FACTS ABOUT RACE IN THE WORLD TODAY

I have discussed racism at great length in The Discovery of Freedom (draft available here)

a) Race is biologically a non-existent concept hence those who believe in it are totally ignorant. That is our role as the educated people: to eliminate this myth of ‘race’.

b) Modern racism started around 300-400 years ago. Before that, where it did exist, the ‘whites’ were looked down upon (except in India, of course). Ie. modern racism has an economic basis.

c) Most of the famous liberal philosophers were racist. They couldn't see the contradiction in their views. Even Lincoln should be considered racist if his comments are read carefully.

d) Racism was very strong in the West till about 50 years ago.

e) Gandhi played the most pivotal role in reducing racism in the West (through his actions in South Africa and further actions in India, plus his influence on Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela).

f) Racism has declined dramatically in the West over the past generation (30 years) and is extremely low today (not non-existent). With Obama's election, even US could be potentially declared racism-free in the next few decades. My estimate in DOF, based on analysis of various studies, is that roughly 7% of the Western population is currently racist – in terms of actually acting on their racist beliefs. This is a serious blemish on western liberal societies that they need to get over, the sooner the better.

g) Racism has NOT declined in India during this period, making India the last bastion of racism in the world. It was the world's oldest racist society (with its caste system) and remains so even today.

Exploring the journey of Australian racism

Australia has changed very rapidly in the last generation. A very significant percentage (perhaps a quarter) of Australians today comprise new migrants who have come to Australia in the last 50 years from predominantly non-British countries: South Europe, Middle-East, South Asia, South East Asia, etc. Immigration has speeded up even further in the last ten years. Melbourne citizens come from over 144 countries. Australia doesn’t really care much if they get Indians, Chinese, or Vietnamese. Not the policy makers anyway. Anyone with skills who meets the point system can get in.

The Indian media is therefore completely wrong on this one, about calling Australia racist. In my experience, the most racist people I have met in Australia (and I've now been here for 9 1/2 years if you count my earlier stint of 1 year in '92-93) are many of the Indians who live here, not the old Australians. I have close friends among all so-called racial groups, but I have been badly shocked to find Indians speak to me in Hindi in front of their fellow workers about these 'Goras' in a derogative manner, or about 'Chinis', etc. Similarly, in USA I was shocked to find PhD students from India talk derogatively about 'Kallus' (American blacks). Indians who live abroad have this huge chip on their shoulder – racism.

How racist are Australians in giving jobs?

Most Indians who leave India are treated on merit and become successful and well-settled. That is why Indians are among the wealthiest single group in USA and Australia, among other places. On the other hand, in India they face caste and region discrimination their whole life. Or they must bribe their way to "success". So many have left that mess, happy to work in junior roles in the West where at least merit is recognised.

But there does remain a strong tendency among Indian migrants who don't get jobs in the West to classify their new home country as racist in conversations with fellow Indians and with Indians in India. I agree, there may well be a bit of it (7% or so, as I’ve pointed out above). But the work requirements here and work relations are so dramatically different to those found in India that very few new migrants who have worked in the past in India can demonstrate that they understand how to work in teams and demonstrate the relevant language skills. The poor language skills of many Indians show up in the resumes itself, and yet they complain that they were discriminated against due to race. Merit cuts both ways. You are good: you get in. You are not so good then you do other things. The huge number of Indians and Asian graduates from Australia recruited into public service and other jobs shows that employers are looking for skills-match, and are not bothered about ‘race’.

In Breaking Free of Nehru I have written thus:

"The best people among those who apply are recruited, irrespective of their age or where they come from. Yes, there are periodic reports in the press in Australia about stereotyping of new immigrants based on misconceptions or generalizations about their language skills. It is said that some highly qualified candidates do not always get a foothold. Another problem is when potential employers do not care to contact referees from other countries. But in the same vein, elderly Australians and women also find it harder to get jobs in this system. Making detailed applications for tens of positions, including addressing selection criteria in great detail, can also be a very painful process for migrants and older candidates. But if one prepares well for a well-selected role, there is a good chance of being successful.

“Let me give my own example. Had I migrated to India as an Australian citizen at age 41 (the age at which I came to Australia), I could never have entered government service at all for two reasons:
• no open recruitment is undertaken in India at that age; and
• non-citizens are not allowed to work in government in India anyway (in Australia, non-citizens are able to work in state government departments).
However, not only did I get a research job based on my technical statistical skills (nobody would consider me at the management level at that point!), but I was able to move into a management role after about three years."

[Addendum 19 June 2009: Andrew Leigh's research shows there is some racial stereotyping at the entry level jobs in Australia. This is consistent with similar studies in USA and elsewhere in the West, and confirms that a certain amount of economic racism is definitely prevalent in these societies as noted earlier. The Australian, June 18, and actual research here. Similar stereotyping is also experienced by women and the elderly. In other words, being a person of a non-Anglo background acts as a slight disadvantage in terms of job entry and earnings. Despite this, at the end of their career, people of Indian origin generally figure in the top income brackets in USA and Australia due to their ability to rapidly progress once they get an initial foothold. It is quite possible that reverse racism, against 'Anglos' takes place where Indians are owners of a business. ]

[Addendum 8 January 2010 I know of Indian friends who have lived here for many years, even decades. These are no
t new immigrants. They have much local experience. But they are almost without exception convinced that many (not all!) Australians are racist. These views are made on the basis of (claims of) being discriminated against in relation to jobs and promotions. I have personally seen and experienced this at work in a (very few) cases. I know that MOST people here will literally salivate when they come across someone has relatively junior experience in the UK but will ignore even the most highly experienced person from India. I also know that it is, however, not in the interest of good managers to discriminate racially since then their own performance suffers. Those who discriminate will under-perform and will therefore (ultimately) be removed from the marketplace. In any event, this irritating type of racism is ’soft’ racism. Such racists don't (generally) behave badly or offensively, leave alone injure others or kill.]

Yes, racism is not defensible. All racism must be criticised and addressed though equal opportunity laws and through better education. Let Indians claim, by all means, that a few racists do exist in Australia. But please do also acknowledge that there are 5-8 times (proportionately) that many racists in India. Let there be a balanced and truthful coverage of racism, no matter how fictitious this concept.

THE TASK OF OUR GENERATION: to demolish the concepts of race and caste

It is up to our generation to demolish these shameful concepts. I speak forthrightly thus not to condemn India or Indians generally but to set the facts straight and to ask what gives the Indian government the right to its arrogant belief that it can preach to Australia and others about racism. Express concerns about the safety of Indian students, sure! But to preach to Australia about racism. That's a total joke! Fix your own house first is what I'd recommend to India. Don't make a fool of yourself on the world stage given the huge amount of racism practiced in daily life in India today.

If hearing the truth about Indian racism hurts people who are racist or casteist, so be it. Being told the truth might make them reflect. In any event, I'm not here to pander to wrong ideas, no matter whose these may be, even of my fellow Indians. The politics I stand for (yes, I will be entering Indian politics in the coming years if various things that are currently under way make headway) is not related to power and begging for votes. I'm not into power. I'm into freedom and truth. Let us crush this evil of racism entirely across the entire world. Join me in condemning all racism everywhere.

Addendum 28 June 2009: One of Australia's greatest journalists, Philip Adams, wrote in passing in The Australian yesterday (weekly magazine) about his teenage daughter Rory: "She and her friends can't understand all the fuss about homosexuality and are mystified by racism". The world is lucky to have this new generation of kids: the MTV generation, where blacks and whites sing together, where blacks are now the world champions, heroes in song and movies, world best in many sports including golf, where they have now have produced a black president of the world's most powerful nation. These kids today (and I see my kids mingle daily with all 'races' here in Australia) have simply outgrown the concepts of race. They can't understand it. Therefore there are many 'mixed race' (noting that race is not a biologically viable concept) couples on Melbourne's streets.

I hope that the internet, media, and honest self-reflection among the current jaded Indian generation of 'elders' will bring about the revolution of heart that is needed to abolish racism (including casteism) from the face of the earth.

FREEDOM TEAM. Join the Freedom Team of India if you wish to change India.

SOME SENSIBLE ARTICLES IN THE PRESS

Don't believe the media hype: racism is often a two-way street, by Akash Arora, Age, 2 June 2009

The views of the Dalai Lama on this issue, Times of India, 10 June 2009

No, we are not racists, by Neil Mitchell, Herald Sun, 11 June 2009

‘After 17 years of living here, I am made to feel like an outsider’Hindustan Times, 10 June 2009 regarding the racism and prejudices in New Delhi.

'Street violence to blame, not racism' – the view of former Australian Medical Association president Mukesh Haikerwal, The Age, 14 June 2009

See no evil by JOSH GORDON in The Age, 17 January 2010. [this one has some interesting and releavant statistics – don’t know the source of these stats – needs to be pursued]

Other related issues:

Indians high-risk violators of visas, The Australian, 20 June 2009.

Indian students violate their visa conditions: Hours late and long danger to students, The Age, 23 June 2009.

Australia has the highest proportion of foreign born people: Paul Sheehan Migration: the true story, The Age 2 November 2009.

Follow up comments (based on the issues I have raised in this post) raised in Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/reqs.php#/topic.php?uid=79325071064&topic=8937

Some research papers on the subject of prevalence of racism in Australia

Police Chief's analysis of data in The Age, 6 Feb 2010.

The regular crime scene of Melbourn: http://bit.ly/cif3IY

ADDENDUM: CASTE DISCRIMINATION IN INDIA (BLOCKED BY CASTE, ECONOMIC DISCRIMINATION IN MODERN INDIA: Edited by Sukhadeo Thorat, Katherine S. Newman; Oxford University Press, YMCA Library Building, Jai Singh Road, New Delhi-110001. Rs. 750)

Racism is reproduced through children, who show colour bias

Country 'drifting back to racism The Age June 16 2010

Sanjeev Sabhlok

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33 thoughts on “How justified are India’s beliefs about Australian racism?
  1. hari

    I think every country is racist. I think India is highly racist too. I think the media has been very vulgar here. Imagine if a Western country talked about India in these tones following a foreigner being raped/hurt locally? I think we do not believe Gulf is racist how much ever they discriminate Indians, because we do not expect much off them. I think in the end the world is one hopelessly practical place.

     
  2. Ram Nair

    Sanjeev,
    I read thru most of your blog — Sorry long write-ups dont hold my attention. Racism needs a serious re-definition. Is seeking to be fair skinned in India same as a gora still looking at all Indians as construction labourers in the Gulf (ME)? OR is it the same as treating an Indian passenger like dirt while the gora is moved to a 5* Hotel at the CDG .
    I have couple of Aussie colleagues and we did discuss this particular issue and their response was — the misguided lazy state sponsored youth – the same guys who were attacking Lebanese last year !!!????

     
  3. @lankr1ta

    Thank you, for being so balanced. I cannot agree more with you about India being very racist. I remember a member of my family being terribly offended when she was called “Paki” in UK. But this same person has separate utensils for the people who do the dishes at her house in Indi”Kalu log” in broad sweeping terms.
    Oh and PhD students like that, i see more of them than I care for in the US. And cringe and keep myself as away as I can. I have also heard desi students shower racially tinged abuses at Jack in the Box and McDonalds drive throughs. Just because it is not in another language, does not make it less racist or offensive.

     
  4. Sanjeev

    Two other comments sent privately to me:

    1) “Very well said Sanjeev.”

    2) “Couldn’t agree more.”

    Note, I’m NOT going to be excluding negative comments so feel free to post whatever comment you like on my blog.

    Sanjeev

     
  5. shaw

    Well, you make very interesting remarks. I do agree that there are religious, caste and other differences in India. You must acknowledge that India is not developed and a large population are not educated. Now, if you want to compare India and Australia, then that’s apples to oranges.

    Australia is more racist compared to other Western (and particularly English speaking) countries. I have some Australian friends acknowledging that many Australians are openly racist because they are not challenged or checked, something they feel ashamed about.

    I also recall comments from British claiming that Australia is still racist, in comparison to other countries. It’s a matter of research, and I’m sure you will find many articles through Google.

    When Obama was elected, there were comments such as it’s not a white house anymore which were racist and agreed so by many whites.

    What surprises me is you are looking for some excuses by resorting to means such as “look India is racist too”. What is your point??

    A developed country, and one that claims to be muti-cultural should have more dignity and decency. Students are the customers for Australia – they are making money out of them – and its their duty to ensure the customer is safe. No one complains that Aussies uses a sledge, or an offending words or even a verbal abuse. We are talking about physical attacks, pushing someone to their death beds.

    Do us a favor, quit your Indian citizenship (if you haven’t already).

     
  6. Sanjeev

    Dear Shaw

    First of all: race is a false construct. Second, we must be careful not to create or imagine racism where there is none.

    In this particular case, mixing crime with racism – as has been done in India – is VERY bad analysis. I am not suggesting that the assaults are defensible, nor that more should not be done about them. Far from it. Crime should be dealt with as crime.

    But I’m totally against the idea (and here I refer you to my second blog on this subject – http://sabhlok.blogspot.com/2009/05/amitabh-bachchans-baseless.html) of the Indian media and important people blacklisting an entire country which has been working so hard on policies and actions in relation to eliminating racism.

    If India aims to use the ‘race card’ against Australia (in a matter relating to violent crime by some common goons), it is then very legitimate to question India’s own record on racism. And it is not pretty, I assure you of that. I’ve lived and worked long enough in India, and read enough about what is going on, to confirm that India has to set its own house in order first before using the race card.

    I am clear: let the criminals who perpetrated these crimes be brought to book, and let various steps be taken to improve security of all citizens in Australia/Melbourne. I have nothing to say on that.

    But if India tries to use the ‘race card’ in this debate, it must prove (apart from getting its own house in order first) that racism is either rife or increasing in Australia; AND that racism was involved in the recent cases. If not, it should treat this as a regular criminal matter and stick to non-inflammatory language. Particularly the Indian media.

    I am asking for two things: that all racism be condemned. And that we do not mix economic or drug-type crimes by ruffians with race based crime.

    When you use this language – below, you make the same error of analysis: jumping from the perception of racism among SOME Australians to concluding that THESE same ones are involved in the recent crimes.

    “No one complains that Aussies uses a sledge, or an offending words or even a verbal abuse. We are talking about physical attacks, pushing someone to their death beds.”

    You haven’t proved the link between SOME racists and THESE crimes. I trust that clarifies.

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  7. Anonymous

    Mr. Sablok. I write with vast experience of casteism and regionalism in India (as a victim) and much experience of racism in the western world where I have lived in last 20 years…nearly half of it in Australia. Being meritorius and successful I experienced these at a very subtle level. eg. No one ever refused to sit with me or share my food etc. back home in big cities where i lived and in Australia other than the so called ‘louts’ no one has been racially abusive to me. BUT I have been racially discriminated in more ways than one in my day to day life in Australia. It is certainly not the ideal place as you are trying to paint picture of.
    Anyway, I think that you and I are not qualified to say whether the incidents in Melbourne were racially motivated or not.
    The biggest test of racism or discrimination is what the subject or victim feels….and we have no information on this count. With the politics involved in these cases we may never now know the truth.
    I agree on one count with you though..which is the pack mentality of media in India. We get enraged about things outside India far more often than the disdain we show for problems brewing at home.

     
  8. Sanjeev

    Thanks for your comment.

    Re: “It [Australia] is certainly not the ideal place as you are trying to paint picture of.”

    I trust you’ve read my entire article. I did not imply such a thing. I have clearly said that even though race is a non-existent concept, racism does exist in the minds of some in the West. About 7 per cent of the people in Australia are perhaps racist today.

    Thus, seven out of 100 people will show subtle signs of racism (not violence!) against Indians because of their skin colour. 93 per cent wont.

    This ratio of 7 per cent is far lower than the percentage in India. That is all I am saying.

    I’m also condemning all racism.

    Despite these obvious social pitfalls, I will claim that Australia is Heaven on Earth. No human society is perfect, but Australia is trying hard to become one. I cheer their efforts in this direction over the past forty years.

    And most Australians love India deeply and love its food and culture. So many Australians I know visit India regularly to attend yoga classes or just to visit. One of the persons I know goes to a hill station in India every year to trek and to write.

    In other words, the hysteria in India about Australian racism is misplaced.

    I urge Indians to look into the mirror. Most will find that they are casteist and racist. Fix yourself first, is what I’m asking India. Cast a stone at others only after you are blemish-free.

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  9. Sanjeev

    First I’ll post a comment received today (I’ll not post the commentator’s name for privacy reasons). Then, my response to this post in a separate comment.

    ===
    Hi Sanjeev,

    Thanks for your post…. I am very saddened by the dialogue over the past week…. I was wanting to post the following… but fear retailation from people that are angry and looking for someone to attack. So I am writing in confidence to you in the hope that you will pass on my concerns to the Indian community.

    As an Australian I have recently been branded a racist by the Indian media and it appears, many Indian students. This is a tremendously divisive approach and is not helpful in addressing the core, complex issue.

    It is appalling that any person is attacked. And if racism is part of the attack, that is disgusting. Show me the racists, show me the attack and I will be the first person to send them to jail.

    However the statistics dont stack up to the claim that these attacks are about racism…. the number of Indian students in Australia has dramatically increased, they take risky late night jobs, and in line with this, so have the number of attacks…..only some of this issue is about racism.

    I have never witnessed any racism against any Indian student. I have many friends of Indian background and they have never complained about racism to me. That said, I live in the inner eastern suburbs and I avoid dangerous situations… like late night train travel.

    I think the Federation of Indian Students in Australia need to show some leadership, apologise for reverse racism that has arisen (eg All Australians are racists)… and work together with the Australian community to address something that affects all Australians… violence.

    Hope you understand

     
  10. Sanjeev

    Thanks, Anonymous (previous post that I posted anonymously).

    In a few days I’ll be attending a forum organised by the Australia India Solidarity Group where Marsha Thomson, State Member for Footscray and Trevor Carter, Commander, Western Region, Victoria police will also be attending. I hope to contribute to a balanced debate on this issue if the opportunity arises, and for the need to build bridges, not cast aspersions broadly. It is individuals who must be accountable for their actions, not entire communities. There is a serious error of analysis in jumping to collectivist conclusions and generalising beyond the particular incidents. Such errors of analysis, if uncorrected, can themselves become the cause of future problems.

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  11. Sanjeev

    Continuing my discussion with Anonymous (will post my response separately).

    Dear Sanjeev,

    Thanks for your reply. I wish you every success at the forum.

    In addition to preventative policing and tracking down criminals, it would be helpful if police were able to publish statistics on the race of people being attacked together with the race of the accused attackers. This would make clear the extent of any race problem… and inform education campaigns against racism.

    As for the heightened fear among Indian students, beyond the very real danger of street violence, I think there is a basic problem regarding cross cultural exposure on university campuses. I am currently studying at the University of Melbourne. I last studied in 1999 at Monash, and the experience is very different. There is not much local-international student integration happening on campuses any more. Perhaps this is because there are such large numbers of international students now. And perhaps too there is less time for mixing now that students of all backgrounds are under greater pressure to get good marks.

    I know from my own experience travelling, working and studying overseas that when I dont get to know local people, it is easy to assume that local people might not like me. This would be particularly be the case at some training colleges which are 100% international students and very limited opportunities to get to meet locals.

    If all international students were matched with a local buddy, maybe this kind of fear would subside.

    I wish you all the best. Feel free to email back if you want to bounce around ideas.

     
  12. Sanjeev

    Dear Anonymous

    I think you’ve got some good thoughts there.

    Data: “would be helpful if police were able to publish statistics on the race of people being attacked together with the race of the accused attackers”. I’m averse to using race as an identifier of any sort in police records. That gives credence to a false construct and reinforces a wrong thing. It is perhaps better to keep data on other characteristics like nationality and occupation, although information on race would become relevant if racist comments are made during an attack

    Buddy: I think the buddy system idea is very good but it would need resources to organise and structure it, else it may dissipate quickly. Also, one can’t really force friendships or mentoring relationships. Time constraints that you point out will come into the picture as well. I’m not sure if it will be practicable in all situations either, particularly when local students aren’t available. But it should definitely form part of the package of solutions.

    I’ve got another thought. I believe Indian students are uniquely vulnerable compared to almost any other international student because they mostly come from very poor families and are forced to work at odd hours to survive. I think they perhaps work over 40 hours a week on odd jobs. I think their visa conditions should be significantly restricted to allow work only for 10 hours a week at most. That would ensure that those who come can afford to survive with only 10 hours of work, not more. It would reduce exposure to crime prone situations. It may reduce the number of students in Australia but will also avoid risking the reputation of Australia.

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  13. Udaya

    The blog write up and the comments are interesting debate Sanjeev! I think, “The truth is always in between.” Similarly, the racism is also just one of the worst kinds of discrimination arising out of the side effects of competitive World!

     
  14. Sanjeev

    From Anonymous:

    Hi sanjeev this sounds like an interesting idea although I think there already is a restriction on working hours. I hope the meeting goes well and things start to be addressed. All the best

    My response:
    ====

    Dear Anonymous:

    I was approached by an ex-Indian student today who noted (in response to this suggestion and in a conversation) that (a) the visa currently restricts work to 20 hours a week but (b) virtually no one follows it because there is no enforcement (or poor enforcement). Apparently a lot of shops in Melbourne pay by cash and don’t keep records properly. There is apparently a black market operating in this space where you can evade the law.

    The more I think of it a 10 hour restriction on work may be a necessary solution across the board. But before that is done, perhaps strong enforcement is even more necessary. Breaking the laws of the land is not something to be treated lightly.

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  15. Sanjeev

    One more comment (mine)

    I think there are three clear trends are now emerging:

    a) Local Indians in Melbourne (some settled for over 80 years) deny that racism has caused the recent perceived excess of violence. They have lived here and know the place inside out. But the Indian media doesn’t ask for their views!

    b) Students who have been here for just 1 or 2 years and who live in crime prone areas are getting a huge hearing in India. I am hearing from many local Indians that they have actually worsened things for long standing settlers in Australia by organising street demonstrations which are typical of India but not the norm in Australia. Apparently one demonstration turned semi-violent (I don’t watch TV).

    c) ALL (or almost all) Indians living in India or those who haven’t visited Australia believe that the place is worse than even the students are talking about!

    It appears that the more you know a place the better you should know it, but in reality the less you know a place the more your views are heard in the media! This topsy-turvy world tells us that perceptions and beliefs are more important in life than reality.

    Sanjeev

     
  16. Anonymous

    I think you are affected by westernized CIA sponsored Indian media… Which always abuses Indian traditions and culture with out even understanding it… Are you a Leftist or Christian Missionary who is on a mission to demolish Indian-ness?

     
  17. Sanjeev

    Dear Anonymous

    I have promised to post all comments including negative ones and even those without basis (and will continue to do so).

    You make baseless personal allegations, and yet want to hide as an anonymous person. Cowardly. Is that the culture you represent?

    Rest assured. You will always have the freedom of speech on my blog, so you can state whatever you wish. But I too have the freedom to challenge false claims.

    a)First of all, please let’s face off and know each other. Introduce yourself. Stop being a coward. That doesn’t behove anyone who claims to represent a great culture.

    b) Then show me your credentials. What do you know of Indian culture that I don’t? Do you have a PhD in Indian culture?

    c) Then discuss the facts. Where have I erred in pointing out the facts? Happy to revise my views if clear facts to the contrary are shown to me.

    Your ad hominem attacks don’t bother me. Like water off the duck’s back. We are all the same in the end. Brothers. Sometimes brothers call each other foul names.

    Discuss the facts about reality dispassionately. That is the only way for India to succeed.

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  18. Sanjeev

    Finally a sensible article in the India media: “Don’t tar all of Australia as racist” by Swapan Dasgupta (http://tinyurl.com/ogb9yv).

    This was my comment to Swapan. I don’t know if it will get posted by Times of India, but let me post it on my blog for the record:

    ==
    Thanks Swapan. I’m pleased to finally (!) see some rational thought articulated by the otherwise hysterical Indian media. At the outset, let me clarify that I disagree with your suggestion of a travel advisory. Australia is orders of magnitude safer than India which has a totally ramshackle and corrupt police and justice machinery. As a former IAS officer I was privy to the constant flow of SITREPS (situation reports) of assault and crime all over my district (as Deputy Commissioner). Thousands of people are murdered in India each year on a regular basis (I’m leaving out communal riots). Hundreds of thousands are assaulted for money or other petty matters, but even registering the crime is often impossible without paying money; so Indian official statistics should reflect only the tip of the iceberg of crime. However, on your other suggestion I fully agree: “there is no need to go that extra mile and tar the country with the brush of racism.” I have analysed this issue at some length in my blog post at: http://sabhlok.blogspot.com/2009/05/how-justified-are-india-s-beliefs-about.html and encourage people in India to read it and understand things in a rational and analytical manner.

    I believe that Indian intellectuals and media (and actors like Bachchan) have by and large not presented balanced views in relation to these incidents and should go back to the drawing board and talk about Australia’s journey towards where it is today. Let’s give credit where it is due.

    Regards,
    Sanjeev Sabhlok

     
  19. Sanjeev

    Just came back from the 3 1/2 hour meeting-cum-informal conversations organised by the Australia India Solidarity Group. One of the academics present (Pradeep Taneja) will summarise the discussions for publication in Bharat Times.

    In brief, what I have been saying at this blog was confirmed by those present. The Indian media has got it almost entirely wrong. The hype in India is overblown, to say the least.

    I reiterated loudly and clearly that in my view Australia is Heaven on Earth and (in later informal conversations) asked people if they could show me any other society with the freedoms and quality of life of this country. Not that Australia is is perfect. This is earth, not heaven. Humans live here.

    We want even better outcomes for India. But today the average Indian gets get 1/100th the freedoms and quality of life of an average Australian. Let us learn from Australia, not bash it around and try to feel ‘good’.

    The problem was identified as largely a law and order one related to poorly educated and poor males (18-25 years) who are into drugs and petty crime. These people could well be a bit racist as well, being the lower elements of the Australian society.

    There was a related problem identified of shady private colleges (established largely by Indians who live here). These colleges will now be severely audited and many of them likely shut down.

    Also migration agents (99% of them being Indians) will be now regulated – this being an unregualated sector so far. These agents promise all kinds of things to Indian students, and many violate the laws.

    Visa conditions will also be tightened, in that people can’t simply show on paper that they have $12000 before coming to Australia. They will need to show it when they arrive here.

    (Also, the cash economy and violation of visa conditions by students would be looked into – I’m not sure if this was formally captured as part of the discussions).

    Many of these things are already being looked into.

    There would also be an India Week around the Diwali time, on the lines of the Chinese New Year day celebrations in the city. And so on.

    I suggested the idea of a buddy system for Indian students and setting up a Support Group for them. Some of us decided to work on it in the coming weeks in our spare time. These students are our people – our brethren. We must do what we can to guide them. They are the future citizens of Australia and must be supported in studying and settling down.

     
  20. Sanjeev

    Further comments from my Anonymous young friend who is providing input to me, and some ideas:

    “Sounds like a good plan.

    “Given the feelings that the reputation of Australia has been trashed, it would be good if some of the Indian week activities included opportunities where locals are encouraged to learn about india.

    “One more thing that I think needs to be adressed – Australia’s laws need to change regarding body searches for knives on the street – apparently a similar change in the uk led to a significant reduction in knife related crime!”

    Police have been complaining about this for a while – maybe now the government has a reason to
    Step up and allow the police to get on with the job of protecting the community!

     
  21. Raminder

    Dear Sanjeev

    This discussion thread has been very informative for a person in my situation. My reaction is at personal level and I am not sure whether it should find a place in this discussion thread. Still it reflects the thought process that goes on in the mind of an Indian who is in the middle of migrating to Australia.
    About me – I am Indian with an Australian PR planning my shifting to Melbourne. I was initially booked on flight for 31st May but I put it off up to Sept, just so that the impact of recession eases off. No sooner that I had postponed my booking that the media coverage of attacks on Indian students at Melbourne started surfacing. Initially my family etc were relieved that I had postponed my flight, indirectly suggesting that I should cancel all together, with a told you so kind of suggestion. I was confused and the reports kept coming in every day – as if the papers had taken on themselves the task to selectively report crime in Melbourne, superfluous of issues in our own backyard.
    I consider myself rational and saw through the sensationalizing and politicizing of the whole issue.
    An independent and objective view as expressed by an Indian with such long living experience in Australia has been reassuring. I look forward to more inputs from you on what a person like coming to Australia to settle as migrant should expect in the current times.
    Your view would help me brace up my mind

    Raminder

     
  22. akshay

    Hey Sanjeev,

    As an American of Indian origin, I couldn’t agree more with what you have said. In the university that I attend here (Illinois), there are a decent number of indian intl. students. I have noticed that they generally don’t show much interest in amalgamating with the the local population. They often talk in their local language (hindi etc.) on buses and other public place, despite the fact that they know english pretty well (or else they wouldn’t be able to study here!).
    On another note, I do disagree with what you say about Asutralia. While I don’t think Australia is racist by the furtherest stretch of the imagination, it is not “Heaven on Earth”. As someone who has been to Australai on multiple occasions, I beleive that there is a greater sense of prejudice agaisnt immigrants there, as opposed to here in the US. Immigrants haven’t been able to integrate as well in Australia as they have here.
    On another point, I agree that racism in india exists too. However, I believe this chiefly stems from a lack of education. While this is certainly deplorable, this cannot justify racism in Australia, cosnidering that the average Aussie is more educated than the average Indian.

     
  23. macpub1972

    Dear Sanjib
    This is first vis to your blog. I am yet to go through all but tempted to post a comment. Pl do have mercy on me if somebody had suggested the same earlier;
    In my view time is ripe to confront and not to find an escape root. And i am of the opinion Australian attacks on Indians has given us a chance to sane indians to talk about the ills of casteism in our own country. As the people those are attacked and are suporters of media hyped Racism in Australia raect to similar attacks on DALITS in India differently and is generally accepted as the norms.
    Govt of India must be compelled to accept CASTEISM as the worst form of Racism and it’s inclusion in the UN Charter.

     
  24. Anonymous

    “The more I think of it a 10 hour restriction on work may be a necessary solution across the board. But before that is done, perhaps strong enforcement is even more necessary. Breaking the laws of the land is not something to be treated lightly”.

    Sir I would suggest you tell us a bit of your history of migration and see how much legal migration you have done. Probably all the shit will come up from your history and you will be deprted the next day.

    Well you are writing this blog after getting unemployment benefit from centrelink isnt it. I think I saw you in the line last week….in centrelink

    Next time I see you in Melbourne I would love to have a chat with you and would love to know about your families whearabouts too in melbourne…personal reason…….UP/Bihar style. o.k mate. Hope to see you one day in melbourne streets you piece of junk. chodunga nahi tujhe kutee ki aulad… Jai Hind.

     
  25. Sanjeev

    Dear Anonymous (Coward? Can’t give your name????)

    I’ve published your offensive comment – for everyone has a right to speech, even highly misinformed and threatening people.

    Re: your threat to assault me, may I suggest you allow others the basic right to free speech and accept that there may be honest differences in opinion amongst people? Not everyone may see the world the way you see it.

    Re: the foul language you have used – I’ve got no comment, except that it perhaps doesn’t do your parents justice. I’m sure they didn’t raise you up so you would use such language. Please have regard for your parents: they surely have some expectations of you.

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  26. Sanjeev

    Just for the public record> Details of the headers of the earlier message:

    From – Sat Jul 18 20:19:54 2009
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  27. Sanjeev

    Most plausible source of the threat (based on details of visitors to this particular blog post):

    Domain Name orcon.net.nz ? (New Zealand)
    IP Address 60.234.125.# (KOL)
    ISP Orcon Internet Ltd
    Location
    Continent : Oceania/Australasia
    Country : New Zealand (Facts)
    City : Auckland
    Lat/Long : -36.8667, 174.7667 (Map)
    Language English (U.S.)
    en-us
    Operating System Microsoft Win2000
    Browser Internet Explorer 6.0
    Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0)
    Javascript version 1.3
    Monitor
    Resolution : 800 x 600
    Color Depth : 32 bits
    Time of Visit Jul 18 2009 8:44:50 pm
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    Page Views 1
    Referring URL http://www.blogbhart…udents-in-australia/
    Visit Entry Page http://sabhlok.blogs…s-beliefs-about.html
    Visit Exit Page http://sabhlok.blogs…s-beliefs-about.html
    Out Click Post a Comment
    https://www.blogger….=5768475650187492271
    Time Zone UTC+11:00
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    Visit Number 816

     
  28. Ram Nair

    You have started your jingoism again. You give too many general statements. Your statements about Indian media being corrupt and Indians having tribal mentality is a sweeping general statements.

    I could give same arguments regarding any media in the world. Free media is a myth in your mind my friend. Do you know fairfax controls most of Australian newspaper. Did you follow the Australian media in corby’s case. In a democracy media is free to say anything unlike Australia probably.

    Secondly you are basically a bhagoude after not making in IAS service. You nearly killed yourself isnt it due to depression in Shillong. You are a real pain in Australian Govts ass.

     
  29. Sanjeev

    Dear Ram Nair

    I have a policy of publishing even offensive comments and I’ve done so diligently so far and I’m not making a change in your case.

    (Digression: It took me a few days to check which ‘Ram Nair’ has written, since I have a very good old classfellow by the same name, and I checked that it was not him but perhaps some other Ram Nair who has written (or someone pretending to be Ram Nair)).

    Your comment is factually incorrect:

    a) The Indian press has now got tarnished with the label of “corrupt” because at least a few (and reportedly many) of its members take bribes for publishing things. See:
    http://sabhlok.blogspot.com/2010/01/corruption-in-indian-press-and-media.html

    In doing so (particularly by interfering in the electoral process through the demand for money) the Indian press has ACTIVELY ENCOURAGED CORRUPTION among politicians in India. The press has also never asked for disclosure of funds of the political parties in India which put out huge advertisements costing crores of rupees.

    They are thus at least corrupt as the temples (or churches, etc.) which receive money from the corrupt and give them special blessings/access to God.

    b) Re: Indians having a tribal mentality. Indeed all people have it to some extent. India tribalism has been deliberately fostered (to integrate the country) not only by the government but by the BJP/VHP combine as well.

    It is a state of mind that refuses to analyse causes systematically. How many Indians have succeeded in analysing the causes of corruption in the Indian political system properly, for example? How many Indians are still beholden to socialism even though there is unbelievable evidence of its harmful nature. How many Indians have analysed why it is wrong to support people (like BJP) who demolished Babri Masjid? Indians seem to be now gifted in taking everything upon themselves personally: as if something that happened in history 400 years ago is fresh and has happened today!

    Indians do need to reflect on why they do so: why this obsession with flogging dead horses. There was racism in Australia in the past. Why flog the dead horse today? (see my detailed notes at:
    http://sabhlok.blogspot.com/2010/01/blog-post.html – go down the article for “DOT POINTS FOR A POSSIBLE ARTICLE ON THIS MATTER”

    c) The rest of your comment is factually incorrect, apart from being incoherent (and actually offensive!) (i.e. “you are basically a bhagoude after not making in IAS service. You nearly killed yourself isnt it due to depression in Shillong. You are a real pain in Australian Govts ass.”)

    You are totally wrong about “You nearly killed yourself isnt it due to depression in Shillong” – what possibly gives you this idea!

    What do you mean by “you are basically a bhagoude after not making in IAS service” – and what, pray to you mean by that? I suspect you have no coherent argument to make and so are panicking and trying to make ad hominem attacks which, being wrong, incoherent and irrelevant, merely destroy your personal credibility as a commentator. Try to avoid such weak ‘arguments’ (!) if you want to make a point in a debate.

    And brother, we are here to solve the world’s problems and make life easier for everyone: not to pick fights and increase the world’s problems. Let’s at least be pleasant in our conversations. Let’s take India and Australia (and the world) further towards progress, not backward.

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  30. macpub1972

    Australian fever is not going down under . Atack on a Gurdwara is a sure sign of Australian people geting agitated against religious fanatism of the punjabies whereever they go.
    Indian govt should stop any more punjabies going down under for any reason and that will stop ongoing masala movies abroad.
    We ourselves are the worst culprits and practice worst form of racism in the garb of casteism . If you still not convinced visit a Kamat Hotel or for that reason any hotel in south you will find waiters are well dressed with shoes on while the plate/utensil pickers /cleaners are not even allowed to wear shoes / chappals . They are all from lower castes .India has not progresed a bit in human development as on day . The Manuwadi Manhoos are still ruling/sucking this banana republic. Forget hapenings in Australia / make our own country progresive first.

     
  31. Sanjeev

    Dear MacPub1972

    I guess you are making two main points:

    a) Indian casteism is a form of racism which Indian should fix, i.e. the “pot calling the kettle black” syndrome. I would tend to agree to some extent, as already mentioned in my blog post. We must be aware that this won’t happen in a jiffy, though. Social change is painfully slow.

    b) Re: Panjabis. I would disagree on this matter because (i) they are not coming to Australia without authorisation. They are valid, legal migrants, like any other. Many are citizens of Australia, and proud to call themselves Australian. (ii) I’m not quite clear what fanaticism you are referring to.

    I suggest that the current situation requires considerable amount of reflection and careful analysis.

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     

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