We have all heard about the problems in Australia. Our media and foreign ones are going putting forward different versions of the story, depending on what their perception is. In all this, one thing strikes me as rather strange. I came across a discussion on Greatbong’s post that vehemently and passionately defends Australians and challenges the perception that all Australians are racist. So far so good. But, what gets my goat is that the commentators seem to suggest that we must set our own house in order before complaining about the Aussies. Read one commentator’s post on his blog here. Wait a sec! Just because I don’t have certain rights in my home country, I must never get them elsewhere? What’s the logic?
Tejaswy’s post is especially infuriating. He (She?) justifies practically every action (or inaction) in Australia, blaming it on stress, tension, loss of jobs, recession…you get the picture. Take this for example.
Indian students come back from jobs late at night and well they are walking back and there is some drunk chap who is drunk and is looking for free cigg or money and well mugs you. I am not supporting the guy who is mugging but this is not racism If you want examples of racism then it would be you not getting a job on the basis of your color. This does not happen in Australia.”
Yeah right! If you get mugged on you way back, it’s probably because you exist rather than because of your skin colour. There is nothing racist about it. Of course not! Australians are not racist. They are very sensitive about racial issues you know? The Symmonds issue must have told you that much. They are sensitive, children!
I am definitely not implying that we Indians are angels. We are most certainly not. We have our flaws, our prejudices and our weaknesses. But that does not mean we deserve crap from the rest of the world. Just because we are not free from prejudice, we are casteist or even racist, we do not deserve to tolerate racism elsewhere. The Indian government and its embassies are famous for their inaction and inability to assist an Indian citizen abroad. But, this time, they have at least taken notice, thanks to the media hype. Let them at least show the diaspora that they are there for us. Don’t berate them for a job well done. It’s stupid to do that.
Finally, regarding the statement that you are not discriminated against because of skin colour. I find that this is completely and totally untrue. Nita, a friend of mine, (a very occasional blogger) living in Australia can vouch for it. Without going into details, I can safely tell you that she has been discriminated against in various situations and even at the workplace on racial grounds. Denying that Australians are, in general racist is one thing. Denying the existence of workplace discrimination on racial grounds is quite another. All we need is some perspective on the issue. Please, let’s not lose it.