Good on you, mate

Australia is a country with strong cultural pressures to conform; Aussies are rewarded for fitting in rather than standing out in all areas except for athletics. It’s known as the tall poppy syndrome, as in the tall poppy gets mowed down. In the USA, there’s a different saying, one about squeaky wheels, and I’m glad to say that desis in Australia seem to be following the American model.

This weekend, at least 2,000 Indians protested in Melbourne, blocking traffic on a busy street for almost 20 hours to protest the large number of crimes and assaults against Indians in the last year and the lack of police interest or response. The demonstrations started at Royal Melbourne Hospital where Sravan Kumar Theerthala was lying comotose after having been stabbed with a screwdriver at a party.

Latest available police figures say 1,447 people of Indian origin were robbed or assaulted in Victoria state in 2007-2008, although students from the country say they have risen since then. Many of the most serious cases occurred in the western suburbs of the state capital Melbourne, where police estimate Indians account for about 30 percent of all robbery and assault victims. [link]

Police have denied any racial motivation, saying the students were in the wrong place at the wrong time. They have said the crimes were “opportunistic”, with Indian students seen as “soft targets”. [link]

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p>In addition to the protests in Melbourne, there was a strong diplomatic response. Manmohan Singh has called the Australian PM, and the Indian and Australian Foreign Ministers are holding talks on the matter. The diplomatic engagement was accompanied by a vigorous thapad by BigB who turned down a honorary doctorate offered by the Queensland University of Technology, saying “Under the prevailing circumstances I find it inappropriate at this juncture, to accept this decoration.”

This is a serious issue for Australia because it makes $15 billion (AU) from foreign students, 40% of whom come from India and China (90,000 Indian students and 130,000 Chinese students). Foreign students are the third largest export earner behind coal and iron ore.

Right now, news of these attacks has widespread coverage in India and both governments are threatening to discourage future students from coming to Australia. This is a credible threat, a few years ago the New Zealand government failed to take racist violence against Chinese students seriously and they lost all their Chinese students as a consequence.

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p>As a result of this escalation the Australian authorities have changed their tune considerably, and they are now bringing in the PM’s national security advisor to formulate policy:

Australia said Tuesday the former head of its elite Special Air Service (SAS) regiment will lead a task force examining attacks on Indian students … Duncan Lewis, now the government’s national security adviser, chaired the task force’s first meeting Tuesday and would coordinate Australia’s response to the assaults. [link]

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p>The government is also considering enacting hate crime legislation that would consider prejudicial motivation as a factor in sentencing.

I think it’s pretty sad that it took this much diplomatic pressure, and some outright hysteria by the Indian media, before the Australian authorities would take the issue seriously. That said, based on my experience with hate crimes in the USA, the copycat attacks (including vandalism of a Gurdwara on Monday and a slashing yesterday) should die down as soon as perpetrators realize that the government will be enforcing the law vigorously. I’ve got family in Australia, I’d like to feel that they’re safe.

168 thoughts on “Good on you, mate

  1. I’ve been following the Australia attacks for a few weeks now and I’ve noticed a few things:

    *The Indian Media is going insane with absolute sensationalism.

    *Some of the Indians that post user comments want radical and actions taken (like economic sanctions).

    *Some Australians that post user comments are either in denial about racism in their country or get very defensive.

    *Australia, like many Western European countries is having a difficult time integrating and assimilating some groups (like Algerians and Moroccans in France, Turks in Germany, and seemingly Lebanese in Australia).

    Why can’t Australians (or for that matter, Americans, Indians, Britains, etc), admit racial problems in their country? Why get defensive about it? I’d admit that America has a history of racial problems and those problems still prevail. Likewise, India has a long history of racist attitudes and caste discrimination, which often have gone hand in hand

    Sure, some of those attacks in Australia may be completely economic and opportunistic in nature, but it also appears as though many been targeted and have had racial epithets fly their way.

    I may be mistaken, but why hasn’t the Indian government issued a travel advisory to Australia? At least that might step up some enforcement from the law enforcement, whose effort so far appears pathetic.

  2. @143: Sorry, i was confusing you with ‘rob.’ Yeah, totally paranoid and love having misinformation spread around.

  3. *Australia, like many Western European countries is having a difficult time integrating and assimilating some groups (like Algerians and Moroccans in France, Turks in Germany, and seemingly Lebanese in Australia). Why can’t Australians (or for that matter, Americans, Indians, Britains, etc), admit racial problems in their country?

    Pardon me old beandip, but your ignorance is showing.

    Turks in germany do not have the same birthrights as the pure-bloods do. despite the obvious problems in enforcing the law, societal segregation is illegal in india. americans do acknowledge racism, ageism, sexism in their society – and perhaps beat themselves on this more so than any other country in the world. australia itself has a tortured past – first with the abuse suffered from the english, and then the abuse handed out to the aboriginals. two recent books on this were brought to my attention recently. look up kate grenville and chloe hooper.

  4. coz americans dont talk about the dirty linen does not mean it never happened.

    Anybody with a passing grade from college history World Civ 101 should know about America’s penal colonies. That part plays a small part, though, and is overshadowed by scholarship on the sheer number of slaves that were being brought into the country and the free-for-all genocide of the natives. Also, the founding basis of the Americas is distinctly differently (read about the settling of Jamestown, Virginia versus that of New South Wales and the difference is start). But anybody with any knowledge of colonization, postcolonialim, or basic world history should know about the penal colonies in the Americas. And I say “the Americas” because Guyana and parts of the Caribbean were also used as convict-dumping grounds; just as Singapore was used as a penal colony for Indian convicts. However, Australia is still not comparable to America for reasons I could write pages on but won’t.

    Let’s go back to bashing the Lebanese and Mozlems, shall we? Especially its weemminz, as this particularly nice piece of webtard “Lebanese girls are sexy” wants??

  5. Let’s go back to bashing the Lebanese and Mozlems, shall we?

    when the attackers are lebanese, would you prefer that we talk about the skips ? Please read my earlier comments 1) Australia has a race issue and I dont mean just whites. 2) Australia has a law and order problem with an incompetent police force and weak judiciary. In this case both are related. As for fucking the lebo girls – good luck with that. I dont think most of them would be interested in desis. Better luck with the skips and the micks.

  6. I assume the fob girls in Aussieland pale in comparison to an average lebanese girl

    Not sure about that, but do check out the Premiere nightclub at the Hyatt Regency next time you’re in Dubai, if you’re hunting for lebanese women . . . . Better than Beirut, or so a little birdie told me. . . .

  7. As for the tensions between desis / middle eastersns / africans. many africans tend to be reffos ( refugees) who live off centrelink and hence have no compulsion to earn a decent living. an idle mind is the devils workshop…

    Any country that allows refugees to come in and live for free deserves what it gets in the form of karma.

    Give them homes but make them work for them. If they don’t know the language, the first thing is compulsory language classes.

    Its simple: have a communal setting where refugees from the same place can live together and learn the language in exchange for manual labor such as gardening, cooking and cleaning for the entire commune. Everyone works. Then when they know the language they can get ordinary jobs. When they get ordinary jobs they will have to move out of the refugee commune to make way for more refuggees who will come in and be employed as cleaners, cooks or gardeners for the commune as they learn the language. As soon as the language is learned and they are placed in an regular job, they will move out, making way for new refugees.

    Like this.

    Under no circumstances should anyone be allowed to live for free.

  8. I’m so curious as to the dynamics of these attacks…who are they? Why would Lebanese be attacking Indian students? In 2005 apparently there was a “race riot” extremist white groups against Lebanese…and I think there was before this riot, a lot of Lebanese gang violence going on? If they are white extremists attacking Indians I wonder if they are mistaking them for Lebanese. And then Lebanese or Africans attacking Indians – what could possibly be the dynamic there?

  9. Lebanese and Africans could be jealous of South Asians who generally tend to get good higher education and well-paying jobs as professionals whereas Lebanese and Africans don’t.

    So the beef is probably a financial and class issue. Sure some students work as taxi drivers and servers in restaurants to get themselves through Uni. But they do not remain taxi drivers and servers for the rest of their lives. They are climbing the ladder much faster than Lebanese and African youth who are probably not on the ladder at all.

    Just a guess.

  10. I’m so curious as to the dynamics of these attacks…who are they? Why would Lebanese be attacking Indian students? In 2005 apparently there was a “race riot” extremist white groups against Lebanese…and I think there was before this riot, a lot of Lebanese gang violence going on? If they are white extremists attacking Indians I wonder if they are mistaking them for Lebanese. And then Lebanese or Africans attacking Indians – what could possibly be the dynamic there?

    The Lebanese attack everyone. Their packs are always on the look out for trouble. It increases their street cred, a form of protest masculinity against the rest of the society. They are also backed by organised crime gangs with tentacles in the car rebirthing, drugs, loan sharking and other illegal trades. They are well financed and have the best lawyers money can buy. They know the system inside out and with prisons, filled with their fellows, just like home to them.

    Cronulla in 2005 started out as a protest against harassment of Australians, particularly women in the Sutherland Shire by gangs of Lebanese youths, with the spark being attack on volunteer lifeguards, but turned nasty with extremist hijacking the protest and turning it into a race riot. Two of my Russian friends got bashed by Lebanese youths in 2005, one had his arm fractured and the other his skull.

    In Sydney you avoid renting in suburbs where Lebanon is in the top-5 countries of origin for that suburbs inhabitants.

  11. If they are white extremists attacking Indians I wonder if they are mistaking them for Lebanese.

    Ridiculous. The racist predators call it currybashing, not falafel or hummus bashing. Aussies are quite familiar with what indians look like and know that indians are much darker skinned than lebanese; the lebanese are classified as caucasians, indians are not. If anything they might mistake an indian for a native aborigine.

  12. Lebanese and Africans could be jealous of South Asians who generally tend to get good higher education and well-paying jobs as professionals whereas Lebanese and Africans don’t.

    This is also ridiculous.

    1. The indian students in Australia live in the poorest areas and work in jobs that aussies look down on, such as the graveyard shift at the 7-11.

    2. The lebanese are economically successful; plus, unlike indians, they come from a country that is not abjectly impoverished. Aussies know the difference.

  13. Obviously, the solution here is for the Indian gov’t to pressure the Aussies to bring in an Israeli private military company (like Beni Tal) to roll up these Lebanese gangs, given the incompetence of the Aussie Police/judiciary. ;-)

  14. Obviously, the solution here is for the Indian gov’t to pressure the Aussies to bring in an Israeli private military company

    is there a business opportunity here for protection. say pay $100 a month and get absolute protection. I suppose that is why we pay taxes Lebs are the biggest crims in Australia. as samir said they are masters at working the criminal system to their advantage. The labor party protects the lebanese gangs. wild west – yup – without the guns.

  15. The Lebanese attack everyone. Their packs are always on the look out for trouble. It increases their street cred, a form of protest masculinity against the rest of the society

    .

    Okay tough guy, why don’t you tell me why Lebanese and Arab gangbangers don’t attack us in USA?! We live in poor areas and work at 7-11/motel inn too!!

  16. Sanjay, Read “Lebanese American” and “Lebanese Australian” on Wikipedia and the answer should be apparent. Lebanon (and, hence the Lebanese diaspora too) is not homogeneous, which is why it’s been wracked by civil war–heard of the “Green Line” in Beirut?