Condemning the attacks on Indian students in Australia, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader LK Advani on Monday demanded that Australian authorities take effective steps to tackle recism.
"I am appalled by and strongly condemn a series of racist attacks in recent weeks on Indian students studying in Australia. As many as 95,000 Indian students study in Australia. A large community of Indian immigrants also lives in Australia. The responsibility of ensuring their safety rests squarely with the government of Australia," Advani said in a statement.
On Sunday, thousands of Indians took out a protest march in Melbourne, demanding that racist attackers be brought to justice.
"Racism is a blot of humanity. In the past, it was a tool of colonialism and gave the rulers a false sense of supremacy over the subjugated. It is unfortunate that this accursed relic of the past has been allowed to survive in Australia," said Advani.
The newly appointed leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha also urged the Indian government to make sustained diplomatic efforts to ensure the students' safety, security and well being.
"The BJP demands effective steps by the authorities in Australia, including quick and deterrent action against those involved in the racist attacks, to instil a feeling of safety among students and immigrant Indians in the country," the statement added.
The government estimates that nearly 200,000 people of Indian origin reside in Australia.