Yet another attack on an Indian in Australia — that’s what I’m hearing on news channels as I sit down to write this column. As I start to talk about the recent spate of attacks on Indians in Australia, all I can initially say is, “I am appalled.” But is just saying it enough? Is it enough to watch the 9 ‘o’ clock news every day, hear about yet another incident, and then go to sleep after saying, “I am appalled?” It’s not.
What shocks me the most about the recent incidents is the fact that they have targeted students — students who had merely gone there to study, students who mind their own business and students who anyway have a lot to worry about without having to live under the constant fear of becoming targets of hate crimes.
I’m sure almost all of us, at some point in our lives, have proclaimed our pride in being Indian. Almost all of us have woken up early to watch the Republic Day parade every year, we have cheered for the Indian cricket team in their matches, and we have felt applauded when Rahman lifted the Academy Awards. It’s the same sense of unity that we need now. And although I say this to everyone who reads this column, I think it’s the youth of the nation that hold the key... because they are the radicals who can change things by making themselves heard.
By now, I’m sure you guys don’t need to be told how to make yourself heard — I’ve seen you march out against injustice, against terrorism, against inequality. It’s time to come together again... students from across colleges, universities, cities must make a statement — a statement no authority can ignore, a statement to let our brothers and sisters across the globe know that we are there for them. Only then do we have the right to say, “I am appalled.”