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Surfers concerned over spurt in racial attacks

india Updated: May 29, 2009 17:51 IST

Hindustan Times
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Surfers response were pouring in at Hindustantimes.com from all over the world against the racial attacks on Indian students with more than 80 per cent saying Australia is not safe for Indians.

The overwhelming response came during a week that has reported more than three different incidents of racial attack on Indian students in the country. Latest incident reports about petrol bomb being hurled at an Indian youth in Sydney.

A surfer, Abhishek Ranjan wrote from Melbourne, "Racism is deeply entrenched in Australians. Indian students should consider other places like US. This is something, which the people there have been brought up with and is evident from the comments the police inspector made there."

Another surfer, Jay Saxena lived in Australia for the past five years as a student says, "I face racial abuse at work place everyday by my boss, racial abuse in hospital, bus and trains." He added, "My Indian neighbours were mugged at train station, police don't do anything even after you lodge a complaint. Please do not go to Australia. The authorities have a racist attitude, so do not even think of getting any justice."

Odd hour attacks?

Some surfers had a mixed response. One of them said attacks were not merely aimed at Indians but are common incidents happening everywhere during odd hours.

Since Indians do part-time jobs during late hours, they are more prone to such experiences.

Sandeep generalised the common phenomenon, "Working at odd hours, travelling in buses at night and moving out after 8:00 pm is usually not safe anywhere around the world."

One surfer said that Australia does not seem a safe place for different skin colour other than white.

There were some who argued that not all incidents were race related but isolated incidents. John Doe from Australia says "I have no idea why you are complaining about Aussies, when an Australian man and his children were killed (actually burned alive) in your country (Orissa)."

No local media coverage

Some students bemoaned the lack of media coverage on the recent attacks with some even saying the police were not concerned. Siva Shivakumar wrote in from Australia, "There has been an increase in assaults against Indian students recently especially in Melbourne. What's appalling is that there has been no news in the two major dailies in Melbourne."

Stop going

Rahul advised to stop the Austrailian Universities from advertising in India and attracting Indians to visit them for studies. He said India seems to have good colleges for all kinds of studies adding that Australia should no longer be a dream country for students to apply for enhancing their futures because life comes first before anything else.

Soft targets?

Meenal from Melbourne said, "I guess it depends on the locality of a person's residence as well. I have been in Australia for over six years and have never come across any racists except for some drunkards who are losers anyway... so no point in taking offence to their comments. Australia is a peace-loving country and people here are very open minded. I wouldn't comment on the incident being racist and would agree with the deputy commissioner as us being vulnerable!

Sanjiv Sood from Kapurthala explained why Indians have become soft and easy targets: "Indians are attacked every single day in Australia because they do not fight back."