Indian students' apex body in Melbourne on Saturday slammed the Victorian government's decision not to allow them to speak during a 'harmony walk' to be led by the state premier tomorrow to promote multiculturalism in the wake of a spate of attacks on the community members in Australia.
In a statement, the Federation of Indian student Association (FISA) on Saturday said it believed that by not allowing Indian students to speak at the harmony walk the organisers have largely undone the positive efforts the Government has taken in the last couple of weeks.
"It is unfortunate that the Government is trying to exclude students from any meaningful discussion. We support multiculturalism, but we do not support politicians trying to divert attention and debate away from the victims, the unsafe streets, the rising crime rate and the failure of the justice system," FISA president Amit Menghani said.
Menghani said that Australia has a well-established and generally harmonious multicultural society.
"This Harmony Walk was called to express concern about the safety and well-being of Indian International students whose life and welfare is being challenged routinely by people who do not support multiculturalism. This Walk should be sending a message to people who are rejecting multiculturalism through their attacks on Indian students," he said.
Asking government to reconsider its decision, Menghani said the events that have led to the walk were related to the safety and security of foreign students, but the walk now looks like a publicity stunt.