Hello every one!
We all know what was happening and who was doing what in regards to the International Indian students. We know about the rorts/scams. We know how our students were exploited by many including Indian people. We know how they are having a horrible time after some of the schools have closed down or about to close down. There is a general uncertainty around them. It is a very difficult time for them.
Indian Australians have had a great reputation for their standards and conducts. Recent exposure of the scams/rorts in regards to international education has undermined our reputation to some extent.
We all know that the overwhelming majority of our community members are decent people with impeccable character. After a conference recently, I and some of my friends went out with some of our Australian friends. We had the usual banter but the discussion did go to the students’ problems. Someone did mention that they were surprised with the rorts/scams involved in the international education and our people. These comments were quite mild and did not make me feel targeted. They were all friendly people.
When I returned home, I did think about what was said. It is obvious that our reputation has had a hit. Out professional people ie doctors, accountants, lawyers and bankers and also business people are the ones who will probably suffer to some extent.
We do have to take a stock of the situation and do have to do something about it too.
Many things can be done but my suggestions are listed here.
1. We make our voices loud and clear about our condemnation of rorts, scams, rorters and scammers.
2. We demand from the Australian and Indian authorities to deal with these issues with a heavy hand and stamp out such activities.
3. We do not associate with those who are involved in rorts/scams socially or in business matters. Most of us have a fairly good idea who these people are.
4. We ask our Indian Gov agencies in Australia to not associate themselves with these people, directly or indirectly, in any shape or form. They must remain Persona Non Grata.
5. We demand from the Indian Media to not support/promote or do business with people who are involved in rorts/scams. The community and the media have to work together to cleanse ourselves from the activities of some of us who do not have a qualm about doing anything to make money.
6. We start questioning our leaders about what they are doing and be willing to help them in a constructive manner.
7. We expect from the Indian media to question our leaders about their productivity, vision and “conflict of interest”. Shonky leaders need to be exposed, discouraged and excluded.
8. We support the largest Indian association [UIA] after it has set its house in order and reformed itself.
9. We encourage our people by recognising their work, commitment and genuineness and not criticise them for the sake of just criticism. Constructive criticism is good but we need to chip in with our support too.
10. We promote our pan-Indian identity vigorously, instead of getting ourselves too much into our regional Indian identities.
11. We do some genuine charity work for general Australian issues/projects to make a statement that we are as Australian as anybody else.
12. We network effectively among ourselves and general Australian community in regards to issues which are of significance to all of us, not only as Indians but also as Indian Australians.
The Indian Australian community has to show leadership. We have a challenge and this is about our name, image and reputation in this country.The time has come for us to stand up and be counted for the challenge.
Dr Yadu Singh/08-09-09