Look, I agree, the title of this write-up is dramatic and provocative but this is the question which lots of people are asking. A segment of Indian media is calling every crime involving Indians in Australia as racist crime. They don’t even wait for full facts. It is grossly unfair, inappropriate, immature and ,I argue, racist. Everything in Australia is racist and the very same crimes in India are not. Indian media is doing it intentionally with one agenda only. This agenda is to harm Australia’s reputation. They are selectively blind to some crimes but hysterical about certain crimes.
Let me put some examples to illustrate my point of view.
1. Late Nitin Garg’s fatal stabbing: This was the most shocking loss of life in Melbourne. A 21 years old Indian permanent resident was fatally stabbed at 10 PM when he was walking through a park for his work. This was in the Western Suburb of Melbourne which is known for increased crime against people of all types. There was no witness and the park was dimly lit. Full facts have not come out yet. Vic police is investigating. One Indian minister demanded faster speed in the investigation just 2 days after the crime, while ignoring the fact that it took 19 years for the Indian system to deal with SPS Rathore, Ex DGP of Haryana, who had molested a young lady [Ruchika] and had also harassed her family which led to the suicide of Ruchika. It is a bit rich to hear that statement from this minister. Indian media of course took up the job of branding Australia a racist country. Do they have any evidence to claim that Nitin was murdered due to his race? Do they have any evidence to say who killed Nitin? This is ridiculous and an indicator of the lack of fairness, accountability and responsibility to their profession. Make no mistake, we are all very sad and angry with what has happened. A young man has lost his life in this manner. Our hearts go out to his mother, brother and other family members. We owe it to Nitin that we put sufficient pressure on Vic Police to catch the criminal and prosecute him vigorously.
2. Ku Klux Klan cartoon: This cartoon by a newspaper in India was an outrageous sensationalisation by the Indian media. What evidence they have to claim what they claimed? It is not fair to brand the whole Vic police to be Ku Klux Klan! We are not surprised that Acting PM, Julia Gillard, Acting Premier of Vic, Mr Hull and Vic police reacted angrily and called this cartoon to be offensive. Rather than going on Ku Klux Klan direction, they could have highlighted the failure of Vic police in controlling the crime situation there.
3. Murder of an Indian lady in Westmead, NSW by her husband: It is alleged that Chaman Jot Singh had killed his wife and then ran away to Melbourne from where he was arrested. He is in prison now and awaiting his trial. We did not see much coverage of this murder! Indian media is treating one murder differently from the another. Is this an example of journalism?
4. Murder/burning of Ranjodh Singh in Griffiths: This murder was shocking too. Newspaper reports are claiming that he was a contractor who was employing other Indians. It is alleged that a dispute involving the payment of wages was responsible for the fight and murder/burning. Killers are alleged to be Indians. We did not see much coverage of this in the Indian media. Why?
5. Alleged burning of an Indian in Melbourne: This story is quite unusual and the newspapers are raising doubts on some aspects of this crime. Full facts are yet to be disclosed but police are saying that aspects of the story don’t stack up.
6. IndianTaxi driver molesting a young lady in Brisbane: A taxi driver was sentenced to 15 months prison term in Brisbane but not much has been reporeted in Indian media. Why?
7. Puneet, an Indian student, drove drunk and killed an 19 years old Gold Coast man last year. He was tried and was convicted. While waiting for the sentencing, he jumped bail and ran away from Australia, using a false passport. He lives in India now. Should he not be arrested there and sent back to an Australian jail? Where is Indian police and Indian media? Why did Indian media not cover this topic? Is it OK for an Indian to kill someone else?
It does not matter to them that most Indian Australians do not believe Australia to be a racist country. Australia’s rules/regulations and laws are not racist. They are not discriminatory to any one on the basis of colour, race, gender or religion. It is a known fact that every country has some racists. Australia and India are no exceptions. Ask North Indians what they feel in Mumbai. Ask North Eastern Indians what they get called in New Delhi. Ask any one what Indians call Africans. Why is Indian media not taking this up? It is a known fact that every country has a crime problem. Australia also has it and India also has it. India in fact may have worse crime problem. No country is totally crime free. What has Indian media done against crime/criminals in India? Some politicians there have extensive criminal background? Any thing being done by Indian media about that?
By the way, my comments here should not mean that I am happy with the policing by Vic Police. They are definitely not able to have an effective control on the crime situation in Vic. They need to do a review about the ways they do crime control. They should do random and unannounced searches for knives etc without giving the notice of 7 days before such searches. You read it right. They actually do give a 7 days notice about their searches in any particular suburb.Things seems to be better in NSW in this regards. May be, they should talk with their NSW counterparts.
Some “leaders” in Melbourne don’t waste any time to claim every crime being a racist crime. There is one whose comments are outrageous. He does not wait for any evidence. His understanding of the situation is very deficient. I believe he is harming Indian Australian community due to his stupid statements. His statements are irrational. He seems to have some sorts of connection with some in Indian media. His hypocrisy is objectionable as he has taken Australian citizenship and is bringing his parents to live in Australia. Why is this the case if Australia is nothing but a racist country? He is not even a student. As far as I know, he is not even working in the field of his training these days. He claims to speak for all of us. I want to tell him that we do not agree with his irrational views. We also know that he has hardly any support in Melbourne and Indian Australians in Melbourne dislike him intensely & with passion.
I ask Indian media to become rational and objective in its coverage of the problems in Australia. They should wait for the full facts to come out before jumping to any conclusion. They need to cover all crimes even when Indians are involved in committing those crime. They must stop hysterical and selective reporting. Some students also commit crime and the behaviour of some of them is below standard. They don’t know how to conduct themselves. Indian Gov’s advisory is a right thing but did we really need it? Should it not be a component of common sense and should we not know what to do and what not to do? These students are not children, after all.
The irrational reporting by Indian media is making them a laughing stalk and this is making the situation more difficult for Indian Australians. There is a risk that a backlash may happen against Indian Australians if Indian media continues its hysterical and unfair reporting.
The behaviour of a segment of Indian media begs the question. Is indian media racist towards Australia?
I know where I stand on this matter. I am going to let you make up your own mind. Do let me know what you think!
Yadu Singh/Sydney/10th Jan, 2010