March 31, 2012
Indian Australian community is getting bigger in Australia. Some estimates suggest that there are about 150,000 people in NSW alone and the total population of Indian Australians will be over 350,000 in Australia. We will know the true picture only once Census data is made public.
It goes without saying that there would be more issues when we have more people. People and even Govt authorities have commented about the huge number of our associations, and also “leaders”, although it is also logical, but not mandatory, that there would be more associations, when there are more people.
We have multitude of events and functions, which is all fine. We do have a lot of fun. We are a fun loving community. Nothing wrong in it either.
More associations itself is not the issue in itself but unnecessary competition, differences for sake of differences, and hostility in certain cases is certainly a problem and is not desirable.
If it was not enough already, we have started an unhealthy trend at looking at and classifying people depending on their political persuasion. It has created its own problems. It is amusing to see Liberal and Labor politicians interacting and exchanging pleasantries with one another quite easily but people from our own community consider people from different political persuasion as enemies. This is childish, undesirable and unhelpful.
We need to, and in fact, can do better.
Indians generally do OK wherever they migrate to but they can do a lot better, as a community, if things are done in a bit better way. This is certainly true for political representation from our community in Australian political system. We need to keep the examples of USA, UK and Canada in our minds.
There can’t be any dispute that we need to be more organised. We need to be more united. We need to be more supportive to one another.
We need to start thinking on the lines of “what do we need as a community? What does our community need? and how can we get those results?”
We need to form a think Tank or an advocacy or a Lobby group, involving and including people who are capable, have the strength of character and a capacity to think, to advance our community agenda.
Since someone has to start this process, I am taking this initiative. I have already had some initial discussions with some such people.
I suggest that people with;
- Leadership experience-present or near past
- Capacity to think
- Capacity to communicate effectively
- Capacity to put community interests first
- Understanding of moral and ethical behaviour
- Understanding of conflict of interest
- Flexibility to understand others’ point of view and adjust their own
meet, discuss and chalk out the strategy to advance the interests of our community.
To decide who to include in this group, I must emphasize that it does not matter what political thought process they have, or which linguistic, religious or regional background [from India] they come from. Their outlook must however be Indian-encompassing diverse backgrounds.
I am sending this musing to a smallish group of people in the beginning but the numbers may increase or decrease as we go along this path.
Somewhere along the way, some key Indian media people will also be involved in this process.
Let a new beginning succeed in this venture!
It certainly needs the blessing and support from us all.
I have no doubt that rising above our differences and politics is a smart move for our community and there are clearly lot more commonalities among us, in contrast to differences!
Let us work on our “positives”, rather than just focusing on our “negatives”!
Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/31st March, 2012