Indian Student Body in Australia Concerned over 'anti-Indian Indians'

Melbourne, June 6 (IANS): An organisation representing Indian students in Australia said Saturday it was "quite disturbed" over how some "anti-Indian Indians" here were holding the students responsible for the spate of alleged racist attacks on the student community.

The Federation of Indian Students of Australia (FISA) has also lashed out at some of the Indian diaspora for supporting the administration and police's "inaction" over the attacks due to its own "selfish interest". The student's body said it would continue its fight for justice and unmask the "anti-Indian Indians".

Seven Indian students were assaulted in the last one month in Melbourne and Sydney.

In one of the worst attacks, Sravan Kumar Theerthala from Andhra Pradesh was stabbed with a screwdriver. He was in the ICU of the Royal Melbourne Hospital and is now showing signs of improvement.

The attacks have led to diplomatic pressure from India and protests in Australia by Indian students.

"We are quite disturbed with the attitude of some Australian Indians who have squarely blamed the newly arrived migrants and students and supported the inaction of the police and Australian government for their own selfish interest," the FISA said in a statement.

"These are a handful of people who are migration agents, education agents, have private colleges or run tiny associations and their only interest is to be in the good books of the authorities. FISA will continue to fight for justice even if it means identifying these anti-Indian Indians," the statement said.

FISA executive members Saturday met officials of the Victoria state police and prime minister's department and discussed strategies and measures to deal with the spate of attacks on Indian students. Melbourne is the capital of Victoria province.

"An action plan was discussed with Victoria police and the Victorian premier's department and we are continuing to work with both," the FISA statement said.

The representatives demanded that 'International Student High Risk Zones' with increased police vigil be declared in areas such as train stations and other public transport nodes and also that crime statistics be made public.

They also called for adequate on-campus accommodation for all international students and blanket insurance policy for students to cover assaults.

Measures such as counselling young Australians and an advertising campaign highlighting the contribution of international students to the Australian economy were also discussed, it said.

The association said that they have received hundreds of hate e-mails on its site and other social network sites.

FISA also warned against false and misleading text messages calling the Indian students to protest and urged the students to not support any action that included breaking the law and disturbing civil harmony.


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Comment on this article

  • A.D''Cunha Shenoy, Mangaluru

    Tue, Jun 09 2009

    Racism, bigotary and discrimination is human issue and widley practiced. Racism thrives all over. India by far the most tolerant given the diversity. The so called first world countries thrived and parcticed racism and still are. USA, see the plight of black history. Australia -see the plight of aboriginals, they are almost vanished. Canada- see the horrendus evaporation of Red Indians. Yes many can argue that racism exists in India- This is not racism, its just communal discrimination and not racism. Racism is hate against race- white, black, brown and yellow.

    Australia now facing an invasion of Indians, indeed a threat for locals. There is nothing wrong practicing Indian culture in Australia or anywhere else. When the British ruled India, they practised British culture and in fact Gave Indians british culture and language. Even today Irisn in USA practice Orish culture. Polish Do the same. Italians no different. Recognise race factor exists. Never defend it. Dont shyaway whereever you are that you are an Indian and should change to local customs. Claim your identity and maintain it. This will do well.

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    Mon, Jun 08 2009

    Santosh, Udupi / Bahrain, you are telling that Never in the history of India we ever had any presidents, prime ministers, ministers, IAS/IPS/IFS officers from the minority community!!. You may be heard the name of Zakir Hussein, Fakruddin Ali Ahmed,Zail Singh, Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam, they are our former Presidents!!!. And also Dr.Manmohan Singh our Prime Minister. Are they not belongs to minority Community?. What about IPS officers R.H. Mendonca, Julies Rebeiro, F.T.R. Colaco?, they are not belongs to Minority Community?.

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  • arsh, mangalore

    Sun, Jun 07 2009

    Dear minorities ever became the president...... what is abdul kalam ha..external affair minister and so on...which world are you living in .??? r u alright ??

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  • David Lobo, Mangalore/ Canada

    Mon, Jun 08 2009

    I agree with all of you in some ways. Most Indian people go abroad and behave very badly. They make fun of other races in Hindi or their own languages and then pretend to be very nice in front of them and talk sweetly. In America too there have been incidents of Indians being killed. It is bad that it happens and it is very unethical when the police in Australia do not protect the victims.

    The police need to be punished for not doing their duty. However, I agree with Jacintha that Indians do not take care of minorities. They treat minorities like dirt. When bad things happen to them they pull the race card like some black and brown people do to get unwanted attention. Most of the Indians who are attacked are Punjabis and Andhrites who behave badly and give other Indians a very bad name.

    They are the ones who should never leave India since other people around the world think that all Indians behave like Punjabis and Andhrites do therefore stereotyping all of us. It is no secret that other Indians do not like Punjabis and Andhrites. Let’s try and correct ourselves instead of blaming others for our problems.

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  • Jude D''souza, Melbourne

    Sun, Jun 07 2009

    Hello....has anybody noticed why the attacks are only on North Indians....specially from the Punjab area.... I am from Mumbai, Catholic, nobody attacked me.. Jude

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  • Santosh, Udupi / Bahrain

    Sun, Jun 07 2009

    Jacintha & Joba....You both are absolutely right. India does not care about minorities....Never in the history of India we ever had any presidents, prime ministers, ministers, IAS/IPS/IFS officers from the minority community....India never allows the minority community to practice their faith, build their places of worship etc etc....

    Minorities should seriously consider relocating out of India for places like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Gulf Countries, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other western countries

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    Sat, Jun 06 2009

    Neelima where are you staying in INDIA or outside of india, you are telling in entire indian history one or two incidents happening like these, please open your eyes and read india's everyday news.

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  • Neelima, Mangalore

    Sun, Jun 07 2009

    I refuse to agree with Jacintha on the minority issue. India is one of the countries that had been very accommodative towards all cultures and minorities. We cannot hold one or two incidents against the entire history of India. But I agree with her point of view about Australia. Rabid racism does not exist anywhere. Browns and blacks have a habit of crying about racism even if it is a personal argument.

    If Indian argues, then it is ''standing by his rights''. If the other person retaliates, it is ''racism''. Not saying that there is some hatred here, which was escalated by Indian media and Indian students in Aus trying to generalise the issues under the pet card of racism. Instead, Indian students would do better if they approach the authorities and try to make peace and issue conciliatory statements instead of the aggressive talk.

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  • jacintha, india

    Sat, Jun 06 2009

    While what happens at Australia is not good at all, there is some food for thought for us in India. People staying in glass houses shouldn''t throw stones at others. We in India have not been very accomodative to our own minorities. We may say that it is only few fundamentalists, the majority doesn''t raise objections to such view points. So can we strongly object to racism in other countries? Let us first remove the log from out eyes, before pointing to a speck in others.

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