Friday, May 29, 2009

With love , from the Land Down Under

This post is dedicated to one of my closest friends, Ishan , who is studying in Melbourne . This guy has managed to turn around his life , from the disordered state it was in , and is now on the road to success many will envy . He has battled quite a few challenges in his life , and emerged victorious . He has taken decisions , audacious ones , that some of us can only contemplate about and then dismiss dejectedly . And I know , the tough guy he is , he will face racism and any other ism thrown his way , and come out on the top . Kudos to you buddy . I have never told you this , but I am proud of what you have achieved so far , and you are an inspiration to me . I mean it man .

This post is inspired by the recent racist attacks on Indian students in Australia . As per the news reports , 4 students have been attacked so far , and 1 is battling for his life . I emailed my buddy , to inquire about his well being , and a general WTF-is-going-on-there . The contents of our conversation have been sanitized for you , as the original was peppered with slangs and swear words liberally employed by both of us . This is what he said -

"I am good man . We plan to protest in the heart of the city in some time . The venue has not been decided as yet . You would not believe that one of my friends and I were actually planning to do so , before the attacks took place. So far, there are 10 students who are willing to join this movement. But, there must be like 200 students in the university. Most of these Indians are cowards. That is the reason these goras get them so easily. They dare not attack the Asians cause they know they will get their asses kicked. Not even the Pakistanis or Afghanis , who are lesser in number, as compared to Indians. Some of these attackers are on drugs and/or unemployed. They have no jobs and no money , and that is the prime reason. A side-effect of recession , may be. Indians have been staying in Australia for the last two decades, but this usually does not happen as compared to States . This place is quiet . Only a few suburbs are notorious infested by these crazy guys. I have made some posters and I am putting it on the university notice board. I have taken permission from the dean to organize a protest of sorts. Let me see how many call or contact me . I need at least 50 student to be there for at least 4 hour so that the media can cover them. That is all I want, the whole world must know that we are not happy. Even I have my exams and project work , yet , I have taken the initiative ."

My advice to my friend, "Do it Gandhi style" . I am ashamed and aghast at the response of these Indians . I think , If you try and reason with them , they will come up with excuses like "We are here to study" , "You can't help it , this is part and parcel of life here" and "Stay low on the radar and avoid getting into confrontation" . I bet if the father of this nation had some similar thoughts , he would not have been the father of this nation . My question here is , for how long should one tolerate and bear with racial or any other discrimination ? There must be a threshold, and I think the line has been crossed. These Indians did not go there uninvited . They are not illegal immigrants . The bloody Aussies thronged all over Indian cities , holding road shows and what not , to attract foreign students . And now , they are bearing the brunt of being brown, in the White man's land . I am not saying that these students should pick up hockey-sticks and start fighting . But they must protest . They must shout out loud , that they won't be discriminated against. Can you imagine , living a in a foreign land , thousands of miles away from home , in a country “supposed to be the First World” , and yet , feel threatened and insecure . I hope some of them muster the courage to protest . I cannot envision a multi-polar World Order , with India as one of the poles, if its citizens swallow their pride and be humiliated , for being Indian, and not white . We need to get over the White Man syndrome .

Just imagine how different things would have been, had it been the other way round. A white person getting killed raped or mugged in India. First of all, I think even our own media would give it more attention, well, because they are ass-lickers in general, and what is better than kissing the White Man’s ass? Secondly, their respective government, French, German, English or American would be at the Indian Government’s throats, demanding an explanation, not merely expressing “apallment at the horrendous incident”. And thirdly, they wouldn’t hesitate at labeling India as not safe enough for their citizens to travel, if it came to that. It is a reflection of how they value the life of their citizens, and not just consider them a source of votes. If you remember the Graham Staines murder, which was not racist, but equally or more bad considering the reason, you would get an idea. The furor created by these attacks are not even close. You might think I am getting agitated over nothing, as in the Staines case, 3 people were burnt alive, and in the Aussie one, the students were brutally beaten and no one has died so far. But for how long, before the beatings turn into murders? And when you stab someone, the intent is not exactly benign. And is this just limited to Australia ? I don’t need to embark on narrating the tale of Air France VS Indian Passenger.

Respect is earned , or fought for, it is not handed out as an alm .

p.s. No disrespect intended toward those who were attacked, and are living in fear. I hope this ordeal ends as soon as possible . I am sure a lot of our fellow country men are praying for them .

p.p.s I wonder what Andrew Symmonds has to say about this .

Edited to add : Stay away from Australia , says Bajinder Singh


Anonymous said...

unfortunate what happened... !!

but there are cockroaches in all nations and all societies... !! just proves that point !!

Kislay said...

But the hue-and-cry is more when that cockroach is Indian , as compared to a white/American/English/Australian one .

Ishan Bhanu Roy said...

Thanks for making this issue a part of ur blog ....... Well Life have been a great learning ....and my experience says that the aussi guys are good unless they are on drugs Specially on Ice or Meth or they do not have a job...... I have quite a few aussi friends who are either in University with me or at the work place and believe me they all have respect for Indian people. All I want to say is the government have to control all the illegal drugs from this country and things will get better and the COPS are fucking cowards and good for nothing . They are of worst kind I have ever seen. Man the Indian cops make take Bribe but they can take control of things easily buy in hear they cannot do a shit they can just give parking ticket and bust u for over speeding that is what they are good at.

Ishan Bhanu Roy said...

Being a Indian is a problem everywhere in the world. The main reason is that WE INDIANS are smart hard working and intelligent and can do all shit that many of the others can't do .......... I have realized his fact when I came to Melbourne. If I see at the IT companies who are the one working at the creative position Indians. We Indians are good we are rich we have money coz we work hard we know how to save. We understand the value of time and money. Aussi people who do not have a good job coz they never went to University are jealous of Indian guys as they think we belong to a shit country and we should not have all the money and they think all that money belong to them as they cannot do much about it they spill out their frustration by bashing them ........ This is so sick ...Now the question is why students why not others who are working .... As they know that If they touch anyone who is a citizen who is of Indian origin they government will fuck them ... Because of the law. So the conclusion that readers can draw is they government is not supportive to the Indian student. I wonder what will happen to the economy of this country if all the Indians move out of this country. If that happen a major chunk of their work force will vanish and they will not be able to manage things hear.

Anonymous said...


Your old theme was more nice (just my personal opinion ) But yes,a change once in a while is good...

(didn't read the post,just came to say hi )


Winnie the poohi said...

The sad point here is same as its in india.. no one bothers to protest for anything that requires protests... :( :(

Cowards they r :(

Anonymous said...

Kislay, We were watching this on NDTV yesterday( that is the only indian news channel that we get here) and we were also appalled at how little airtime, this news was given.. I mean, I understand that the cabinet portfolios are a big deal - but isn't it important to bring out the horror that our fellow citizens are facing? Our media needs to focus on this more - just so that our govt puts enough pressure on the Australian govt to stop this from happenning..

As for Indians being cowards - that might be true.. I think, we prefer to be under the radar as much as possible..I just feel that our govt should pressurize the Australian govt more too.

Kislay said...


Thanks buddy .


You are welcome . :)

@Winnie & Wordsndreamnz
We Indians make noise for the wrong reasons mostly . I am telling you , had it been a case of a White person getting hurt/raped/killed in India , their respective government would have been at out throats

manju said...

So unfortunate- what happened! I watched on the news and was shocked.

This is a situation where a strong protest should officially be made by the Indian government to the Australian government, and action taken by them should be closely monitored.

We should not let this slide.

A students' protest is good but not sufficient. The Indian government should show that it firmly supports the students.

Ordinary Guy said...

hmmm, it is happening regularly now......
and Gandhi way is the best way to go for indians personally coz as we all know, we are not cut out for fights..... we need to use that to our advantage and as you rightly said, use gandhigiri :P

Kislay said...

The PM just "condemned" the attacks . As they all condemned 26/11 and every other attack .

Chikki said...

To 'Demand an explanation' from other countries in a way that they care, we should be economically strong if not militarily, thats the hard fact.
Right now, we are not in a position to 'demand an explanation', that position should be 'earned', we should not expect it to come to us..
Just one thing - economic reforms can solve multiple problems including the problem of riots ( what happened in punjab recently). I wish the Indian Govt and avg Indian citizen understands this.

Kislay said...

We will have fight , if it comes to that . Defend ourselves against those racist bastards . But , a non-violent protest is the way to go , if you consider yourself civilized , in the current context . Any other way , and the flak will be on us , and everyone will forget about the scum bags who did this .

Kislay said...

We may not be an economic super power , but we are not weak either . And that is the true test of leadership , to get an explanation even if you are lacking in might .

Anonymous said...

Indians have always been soft targets and that's why we have always been invaded...Sorry to say this, but Indians are cowards especially in white countries...If we think of ourselves as second class citizens then we'll be treated as such...

Anonymous said...

Sad and shocking. I can't imagine what their families must be going though over here, one boy who was hit by a screw driver on his head is critical. I think this has to be handled by the governments. And I hope this is nipped in the bud, such things can go out of hand.

The visuals on the TV were disturbing.

Child Of Adam said...

I agree with Chikki... we havent become such a super power that we can "demand an apology". The Indian govt should indeed do something more than "condemn" this.
Reminds me of Pakistan... bloody, while the Pakistani govt "condemned the barbaric act" (26/11), their sr politicians were giving interviews to news channels, mocking us!!
All diplomatic channels should be used to find the guilty, punish them and make sure such a thing never happens again.
Racial discrimination is thr is all countries... In India we still have it.. lol...
I think this news gained prominence not because it was a racial discrimination issue, but more because there was assault involved!! and one fellow is battling for his life now... had the poor fellow not been battlin life and death, it would have been another of those cases where we hear "Indian killed In US.. breaking news just coming in... Aishwarya Rai just phoned Salman Khan.. joinin us in our delhi studio is Mr. Bimal Sinha, who is an expert in Rai-Khan relationships... well explore the various outcomes of this fone calls.. "!!!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I grew up in the Gulf and anybody will tell you how Indians are treated abroad. This is not limited to Australia or the U.S

I remember in the summer, temperatures would touch 50 degrees, but the government would report it less by one degree to avoid declaring a holiday. The people that suffered were the poor laborers who were all south east Asian. At airports, their luggage was manhandled and they were treated like vermin. But the Arabs literally worshiped the ground on which the white men walked.

Personally, I feel we have been bearing this injustice like our destiny because
a) We have no national pride in being Indian, thanks to our colonial rulers who drilled and beat it into our minds.62 years later, we still don't consider ourselves as equals and

b) Because we have no faith in a government that continues to ignore the plight of its citizens living abroad, but remembers them dearly when it comes to money.

I might be wrong, but since the recession, hate crimes against Indians are on the rise.

Do try this: type in Google," Why Indians"..
Sorry for taking up your space, just felt strongly about it.

Anrosh said...

kislay this reminds me the number of indian students that have died under mysterious circumstance..some of them ph.ds from very well know schools such as cornell breaks my heart that the alumni of their schools from india does not even lift a finger. it is atrocious some of the very wealthy indian counterparts who can put this incidents on the map don't even bother ...leave alone create a organizational protest. most of these students come from almost lower/middle class families borrowing money from their friends here and their parents only hope ..

-- the ism problem can be taken of individually -- if they don't give what they owe you , demand it .. it is your birth right as a human being

Anonymous said...

I dont see the news on tv but what I am reading from the newspaper I kinda am amazed how this is getting so much news coverage !!!

every day hundreds of such beatings happen in India too !!

I take it that not the Australians but a few rotten apples among them went ahead and beat up the Indians...

I think this should not be treated as a racial issue but just a crime... !!

Vinod_Sharma said...

As Sraboney says, when Indians themselves believe that they are less than the Whites in whose countries they reside, what else can you expect but cowardice masquerading as apathy and what have you?

Forget Australia. Even in India our own media tell you every day that anything happening to an English-speaking gora in India(Russians an East Europeans are at par with us)is far more serious than anything far more serious that happens to Indians...

With this kind of psychological baggage, how do you expect Indian students in Australia to suddenly start fighting for their rights in a manner that they rightfully should?

Anonymous said...

I think we need to work on our basics. We are seriously lacking self assertion. Not without a reason. When we depend on the Goras for almost everything from our soap to the clothes, no wonder we develop such an attitude and inferiority complex. It will be better if we start becoming more self sufficient and focus on quality rather than being totally money minded copy cats.

Destination Infinity

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Kislay said...

As I said , we are still reeling under the White Man syndrome . 62 years of independence , and we , the youth were born in a free land , not under the shadows of slavery , and yet , we are influenced by it .

BK Chowla said...

We Indians are successful,intelligent,hardworking and genarally good people.We are threat to the world.Let us not wait for the Govt action.Let our players refuse to go to Australia for Tennis and Cricket.Small actions leave a great impact.

Kislay said...

@BK Chowla
That is one the best ideas I have heard so far Sir .

Anonymous said...

Amitabh Bachchan has done his part...According to a report in TOI, he has refused to accept an honorary doctorate offered to him by The Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane ( because of the way Indians are being treated in Australia...

Solilo said...

Indian should take strict measures against Australia and France.

Having said that, there are incidents like a Brit woman raped by some Indian youth in Goa, now we won't like anyone stereotyping all Indian men as rapists.

Racists exist everywhere. We need to tackle the ones living in our country too. I have heard worse things coming out of Indians mouth for Americans.

Anonymous said...

Kislay I agree that these attacks are racist and also that the Indian Students there are plain scared to come out(I can so imagine that)

it is part cowardice,part fear(imagine if someone we loved who was not that courageous was in their place and knew fully well that he might be singled out for attack..)

and a HUGE part is the fact that Indians have no identity as a nation as such..they huddle in small groups of region/language/caste/state/religion and god knows what else...

(the Russell Peters Indians are racist act is so true..)

so going by that token I BET that if this were to associated with religion(be it any religion) Indian government would jump bang into the middle of it...economic superpower or not

(Chikki's point is right too in a way though but I digress)

and you would see scores of effigy burning incidents.... a very real and palpable fear among the netas that their precious religious and other votebanks might go down the drain..

in short all the ingredients requires to wake up this hitherto impotent government..
but no it wont happen..

so Indian students will keep getting attacked,,,and soon this will be buried in the 5th or 6th page of the national dailies...

PS:_- to call all of them racist would be a mistake na?
not their fault if we are such huge drooling admirers of the white skin

...coz like SOlilo said then even Indians would be branded as rapists every day of the year...

such incidents receive more coverage in India..that is very true..
but then again that is our fault not which I mean to say that our media sleeps ina deep slumber most of the time when it comes to attacks of this kind....

but the hyper activity on some channels (the crassly commercial ones make the ordinary Indian think that Australia or any other place is full of goras who call us dogs and spit in our faces)
thats as wrong as not reporting these incidents..

we dont have a judicious balance so the ball lies in our court ..

Anonymous said...

All the best to your friend..God bless.. may he succeed in getting his voice heard..

my wishes and prayers are with all of them

Anrosh said...

a very good jewish friend of mine told me once - indians would be treated better when they start opening their mouth and when they start asserting their rights.
another white woman ( a yale educated lawyer ) told me the same thing.

after a meeting (phone conference ) my boss told me - speak as loudly as you can, and being a woman more so - you are required to speak loudly !

another white woman also told me the same thing - stick your neck out - but when they know you you know you know -- they will treate you well. you will stumble once, fall twice, but you will get up and walk and stand strong too.

all wise words from people who looks beyond race and color and when they want you to do well, they will let you in on the secrets of a culture that is prevalent in this country and needs to live forthrightly so..

I cannot speak for other countries, but americans appreciate people who are assertive. anything less is looked down upon. In my opinion it is not about race and color it is about how you behave.

in india the guru-shisya, elder-younger culture works well -- here what you know you know and standing upto oneself works very well.

And above all "be proud of being indian. don't shun your roots or you will never learn to fly !

Kislay said...

Glad that he did . If only the Indian could have canceled a tour of Australia , that would have scared the shit out of them .
I guess things will change when we stop obsessing with anything White , skin , culture or language .

Chrysalis said...

Oh this makes me so sad. I see so much of this insecurity and cowardly behavior in Indians. I call it the Colonial Hangover!! There has been a systematic erosion of our faith in our nation,history,culture,medicine,art...we have to quote a Gora to prove a point.We dont think Yoga is coll till the Americans go crazy about it and now some Chinese was attempting to patent some Yoga move WTH????
We do not believe in our scriptures till Oppenheimer says there is none like them....List is endless...Most of the times we get the short end ..because we silently take it.