Amid allegations of racism in Australia, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on Thursday said the recent attacks on Indian youths were “regrettable” but insisted that these should be seen in the context of broader incidences of violence against locals and students of other ethnic groups.
“Regrettably, there have been some incidents recently, let’s accept that, but let’s put it into context, and also in the context of, let’s call it, the broader incidences of violence to students of other ethnic backgrounds, acts of violence against Australian students, acts of violence in particular parts of our large cities at any given time of the day,” Mr. Rudd told reporters in Adelaide.
“I think it’s important to keep all this into its context,” he said, adding “Obviously these are difficult matters in India; they are difficult matters in Australia.”
Nearly 100 cases of attacks on Indians, mostly students, were reported in Australia in 2009 as against 17 incidents of assaults in 2008.
“We are working through them in a practical and effective way over time,” Mr. Rudd said.
About 100,000 Indians were currently studying in Australia.
“The truth is this: the vast majority of Indian students in Australia are embraced entirely by the Australian community, get on with their business of studying hard, getting their qualifications and going off to do whatever they want to do with their lives,” he added.