Australia is planning to deploy some of its Indian-origin citizens to convey a message that their adopted country is safe for students and others from India.
Foreign Minister Stephen Smith has outlined the move at the conclusion of his latest visit to India. In comments to the Australian media, an official transcript of which was received by The Hindu, Mr. Smith said: “We have absolutely zero tolerance for any attacks [on Indians] which have racial or racist overtones. ... So one of the things we will be doing will be bringing to India successful Indian-Australians who can say to the Indian people and public directly that this [allegation of racism] belies their own experience.”
The “successful lives, careers, and contributions of the 400,000-to-half-a-million ... Indian-Australians” would help showcase modern Australia's ethos of tolerance, he said. The objective of turning to the Indian Diaspora in Australia was to spread such a message.
On security preparations for a series of international sporting events in India this year, Mr. Smith said:
“India understands, as Australia does, that we have both been on the receiving end of terrible terrorist attacks in our region. So the environment into which, for example, the Commonwealth Games falls, is an environment where we know there is a risk of terrorist attack, and a risk of terrorists deliberately targeting a high-profile international sporting event.
That is why the Indian Government is being vigilant and diligent. And that is why we are cooperating so closely with them, as other Commonwealth countries are.”