“Vindaloo against violence,” a mass Indian cuisine dining event to protest against attacks on Indians and make Australians let their taste buds do the talking, is turning out to be a sellout here.

Concerned over her city being dubbed as ‘racist’ in India, a Melbournian woman is spearheading the novel idea — “Vindaloo against violence” — to spread Indian cuisine in a bid to show immense support to the community.

Popular on Facebook

The brainchild of digital media designer Mia Northrop, the idea started as a grass roots campaign but soon exploded on social networking site Facebook, registering more than 10,000 participants.

She said the idea even caught Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s attention and he joined the campaign through micro-blogging site Twitter.

“We were looking for an idea to embrace the sizable Indian community here and we found no better way to bind Australians to India than through the world famous Indian flavours,” Ms. Northrop was quoted by Business Times as saying.

“The idea is that you just go to your local Indian restaurant and just dine on Indian food as a way of embracing the Indian community,” she said adding that “[My husband and I] wanted something that the maximum number of people could get behind, so it just kind of popped into my head.” “Vindaloo against violence” is scheduled for February 24.

Restaurants across Melbourne are booked out and schools and companies have registered it as an event.

“Not about the food”

“It’s really not about the food. A night out at Indian restaurants is just a vehicle to tap the silent majority to put it across that they are against such attacks” Ms. Northrop said.

Attacks against Indians in Australia, including beating and robberies, had mushroomed over the last two years, threatening to damage ties between the two countries.

Australian officials, who initially sought to downplay racism as the reason behind the sharp spurt in attacks, are now pitching for taking a stronger line of cracking down on the culprits.

Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said the attacks were “inexcusable” and being taken very seriously by the government. He vowed to “punish the culprits with the full force of law.”

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