The murder of Nitin Garg in Australia has all the indications of a hate crime. To win back the confidence of the Indian government and people, the government of Australia must quickly bring those behind the murder to justice and send out a stern warning that Australia will never tolerate such crimes.
The reported statement of the acting Australian Foreign Minister, Simon Crean, that India should not whip up “hysteria” over a young expatriate’s murder since such incidents occur everywhere (the Australian High Commissioner said the Minister did not say so) is like rubbing salt into the wound. The Indian government’s travel advisory to students wishing to go to Australia is appropriate and timely.
True, crimes are committed in all major cities of the world, but it is the height of audacity to explain it away in the manner Mr. Crean reportedly did. The Australian government does not have the slightest clue as to who killed two young persons of Indian origin recently, and for what reason, yet a responsible person as highly placed as the Minister brushes it aside, as if the victims’ pockets were picked. We expect a more responsible reaction from the Australian government.
The Ministry of External Affairs appears to be unperturbed by the incidents in Australia. As a result, there is no let-up in attacks on Indians there.
B.S. Raghavendra Rao,
Attacks on Indian students are on the rise in the Australian states of Victoria and New South Wales. The words of consolation from the governments of the two countries will not help unless they are followed up with concrete measures.
The Indian government has been paying lip service to the cause of Indians abroad, but when it comes to concrete action, be it with regard to instances of Indians being victimised in the Gulf or anything else, we end up wringing our hands. Is it not possible to summon the Australian ambassador and express India’s concerns? It is time we overcame our colonial hangover and proved to the world that Indians are not pushovers.
Australia’s credibility in curbing the rising tide of hate against Indians, especially youths, is doubtful. Nitin’s murder is the tragic climax of a series of crimes against Indians since 2008. It serves as a warning that Australia is no longer a safe destination for higher studies. The Indian leadership must not hesitate to warn the Australian administration that such ugly attacks on Indians will jeopardise the otherwise normal India-Australia diplomatic relations as hate and love cannot co-exist.
Venkatesh N. Muttur,
Public demonstrations in Australia are not going to help the cause of Indian students. They will only alienate the Indians who are settled there. The Indian ambassador in Australia should instruct the people concerned to stop such activities.
There is a difference between Mahatma Gandhi’s struggle in South Africa and the demonstrations in Australia. India and South Africa were under colonial rule, but India and Australia are independent nations. Activism in another country is not advisable. Moreover, the authorities have taken up the matter with due seriousness.
P.A. Anil Kumar,