Friday, April 23, 2010

Is racism worse than injustice?

In Australia, there has recently been a major controversy about violence against Indian students, and whether it was racially motivated, or "just" part of regular crime and violence among young people in Australia. One of my Indian hosts here brought to my attention an excellent article, Oz & Us: a banged-up equation? that just appeared in the Times of India newspaper. It is also interesting to read the comments on line, most of which seem to consider the article to accurately reflect the problem.

I was impressed by the quality of the journalism and the balance presented. (A few Australian journalists could learn something here...). In particular, it put the problems of Indian students in Australia in a broader social and political context. Furthermore, it argues that the responsibility for their problems lies with a broad range of parties (bad Australian Government policies, greedy Indian and Australian "entrepreneurs", mono-cultural Australians, the students themselves, ....).

On the one hand, as an Australian I was relieved that racism is not the major problem here. On the other hand, I am extremely embarrassed that my Government developed an educational (and foreign) policy that seems to have been solely motivated and influenced by financial greed. This policy has led to significant suffering and injustice. Surely, I should be more embarrassed by that than racism by a bunch of young thugs!

No comments:

Post a Comment