A possie in Aussie

January 12, 2010

Indian students, Shapelle Corby: Having a go, Part 2

Are Indians hysterical?

India’s External Affairs Minister, S. M. Krishna, calls the murder of Nitin Garg a ‘heinous crime against humanity’.

Minister Krishna threatens: ‘if attacks of this nature continue, we will have to seriously think what course of action lies with [the] Government of India; India will not tolerate [it] any more.’

Australian police are depicted as members of the Ku Klux Klan in an inflammatory cartoon in an Indian newspaper.

Indians  reacting hysterically? What about the Corby case? Remember that hysteria? And she was a person correctly charged with importing drugs into Bali. The only interest the Corby case had for Indonesians was the Australian media’s coverage of it

Jeff Sparrow at the ABC Drum asks, ‘why were the Indonesians mystified and fascinated? Because the news coverage here was utterly and bizarrely – what’s the word we’re looking for? – hysterical.’ Home grown hysteria

Are Australian’s racist? How about this excerpt from a transcript of a show on Radio 2GB about the Corby case:

Presenter: The judges don’t even speak English, mate, they’re straight out of the trees if you excuse my expression.

Sarah Hanson-Young points out that in India, where both families and the media are hysterical, and the family is burying Nitin Garg, the Australian Government’s indignant dismissal of the suggestion that racism exists in Australia can only be seen as ignorant and insulting.

As Miranda Devine says, ‘If I were a mother in India, I wouldn’t want my son going to Melbourne to study’ Feelgood sops from politicians are no help in healing a mother’s heartbreak

OK. Now I am going to have a go at making sense out of this:

It is inflammatory and inaccurate to talk about ‘racism’ (see Why Indian students are attacked in Australia: Having a go, part 1.)

But there are racist behaviours in Australia.

The attacks on Indian students were most likely a result of opportunity plus a high crime situation, and it is likely that racist epithets were tossed in too.

The Indian media is over-reporting and over-reacting to the situation.

Public debate about whether Australia is racist misses the point: some areas of Melbourne and Sydney are unsafe for anyone

Australia could calm the hysteria by a passionate focus on making the streets safe

The reaction in India is to be expected, and Australians have proven themselves to be at least as hysterical about Australians overseas.

Public debate about whether Australia is racist incites racism in itself

As Paul Colgan says in the Punch, blaming racism for crime breeds fear and anger. And once that starts it can be difficult to control.

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