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Attacks on students are condemnable

The spate of assaults targeting Indian students in Melbourne, Australia, and a fresh incident of a petrol bomb hurled at Rajesh Kumar in Sydney and the attack by a drunken youth on Nitesh Khanna in Auckland, New Zealand, have sent shivers down my spine. I strongly condemn such violent attacks and request the Indian government to take up the matter with the Australian and New Zealand authorities with the seriousness such incidents deserve.

The editorial “Hate in Melbourne: Australia must protect Indian students” (May 30) has rightly highlighted the long-term consequences of such racist attacks by making a telling observation: “At stake also is Australia’s image as a democratic country, free from racial prejudice.” Racial attacks remind one of the racial prejudices rampant in the British-controlled colonies in the first half of the 20th century.

As pointed out in the editorial, education’s contribution to Victoria’s economy, estimated at $4.5 billion last year, is not a small one. The Australian authorities must also wake up to the economic consequences of such attacks which may dissuade prospective inflow of foreign students into their country.



Successive attacks on Indian students who have become victims of hate is not only shocking, but puts a question mark on why Indians are being selectively targeted? Besides, when India can offer similar education at a lesser cost, minus the risks of racial violence, then why is the elite class hung-up on the Australian universities? Sadly, the Australian government has been unable to protect Indian students. They are forgetting that “Australia’s image as a democratic country, free from racial prejudice” will suffer immeasurably.



The attack on Indian students must be condemned by one and all. It is a shame that even in the 21st century, acts of racism are occurring in many parts of the world. Australia is known as the “home of racism.” India should take a serious view of racial attacks on Indian students.

The ill-treatment of Indian passengers by the Air France officials at the Paris airport is equally appalling. The Indian government should lodge a strong protest against these countries. The Australian and French authorities should ensure that such despicable acts of racial abuse are not repeated.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh


The recent incidents of attacks on students in Australia should not be treated as racial attacks against the Indian community. Every society has bad elements and the Australian police should deal firmly with such hooligans.

Efforts should be made to maintain the reputation of Australia as a peaceful and law-abiding nation.

Negative publicity will harm the image of Australia, as it is the favoured destination of international students and migrants. The Indian community in Australia is highly respected and such isolated incidents should not be labelled as racial attacks.


Secretary, United Indian Association, Sydney

Rainbow Cabinet

The Manmohan Singh government has taken office with a rainbow Council of Ministers, inclusive of all regions, religions and castes. Youth and women, too, are well represented. The voters of the world’s largest democracy have given their government a precious second chance. Indians are hopeful that it will not be wasted.


Aid to Pakistan

Ashok Tuteja in the news report “India disappointed with US panel’s decision” (May 22) has rightly pointed out that Pakistan has always used this aid against India.

Instead of providing more aid to Pakistan, the US administration must concentrate on ways to curb the Taliban menace. One wonders what organisations like the UN are doing in this regard.


Look beyond dynastic politics

With the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Mr M Karunanidhi, appointing his son, Mr M K Stalin, (news report “Sonshine in Tamil Nadu” by N Ravikumar, May 30) as Deputy Chief Minister, dynastic politics is striking deep roots in the Indian polity. Mr Karunanidhi’s only rival in the family politics appears to be Mr Parkash Singh Badal, the Chief Minister of Punjab.

The near and dear ones of both families dominate their respective state governments. They are also ensconced in the Union Government, depending upon the alliance and the clout of their godfathers within the ruling party at the Centre. Democracy is being manipulated blatantly to suit individual political aspirations.  

The leaders of political parties, perhaps with the exception of the Left, are busy promoting their kith and kin. They use all possible tricks to promote the political careers of their wards. Parties are becoming private limited companies of a few political families. One wonders why our leaders cannot see beyond the interests of their family members. The largest democracy in the world is becoming a “kingdom” of a select few.

This is bound to erode people’s faith in democracy. The ever-increasing abstention from voting in the elections confirms the aversion of the Indian electorate towards the political leadership. Our self-centred leaders, therefore, must read the writing on the wall and let the hoi polloi share the fruits of development. People, who have rejected region and caste-based politics in the just-concluded general elections, can also vote out dynastic politics whenever they get a chance.




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