Friday, Dec 02, 2022
Outlook.com
australia: attacks on indians

Melbourne Ultimatum

Australia denies it's racist, but why the spate of recent attacks on Indian students?

Melbourne Ultimatum
PTI
Melbourne Ultimatum
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Education In Australia

  • Indians account for one-fifth of the 4,15,000 foreign students in Australia
  • More than half of these are in Victoria, whose capital Melbourne is where most of the recent attacks have been reported from
  • Indian students are important for Australia's education sector, its third-largest export earner (after coal and iron) which generated Au $15.5 billion in 2008
  • About 30 per cent of foreign students study in mainstream universities which have adequate security; others in smaller institutes, some mere shopfronts, are more vulnerable
  • India needs to crack down on agents who lure students to enrol in shopfront institutes

***

It’s incredible how the beast called racism suddenly springs out of nowhere, to feast on the non-white ‘outsider’, as it has been doing regularly in the past month in Australia. Ask 25-year-old Baljinder Singh, a Haryana lad come to study at the Australian Institute of Technology in Melbourne in 2006. At 10.15 pm on May 25, he alit at Carnegie station, a relatively wealthy Melbourne suburb where his friend stayed. It would take Baljinder another 15 minutes to walk to his friend's house. It was midway that two white youth approached him, asking for money. And though Baljinder had never encountered mugging, his instinct prompted him to give them the cash in the wallet he had in his bag.

As Baljinder bent to open his bag, one of the two whites stabbed him in the stomach. "It happened so quickly that I didn't even know I had been knifed," he recalls. The assailants fled away, melting into the darkness. Baljinder was rushed to the hospital, where he underwent a surgery. "I'm recovering okay," he told Outlook. "I'm scared to step out."

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