An Indian student was stabbed to death in West Footscray on Saturday. Because it has happened before, the Indian Government has threatened to issue “an official warning” to people about travelling to Melbourne, and is demanding that the culprit(s) be found:
India strongly condemned the fatal stabbing of a 21-year old Indian graduate in Australia and said Monday the incident could affect bilateral ties.
External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna called on Australian authorities to speedily find and charge those responsible for Saturday night’s attack on Nitin Garg, saying that Indian students in Australia were increasingly targeted with violence.
I’m sorry – what? What did they think we were going to do? Of course the police are going to do everything in their power to catch the murderers. What makes India think they wouldn’t?
And what’s the evidence that Indian students are victims of this violence more than anyone else?
The Age went and transcribed a series of the more outrageous responses to the incident on Indian news websites:
‘‘I am an Indian occupying a reasonably responsible position in Australia, but I can state without any doubt that this is a racist country, which discriminates Indians on every count,’’ James wrote.
‘‘Well can’t blame the Aussies,’’ wrote Daffy. ‘‘They started as a bunch of thugs, killed the Aborigines and now they continue to do same.’’
Sunny commented: ‘‘In India, target these criminals and teach them a lesson’’.
Neck Breaker said: ‘‘Ban over flight of Qantas through Indian air space. Ban all imports from Australia. Ask British to de-colonise Australia or India does it. These white dogs understand only one language, kick in the face … ’’
Isn’t it terrible when the actions of a few nutbags are used to smear an entire country?
If there’s a problem with knife crime in Melbourne, it’s most likely linked to the closing down and underfunding of mental health facilities over the last twenty years, not racism. (If there’s some evidence that Australia was less racist twenty years ago, I’d be interested to see it.) If Indian students do turn out to disproportionately be victims of those sorts of unhinged attacks, it may well be for very straightforward reasons – the fact that there’s a disproportionate number of them with late-night service jobs who are often travelling in poorer areas of the city in the small hours of the morning, where such attacks are more likely.
Meanwhile, it’s not like India has some magic wand to rid itself of violence.