Friday, 8 January 2010

what happened to Ghandi

Once upon a time India was a place which (in my view) could hold its head high with its respect for virtues and morals. Leaders like Ghandi helped bring India out from under British (oppressive) Colonial rule and emerge as its own nation.

Indians can be proud of the responsible behaviour of men like Radhabinod Pal who in his role of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East after world war 2 was consistently holding the "dogs of vengance" back (who wanted to make Japan suffer for its crimes).

For some reason India is now following a different path, perhaps one of down the path of the rabid gaggling mob seeking a hanging (rather than the reasoned and peaceful paths of the afore mentioned greats of their history). Certainly this is being borne out in the present reactions to the situation in Australia over the tragic death of an India student. Cartoons such as this one published recently


do little to assist the problems and go some way towards making the division between the nations larger.

So far of the reactions I've read the best are from the Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Simon Overland who condemned the cartoon, but called for calm saying:

"Look it's a cartoon, so I just think we need to keep it in perspective. We know we're not racist"

And Ted Baillieu who says the cartoon is
"unhelpful, but can understand the anger in the Indian community".

I have no doubt in my mind that you can find racist minded people in Australia, some of them born there, some of them Anglo background some of them from other ethnic backgrounds. But that doesn't make Australia a racist country.

The editor of the newspaper which published the cartoon suggests that Australia is reacting hysterically to this. Strangely I don't see anyone out in the streets burning flags as the Indians are wont to do.

He goes on to say:

"the anti-Australian sentiment will stop as soon as there is an end to violence against Indians in Australia."

"The day racist attacks stop, the day these criminals are brought to justice, you would not find any newspaper in India calling Australians racist," he said
strangely I just don't see that happening, although I'm sure that he'd like to believe it. It seems wejavascript:void(0) can't even make any complaint about cricket players without that being construed as racist. Perhaps we should stop playing cricket with them too?

A very nice post in the Age brings out the questions of double standards:

Urban Delhi spills into the state of Haryana, which is relatively well-off and with a population slightly larger than Australia's. In 2007, Haryana had 1252 homicides/manslaughters/dowry deaths, compared with 283 in Australia. More people were murdered in Haryana over dowries than in Australia for all causes.

Why aren't India's TV networks campaigning against the epidemic of death all around them? Why does it take a murder of an Indian overseas to stir their moral outrage?

Were they equally outraged 10 years ago when Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons were burnt alive in their car by Hindu extremists in Orissa? Or in 2004 when Australian tourist Dawn Griggs was robbed, raped and murdered by two taxi drivers after arriving late at night at Delhi airport?

Its easy to appeal to rhetoric when situations occur like this, but it doesn't really make for a clear picture. In fact it seems like the sorts of things that someone who has only ever lived in their own country and visited another would say. Its easier to label another place as racist if you don't have any other experience living anywhere else but home and you go to another place which doesn't treat you as a local.

But it seems that it is not only in rhetoric that India is on the expansion, as its military expansion is becoming quite significant, even its Navy is expanding. You can understand threats from Pakistan, but they don't have much of a ocean border there ... do they?

I wonder if as India is growing in power they are growing in arrogance?

I have been saying for some time that Australia is pursuing a dangerous course with the conversion of our Education sector into a money making sector. Perhaps its part of the Colonial heritage where the prisons had to turn a profit back to England ... I don't know. But recent events and problems have revealed that perhaps we should be taking far far fewer international students (at least until we know how to handle them).

Perhaps we should be looking seriously that India may make a move militarily on Australia, after all there's not that much between them and us over there on the West Coast (and a lot to be gained).

Perhaps thats just "impossible" in the modern world ... who knows.

I don't know, its really hard to be sure just what's happening in another country (especially one like India).

I have on occasions felt that the outside world is misrepresented within India, as quite a portion of the population do not speak or read English they rely on localised information sources. For example on one occasion back in 2000 when I was in India I was asked quite a bit "why does Australia torture assylum seekers?".

This turned out to be due to a local news paper re-interpreting the wording of an amnesty official commenting that "mandatory detention for such long periods amounted to torture".

well ... who knows how it'll turn out, but myself I'd be applying a little more of the precautionary principle here and considering the question of is the money we make in the Education sector worth the extra hassles?

I don't think it is ...

India is clearly ramping up the pressure at home with an Australian charged with "Attempted Murder" for shooting a fellow (who was pissing on his house) with an air rifle. Having seen other Indians do this to street dwellers while I've been in India I can't help but think this is an indication of the mood in India (IE pick on Australians). The above report suggests that:

Mr Jestin picked up his air rifle and pulled the trigger, hitting the man in the arm, the report said.

The Australian has been charged with attempted murder and has been remanded in custody, the paper said.

The injured man was taken to hospital.

Sure it was an act of poor judgement to do that but heck, attempted murder with an air rifle? Come on...

When I was there I was sick and tired of being harrased and targeted as a walking wallet for everyone to dip into. Indians behavior can be quite terrible at times, with a pervasive attitude of "rip off the tourist". Yet this is never addressed or the Australian news media start crying that India is a racist country.

Some Indian people have even defended racism in India saying that its a developing country ... huh? So they don't have the finances to be tolerant or polite? I guess Ghandi must have been rich...

So folks if you're in India, get out now, before it gets real bad. Looking at how things are going I think India is really declining.

Glad I've been, but looking at how its going I don't think I'll ever go again.

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