Is Australia racist?

Australia is an enigma, because though it is a country, it is also a continent by itself and lies in the Southern Hemisphere and has quite a different flora and fauna, compared to other countries in the world.  When it is winter in Australia, it is summer in the Northern Hemisphere. 

Australia has a land area of 2,967,893 square miles (whereas India has a land area of 1,269,338), though the entire country has a population slightly in excess of 20 million (which is the population of India?s commercial capital, Bombay – forget about the entire country).  With the density of population being under seven persons per square miles, it is one of the lowest in the world.

The Aboriginals, the original settlers arrived in Australia approximately 40,000 years ago and naturally they are the originals dwellers or sons of the soil. 

On 29/04/1770, the English explorer, Captain James Cook, landed in Australia at a place on the Kurnell Peninsula and it is reported that during his exploration he saw Aboriginals.  Captain Cook claimed the land in the name of the British Crown. 

Thereafter, Australia became a penal colony for Great Britain, to dump convicts and criminals from their country.  Great Britain sent all their criminals and convicts to Australia to serve their life terms and sentences in Australia.  Therefore, the whites first came to Australia about 220 years ago.  In short, Australia does not have a long history and the whites have totally dominated, suppressed and marginalized the Aboriginals and the latter lead lives of woe and penury.

Though, Australia is mostly barren, they do produce crops and fruits in places that are arable.  Further, they have many sheep farming stations, far away from towns, where millions of sheep are raised for meat and wool.  For every Australian citizen, they have 40 sheep.  Australia also has stations, where cattle are raised.  All these sheep and cattle stations are quite hi-tech and modern.  It is not surprising that quite a number of sheep farmers are having land holdings that are numerous times larger than the areas of the smaller countries of the world.

Australia has plenty of resources and enjoys a high per capita income, but their sparse population and low density of population does not allow her to fully tap and exploit it resources to guarantee continued, sustained and accelerated progress.  Further, though Australia is surrounded by sea all around, however, due to having Armed Forces that are numerically smaller (compared to nations having large standing armies, navies and air forces), they will find it difficult to defend and protect such a massive landmass from external invasion or wage a campaign of attrition on an invading force, if it lands on its coast in considerable strength.

Australia needs foreigners and, therefore, it has opened its doors to foreign nationals with special skills to come over and join in the process of nation building.  Consequently, many people of Indian origin have taken up Australian citizenship and are in business, self-employed or employed in government and private sectors. 

Further, if latest information gives any indication, there are around 80,000 students from India doing their higher education, mostly post-graduation, as many of them may have completed their graduation in India itself before coming to Australia.  If the past trends are any indicator, many of these Indians students, after having completed their studies, will opt to stay and take up Australian citizenship.

Amongst the many Australians citizens who came from Asia (and non-white countries from other continents), the Australians are worried and totally chary about hordes of Indians coming to their country, getting Australian citizenships and, by virtue of their sound education, talents, expertise and hard work, grabbing jobs and other opportunities.  White Australians, especially those with a racial bent of mind, fear that if this trend goes on, there will be a day when non-white Australians, mostly originating from India, will become a highly potent and powerful body that will dominate every facet of Australian life: be it politics, economics, culture, agriculture, industry and other things.  White Australians with racial streaks and especially those who are unemployed, under-employed or from lower economic strata just cannot bear to see Indians doing very well and will indulge in all sorts of acts of desperation. 

This is the most valid and sane reason that I could propound for the violent attacks by these racial elements on Indians.  They are trying to create a fear amongst these students to make them panic and interrupt their studies and go back to India (or anywhere else) or fold their shops after having completed their education.

Now, it is for the Australian Government to gets its act together.  If they want to ensure that their country makes a sustained progress, they would encourage Indian students, spending phenomenal amounts on their education, to study in Australia, let students with relevant skills and expertise take up citizenship and contribute to the nation building process.  If this is the Australian Government?s intention, they will go all the way to find out the racists who are indulging in these criminal acts and see that they are arrested, tried and face the full weight of the law.  Police are the tools of their political masters and if they get the go ahead, they will nab all these racial elements, put them in the slammer and put an end to their activities.

However, like the racists, if their Government too suffers from paranoia, then they would turn a Nelson?s eye to the incidents of violence that has been going on since the last few years and presently has snowballed into incidents that are occurring virtually on a daily scale.

The Indian Government can play an assertive role, if the acts of violence continue and the Australian Government is either not able to do anything to control the situation or is not interested in doing anything.  Then, the Government of Dr. Manmohan Singh can give a notification to all students aspiring to study abroad, not to enroll in Australian Universities as that country is racist and not safe.

To conclude, I recall a gentleman telling me years ago about his visit to Australia to meet his relations and friends who have settled there.  He told me that most Indians socialize within the four walls of their houses and do not go to bars because the whites may insult or say something nasty.  In one instance, he accompanied his friend and his children to a public park.  Seeing them, the few whites who were there beat a hasty retreat.  Further, he told me the pathetic lot of Aboriginals in Australia.  

Author: Nelson Lewis- Bahrain