From: Ravi Lochan Singh
Date: Fri, 08 Jan 2010 15:27:42 +0530
To: Ravi Lochan Singh
Subject: FW: Media in India has Gone too far…..
Dear friends in the media,
Apologies for this open email.
I am not seeking any favours but just trying to share my disgust at
the TV journalism that we are witnessing from some channels. I may add that
some of the press articles too are clearly over the top.
Will someone educate Arnab Goswami that there is NO data that 1500 Indian
STUDENTS have been attacked in one year. It has long been proved wrong. He
chooses to use incorrect data when the information was corrected a few
months ago. The 1500 police complaints in a year on “INDIAN APPEARANCES” in
a year doesnot make it “INDIAN STUDENTS” and this is all kinds of police
complaints. This includes various nationalities who have Indian appearances
available with the Indian embassies, the number of attacks on Indian
students is a much smaller number (less than 100 or 50, I am not sure.)
The reality is that attacks have come down significantly over the last six
months. The two deaths that have been reported ARE ALSO NOT OF STUDENTS at
all even though media continues to call them as INDIAN STUDENTS. Who will
correct this incorrect reporting. I feel bad about the two deaths for sure
but were they racist attacks? Is anyone sure 100% before calling them
racist? The first one was in western suberb in a park that Nitin was using
as a short cut at 10 PM. Can we say that the attackers went looking for him?
Are parks safe at night in any city??? The second death too is a big
question. It is now understood by Indian community in Australia that it was
a murder by someone known to the person. He happens to be an Indian working
at a place where there is no University or education institution and was not
a student. I understand that it was some labour dispute or something like
this. Though sad a common case anywhere.
Media is also making a big thing about the fall in visa applications and
making it look as the sole reason for the drop in numbers being the fright
on the part of the students. Totally incorrect. We all know that the Aussie
Govt has been cracking down on the private colleges in Melbourne and has
closed down close to a dozen providers now. We all know that they have
listened to the advise of the the Indian diplomats and started severe
interviewing of the vocationally inclined students and the visa refusals
have climbed. It is almost impossible to get a visa now for a course in
cookery or hairdressing or community welfare if the student doesnot have a
background in this. We all know that close to 50% visas used to be for the
vocational sector and so if the visas for this sector will be tightened and
if the activities of the migration agents and the colleges will be checked,
it will lead to a drop in numbers… You all know all this.
Now all channels are the same. While Mr Arnab Goswami needs education on
journalistic ethics and that he needs to take an impartial role, other
channels have shown restraint. While one of the presenters on FACE THE
NATION on CNN IBN last evening went berserk and even called Australians as
WHITE TALIBAN forgetting that several attackers were not WHITE but migrants
including Indians, the other presenters were clearly balanced and managed to
get their way in. Congrats to Sagarika Ghose and the way she conducted it
without pushing her words into the people speaking. I also like the tweets
of two of the senior TV anchors and this shows maturity.
Bakha Dutt (NDTV) tweeted: do you think the India-Australia standoff is a
media construct driven by distorted press coverage. What about India’s own
Rajdeep Sardesai (CNN IBN): worried that every attack on an Indian in
Australia is being seen as racist. need to separate street crime from
Guys, its time that we act with maturity. Leave law and order in the hand of
the police. When they depute their best detective on the Garg case, we need
to have patience. Secondly, lets have faith in our own diplomats. The
Foreign Minister’s advise is so sensible that while University education is
understandable, we need to be careful about doing courses that doesnot
require foreign travel. This is in line with what Australian government is
doing with visas now. In anycase, it is going to be difficult to get a visa
for a vocational college now and many of the shonky colleges have closed
down too. Will someone also do a story on the Indian link with several of
the shonky colleges that were run there and closed down. They were rarely
run by Australians.
The article on the link below is disappointing and shows how one print media
in India just lost its ethics in a bid to get circulation. The cartoon is so
Check this article out
Now a link that will lead you to a very interesting and well-written
It’s a voice of reason and puts things in perspective.
My sincerest hope is that we as nation celebrate free press but freedom
doesnot mean irresponsible conduct. The fact remains that Australia has
taken a number of measures that have checked the issue. The attacks have
come down. The fear in Melbourne city is down. The visas for shonky
providers is not being given. Students for Universities are to be preferred.
What else do you want???
Let India not lose a friend in Australia just because of some who have the
power of the “pen” and who chose to use it irresponsibly.
The focus of the media in India should have been to build bridges and to
push Australia to live up to the promise of “welcoming quality students”
from India by easing the process of visas for Universities.
Ravi Lochan Singh
A proud Indian and a proud resident of Australia.