An Open Letter to Indian Media

—— Forwarded Message
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

including the significant FIJIAN population a. Further, if we go by the data

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
racism?

Rajdeep Sardesai (CNN IBN): worried that every attack on an Indian in
Australia is being seen as racist. need to separate street crime from
racism.

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
disgusting…

Check this article out
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/01/08/2787928.htm

Now a link that will lead you to a very interesting and well-written
article:
>
> http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/indian-tvs-unsound-fury-2
> 0100106-lu8y.html
>
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.

Regards,

Ravi

Ravi Lochan Singh
A proud Indian and a proud resident of Australia.

8 Comments

  1. A few interesting points that while these two anchors have tweeted sober messages , their respective channels continue to fuel the fire with scrollers which claim Austalia mocks India etc. Perhaps they also live in a strange dichotomy of pandering to TRPs and targeting competition.. Last year over 5 Hydrebadi students were killed in different campuses in the US , wonder why the media did not take it up.. This year there was a violent attack on an Indian student at UCOL, the Indian media didnt even tweet about it..Its time We the People see these anchors for what they are.. anchors not serious journalists , each with their own agenda where the TRP can only go up hyperbole and not facts.We as a nation need to worry if these are the people who are shaping opinion in this country..

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  2. Edufest09 makes sense. Today news items appeared across sites that a Gurudwara has been put on fire in Melbourne. Turns out that it was a Gurudwara under construction where a bonfire went out of proportion. No arson. No outside fire. I feel sad.

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  3. Your blog has been an eye-opener on the Australian scene. After reading it one gets a clearer picture of what the real situation is. While I am from the world of advertising and hence a part of the media as well, I do agree that there are instances, when today's news channels and newspapers in India, emphasize on sensationalising news…which is why they tend to exaggerate as well! Their need for "Exclusives" and "Breaking News" and their highly competetive environment, at times can send credibility and confirmed facts for a toss. They link single episodes quickly to a series of similar incidents and then begins their 'news ananlysis' on the emerging trends. I think it is a similar story, where the issue of racial discrimination in Australia is concerned. After all what better way to grab more "eyeballs" than to tell people that members of their comunity are being targetted in a foreign land, after a few authentic incidents have already occured. And yet, to be fair to the media, they also bring to light events that keep us informed, fearlessly and often quite unbiastly.In their defence I would like to say that while the exaggeration and untrue reports need to be done away with, it is to their credit that they brought the episode to light, so that such incidents could be prevented in future. I personally feel that in every profession, society and country, there are the good and the bad, and that often a single rotten apple can make the entire basket look unpleasant. Unfortunately, I think if this applies to Australia, then it applies to the media as well. I do completely agree with you that Indians in a foreign country need to get out of the 'little India's they create for themselves in foreign countries and instead open up and adapt more to the culture of the country they are in, because admiration and hatred is a two way process!RegardsKrishna Basu De

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  4. I am surprised as Indian Media and also the Indian government only elaborate “attacks on Indians in Australia” or issues like racist attacks on one Bollywood actress, Shilpa Shetty by her white housemates on British reality TV” Its depressing Racism is an issue even in our own country

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  5. I am surprised as Indian Media and also the Indian government only elaborate “attacks on Indians in Australia” or issues like racist attacks on one Bollywood actress, Shilpa Shetty by her white housemates on British reality TV” In fact Racism is very much existing in India in our own families and people.

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  6. I am surprised as Indian Media and also the Indian government only elaborate “attacks on Indians in Australia” or issues like racist attacks on one Bollywood actress, Shilpa Shetty by her white housemates on British reality TV” In fact Racism is very much existing among our own people, our own country and in our own families

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  7. Ravi Sir…. Finally the much awaited mail to Media has been sent. All the followers currently with your blog will fight and be with you.To my surprise, since Oct 09, UK issued visas to students for students who were having very poor English with overall IELTS of 4.5 bands. Some students were even waived of English Condition and very apparent that when these students arrived at Heathrow and immigration check were done the students literally required Punjabi translators. Within 3 months… the VFS has been closed and stopped applications from North India. Around 150 colleges have been closed and there were even instances of students committing suicides. I guess Arnab must have slept and so as other media… as mentioned in my previous comments… I guess these unethical Media journalism done against OZ clearly gives me a feel that there is a hand of BIG MAFIA which is intentionally sponsoring Medias to tarnish the image of OZ where as in this 10 years of my experience in Overseas education, I have always felt that OZ has always provided a very congenial atmosphere to overseas students. When Hyderabadi students were killed in US Campus there were not much pulicised news done by the Media.. and still US is the dream destination for students. Just because OZ started shutting down the pvt. colleges and became stringent to check potential migrants and use vocational studies as pathway.I guess instead of appealing to Media, we should file a damage especially a warrant should be issued to Arnab and the channel to pay OZ Govt a severe damages. The freedom of 'PEN' is being abused.. i am sorry to say but they have literally raped the media ethics.Is Press Trust of India watching.. Hey Press and Media.. pls. wake up.

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