Time for some from us to say SORRY to Australia. Be brave and do it.

As the investigations by the police and detectives dug deeper into the various attacks, only a minority could be ascribed to “hate crimes”. Bulk of them were opportunistic and some reports were clearly enacted for the gullible media OR by the media itself.


We all can trust our TV anchors (or may we call them actors) for the show that they put up at the Newshour each night. Last night Rahul Gandhi’s quip that NSG commanders who defended Mumbai on 26/11 included ALSO brave men from UP and Bihar was twisted by panelist to mean that the those who saved Mumbai were ONLY from UP and Bihar… The anchor could have easily replayed the clip of the quote made by Rahul in Patna but since the anchor was Mr Arnab Goswami, he chose to maintain a smug face and let the arguments develop into a controversy bringing in benefits to the channel by way of TRPs.

The same was true a couple of weeks ago when the OZ attacks was being discussed and panelist after panelist ranging from bright Shobha De to the Indian-Origin British MP kept referring to the number of Indians attacked as 500 without any correction by the anchor Goswami or his “partner in crime” Seth. It is now well documented that there are about 130 reported attacks on Indians over the last year and 30 of them were on “student visas” (not students in genuineness).

Let me keep this blog factual once again and properly referenced in line with the last blog where I unraveled the imagination of the TV channels over a second advisory asking students not to study in Australia. To complete that story, the only newspaper that I could track carrying the correction was the MAIL TODAY (yes, of the KKK cartoon fame!!!). I know I will offend a friend when I refer to Mail Today as a “tabloid” but this time I am actually appreciating the article in this tabloid from India Today group that covered the wrong advisory under PRENEET FAUX PAS LEAVES MINISTRY EMBARASSED. (SEE LINK). Times Group (TV and Press) made no effort to correct their reporting allowing the mis-information to remain in minds of parents and students that MEA has issued a second advisory asking students not to go to Australia. Mail Today reported and parts from it I quote:

An embarrassed ministry of external affairs (MEA) had to issue a clarification as a damage control exercise because the two advisories issued earlier do not advise students against visiting Australia.
Politics over dead bodies is nothing new for Indian politicians, but what prompted Kaur to refer to an advisory which had not been issued in the first place?

As a possible reason for the incorrect quote by the MOS, the article states:

Going by the chants of ‘Maharani Zindabad’ at the airport, it would appear that Kaur was addressing her political constituency while receiving Ranjodh’s body. The victim’s brother Satnam profusely thanked the minister for her efforts. However, Kaur was caught on the wrong foot by raising the student issue on the occasion as Ranjodh was neither a student nor was he killed in a racial attack.

Now, that the reports of both print and TV constituents of Times Group (quoted in my earlier blog of last week and detailing the damage it caused) has been proven to be totally wrong, will the honourable Times Group apologize to its readers and issue a correction. NO CHANCE. NO WAY.

I have a strong feeling that the junior Minister Maharani Kaur got mis-led herself due to the hammering that the “Goswamis of the world” made “irresponsibly” on the 24×7 channels. I am now providing the link to the Times Now report on Indian deaths that termed the deaths as “hate crimes”.  (see link). Now that it has been proved that the death of Ranjodh Singh was not a racist killing by one of our brethren itself, will the honorable Times Group apologise to the the gullible viewers including possibly MOS Preneet Kaur. NO CHANCE. NO WAY. Times Now, like other channels did announce the arrest of the couple for the killing but unlike other channels, incorrectly identify the couple as “Aus” and not a fellow Indian. The link here shows their clear bias.

Yes, the killers of this Indian were also Indians and we did call Aussies Racists in real haste. Infact, the KKK cartoon too appeared around the same time. WILL YOU JOIN ME IN SAYING SORRY TO AUSTRALIANS NOW?

Apart from Ranjodh incident which resulted due to a non-white, several of the other “attacks” were indeed “opportunistic” and akin to “mugging in the US which students from India often experience”. Many of us remember the pictures that flashed across our TV channels last year in early June of an Indian student being attacked inside a train. It was shocking and due to the fact that the visuals were continuously replayed with a captions RACISM WITHOUT SHAME,  it had to occupy disk-space in our brain.  However the point that I am trying to make is that if you do see the video footage again, you will possibly realize that some of the attackers were clearly not “white” Australians. This is true for a number of instances and the attackers included “migrants”. How can we then call it “white racism” or call the Attackers as “white taliban”. People like Tarun Vijay stated this on TV channels and dissuaded a number of Indians from going to Australia without realizing that one of the attackers in the “train incidence” which I have referred to and which all of us have watched on tape has turned out to be of Indian-origin. However, we labeled Australians as racists. WILL YOU JOIN ME IN SAYING SORRY TO AUSTRALIANS NOW?

Not just when Indians attack Indians and when Indians kill Indians in OZ, we called Australians as racists but there is also an instance when the body of an Indian woman was found and we immediately branded Australians as racists without even waiting to know the identity of the killer who happened to be her spouse and the intent for the crime being dowry.  WILL YOU JOIN ME IN SAYING SORRY TO AUSTRALIANS NOW?

Latest: What prompted me to do this blog today and without any further wait is the “Breaking News” of the completion of the investigation in the Jasbir Singh incident.

As a reminder, earlier in January, were we not aghast when the news broke that
A 29-year-old Indian-origin man was set ablaze by a group of four attackers on Saturday (January 9), a week after a student from the country was stabbed to death amid a slew of assaults on the community in Australia. (Times Now)

MEA issued press briefings and Australian Government was immediately contacted by the Indian Government and asked to immediately check such “hate crimes”. Australian High Commissioner who was being interviewed by our eminent Journalist Karan Thapar around this date was also questioned on this incident.ow

Now the reality is out.  See link and I quote from this:

The Indian man who said he was set alight by assailants near his Melbourne home last month accidentally burned himself while torching his car for an insurance claim, police allege.
Jaspreet Singh, 29, of Grice Crescent, Essendon, in the city’s north, faced an out-of-sessions hearing early Wednesday before a bail justice at St Kilda Road police complex charged with making a false report to police and criminal damage with a view to gaining a financial advantage.
The case gained international headlines among a series of attacks by white Australians on Indian nationals in Melbourne.

Det O’Keefe said arson chemists and hospital staff had concluded the damage to the car, Singh’s clothes and his injuries were not consistent with his story.
“Police inquiries have led us to believe that Mr Singh is in some financial difficulty and that he intended to sell his car but instead stood to gain $11,000 from an insurance claim out of this particular incident,” she told the hearing.
Police had obtained security footage depicting Singh buying a 15-litre opaque plastic container and 15,96 litres of petrol on the day before the attack.
The container and other evidence was found at his unit when he was arrested on Tuesday, Det O’Keefe said.

I as an Indian feel embarrassed with the act of some of our brethren and more so by the way our media plays it out. The height is that our Ministry of External Affairs who had warned the media against sensationalism went ahead and believed some of the reports too.

Now  the reality is out and before us. PTI may have put out the news from Melbourne and NDTV was the first one on our side to pick that up and now Times Now carries the report even though turning it around to say that Aussies claim it to be a fake incident and giving it a sinister touch… Whatever be the wording, Jasbir is caught on camera buying the equipment that he used to burn the car for the insurance claim. Its clear that this incident could not be racism or hate crime. Now its time to say sorry. WILL YOU JOIN ME IN SAYING SORRY TO THE AUSTRALIANS NOW?

Not all writeups this week were embarrassing. Indian Express did a full pager with heading THIS WAY TO AUSTRALIA (The Sunday Story, 31st January 2010) (see link). This article made very informative reading and covered the reasons why a number of students from Punjab have been going to Australia in recent years and the real driver being “work” and not “studies”. It was clear that the “vocational areas” became avenues for them to seek ways to not just cover their costs but also to “send money back to India”. I as someone who deals with students all the time, can clearly agree with the bulk of the article.  One student is quoted as having said:

“Rather than wasting Rs 7 lakhs of my parents money on getting an engineering or management degree from a fake private college, I would rather spend this money to get to Australia. The private engineering degree maynot get me a job but if I were in Australia, atleast I can make money and send it back home.”

Read on the link and you will find so many true to reality quotes in it that can help unravel the reasons for the craze for low quality low price diplomas and courses not just in Australia but also in UK, Canada and NZ. The article also provides the advise to Indians:

“Bad behaviour gives local goons a pseudo excuse to attack innocent people. Rather than decking themselves in gold, flaunting iPods and getting drunk, we should do well to take a cue from Chinese immigrants, who are very discreet”

After reading this investigative report, I add INDIAN EXPRESS and Shekhar Gupta in my list of “Trusted” media channels. Times of India need to hire headhunters and look for some with Indian Express experience provided they agree to join the rag-mag.

SARDAR KHUSHWANT SINGH, possibly the most experienced journalist in India currently, wrote  in his column WITH MALICE TOWARDS ONE AND ALL that appeared in several publications across India.  See link and I quote from it:

There is something about the news of attacks on Indians in Australia that does not make sense to me, I have been to Australia a few times, travelled extensively across the subcontinent, been invited to homes of Australians, as well as of Indians and Pakistanis settled there. I can say from my experience that there is not another White race that is less race-conscious than the Australians and there is not another White country where Indians who have made their homes there are happier.

I have also just gone through the the cover story in THE OUTLOOK on the OZ attacks and will cover it in the next blog. It has both good and not so good journalistic aspects. The bad being that it seems to have met with the “Sub-Editor’s revenge” and highlighted the minor aspects and boxed the quotes of people who just donot matter. Some inaccuracies too… Wait for my next blog.

THIS BLOG WAS ABOUT REALISING THAT WE HAD MADE A WRONG CALL AND HENCE BE HONEST ENOUGH TO SAY SORRY WITHOUT DELAY.  What can you do… Amitabh Bachchan has set a precedence in movie RANN when he realizes that his TV channel had made a big big mistake. But that is a movie. In reality there are no such journalists.

“Every minute you are thinking of evil, you might have been thinking of good instead. Refuse to pander to a morbid interest in your own misdeeds. Pick yourself up, be sorry, shake yourself, and go on again. (Evelyn Underhill)

16 Comments

  1. I would hope that all those who write their comments to me by email would post them on the blog for all to see. My last blog got me about 15 emails with comments…

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  2. I am embarassed to find our media and ministers only creating sensational news without verifying.If the likes of Times Now misreported,they should correct their statement when the reality emerges from courts,police and investigations. The Indian Express and Shekhar Gupta have always had the tradition of uncovering the truth and provide news that one can count on. Your efforts to clear the air is praiseworthy.

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  3. Has the Indian media ever made a mistake and said sorry about it till date????? The holy cow cannot be touched and cannot be blamed..but at least more people are waking up to the facts … And we should really not worry about the Sheths of the world, they are only guns on hire . You pay his firm and he would turn around and spin how Australia is the greatest country in the world to live in..Good One Ravi.. Wonder if the " Assamese"of the year has the courage to get someone like you on his show..but than is courage one of the virtues we associate with TV anchors unless its for awards??

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  4. I agree with Kaushik completely. It seems the likes of Arnab Goswami feel it is their sacred duty to make a big noise over every such incident and then forget about it once there is something uncomfortably inaccurate about that story. It is high time that anchors realise that they are morally responsible to their viewers and just as they pontificate when things go wrong, they ought to eat their words and recant publicly when they go wrong. Otherwise they will loose their credibility and no one will bother to listen to them. They could keep shouting till the cows come home!

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  5. I think this is a great example of the serious lapse of journalism standards in India. I am just thinking of the fellow Indians who live in Melbourne, it should be very embarrassing for them, their country's media acted irresponsibly and the false reports caused serious damage. Yes I am with you Ravi lets apologies to the Australians o behalf of our irresponsible media.

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  6. Surprising some of the bizzare things happen in India. May of us also say "In India it's like that only”. It’s very strange; we have been witnessing so much of defect-defect behaviour especially of our media. Ravi I appreciate you for taking this step and I assure you that we are all with you The media inaccuracies need to be edited and censored. Can any one of us lodge a complain with the Press Trust of India or Indian Ministry of Broadcasting against some channels which have without any investigations have done false reporting or misreporting????

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  7. Just watched the evening show and the latest round from Mr.Goswami..wow!! VVS Lakshman said that India's cricket doesn't have spinners I say they are looking at the wrong place. Arnab is the biggest spinners since Bishen Singh Bedi,even Shane Warne is thinking if even turned one this big.For someone who studied in Oxford if its difficult to understand the difference between some and all is so difficult , i think we need to worry if Oxford is worth it. Its time we start a campaign to send Arnab back to a good school .. or be picked for the Indian cricket team

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  8. Kaushik, I watched it too and he seems to question Brumby without showing the clip to all viewers. Brumby has only questioned the media campaign where the burns on Jasbir was named as racism… I have read the Outlook report and it is not close to many of the claims by even Vinod Mehta. The report quotes to political parties which have won ZERO seats each. It however right on its cover mentions the total number of attacks as 130 of which 30 being students and over one year. This is totally different to what Times Now claims. Times claim it to be 412 over 2 months. Can Arnab provide the list. If he can, I will stop defending the Ozzies. The bluff needs to be called.Australian Indian students are planning to send GET WELL SOON cards to Arnab Goswami and we plan to put up hoardings in Delhi announcing that we are sorry.Arnab says that Times journos have not done trips on Aussie govt money which too is wrong. Maybe not the TV journo but even I took a TOI journalist with me.

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  9. I am not a good writer so cannot express it properly, but no matter what you do and wnhat you say, the media will not change becuase people like and enjoy watching negative stories. So forget about opening their eyes, its like digging a well in the desert.Lets all join hands and APOLOGISE TO THE AUSSIES in our own way, as I feel no attack was racist in nature, and whatever small incidents happened can happen and will happen anywhere in the world, so pay no attention to new incidents also."ON BEHALF OF INDIA I APOLOGISE TO THE AUSSIES"

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  10. NEWS CHANNELS ARE SICK:SPD means Sadistic Personality Disorder.This disorder is characterized by cruel, aggressive, manipulative, and demeaning behavior directed towards others. Abusiveness and violence are common in the sadist's, because the sadist lacks concern for people and derives pleasure from harming or humiliating others. So, most of the news channel are directly or indirectly suffering from this disorder and unfortunately there is no treatment available in the market. But, I have invented a cure for this disorder " BAN WATCHING NEWS CHANNELS", and they will be cured automatically.

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  11. Venu if you and I don't watch the channels or any of us avoid watching it, it will not solve this issue. Some one needs to take steps aganist this false reporting. Its really embrassing, I think the Indian community in Australia should also write to the media and do a press confrence aganist this.Anyway I like the term "Sadistic Personality Disorder".Aranab may be a client for this

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  12. I have been in Adelaide for over 3 years now and two out of those 3 years have been as a student at UniSA. In all these years I haven't come across any serious incident of racism. Rarely you would come across bogans who would pass a comment at most, but i dont think that we need to may much heed to any of that. I now work in an Australian work environment and the Australian employees have been very kind and accommodating. I have built really good fiendships with them, been invited to their homes and even got invited to play cricket in one of the clubs. Look I can give alot of such examples, but all I am trying to say here is all in all an average working Australian does not deserve to be tagged as Racist. Australia has a history based on migration since centuries. Everyone whom we think of as an Australian, has roots from some other country, be it Europe, Asia or somewhere else. The other issue is the students migrating from India. We have to adapt to the culture here, instead of expecting the people here to adapt to us. I dont say we should stop being Indians , I feel proud to be an Indian and therefore try to present the best that our culture has to offer. However I seriously think that most of the people who have migrated here from our country need to change a lot of their manners and to behave as responsible and respectable beings.(examples: not to talk or listen to indian music loudly in public, not to walk in groups blocking the whole pathways for other people, take care of their body odour and in general be presentable) I know a lot of these never get said because it is "politically incorrect" but the people here notice this and therefore try to avoid. I think it is important, if you want to settle in any community anywhere.I would conclude hoping that the media becomes responsible because it has effects on Indians living here and save families back home from worrying unneccessarily.

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  13. I totally agree to the comments of Mr. Venu Babu and Mr. Nishidhar. Both of them who have been pioneers in promoting Australia from South Zone. Also I feel so embrassed that all the nuisance has been caused by fellow Indian. I appeal to all our Indian Community in OZ to wake up, realise and gather facts before creating any negative news and tarnish the image of Australia. All Indians residing in OZ have gone there and earning bread and butter in OZ soil. Before pointing fingers lets see to ourselves first where the mistake lies. As per Venubabu's comment… Media at large in a way has become a MAFIA so it will be too difficult to make their eyes understand. As an immediate measure we have to apologize to the Australian Community as an responsible citizens of India. A press conference should be communicated. Ravi being eminant editor too should address to the Indian MEA to appeal to our fellow Indians that attacks were not racist attacks. As per Nishidhar Statement.. the channels have become even more dangerous than swine flu. Virus like Arnab Goswami needs treatment. I guess Arnab has to be thought ethics and moral journalism. Is Bollywood and Hollywood Directors watching??? bcos he can be a better actor and even win oscar. He can play a lead actor as you can see his acts daily. Also now we should lodge a complaint againt these channels and claim heavy damages to an extent that it should be lesson to any journalists. Also a Ban should be imposed for creating such disharmony amongst two nations.

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  14. When I read the following sentence I could not believe and never understood “Mahatma Gandhi refused to read newspapers, claiming it created more confusion than his own inner unrest”Ravi your blog has answered my mystery. Clearly, even Gandhi ji was aware that it is better to hear ones conscious then our friends in Media.

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  15. Rahul, Mahatma Gandhi's comments are in the era before TV and before real sensationalism hit the media circuit. Probably before the commercialisation too of Media.Have you seen RANN? If not, go and watch it today. Reality before us…

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