OZZIE INDIANS: STOP, PAUSE, THINK AND REFLECT

On 5th March 2010 Australian Prime Minister’s reaction on the murder of the toddler of Indian origin was immediate and sincere.
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“The death of any little child causes everyone in this country to stop, pause, think, reflect. If this is a case of murder, there is nothing worse than the brutal murder of a little child. The authorities are investigating it and we have every confidence the authorities will get to the bottom of it,” he said. (Link)
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With coverage of the tod’s death, even Indian media stuck to the basics and relied to on the feeds by the PTI. Thank God. (Must add that only one TV channel (no prizes for guessing) still attempted a little twist referring to the Aussie reaction as “Nervous” in actual quotes). However, overall, media in Australia and India reported in sync with the facts. The role of the Indian Government and of the Consul General Nayar remained commendable. Another plus was the focus on FIAV and not FISA.  Spokesman/founder/secretary/owner of FISA only showed up on one TV channel (no prizes again). City Counselor of the locality where the incident occurred is Tim Singh Lawrence, of an Indian origin, whom I have interacted with in my last visit and have also commented in an earlier blog, was quoted extensively.
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Now, as I pen this blog, news is breaking in that charges have been laid by the police and it appears that it was indeed an “insider job” that look the little one’s life. No racial or any other dimension to the story. Like almost all other Indian deaths in OZ over last two years, this one too is a case of an Indian taking an Indian’s life while we all were tending to suspect a white hand. In an earlier blog titled INDIANS ARE INDEED BEING SINGLED OUT, I had detailed my finding that of the last 15 or so Indian deaths in Australia, surprising to many, an overwhelming majority of deaths had been committed by Indians themselves. If we add to this the fact that Jasbir is not the only exceptional case of an Indian shouting “racism” over a fake attack in hope for insurance claims, I feel really ashamed today for the act of some holding a similar passport as mine. In this case, just click this link to get the full news as I just donot feel like even detailing it. An Indian student on a fake passport …. and another Indian murdered by an Indian.
"Indian" accused and his wife
"Indian" accused and his wife
Yes, ashamed I am and am sure many other Indians origin residents in Australia also share this emotion. We ran to the media each time prompted by one fake “student” leader with garbled history and statistics. The media in turn hyped it up testing the relationship between the two friendly countries. Ashamed I am, because of the conduct of the new Indian entrants into Australia, who in the garb of a student is actually mostly an illegal migrant, often working full time in risky jobs when they should actually be studying? Ashamed I am, that the Indian leadership in OZ is divided and missing even right now. Melbourne is only slightly better while Sydney Indians have recently been fighting over organizing of festivals and have still locked themselves into groups based on their castes and regions in India. Some are alleged to be making money from sponsorship commissions and contracts.
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I am not in anyway undermining the importance of a need for better law and order and check on street crimes in large cities at all. Cities around the world need better security and Melbourne is no exception.
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This blog is just trying to break the stereotyping that has developed around Australians and Indians.
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The conduct of recent Indians also risks other Indians. Visas have become tighter for genuine students. India continues at risk assessment level 4 along with only a few other countries such as Nigeria, Bangladesh and Pakistan. The entire system of AL is faulty and disadvantages genuine students due to acts of frauds. Majority of Indian migrants into Australia over the last 15 years have been largely professionals including Doctors, Accountants, IT professionals and Engineers and they are also feeling the branding of Indians due to the risqué behaviour of the recent Indians. Generalisations don’t help anyone and it is time for Australia to reconsider the full system of setting norms based on Assessment Levels especially for a huge country like India with non-uniformity with intentions, aspirations and track record.
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When will a real Indian leadership emerge in Australia that helps the rebuilding process?
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Indians in Australia too need to
stop, pause, think and reflect.
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That brings me to the part 2 of this blog where I share the crusade of two Ozzie Indians. These caught my attention and will help break the stereotype.
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MY NAME IS KHAN SINGH … AND I AM NOT A TERRORIST THUG.
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The movie MNIK has given a strong message that not all Muslims are terrorists and I innovate the message to MNIS indicating that not all Indians are Thugs.
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By the way, before I forget, did you know that an Ozzie Indian made her bollywood debut in MNIK. Pallavi Sharda, (daughter of a friend, Dr Hema Sharda, from University of Western Australia and a resident of Melbourne, Victoria) is a student of law at University of Melbourne. In MNIK she is the beautiful muslim girl who travels in the bus with SRK and offers him food. Pallavi has a website www.pallavisharda.com and has just completed another movie DUS TOLA with Manoj Bajpai. My sincere best wishes to this beautiful Ozzie Indian. She has a long way to go and has only just begun. Pallavi, be careful in Mumbai as it is not Melbourne. Its far unsafer.
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NOW, getting back to the two examples that shout out that NOT ALL SINGHS ARE THUGS. (I could have added my own example but then… ladies first!)
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NDTV has recently awarded Aradhana Gupta as Extraordinary Indian of the Year, for her crusade against injustice to her friend Ruchika Girothra;
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Aradhna, who lives in Sydney with her husband and children, has been teaching Indian culture.
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She said Rathore’s conviction gave her a renewed feeling of empowerment inspiring her to launch a new battle for hundreds of such Ruchikas in the society who must be waiting desperately for someone to rescue them.
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“What better occasion than Valentine’s Day to commence my next battle,” she said, launching the site at her home in Panchkula. She said she would rededicate herself to a social campaign against child abuse. The website is a platform where people from all walks of society can come together to create awareness, educate and eventually help prevent child abuse.
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Every Indian is proud of the campaign that Aradhna carried out over many years and this required her to travel repeatedly from Sydney to Chandigarh.
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While what Archana achieved is known to all of us thanks to the media and we have all toasted her for her act, there are many other Indians who have put in their best foot forward to bring peace in “charged up” Melbourne.
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A few months ago, I met with Divya Sharma, a PhD student then at RMIT Melbourne and a girl from Chandigarh. Let me quote from TOI Group’s Kolkata Mirror about the Diwali event that she was organizing last year to bring the communities together in harmony:
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“Australians that I meet are aware of Bollywood. They love the movies and dances and yes, they will be in Indian outfits,” says Divya, who admits that it will be “interesting” to teach the students how to dance Bollywood style.
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Multicultural events are seen as a way to help the Australian and newly arrived Indian students better understand each other’s community.
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“I wanted to send a message that everything was okay after the attacks on students, so the theme of this year’s celebrations will be Sabh kuch thik thak hai. We wanted people to know that things are fine here,” she says.
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Academicians, educators and students, including Indian students, are planning to put behind the unfortunate trail of incidents, by organising a fiesta of music around Diwali to send the message that everything is fine here. And the person behind the concept and organisation of the show is a Chandigarh girl Divya Sharma..
“We plan to put up the show, including a fashion show with music from Bollywood movies, around Diwali in an our endeavor to bring to an end the unsavory chapter that sent wrong signals worldwide,” says Divya who is pursuing her doctorate at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT).
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Everything is fine here, she says revealing that many locals join her classes in the Art of Living. She expects Sri Sri Ravi here in December to address a World Parliament of Religions as a key speaker,
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Divya, who is an Art of Living trainer, says that ever since she came here several years ago, she has never faced any problem. “Instead some of the locals have been going out of way to help international students in general and Indians in particular.”
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Khan’s (Aamir) ALL IS WELL translates to
Singh’s (Divya) SUB KUCH THIK THAK HAI
Ozzie Indians need to chant
AAL IZZ WELL OR SUB KUCH THIK THAK HAI
Certainly STOP, PAUSE, THINK AND REFLECT.

24 Comments

  1. Hi Ravi,
    Good morning from Delhi on Womens day. I did not read your entire blog just read the Headline, because as I said before I am not surprised. If you look at my responses to your blogs and emails , I have been saying the same thing that I am today ashamed to be an Indian and more embarassed to walk on the streets of Australia because I make many trips to Aus. But recently I learnt from one of my old friend that it’s a
    matter of National integrity and we need to zip our lips and not say anything bad about our own people, but how long?

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  2. It really makes us think what kind of stuff has reached Australia. Though we are working only in the Australian market and not other markets like Canada, UK and USA but this series of events in Australia led us to think if similar incidents are going on these other countries as well .?
    And if not then what is the flaw that led to higher concentration of such people in Australia which is really ….mmm…. I don’t get words to express my anguish.

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    1. UK IS IN BIG TROUBLE and they donot yet know it. It is coming fast. In Australia all the workers who went as students atleast had to take IELTS and get atleast 5 or 5.5. The biggest USP of UK visas over last year that led to its abuse was that even those who couldnot get more than 3 in IELTS are now there…

      NZ is also in for issues esp in Auckland.

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      1. The killing of an innocent child is so repugnant that we are left with no words to describe our true feelings. Surprisingly,the media which was so vociferous ( 24×7) in denouncing racial attacks, is ominously quite when a fellow Indian is involved in the murder.

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        1. Nilimaji, this is a news that shook all of us. Now the parents of the kid are actually thanking the Victorian Police, Indian community and Australians for all the help. Not to the Indian media…

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  3. Hasty sensational reports in Media by immature reporters without professional qualification and training is doing a lot of disservice to society. Stereotyping is without any foundation in realities.. Yes we Indians need to stop pause and think. We are proud of you Ravi!. The examples provided by you of healthy Indians reinforces my optimism and faith and role for Citizen’s advocacy for community issues and harmony in multi cultural/multinational society!

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  4. No words can describe this cruel act of the death of an Indian toddler by an Indian living in the same house. This shocking death of an innocent there year old, has got their attention of the whole world.

    I feel angry, upset, and sad and should I say “ASHAMED TO BE CALLED AN INDIAN” today.

    I wonder what is going through the mind of the Australians as they realise that the killer is just another Indian. Am sure from now on, we not only are going to be categorised as cheats and frauds but also as murderers.

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    1. Robert, I have met with a number of Australians and have been impressed with the cautious remarks that they may. Unlike Indians who called everything as RACISM, they are more responsible with their comments. They know that NOT ALL SINGHS ARE THUGS.

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  5. I share your views.

    I am deeply distressed at what happened to Gurshan Singh Channa. I can understand and appreciate the pain Gurshan’s parents have gone through.

    We shout from the roof tops that ours is the land of Rama, Krishna, and Buddha, and Adhi Shankara among others. The violence inflicted on Gurshan is incompatible with the teaching of these illustrious names.

    As a nation, we seem to be drifting towards unspeakable violence. Where is the magnificent Indian culture and our lofty values!

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    1. Srie,

      Indians are hypocrite and often stoop to such low levels that it will shock many such as you. Extremely able in using circumstances and there are Indians today who can even marry their own sisters (atleast legally) to be able to migrate as spouses. I am not saying only in humour at all. Indians killing Indians and some from the Indians shouting racism reminds me of the time post Staines killing in Orissa, that there were some who even quickly converted to christianity to be able to seek asylum in Australia on the ground that they are under threat.

      Also Sikhs choosing “Hair cutting” as a career when this is a taboo in Sikhism and for Pure Veg Gujaratis choosing “Cookery” where in the first lesson they learn how to cut meat… Hypocrites who can choose to do anything to go up in the ladder.

      I remain ashamed.

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  6. I must admit that I being a Sikh feel ashamed by the cowardly act of Sikh killing a Sikh, a toddler, who doesn’t even know that he is a Sikh as he is too young to understand the values and greatness of this religion which being a martial race played a major role by sacrificing their lives in order to save the Hindus during Aurangzeb’s rule in India who was converting Hindus into Muslim by forcing them to embrace Islam. What has gone wrong is difficult to understand that one can stoop to such a level of bringing shame to this community. It also proves the point that the right quality has not gone to Down Under who bring shame and humiliation to us. I can only pray to God to bless them so that they bring glory to our religion !!

    Well all the very best to beautiful Pallavi Sharda, daughter of Dr. Hema Sharda, whom I met here and must confess that she appeared very confident as a teenager also and have a feeling that a challenging and a successful career awaits her in Bollywood !! My best wishes are with her !!

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    1. This is what I meant MY NAME IS SINGH, I AM NOT A THUG. Interestingly, though I am not a Sikh, I am a Singh too and alongwith Guru Gobind Singh, Daler Mehdi and our own Bubbly, I too share the city called Patna… Proud of this.

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      1. You are absolutely correct we are proud of Patna which is the birth place of our last Guru, Guru Gobind Singh. Also both of us started our formal education at St Michael’s, Patna, built near the bank of of river Ganges. Daler Mehendi and his younger brother, Micka, whom you didn’t mention use to do kirtan at Gurudwara, Patna Sahib, and look at the blessings they got from the almighty that today they are well placed and are very popular in Bollywood. We also have a very famous classical dancer, Shobana Narayan, from the same city and the current Lok Sabha Speaker, Mrs Meera Kumar also belong to the same city, although she spent her child hood in SASARAM which was the native place of her father, Babu Jagjivan Ram who never lost an election from this place. My dear friend Late Hemant Shahi, MLA, and his father, Mr L.P.Shahi who was a cabnet Minister in Rajiv GANDHI’s cabinet also belong to this city. Not to forget our Bihari Bolloywood star, Shot gun who stayed not far from my house in Patna. There is a long list of IAS and IPS Officers posted in Delhi who are from Patna which makes us proud.

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  7. I am not a communist, but trying to understand values and principles of communism and strongly believes capitalism has an effect on crime. It’s high time that our schools start teaching the last missing chapter of the financial management “donation / contribution to the society”.

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    1. There is crime even in WEST BENGAL which has been a communist state for over 30 years… I think all schools should make Moral Studies as a compulsory aspect of primary education like some schools.

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  8. SEE HOW THINGS ARE CHANGING. MUST COMMEND INDIAN MEDIA’S RECENT HANDLING OF THE GURSHAN’S CASE. MUST ALSO COMPLIMENT THE FEDERATION OF INDIAN ASSOCIATIONS IN VICTORIA (FIAV).

    SEE THE LINK… VERY MUCH RECOMMENDED READING.

    http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/averting-a-race-relations-emergency-20100312-q48z.html

    Also THIS ONE FROM HINDUSTAN TIMES “THE ENEMY WITHIN” SOUNDS LIKE MY BLOG IN PRINT…
    http://epaper.hindustantimes.com/artMailDisp.aspx?article=13_03_2010_002_004&typ=1&pub=722

    WELL DONE…

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  9. Dear Mr Singh,
    I am a bit surprised at your inference that Mumbai is not safe as Melbourne. This has reference to Pallavi Sharda’s debut in MNIK and followed by Dus Tola. While I am not from this megapolis of Mumbai, but I have chosen to live and work here. Mumbai is probably one of the safest cities in this world. Yes, it does have its own share of hazards and risks, like any other metropolis; but it does not make it an unsafe place. Pallavi is doing just fine here (she has just got back to Melbourne after participating in a beauty contest in Durban). She knows her way around in Mumbai, and she has ample support.

    Like

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