We were just settling down to watch the news post dinner last week when the man turned around and asked
‘So what do you think?”
“About the LTTE and Tamil issues and the racism cries in Australia”
“How can you say that? Don’t you have an opinion?”
“Not based on the news, I don’t”
And that is the truth, I just cannot take in the news we see these days without the fistful of salt (a pinch has long become irrelevant). The stories shown are not based on journalism, but a “who beat whom at getting an exclusive” which then airs on every channel claiming the exclusive.
Are Australians racist? Perhaps. Perhaps not. I have never been to Australia and cannot claim to know enough Australians to make a statement.
Were some of the attacks racially motivated? Definitely. You find it difficult to believe that party crashers who stabbed a man with a screwdriver were just opportunists.
Were some of the attacks opportunistic? Most probably. Muggings and street crimes in Australia is one of the lesser known facts about the country and I can bet that native Australians (and no, I am not referring to just the Aborigines, but to any Australian national) have had their fair share of robberies and beatings.
Is there a problem in Australia? Yes, a law and order one. Similar to the one in our own country.
While we cry out that more than twenty Indian students have been “racially victimised” Down Under over the past month, we have our Shopian case, the case of dowry deaths and any number of religious zealots who would love to stir up controversies on whether a painter should be lynched or not for “misinterpreting” our traditions.
I recently saw a TV Ad that ran for some Teleshopping network where they kept stating that a darker person had no right to self-esteem and could never fit it unless they tried to become fairer. In a sense, it captures the thoughts of more than half the population in India (if not more), where the fairer you are, the nobler you are considered. I wondered aloud why the censor board had allowed it to air without insisting that they try selling it without belittling anyone with a more pigmented skin, I was made to understand they were too busy trying to protect Indian tradition by lascivating over half-nude women wondering if full frontal nudity could be considered an affront. (Warning: Figment of imagination by the blogger, does not reflect the actual work done by the censor board, since that work is classified top secret and not divulged to any concerned citizen).
As for the LTTE and Tamil issue, seeing the refugee camps pulls at one’s gut, but I am sure the refugee camps are similar to those we have when there are floods etc in our own country.
Finally, I don’t see how having an opinion helps these people in anyway, unless we are also ready to do something about it. Maybe the next sanctimonious presenter who decides if the living conditions in refugee camps are humane or not will actually also try and make a difference by sending in a blanket for one of those shivering souls. But then, blankets don’t sell stories, so we can just sit and listen to the opinions and then send in the little we can spare to people who need them, right?