rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » News » Attacks against Indians in Australia NOT racist: Study

Attacks against Indians in Australia NOT racist: Study

Last updated on: August 12, 2011 11:57 IST

Attacks against Indians in Australia NOT racist: Study

     Next

Next

A study that is bound to trigger controversy has claimed that the spate of attacks against Indians in Australia were not racist in nature.

Indian students and taxi drivers had faced a series of vicious assaults in Australia, especially in Melbourne, in 2009. The Indian government had strongly condemned these racist attacks and urged the Australian government to take urgent steps to bring them to an end.

Facing strong protests from Indian students, Australian authorities had taken several stringent measures to prevent such attacks. Many of the attackers were subsequently arrested and some of them were convicted, while the others are awaiting trial.


Image: Flowers and candles are placed at a park in memory of Nitin Garg, who was stabbed and killed in Melbourne
Photographs: Mick Tsikas/Reuters
     Next

Indian students less likely to face assaults: Study

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

While the Australian government had accepted that there was a sharp rise in incidents of violence, it had been reluctant to accept that these had a racial undertone.

The study, conducted by the Australian Institute of Criminology, claims that Indians and other foreign students, were "less likely or as likely to be victims of physical assaults".

During the extensive study, researchers compared the visa records of nearly 4,00,000 students with police files. Incidentally, India sends the maximum number of students to Australia after China.

Comparing the records of 2009, the study found that citizens of Australia faced more physical assaults than international students. But it admitted that there was no way to ascertain whether incidents of violence against foreign students were racially motivated.


Image: Indian students and policemen play a game of laneway cricket in Melbourne to promote harmony
Photographs: Mick Tsikas/Reuters
Prev     Next

Are Indian students easy targets?

Prev     More
Prev

More

The study conceded that compared to other international students, Indian students did face a larger number of robberies and thefts. But it added that this didn't necessarily mean a racial prejudice; it had more to do with the fact that many Indian students were employed in night jobs.

It pointed out that due to their proficiency in English, Indians found it easier to secure employment in various odd jobs after college hours. Most of these jobs involved night shifts, making them easier targets for robberies and thefts.

"Indian students in particular, are known to have a greater proficiency in English and, as such, appear much more likely than students from East Asian countries to find employment in the service sector. This includes service stations, convenience stores, taxi drivers and other employment that typically involves working late night shifts alone and come with an increased risk of crime, either at the workplace or while traveling to and from work," said the report.


Image: A candlelight vigil protests against the attacks on Indian students in Australia
Photographs: Ajay Verma/Reuters
Prev     More