Sunday, May 31, 2009

No, I'm not being lynched, thanks.

The past few days have seen a number of concerned inquiries about my wellbeing in Sydney, courtesy big news in the Indian media about attacks on Indians ("curry bashings" being the preferred phrase)

My opinion: there is, maybe, a small element of truth to the racist angle of these stories. But for the most part the attacks are "regular" muggings... robbery is the main objective and Indians in general (students in particular, perhaps) are considered soft targets. Which is not to say it isn't a problem; particularly in certain notorious neighbourhoods in Melbourne and Sydney. The Indian media has gone overboard (it's barely made the news here), as they do, but there's no reason for us to believe that anything's changed dramatically really... I have heard stories of Indians being mugged every now and then since I got here... there's not enough evidence to declare it a trend, let alone a worrying one. Australia in general continues to have relatively low rates of crime and violence. Having said that, it seems like the state machinery is taking it pretty seriously what with Dr. Singh having put a phone call through and all. Hmmm.. maybe some good will come out of the media's antics after all.

This morning's Herald had a pretty good article on another facet of the issue... the reaction to the reaction as it were. It made a lot of sense and is a view I'm more likely to subscribe to.

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