Early last month this scribe pointed out that the attacks against students in Australia did not appear to be racist but purely and simply anti-Indian. Australian High Commissioner Peter Varghese pleaded that he could not ascertain the demographic data of victims to confirm this. This statement of course was dismissed with the contempt it deserved. Subsequently Mr Varghese has repeated this excuse. Australian authorities must be awfully dense if they cannot ascertain the demographic profile of crimes committed against all foreign residents. It was also opined by this scribe that “as an experienced Intelligence expert Mr Varghese would know that it is the easiest thing for any organized group to finance petty criminals and launch concerted attacks against a targeted community”.
Well, no figures of comparative crimes against the top three Asian communities in Australia – Chinese, Vietnamese and Indian, in that order – are forthcoming. It would have been more credible if Australian authorities had frankly argued that crimes against our students had erupted because of the Ugly Indian. We might have considered that argument. However, after it was hinted that anti-Indian crimes may have been engineered by some interested third party, Australian authorities quickly changed track to admit that the crimes were racist. Why, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s own nephew began campaigning against racism!
The latest to jump on the racist bandwagon is Kevin Rudd himself. It transpires that his son-in-law, who is Chinese, has expressed his fears to Dad. Mr Rudd said that after listening to him he was getting worried about racism. Although there have been no significant reports of crimes against Chinese residents in Australia. Indeed, the Chinese Embassy spokesman in Canberra said: “They (Chinese in Australia) have on the whole had good study and living environment in Australia.” We don’t know if his son-on-law spoke to Mr Rudd in English or in Chinese to better express his worries. Kevin Rudd, it may be recalled, speaks excellent Mandarin. He was earlier posted as a diplomat in Beijing. A pity he does not speak Hindi. Things might have been different then.