January 10, 2010

See The Hypocrisy in Pravasi ?

January 10, 2010 Posted by Vijay , , 3 comments
Since Australia claimed that incidents like the stabbing of an Indian in Australia was common in big cities, there has been huge uproar amongst Indians in India and expectedly in Australia too. It has been quite easy for India and Indians to brand the spate of attacks on Indians, especially Indian students as racially motivated. What Australia has probably been right about is the hysteria around the incidents being highlighted and channeled by the innumerable television channels in India. Today has been no different with another Indian in Australia being set on fire.

What has been striking about the coverage about these incidents is the emotional upheaval the media has been able to generate. Every single attack on an Indian in Australia is being questioned and accused as racist by the Indian media. The media seems to have taken it upon itself to represent an entire nation to question the atrocities against Indians in Australia. The statement issued by the deputy prime minister of Australia couple of days back, belittling crimes and murders as being common in big cities was frankly insensitive. It has only flared tempers.

So what is so different about crimes against Indian nationals in Australia to be captured as headlines? Is it the easily available and accessible news fodder from a smaller Indian immigrant community in Australia? Is it the thirst to accuse another nation of being racist when crimes against foreign nationals in India happen quite frequently? Patriotism is most welcome from news channels. But if the media needs to broadcast respectful news stories, it needs to shed its hypocrisy.

Why should a nation, with 1 billion people be bothered about few thousands of students or workers of their own origin suffer in foreign land? Aren't there enough crimes against our own people, committed within our own country to be covered? Why should such Indians seeking education in foreign land or the so called NRIs be treated in a special way? Manmohan Singh has tried to lure the NRIs to return back to India to reverse the brain drain, and make it a brain gain for India. At the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas he even went on to add that special provisions would be made to give voting rights to NRIs. Clearly, there is something amiss amongst all Indians here.

When a police officer is killed in cold blood and ministers watch him bleed to death, how can we ask the Australians to take care of our nationals in their land? This is truly heights of hypocrisy. Besides, when such students or Indians seek out opportunities outside of India, they clearly do not see much promise in India in any case. Why then should the government or the media give special consideration to such nationals? What is the guarantee that these NRIs or students will even bother coming back to India? It is a different matter that the lackadaisical government machinery in India will discourage anyone from remaining in India for long.

The media will always have its way. It will first sensationalize these crimes as racist, instigate debates and concerns from the Indian establishment, and then finally accuse the same Indian establishment of being incompetent to deal with such crimes. When clearly the onus of security lies with the Australian government and there is little that the Indian government can do. What the media and the Indian government should do is to identify and solve India's own problems first. Not to bother about those who have decided to forego Indian shores for their own selfish gains.


Moulee said...

We never know to react, we either never react or over react. Very well written.

Anonymous said...

Very well written without the whole sensationalist attitude I have been seeing over and over. I find it interesting as well that the media back in India is giving so much importance to these when there are probably several more people being attacked and killed in Bombay, Delhi, Calcutta, Madras and the rest of the country. What about them? Or are they just not important enough? The thing is, I have been of the opinion that initially it wasn't racism but now, I think with the way the media in India handled it, they have aroused the wrath of the few racists in the country resulting in a bigger problem. And the other thing though is that crime occurs here as well. It's not just Indians getting attacked every day...there's Aussies of all ethinicities and colour being attacked because well, we live in a city. Where people drink, do drugs and carry knives. I am not condoning the attacks but unfortunately, things like this happen. If only the media gave more importance to safety within India, that'd be great. But no...women every day are raped and assaulted there. And yet, nothing is done.

Saro said...

Hello, thank you for addressing the issue of sensationalism in the media. So much for the media being objective observers... but what I do disagree with, are the questions on why the government moves to protect people who are outside the country.

Having lived a good 14 years outside the country, I can say this. A country needs to be able to protect all of it's citizens equally. Because those of us outside the country, get to carry one thing on us, that belongs to us and cannot be removed off us, for more than 24 hours.

This passport, that we carry, makes us Indian. The fact that we defend India, and represent India externally makes us ambassadors of our country. Let's not forget the fact that we hold most of our money at home, we invest in the country. Yes, there are those who go with dreams, to move to a better world, society. They get PRs and assimilate.

But it's unfair to say that those who leave the country, to seek education, employment or medical treatment, do not need the protection of the country that they call their home.