An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Australia, Student Deaths, Recession and Cricket

Australians are a proud lot. And they have done well in various areas. Sports being chief in that – specifically Cricket. There was a time, when teams from Indian sub-continent were just push-overs. Either they were beaten easily or when the Aussies were at the receiving end they would do things not completely sportsman-like and then pound those teams into submission. Those days are over.

Now, the entire world cricket is funded by the Indian sponsors. India goes out of cricket – the game would not survive. That’s the truth now. The center of cricket has moved from England and Australia to India. This has had its own issues. The teams from India (and Pakistan) do not take things lying down. They give it back. Which is somewhat bad for the Aussie psyche, which cannot handle that well… as yet.

Cricket Tensions

During one series in 2007-08, in Australia, there were rather unsportsman-like stuff from the Aussies (like the captain flooring the catch and yet claiming it to be a neat catch). That obviously made Indians mad and then there was this controversy about Harbhajan Singh calling Andrew Symonds (a mixed race player) a monkey.

This created a lot of heated arguments. Aussies were obviously backing their team and Indians theirs. You can see the comment thread on the Ricky Ponting story to get a glimpse.

Student deaths and the cover up

In last one year, there have been extraordinarily high deaths of students. In last few months, there has a very visible rise in the hits to the Indian students in particular. There could be many sides to the story like the Indians taking advantage of Aussie laws and trying to go to some vocational institutes to get the Aussie permanent residence.

I believe that two major factors are involved here:

Recession: When the going is good, then all are good. When the going gets bad, then the foreigners look bad. I believe that may have something seriously to do with the reaction against the Indian students.

Sporting anger boiling over: We know that cricket is taken seriously in the Indian sub-continent and in Australia only their games with England were taken seriously. But the reaction against India – off the field – last year was unprecedented. I believe that has surely something to do with the hits on Indian students.

Even though the Aussie Government is playing the incidents down, the Melbourne newspaper, The Age, has come out with the report that Government misleas the Parliament on the figures.

In February, under questioning in Parliament, the Government said 51 overseas students died in that year, with 34 dying of “unknown” causes. Fourteen cases were cited as accidents and three as death from illness.

But an investigation by The Age has established the death toll is higher than 51 — around 54 — with most coming from India, Korea and China. Nearly half were Indian, despite Indians holding one-fifth of the total student visas at that time.

So, as much as Indian students may seem to be taking “advantage” of the lax laws there, they constitute just ONE-FIFTH of the student population! Still HALF of them died last year! That’s significant!

Its the Money Stupid!

The Aussie Education market comprising of overseas students is a whopping $15.5 billion! The obfuscation of the figures have a LOT to do with that.

So, here is the Aussie dilemma –

  • They want the Indians and Asians as students so they bring in the mullah;
  • But, they do not like them much.

Specially when the students stay over and become permanent residents, its a big issue during recession.

Advisory:

Australia is a beautiful place from all accounts and a rather tolerant society as a whole, but it has a lot of ways to go until it can match the record of US or Canada in terms of immigrant safety.

The students going to Australia should look at their decision rather seriously. There are probably other countries which may be better destinations than Australia. But if you have to go to Down Under, make sure you have a good Insurance Policy for your parents so they are taken care of!

Reference Links:

1. Foreign student death details suppressed

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5 Comments
  1. Anurag says

    Just to add to what you said.

    Cricket. yes.That’s where the Indian media comes in. All the Bhajji Symonds episode formed the background for the media. When Bhajji’s distant nephew died and he was present at his cremation in India. India media got a chance to get even with Aussies decided to stir up the emotion.

    Recession. 2 effects. One lot of unemployed youth who have taken to petty crime and drink. Together they can turn deadly. One example is Taxi business in melbourne. Traditionally taxi was a job for the unemployed looking for part time work. Now 90% of them are being driven by Indian students in Melbourne. Laws are different in Sydney som they cannot drive them here. Thats also one of the first murders reported in Melbourne about 2 years go.

    Compared to other Asian students, who are not loved either, most Indian students come from relatively low income families looking for Permanent residency. Stduent visa is cheaper and safer than riding the boat as illegal migrant. Large number of other Asian (Indonesian, malaysian etc.) are rich kids. so live in better and safer accomodation. Some from Hong Kong are so rich that there parents buy apartments for them which they share with other kids form there country.

    Some of these nationalities have been in Australia for much longer than Indians and they have there suburbs. These suburbs provide low cost accomodation and shelter to these students.

    Unfortunately Indians have not been here for so long. And are divided in gujarati, punjabi marathi etc.so do not have these so called Indian suburbs where new students can get some shelter.

    The way we are we donot prefer to rent accomodation to our brethren.

    The media lost it totally by calling it racially motivated. A very serious allegation. In ratio Indian students are larger in number hence in numbers they get hit more than others. Plus the factors mentioned above make them soft target. There is nothing like DOT busters here targeting Indians.

  2. Anurag says

    Just to add to what you said.

    Cricket. yes.That’s where the Indian media comes in. All the Bhajji Symonds episode formed the background for the media. When Bhajji’s distant nephew died and he was present at his cremation in India. India media got a chance to get even with Aussies decided to stir up the emotion.

    Recession. 2 effects. One lot of unemployed youth who have taken to petty crime and drink. Together they can turn deadly. One example is Taxi business in melbourne. Traditionally taxi was a job for the unemployed looking for part time work. Now 90% of them are being driven by Indian students in Melbourne. Laws are different in Sydney som they cannot drive them here. Thats also one of the first murders reported in Melbourne about 2 years go.

    Compared to other Asian students, who are not loved either, most Indian students come from relatively low income families looking for Permanent residency. Stduent visa is cheaper and safer than riding the boat as illegal migrant. Large number of other Asian (Indonesian, malaysian etc.) are rich kids. so live in better and safer accomodation. Some from Hong Kong are so rich that there parents buy apartments for them which they share with other kids form there country.

    Some of these nationalities have been in Australia for much longer than Indians and they have there suburbs. These suburbs provide low cost accomodation and shelter to these students.

    Unfortunately Indians have not been here for so long. And are divided in gujarati, punjabi marathi etc.so do not have these so called Indian suburbs where new students can get some shelter.

    The way we are we donot prefer to rent accomodation to our brethren.

    The media lost it totally by calling it racially motivated. A very serious allegation. In ratio Indian students are larger in number hence in numbers they get hit more than others. Plus the factors mentioned above make them soft target. There is nothing like DOT busters here targeting Indians.

  3. Desh says

    Thanks, Anurag! Your comments carry a lot of weight since you are living there having moved from India. I value your views on this topic a lot! So, thanks and keep sharing stuff from Down Under.

  4. Desh says

    Thanks, Anurag! Your comments carry a lot of weight since you are living there having moved from India. I value your views on this topic a lot! So, thanks and keep sharing stuff from Down Under.

  5. Jamie says

    I fly United Airlines with a frequency sufficient to earn me 1K status. That stands for more than 100,000 miles per year. Ive had that status for at least the last three years, and was an Premier Exeutive (next status down) for years before that. United belongs to the Star Alliance, which includes a bunch

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