Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Is this in Australia?

First things first... There's no justification whatsoever for the killing of the Indian student Nitin Garg. He has unfortunately become the first casualty in the ongoing series of attacks, some of them surely racist, on Indians in Australia. And he is definitely not going to be the last.

I have always wondered if these attacks have something to do with poor integration of Indians into the mainstream Australian society. I could be wrong. Maybe they don't. Perhaps even those who blend in very well are attacked. But that doesn't negate my point about how many Indians (and many other nationalities) fail to integrate themselves in societies of countries they adopt as their homes.

This argument arose in me again after seeing this photograph that was published in the Sydney Morning Herald. It shows Garg (front left, in white shirt) celebrating his birthday last year with his friends. It struck me that there's not one Australian with him (either Aboriginal, Caucasian or from any other group that's part of Australia). All his friends, at least those that matter to him, in Australia are Indians. Isn't it unfortunate? This photograph could well have been shot in India. He might as well have been in India.

If you want to live in another land, reap academic and economic benefits of a different country, enjoy the prosperous lifestyle of Australia, I think the least people like Garg could do is let a part of them become truly Australian.