Saturday 21 Jul 2018 | 08:19 | SYDNEY
Saturday 21 Jul 2018 | 08:19 | SYDNEY

Reader riposte: Indian students


Sam Roggeveen


29 January 2010 13:29

Dr Alison Broinowski writes:

I agree with Rory that an opportunity for frankness about crimes against Indians in Australia has been lost. But how long do we have to wait before we hear of anyone being arrested or questioned, not only about the latest events, but the earlier ones as well? There was a recent passing reference to mistakes made by the media in attributing blame for attacks on Somalis in Melbourne last year, but in that case too, no further clarification has been made that I know of.

Australia’s reputation as a racist country has not died, and every incident of this kind revives it in the minds of the world, justifiably or not. Blank denials from Ministers and police that racism exists do not convince anyone: we all need to see that the criminal justice system is working properly and openly.

UPDATE: I've deleted a comment I recently made on this email because, on reflection, it got into criminal matters that this blog has no business writing on. Alison's email is itself borderline in that respect, but I published it because it goes to the issue of Australia's international reputation.

I also agree with Rory that the authorities played this issue poorly and missed an opportunity to set Australia's reputation to right in India. But Alison goes further, in that she implies it is Australia's job to correct foreign impressions of Australian racism, whether those impressions are justified or not. I think that sets the bar too high — it's not the fault of the Australian or Victorian governments if the Indian media plays fast and loose with the facts about Australia, and more importantly, it is almost entirely out of their control.