Tag Archive for 'Australia'

Genomes link aboriginal Australians to Indians

Ed Yong in Nature:

Some aboriginal Australians can trace as much as 11% of their genomes to migrants who reached the island around 4,000 years ago from India, a study suggests. Along with their genes, the migrants brought different tool-making techniques and the ancestors of the dingo, researchers say.

This scenario is the result of a large genetic analysis outlined today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It contradicts a commonly held view that Australia had no contact with the rest of the world between the arrival of the first humans around 45,000 years ago and the coming of Europeans in the eighteenth century.

“Australia is thought to represent one of the earliest migrations for humans after they left Africa, but it seemed pretty isolated after that,” says Mark Stoneking, a geneticist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, who led the study. More:

Curry bashing?

Do the recent attacks against Southasian students in Australia constitute hate crimes or sporadic violence? And has the reaction been more harmful than the incidents themselves? Bina D’Costa, a research fellow at the Centre for International Governance and Justice at the Australian National University, in Himmal Southasian:

The story is actually far more complex than either of the two dominant narratives – on anti-Indian racism and students – would appear to let on. The problems not only appear to go well beyond the education sector, but also include class issues within Southasian communities, and racial tensions between South and West Asian communities. Shortly after the student protests, taxi drivers of Southasian origin demonstrated in Melbourne for their own security; many saying they have long felt unsafe driving at night. While those demonstrations were widely reported in the Australian media, the global media – including in India – did not pay serious attention to the pleas of the taxi drivers. But all the while, there was great focus on the plight of the Southasian students, most of them from relatively well-off families. While some Southasian taxi drivers are also students, the recent attacks, portrayed as targeting only Indian students, created a different kind of anxiety about Australia. Both the press and the middle class in India were able to mobilise critical public opinion to pressure the Australian government to respond to the violence. More:

Down Under, India’s Plunder

An Australian perspective on the recent attacks on Indian students. Jane Rankin-Reid in Tehelka:

First, let’s dump some false assumptions about the so called “lucky country”. Complacency about Australia’s tremendous success as a cohesive multi-cultural new world society is both a good sign that co-existence is second nature in our community, and potentially a bad sign of institutionalised insensitivity towards newer, more swiftly changing migration issues. Still, after decades of vigorous political correctness where official language was combed for all signs of offensiveness towards minorities of any shape or size, it is unsurprising that we Australians think of ourselves as some of the planet’s fairest, most tolerant and open minded individuals. We are, if only because by law, we have to be thoughtful and cooperative with one another. Sorry is our second name. But being sorry is not always enough, as indigenous Australians will testify. More:

Attacks on Indians in Australia: Is it racism?

An Indian man is in a serious condition in a Melbourne hospital after being attacked and set alight by a gang. He is the latest victim in series of attacks and murders of Indians in Australia. Last week an Indian graduate student, Nitin Garg, was stabbed to death in Melbourne.

Last year saw a spate of attacks against Indian students, which has deterred many from studying in Australia. Visa applications by Indians to study in Australia fell by 46 percent between July and October from a year earlier.

Read full story here and here.

Update: Two Indians questioned over an Indian’s murder

And in Sydney Morning Herald: Killing reveals another kind of race problem

In The Australian, Foreign students tell of fear on the streets:

Railway stations in Melbourne’s industrial north and west are the places feared most by Indian students.

It is there, after dark, as they make their way home from part-time jobs as taxi drivers, cleaners, or from staffing the counters of fast-food restaurants or convenience stores that they are most likely to face racist slurs – or, on a bad night, physical attacks.

Their attackers, they say, are Anglo-Australian teenagers and young people in their 20s who, for whatever reason, resent the presence of these foreign students in their suburbs. More

From The Sydney Morning Herald: Horror Indian summer: Indians are 2½ times more at risk of attack than other Melburnians, but the reasons are complicated. Read here

The cartoon above was published in the Delhi newspaper Mail Today.

In Herald Sun, Australia: Police fear an Indian cartoon depicting a Victoria Police officer in Ku Klux Klan garb could inflame racial tensions. Political leaders say the cartoon is “disgusting”. More

On ABC, Australia: Indian editor defends KKK cartoon

I think the reaction is hysterical. A couple of days ago we had Australian political leaders saying that India was getting hysterical but when your children die in racist attacks hysteria can be understood. It’s natural.

But a cartoonist, what he does is he exaggerates things. He forces people to look at a particular point of view which we had thought in a mature society like Australia would lead to introspection rather than it has led to hysteria. More

1.5m reasons why India loves Andrew Symonds

Jamie Pandaram in The Sydney Morning Herald:


Andrew Symonds offered one major reason why he didn’t want to tour Pakistan yesterday afternoon, and hours later Indian Premier League franchise Hyderabad gave him over a million more, making the all-rounder Australia’s highest-paid Twenty20 player.

Symonds was at the centre of the recent racism row and his relationship with India said to be in tatters but money spoke louder than words at the IPL auction in Mumbai overnight as he was purchased for $1.47 million per year, second only to India’s one-day captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who collected $1.65m to play for Chennai.


God help cricket

Cricket columnist Peter Roebuck in The Sydney Morning Herald.

INDIA’S performance in chartering a plane to take the players back home in the event of an independent judge finding against them in the Harbhajan Singh case counted amongst the most nakedly aggressive actions taken in the history of a notoriously fractious game. If this is the way the Indian board intends to conduct its affairs hereafter, then God help cricket.

It is high time the elders of the game in that proud country stopped playing to the gallery and considered the game’s wider interests. India is not some tinpot dictatorship but an international powerhouse, and ought to think and act accordingly. Brinkmanship or not, threatening to take their bat and ball home in the event of a resented verdict being allowed to stand was an abomination. It sets a dreadful precedent. What price justice now?