Feature

Australia: Why we need to make it up to India

Indian students here have been protesting attacks on them for the past month, and the demonstrations have &ldquo;blanketed Indian television,&rdquo; said<strong> <br /></strong>Michelle Grattan in<strong> </st

Michelle GrattanThe Sydney Morning Herald

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd better hightail it over to India soon, said Michelle Grattan. Australia is getting “seriously bad publicity” on the subcontinent. Indian students here have been protesting attacks on them for the past month, and the demonstrations have “blanketed Indian television.” The incidents seem to be mostly muggings, and it’s unclear whether they really have a racial component or whether Indians are targeted simply because they tend to be out late and carrying cash. But if you watch Indian television, you’d think that Australians have declared open season on Indians.

Australia has “strong commercial reasons for needing to get the problem, and Indian perceptions of it, under control.” Selling education services to Asian students “is a mega export industry for this country.” We simply can’t afford to alienate Indian students. And the truth is, Australia is actually one of the safest countries for foreign students to study in. That’s a message Indians need to hear in person.

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