Saturday, 23 January 2010

Racism and Indians

A fine letter in today's SMH, and a reminder to pray for Christians in India:

I was born in India and still love that country, but its attitude is puzzling (''India could warn students to avoid Australia'', January 21).

Indians in a particular minority group are regularly beaten up in their own country without any furore in the media. In fact, last year Indian churchgoers suffered three violent attacks a week.

December was a particularly bad time for Indian Christians and there is a real sense of fear among this minority group in India.

This is a very good time for the media in India to look back and remember the response of the Australian missionary Gladys Staines to the Indian nation after her husband, Graham, and their two young sons were burnt alive by extremist Indians on January 22, 1999.

Graham's sacrificial work among India's poorest, especially those with leprosy, and Gladys's outstanding example of forgiveness after the loss of her husband and sons stand for all time as a monument to tolerance and forgiveness between nations.

India, please remember.

I don't recall our then prime minister asking for a guarantee that all Australians would be protected or tourism to India would cease. We've just seen the opposite of this with the Sydney Festival highlighting Indian culture and cuisine.

Irene Voysey, Saratoga

The public reporting of racism against Indians in Australia has been disappointing. It's not that there is no racism, because at heart all people are racist. It's rather that there has been so little analysis of a broader, wider picture.

This letter brings in two quite different dimensions. One is that Christians in India are currently living in fear of attack by other Indians, and the matter goes unremarked. The other is that Australian Christians, under attack, have shown grace, mercy and forgiveness.

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