Thursday, January 14, 2010

Australians in India edgy over backlash- Politics/Nation-News-The Economic Times

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    • Catherine Smith, born to an Australian mother and British father, says she is a proud Australian. The 27-year-old grew up in Sydney,
      studied in London for four years, and now lives in New Delhi as a program officer for a non-profit organisation. But these days, Smith introduces herself as British.

      The spate of “racial” attacks on Indian students in Australia has put professionals like Smith in a spot, although she says none of her Indian acquaintances has brought up the issue with her yet.

      “It’s been other foreigners here who have been making comments and asking questions. Maybe they feel more at ease about raising it with me than an Indian,” says Smith, quick to assert that that she strongly condemns the attacks and wants the offenders punished at the earliest.
    • Mr Varghese, who is himself an Indian origin diplomat, says there were 105 attacks against Indians in Australia last year, compared to 17 during 2008.

      The high commission estimates that there are about 3,000-4,000 Australians living and working in India, while 1.5-2 lakh Australians visit India every year. Industries such as hospitality, financial services and mining and materials have relatively higher concentration of Australian expats. Large Australian firms such as BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Snowy Mountain Engineering, Macquarie Group and Leighton Holdings have operations in India.
    • On Wednesday, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray said
      his party will not allow the Australian cricket team to play in Maharashtra. In a nation obsessed with cricket, its cricket team is Australia’s most popular ambassadors and many of its players are household names.

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