'I Am Tomorrow': Violence Against Indian Students in Australia and Political Denial

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, Vol. 45, No. 1, pp. 4-25, 2012

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 11/93

78 Pages Posted: 10 Nov 2011 Last revised: 14 Sep 2013

Gail Mason

The University of Sydney Law School

Date Written: November 9, 2011

Abstract

India has experienced significant economic growth since the 1990’s. Young middle-class Indian nationals have embraced international tertiary and vocational education as a part of this trend. Many of these students have come to Australia to study. In 2009, claims that Indian students in Australia were being targeted for racial violence received worldwide media attention. This article presents the results of a qualitative study of public documents surrounding the ‘violence against Indian students’ issue over a 12 month period. It contends that there is sufficient evidence to conclude that a proportion of the victimization had a racial or anti-Indian element to it. Drawing upon theoretical literature on racism, it reveals a discourse of denial that runs through the responses of Australia’s political leaders to this claim. In the current global environment, however, exposure of Australia’s denial by the Indian media may operate as a form of counter-discourse from an emerging superpower, whose citizens refuse to tolerate the failure of western nations to take responsibility for the injustice of racial violence.

Keywords: racism, racist crime, India, politics

JEL Classification: K10, K14, K30

Suggested Citation

Mason, Gail, 'I Am Tomorrow': Violence Against Indian Students in Australia and Political Denial (November 9, 2011). Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, Vol. 45, No. 1, pp. 4-25, 2012; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 11/93. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1957439

Gail F. Mason (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

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