Tuticorin deaths: Focus on the facts, not fiction

Sydney, 3 June, 2018

Sterlite Copper smelter in Thoothukudi (Tuticorin), Tamil Nadu (TN), India has been seeing protests for years. This year, however, protests became more intense, because Vedanta Group, the owner of the smelter, started to expand the site.

On 100th Day of the protest, 22 May, 2018, protesters were marching towards the District Administration HQ, despite orders under section 144 of IPC to not do so. When warnings by the authorities to stop the march were not heeded, Tamil Nadu Police fired, leading to deaths of 13 protesters.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thoothukudi_massacre

Any loss of life is sad, but we must understand the perspective and the background.

Police resorted to firing to stop the massive crowds from marching to the HQ of the administration.

Chief Minister (CM) of the state Mr Edappadi K Palaniswami initially justified the Police firing.

After further protests and demands from the opposition, the TN Government has now ordered permanent closure of the smelter.

https://www.google.com.au/amp/www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/sterlite-copper-to-be-permanently-closed-says-tamil-nadu-government/article24014605.ece/amp/

As I said above, no loss of life can be justified, but we must understand the facts and the background.

My condolences and sympathies are with the victims and their families. Like others, I am saddened.

The protest in Sydney a few days ago was brought to my attention by several people, including Tamil Australians.

Thiru Arumugam from Sydney said “Firstly my thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. 13 people sadly died in the protest. My humble request to all Indian Tamils in Australia is not to jump into the conclusion that Indian Government is killing Tamils. It happened in Tamil Nadu, which is ruled by a Tamil CM. Blaming Indian Govt is not right. Everyone of us are responsible in Australia for any representation of our motherland. We should remember that use of violence or breach of law never achieves our demands.”

Aspects of this protests, especially placards, are objectionable.

A couple of facts need to be considered.

  1. The protesters in Tuticorin shouldn’t have marched towards District administration’s HQ when section 144 of IPC to not do so was in place.
  2. What other option was available to the Police to control the difficult situation? Once you break the section 144, you are not a peaceful march. No Government can allow anarchy.
  3. TN CM supported the Police action.
  4. If Copper smelter is causing so much health issues, why was it not shut down earlier? Which Governments is/are responsible?
  5. This Smelter was established in TN in late 1990s, when UPA was running the Federal Government in India, and BJP has never ruled TN. https://youtu.be/_fdA_bfCZFI
  6. TN government is run by All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) party, not BJP or NDA.
  7. Police firing was unfortunate, but it can’t be called terrorism, forget “State terrorism”.
  8. Anybody who demands The UNO investigation on this matter is anti-India and is intellectually bankrupt. India has a rule of law and is not a tin pot dictatorship.

Sydney protest has the presence of about 50-60 people, some of whom either don’t understand the matter well, or worse, are anti-India. Looking at the pictures of the people, I can recognize only two people, who belong to Indian community. Rest of them appear to be Tamils of non-Indian background, many of whom may have a grudge against India due to India’s perceived hands off approach in ethnic conflicts in India’s neighborhood a few years ago. Looking at the placards in the hands of these two Indians (Anagan Babu and Renga Rajan), I can say that I am very concerned about their ability to understand what they were doing there. I doubt they even took time to read the placards they were given to hold. They were perhaps too busy in getting their pics taken for Facebook posting! (PS: Rajesh Kumar from Sydney says that the most of the protesters in Sydney were from TN, and he personally knows them. I stand corrected. The basic thrust of my commentary however will not change.) I post Rajesh Kumar’s comment below. ūüĎáūüĎá

While people have their right to hold a protest, I too have a right to form an opinion. There is no defamation here. This protest was a public protest, not a private protest. Pics were posted on social media with privacy settings to allow public to see them. Throwing the word “defamation” is childish, immature and ill-informed, and I am least worried about it.

Hugh Mcdermott (MP for Prospect) and Mehreen Faruqi (Greens MLC) are politicians. Politicians can and will do politics, whenever they can. That’s what politicians do for votes.

My issues with this protest is not because of protest per se, because people have a right to protest.

Having said that, I am not sure as to what people achieve by organizing protests in Australia on matters happening in their country of their birth. Many including I believe that such protests achieve nothing except giving some transient self-satisfaction of pics on Facebook and coverage in ethnic media.

My concerns are against the blatant politics, and misrepresentation and distortion of facts of the incident by the vested interests. Contrary to the claims by the protesters, the facts are that Tuticorin firings have no relevance with The UNO, terrorism, State-sponsored terrorism, BJP or “India killing Tamils” nonsense. It has everything to do with law and order problem inside Tamil Nadu, whose CM is obviously a Tamil, and whose Police is also Tamil, who fired on Tamil protesters, who breached section 144 of Indian Penal Code despite the warnings to stop doing so.

It’s a sad & unfortunate situation and I am saddened with the loss of lives, but I am equally sad with blatant and ill-informed politics being played by some people.

I urge people to focus on the facts, not fiction, and stop running an anti-India campaign!

Dr Yadu Singh

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

http://www.facebook.com/DoctorYafuSingh

PS: An earlier post about Anagan Babu is here. https://yadusingh.com/2014/07/08/indaus-going-for-fresh-elections-on-20th-july-2014/

This is simply ignorant and racist

Sydney, NSW
15th December, 2015

The Cartoon by Mr Bill Leak in The Australian newspaper on Monday, 14th Dec, 2015 is ignorant and racist.

Courtesy The Australian newspaper

Courtesy The Australian newspaper

It depicts a few poor Indians in India trying to eat the solar panels, with Mango Chutney. The message from the cartoon is that Indians don’t know what the Solar Panels are for or that Indians need to worry about Food, instead of high tech Solar Panels.

Bill Leak is wrong on both aspects.

Solar Panels are increasingly used in India, because of plentiful supply of sunshine, subsidy by the authorities and erratic supply of conventional energy. I know that a few people in my own village in Uttar Pradesh State have been using it for variety of purposes for many years.

Indians are fully capable of handling technology. Mobile Internet and Mobile Phones are every where, even in the remote parts of the nation. Social media is quite common everywhere.

India needs energy ie electricity. Coal-fire powered thermal power centres are the most common source for the energy, but India is making progress to diversify into Nuclear energy and Solar power. This is a responsible step because it will reduce pollution and help in climate change.

India is the fourth biggest source of global pollution. Anything which will reduce this undesirable contribution is a welcome step.

India is a developing economy but is not a economic backwater. It is 3rd biggest economy on PPP basis. It is a global leader in IT and is the fastest growing economy since last quarter of 2014, surpassing China. The days of primitive nature of economy are long gone, but people like Bill Leak seem to be stuck on the state of India in 1950s.

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Economic growth in India surpassed China this year

(Source: Charles Schwab, International Monetary Fund data as of 11/20/2015.

China’s growth rate is widely expected to decline. The IMF forecasts GDP will slow from around 6.8% in 2015 to 6.3% in 2016. However, the IMF forecasts India’s growth rate of about 7.3% in 2015 is expected to reach 7.5% in 2016 and continue to rise to 7.7% by 2020.)

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Undoubtedly, India has many poor people, but it also has approx. 300+ million strong middle class, which has the knowledge, money and interest in, and will happily benefit from, newer sources of electricity. After all, India has plentiful of sunshine.

Bill Leak probably does not know that Indians have been the number one source of migrants to Australia over last few years. They are coming as the skilled migrants too, thus contributing to the Australian economy.

There are about 450,000 people of Indian heritage currently in Australia.

I read the article in The Australian today (15th Dec, 2015). Like others, I felt offended with the inherent racist message in the Cartoon. Bill Leak has, in the past, claimed that freedom to express is a fundamental right and that right includes right to offend. It may be true on the theoretical basis, but it is equally stupid to say or convey something which is without sufficient basis or conveying something which is unwarranted.

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Yadu Singh ‚ÄŹ@dryadusingh Dec 15¬†

, I hope you know about it.

, you are ignorant & racist. Please read up about India. should apologize.

Indian HC in Aus ‚ÄŹ@navdeepsuri Dec 15

Fully aware and doing what is required. Thanks

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I remember a Cartoon in Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) a few months ago, stereotyping Jewish people in a very adverse way, leading to significant outcry. This forced the SMH to apologise for the Cartoon.

Will Bill Leak and The Australian newspaper do the same in this case is something which we would wait and watch.

Further info:

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/14/australian-newspaper-cartoon-depicting-indians-eating-solar-panels-attacked-racist?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/cartoons/bleak-gallery/image-gallery/ee8a4ef1032a9da5a37c87ecb7f34c5c

Dr Yadu Singh
http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh
http://www.Facebook.com/dryadusingh

An evening with Cricketing legends Brian Lara & Glenn McGrath

23rd March, 2015

Sydney, NSW

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) organised an evening on 23rd March 2015 at Novotel Hotel, Parramatta, NSW for a select group of community members, which gave them an opportunity to interact with Cricketing legends, Brian Lara and Glenn McGrath.

After a meet and mingle for about 45 minutes, where drinks and finger food were served, the interaction in the form of Q+A started. At the outset, a brief description of their background was read out. Both legends were asked questions about Cricket, predictions for the winner between India and Australia on 26th March and who is the tallest and shortest cricketer. Someone also asked whether they were ever approached by Bookies and whether they were ever stopped by Cops for speeding etc. I asked Glenn about his highest score, which, to my surprised, was 61. Glenn described how and when he scored these runs, painting a picture of his own disbelief  and disbelief even among his team mates. They also gave their views about three forms of Cricket and felt that T20 variety has made the game very popular and brought many spectators.

They answered the questions with a great sense of humour and self-depreciation.

Brian Lara even wondered about the name of Lara Datta if she married him. People laughed with the name “Lara Lara”. It was all in fun.

Brian Lara felt that India have been playing very well during the ICC World Cup matches and their poor results in January will be of no consequences. He felt India would win the Semi-final against Australia on 26th March. Not surprisingly, Glenn felt that it is Australia which will win on 26th March.

It was an enjoyable evening, with plenty of selfies which people had with both legends. Legends definitely knew how to entertain people.

Thank you, Kavita Shukla (CBA Manager, Migrants’ Banking)¬†and CBA as an institution¬†for providing this great opportunity to meet and interact with these two Cricketing legends.

Yadu Singh/Sydney/24th March, 2015

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Sad and shocked with brutal murder of Ms Prabha Arun Kumar in Westmead, NSW

Press release:

9th March, 2015

Indian Australian community is sad & shocked with the brutal murder of Indian IT professional, Ms Prabha Arun Kumar in Sydney, NSW.

Ms Kumar was stabbed to death in a lane way connecting Park Parade, Parramatta and Amos Street, Westmead, NSW at 9.30 PM on Saturday, 7th March, 2015. At the time of the attack, she was on phone with her husband in India.

She was from Bangalore, India and was on work visa, working for a software company in Sydney. She was due to return to India next month. She is survived by her husband and a 9 year old daughter.

Prabha Arun Kumar It is a tragic and heart-breaking news. Our heart goes out to her family, especially her husband and daughter.

We know that NSW Police is investigating this crime to find the culprits, responsible for this heinous crime. We want them to keep our community in the information loop, as there is massive concern and grief in the community.

We ask local Police, Parramatta Council and Parramatta Park Trust to do an urgent review of the area to figure out and fix the security black-spots in that area. Lightening and CCTV facilities should be installed and improved if that is what needs to be done to improve safety and security of people in the area.

We ask Premier Mike Baird and NSW Labor’s leader, Luke Foley, to outline their plans for crime control and for safety and security in the area specifically, and Western Sydney generally.

We also urge people to be aware of their personal safety each and every time they venture out of their home, whether it is for work or leisure.

We appeal to people to contact local Police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 if they have any info, which might help Police to arrest the perpetrators and solve this heinous crime.

Dr Yadu Singh

President, Indian Australian Association of NSW Inc

0413 375 669

http://www.facebook.com/indaus.nsw

http://www.facebook.com/dryadusingh

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

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PS: I have visited the area this morning and have spoken with some members of the community.

Expectations from Prime Minister Modi

Dr Yadu SinghSydney, 14th November, 2014

Expectations from the Modi Govt

Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, is visiting Australia between 15th and 18th Nov, 2014. After attending G20 summit in Brisbane on 15th and 16th November, he will start his state visit. Indian community is excited with this visit. This is the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister after PM Rajiv Gandhi visited Australia in 1986. PM Modi will interact with the community in Sydney and Melbourne, in addition to addressing a Joint session of Australian Parliament.

Prime Minister Modi‚Äôs image is that of a decisive and a ‚Äúcan do‚ÄĚ leader. Indians, not just in India but around the world, are optimistic that things will change for the better and the Indian economy will grow rapidly.

When I wrote a post in June, 2014, I mentioned many things which people expected. Many of those things have either been delivered or getting delivered. Prime Ministerial visit to Australia is one of them. Nuclear trade deal has already been signed when Prime Minister Tony Abbott visited India in September. Australian citizens getting the facility of Visa on arrival in India is another one which is in the process of getting implemented. Serious work is in progress in regards to Black money, stashed in overseas Banks. Supreme Court’s activism is playing an important role in it. Investigations and prosecutions are likely to commence soon. Based on my interactions with many Indians in Australia, there are a few more things that people expect the new government to deliver.

Genuine dual citizenship: This has been discussed and debated for long. There is an almost universal demand that overseas Indians be given a right to hold genuine dual citizenship with voting and property rights, if the country of their citizenship has no issue with this and if there are no security issues with granting dual citizenship to any particular overseas Indian. If USA, UK, Australia and most of developed and democratic countries as well as some countries in the region see no issues in granting dual citizenship to their citizens, then people argue that there is no rational basis for India to deny dual citizenship to Indians. PM Modi has the political capital to deliver this long-standing demand. A petition and campaign for Dual citizenship is running on Change.org (http://tinyurl.com/kxtlosw) and Social media presently (http://tinyurl.com/m4b4luu).

Effective anti-corruption body: A group of 10-15 people from civil society including eminent jurists and overseas Indians (if possible) as well as politicians should be asked to review the Lokpal Act, passed by the Lok Sabha earlier, and suggest steps to rectify weaknesses to make it an effective corruption fighting body. Such body should have sufficient resources to discharge its functions. Unlike previous Govts, this whole process to fine-tune this should not take more than one year from the time NDA Govt took office.

The PM’s global Overseas Indians Advisory body: The PM should revamp his Global Advisory Body, constituted by the previous Govt. People in it should be those who have significant presence, influence and interactions among Indians in their countries. The practice of Indian diplomats recommending their sycophants to become members of this body should be done away with.

Country specific Overseas Indian Advisory body: Countries with significant overseas Indian populations (Australia is certainly one such country) should have an advisory body of not more than 10 people, which can be used for consultations and other advisory purposes, not only by the local GOI authorities/agencies, but also the relevant authorities/agencies in India. Its term should be for not more than 2 years.

Annual consultation between High Commission and Community: Previous High Commissioner of India in Australia, and current External Affairs Secretary, Smt Sujatha Singh, started a novel, and productive, mechanism to meet the community representatives in Canberra on a yearly basis. Representatives from all over Australia would assemble on a weekend to discuss and suggest things to Indian diplomats. Current High Commissioner, Biren Nanda, did not continue this practice. The communication from High Commission and community has been limited and confined to a small group of people, who are close to HCI. Previous practice of community consultation needs to be reactivated.

Annual dialogue between Indian and Australian leaders: Indian Australians will like to see formal and regular annual meetings between PMs, Foreign Affairs Ministers and Defence Ministers, with venues alternating between India and Australia.

Free Trade Agreement (FTA): The pace of the discussions and negotiations should be accelerated so that FTA can be concluded by the end of 2015. This will accelerate bilateral trade which has come down to about $15 billion from previous high of $21 billion. This is important as Australia already has FTAs with Japan, South Korea and China.

Bilateral and multi-lateral defence exercises between India and Australia: India and Australia should work actively to enhance their defence & strategic relations bilaterally and multilaterally in the pattern agreed prior to the 2007 Rudd Govt in Australia.

Hindi teachings in Australian Universities: To increase India’s soft power and increase the numbers of India-literate Australians, India should consider seriously funding such teaching courses in at least one University each in Sydney and Melbourne. Discussions should be had between relevant authorities to explore equal sharing of cost between Australia and India.

Facilitations of Australian Universities and TAFE to have campuses in India: Many Australian institutions are ranked quite highly in various world Universities ranking systems. Collaborations in this field should be actively facilitated and encouraged, following a pragmatic and win-win module. Indian regulations to facilitate this should be considered.

Recognition of TAFE diploma in India: Many Indian students come to Australia to train in TAFE institutes. Many then move on to Universities to complete degrees. In addition to the diplomas not being recognised to the extent that the students wanting to pursue this study in Australia do not even get the education loans, Association of Indian Universities (the peak body responsible for recognising foreign degrees) does not recognise even Bachelor degrees that may have resulted from a credit transfer after a diploma resulting in the degree component being lesser than 3 year duration. (Diploma to Degree). This is a unique feature of Australian Qualification framework and so should be understood by Educational authorities. Quite a good numbers of Indians in Australia have earned their degrees through this pathway. TAFE institutes are a unique institution and it will be beneficial for India to consider recognizing diplomas from TAFE.

Bilateral Internship positions for Australians and Indians: Institutes and Universities of repute in both countries should be encouraged to develop mechanisms to have short term (3-6 months) placements for students and researchers to enhance collaboration in science and research.

Indian media’s bureau/representatives in Australia: During 2009-10, Indian media reported issues involving Indian students in an exaggerated way, erroneously attributing racism in literally every incident. They did not interact with local long-term Indians. It was harder for media to have a grasp of the ground realities. It will be helpful if key media outlets consider basing their representatives in Australia to cover Oceania. With increasing trade related activities between Australia and India and with increased number of Indians here, there could be sufficient justification for such decisions. Indian Govt can encourage media houses to take up this matter. A good beginning could be of a posting a full time Press Trust of India (PTI) reporter in Australia.

Indian Consulate in Brisbane: Queensland is an important state for Indian investment. Indian business houses like the Adani group have an important and a significant presence in this state. It is important to have an Indian Consulate in Brisbane.

India House or Indian Cultural Centre in major capital cities: There are more than 500,000 people of Indian heritage in Australia, with a big concentration in Sydney and Melbourne. People believe that there should be Indian cultural centers in Australia, at least in Sydney and Melbourne. While some funding will be raised locally, a significant part of the funds should come from Indian Govt. Govt of India (GOI) Funds, if any, allocated for something of this nature to be established in the Indian Consulate premises in Sydney CBD should be reviewed and re-allocated for a center of this nature in areas like Parramatta or Blacktown, where the Indian community has a substantial presence. Sydney CBD is not a practical or appropriate site for an Indian Cultural Centre.

Overseas Indians’ property in India: Many overseas Indians are seeing that their properties are illegally occupied and face threats to their safety when they visit India. Court cases go on for extended periods of time. Indian Penal Code and relevant laws should be amended to tackle this menace.

Interactions between GOI agencies and Indian Australian community: It is often felt that GOI authorities in Australia do not interact with people sufficiently, thus leading to a communication gap. It is a common experience that there is a significant gap between what we expect and what is delivered. It is also felt that GOI officials often get embroiled in local community politics and play ‚Äúfavoritism‚ÄĚ games depending on who they like or dislike. It is quite irrational and subjective. Steps should be implemented to improve the situation.

Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs visit to Australia: With approx. 500,000 people of Indian heritage in Australia, a biennial visit of Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs (The Hon Sushma Swaraj) or her deputy, The Hon Gen (Retd) V K Singh or External Affairs Secretary, should be included in the official GOI travel calendar. This will help facilitate interactions with the community and facilitate Overseas Indians’ investment in India.

Streamlined grievance redressal mechanism for Overseas Indians: Overseas Indian Affairs ministry has often not been very helpful and help has often not come in a timely fashion due to excessive bureaucratic influences. This should be reviewed and streamlined.

Exchanges between Academicians and civil Society leaders: We need regular bilateral exchange visits of academics, journalists, leaders and civil society leaders. This will help improve relations between the two countries. The scope and numbers should be increased.

In summary, it will be of mutual benefit to the community in Australia and India if the Indian government is proactive in considering the interests and welfare of the Indian community down under.

 

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/14th November, 2014

dryadusingh@gmail.com

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

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Sign the petition for Dual Citizenship for Overseas Indians

Dual Citizenship

Please SIGN this petition below and FORWARD it to others in your network.

https://www.change.org/p/the-honorable-sri-narendra-modi-appeal-to-grant-dual-citizenship-to-overseas-indians

Please visit this Faceook page on Dual Citizenship for Overseas Indians and “Like” it. Please share it.

https://www.facebook.com/#!/IndianDualCitizenship

Indian Diaspora is requested to SIGN the petition and JOIN in the campaign.

Thank  you on behalf of Indian Dual Citizenship Campaign

Yadu Singh/Saturday/8th Nov, 2014/Sydney, Australia

indiandualcitizenship@gmail.com

http://www.Facebook.com/IndianDualCitizenship

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Heartless and outrageous: a national inquiry needed to fine-tune surrogacy

Sydney, 9th October, 2014

Reading the newspapers this morning, I feel concerned and perturbed with some issues around surrogacy.

http://www.smh.com.au/national/australian-couple-abandons-surrogate-baby-in-india-20141008-113cmk.html

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2014/10/08/calls-national-inquiry-after-another-australian-couple-abandon-surrogate-baby

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/foreign-affairs/former-foreign-ministers-dont-recall-abandoned-india-surrogate-baby/story-fn59nm2j-1227084574732

Only recently, we were told that¬† baby Gammy was abandoned by an Australian couple¬†in Thailand, because he has Down’s syndrome. His twin sister, who was healthy,¬†was brought to Australia. http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2014/s4089822.htm

In the currently reported case, which has been investigated by ABC, and reported extensively, an agency arranged a surrogate mother in India, who gave birth to twins in 2012. Australian family took only one child, based on the gender, but did not bring the other child to Australia.

They did this, despite efforts from Australian High Commission in India, which tried to persuade the couple to bring both children to Australia. They even delayed issuing visa to encourage the couple to change their minds. It has been reported that an Australian politician pressured Australian High Commission to help this couple. Former Australian Foreign Affairs ministers, Bob Carr and Kevin Rudd, have denied that they were involved in pressuring Australian Consular officials.

Who is this politician then? I think Australians deserve to know his/her name.

http://www.surrogacyaustralia.org/about-us/general-info-on-overseas-surrogacy link provides how surrogacy operates, and is conducted.

I have no doubt that surrogacy plays a very important role in helping childless parents.

Family Court Chief Justice, Diana Bryant, has been quoted that the abandoned child was passed on to another family and money possibly changed hands to facilitate this. She thought this amounted to “child trafficking”.

Federal Circuit Court Chief Judge, John Pascoe, has asked for a national inquiry into surrogacy.

I am unable to understand how parents abandon children born out of surrogacy arrangements. These children are their own.

I am also concerned about gender or the health of the child being used as a factor in this decision. The question is who is responsible for the abandoned child. The answer to this is that it can not be the surrogate mother unless she makes an informed decision to agree to it by keeping the baby with her. Commissioning parents must be the ones who should be responsible for looking after the kid (s) born out of surrogacy arrangements.

It is not only a moral issue, but it clearly is a legal issue too.

A national inquiry is indeed needed to fine-tune and streamline surrogacy in Australia.

Dr Yadu Singh

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

http://www.facebook.com/dryadusingh

Australia concludes Nuclear trade deal with India!

Australian FlagSydney, 21st Aug, 2014Indian Flag flying

From various news sources, it is clear that Australia has concluded Civil nuclear deal with India recently. Uranium trade between Australia and¬†India is likely to start soon. It appears that the deal has been concluded relatively quickly after India elected its new Govt led by Mr Narendra Modi. The agreement is likely to be signed by India and Australia during Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s visit to India in the first week of September.

Let me also point out that it was Prime Minister John Howard who announced in 2007 that Australian Govt will reverse the ban to sell Uranium to India. It changed when Kevin Rudd became the Prime Minister a few months later and reversed it. Finally, Prime Minister Julia Gillard was the one who campaigned successfully to get ALP reverse its policy to ban Uranium sale to India in Dec 2011, followed by an agreement between Australia and India to start the negotiations on the nitty gritty of the supply agreement in 2012.

I wrote about this matter a few years ago. http://tinyurl.com/7bytnbo & http://tinyurl.com/6s7d7dx

Australia-India relations are on an upswing, after having suffered a few years ago.

I and many from Indian Australian Community are very happy with the improved Australia-India relations.

Congratulations are due to Australian Govt led by Mr Tony Abbott and Indian Govt led by Mr Narendra Modi. Foreign Minister of Australia, Julie Bishop, and Indian Foreign Affairs Minister, Smt Sushma Swaraj, have also played a big role.

India is currently third in the list of countries which use nuclear energy. There are 21 nuclear reactors in India which are producing electricity but India needs to increase such electricity production, knowing electricity shortage. Currently, nuclear energy constitutes only 4% of total electricity production.

Australia has 1/3rd of the total Uranium of the world. This agreement is going to make Uranium supply to India much easier.

As usual, and in a totally predictable manner, Greens Senator, Scott Ludlam, did not like it at all, and used some arguments, which are irrelevant and dated. NPT issue is not relevant in India’s case after India was given an exemption by Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG) and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 2008.¬†Also, unlike India’s neighbours, India has never been involved in nuclear proliferation.

India is going through the discussions for Civil nuclear trade with Japan currently. Once concluded, India should be able to accelerate nuclear energy production.

Since 2005 onwards, India has already entered into civil nuclear agreements with the US, Mangolia, Namibia, Argentina, the UK, Canada, Kazakhstan and South Korea, France and Russia.  

Indian Australian community has a desire to see speedy growth in Australia India relations in all dimensions and aspects.

Dr Yadu Singh

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

http://www.facebook.com/dryadusingh

au.linkedin.com/in/dryadusingh/

Celebrating 68th Indian Independence Day on Friday, 15th Aug, 2014!

 image Sydney, Friday, Aug 15, 2014

India is celebrating its 68th Independence Day today.

15th Aug, 1947 was the day when India became independent and free from British reign. At the midnight between 14th and 15th Aug, 1947, India’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, took oath as the Prime Minister.

At the stroke of midnight, he gave his famous “Tryst with Destiny”¬†speech in the Constituent assembly Hall of the Parliament.¬†

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wUcw8Ufx_Y

“Long years ago, we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment we take the pledge of dedication to the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity.”

Ever since, President of India traditionally addresses the nation on the eve of the Independence Day and the Prime Minister unfurls the national Flag followed by an addresses to the nation from the precincts of the Red Fort in Delhi in the morning of 15th August.

This is the gist of the national address by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi today.Narendra Modi and Red Fort

http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/pm-narendra-modi-s-independence-day-speech-at-red-fort-highlights-576248

Prime Minister, Mr Modi’s speech.

On this day, there is a military parade and display of cultural richness from all over the nation in the capital of India, New Delhi. 

Chief Ministers unfurl the flag in the State capitals, where various cultural programmes take place too.

These activities happen every where in the country. 15th August is a national holiday. 

Indian Independence Day will be celebrated by Indians overseas too.

In Australia, Indian Govt posts-High Commission and Consulates, will celebrate Independence Day events. Community groups all over Australia celebrate Indian Independence Day with pride and fanfare.

CG at Indian Independence Day 2014In Sydney, scores of Indian Australians will gather to take part in the Independence Day celebration at the Indian Consulate General in the city at 8.30 AM. Consul General will read the speech of the President of India and will unfurl the Indian Flag. 

In the evening, my friends and I will be joining a party in the city to celebrate Indian Independence Day. This party will start around 9.30 and will go on well past midnight. A lot of younger Indians will be joining this Independence Day celebration. 

Australia is 4 hours and 30 minutes ahead of India. As the clock hits midnight in India, friends and relatives from India will start sending Independence Day greetings via email, What’s up, Facebook, Twitter and SMS. Indian Australians will do the likewise.

Indian Independence Day is a huge event for 1.2 billion Indians In India and millions of Indians living outside India!

I am proud to be from Indian heritage and I know this to be the case with my friends from all corners of India and the world.

Happy Indian Independence Day!Happy independence day 2014

Jai Hind!

Dr Yadu Singh

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India should not be used by anyone as a launch pad for sea voyage to Australia!

Sydney, 29th July, 2014

Boat people Boat people2 Indian Flag

I am perturbed with some commentary whereby some people including Senator Sarah Hanson-Young are casting indirect aspersion on how India treats refugees. (http://tinyurl.com/k239hsr) Points are being made that India is not a signatory county to UN Refugees Convention. Some of them have mentioned even terrorist group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and A-Sham) in the same paragraph. ISIS executes people in cold-blood, and is hurting and subjugating people from religions other than their Sunni sect of Islam. This, even indirect aspersion, is inappropriate and offensive. India is not ISIS and can not even be remotely equated with it.

India is a vibrant and the biggest democracy of the world. It has rule of law with free judiciary and totally free media. It has refugees from Sri Lanka, Burma, Bangladesh, China and many other countries. It has a proud and long history of welcoming persecuted people from all corners of the world. Parsis (Zoroastrians) left Persia because they were persecuted. Dalai Lama and thousands of Tibetans exiles¬†have lived in India for several decades without any persecution or troubles. India treats refugees humanly and with care. India may not be a signatory to UN Refugees convention, but its treatment of those who claim refuge is exemplary. UNHCR (United Nation’s High Commission for Refugees) itself has¬†said this about ¬†India many times. India lets UNHCR do the assessment about people’s refugee status, which is fair, ¬†appropriate and prudent.

Raising concerns about India’s credentials as a caring society is objectionable.

Coming to the current issue of 157 boat people (all likely to be Sri Lankan Tamils) who were intercepted by Australian Navy just outside its Maritime zone about a month ago, it is clear that the Boat has come from Indian Shores. From all the information, it is clear that they are all Sri Lankan Tamils, who were in a refugee camp near Pondicherry, South India. India is affected in multiple ways and is a concerned party. Its shores were used as the launching pad for this boat to Australia. India needs to know who these people are and how did they use Indian shores for launching  the voyage to Australia.

It is a security issue for India. India has an ongoing issue with Pakistan, from where terrorists enter Indian territories to perpetrate terrorist attacks in India. I am not saying that the boat in question is carrying terrorists, but not being concerned and alarmed with this type of voyage will render India a hypocrite. India has a right to figure out who these people are and what is the exact composition of these people.

Australia and India are friendly countries, and have strategic relations. I am pleased that Australian Minister for Immigration & Border Control, Scott Morrison, visited India recently and had a discussion with Indian Foreign Affairs Minister, Smt Sushma Swaraj. He was able to get an undertaking from Indian Govt that it will take back these people if they are Indian citizens and residents. That is a huge achievement for Australia.

India will not, and should not, allow its territories to be used as the launch pad for things which are against any other nation. In this case, it is the stated policy of Australia that they do not want to entertain illegal maritime arrivals. Current Federal Govt took the policy of “Stop the boats” to people during 2013 election and received a mandate. Previous Govt led by Julia Gillard/Kevin Rudd too had this policy. Offshore processing of illegal maritime arrivals has been the policy of Govts of both political persuasions.

Australia can not afford to have the repetition of 5000 people arriving every month, claiming refugee status. We do not have the money to afford their accommodation, food, health and education. Our national Budget is in deficit and our economy is in stress. We have to look after our elderly, homeless and less fortunate people first. We have to look after our disadvantaged people first.

Australia should accept its fair share of refugees, but there is no way it can afford an unlimited number of people who want to come to our shores with refugee claim. Australia is a caring and generous society, but there is a limit to it.

I am concerned that some people decide to come to Australia from countries where they were not facing persecution. India is definitely one such country. There is no persecution programme for anyone in India. Indians generally, free Indian  media and independent judiciary will not let this happen either.

About the people in the Boat, who have now been brought to Curtin Detention Centre, I am not sure that they faced any persecution in India. Based on the prevalent governance and political system, it is unlikely they faced any persecution in India. They were living in the area ie Tamil Nadu, which is the homeland of Tamils in India.

This fact alone makes it likely that they are economic refugees, not genuine refugees.

If there is any Indian national in this group of people, then they should be sent back to India without any delay, because their claim for refugee status will be bogus, preposterous and baseless.

Australia has all the rights to refuse to accept economic refugees. Australia has all the sovereign rights to control flow of illegal maritime arrivals. Australia in fact has an undeniable responsibility to look after its disadvantaged people before allocating billions on people who are not Australia’s primary responsibility.

I see no problem in Australia working with India to figure out who these people are, where they have come from and why have they come to our shores in this manner.

Australia has full rights to send them to the country from where they have come from if they are not genuine refugees.

Australia has a well-stated and bipartisan policy of offshore processing and not settling illegal maritime arrivals in Australia. Australia does not encourage illegal maritime arrivals. It has been working with nations in the region to stop the illegal maritime arrivals. This is the first boat which has been allowed to land on our shores in over 7 months, presumably to allow sufficient time to Indian officials to process information and cross-check it.

Australia is within its rights to work with nations in our region to achieve the stated policy goals. I am in full support of these goals. I know many others, in fact a majority of Australians, are in support of these goals.

Finally, India should not allow anyone, under any circumstance, to use its shores or territories as a launch pad for voyage as “illegal maritime arrival” to Australia or any other country!

Dr Yadu Singh

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MasterChef Australia should not display India’s national Flag disrespectfully!

Indian FlagMasterChef Indian Flag

(Correct display)                                                     (Incorrect Display)

I was called by Ms Sandhya Reddy (INDAUS committee member) who was quite concerned about the upside down display of Indian Flag during broadcast of MasterChef show. Mr Shravan Reddy too sent me a Tweet with the screen shot of the offending display yesterday.

We know that the upside down display of Indian Flag or national Flag of any country is a disrespectful act.

I called Channel 10 yesterday itself and then sent an email to them as well as MasterChef Australia, asking them to remove the disrespectful display of India’s national Flag.

I also sent tweets to Channel Ten and MasterChef Australia. MasterChef Australia is a Logie-award winning popular cooking Game Show, based on original British MasterChef show. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MasterChef_Australia

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Tweets:

“Yadu Singh‚ÄŹ@dryadusingh 22h

Guys, U are using Indian Flag upside down, which is disrespectful. Pl correct it ASAP. Right pic here.”

“Yadu Singh‚ÄŹ@dryadusingh 23h

is using Indian Flag upside down. Please correct this disrespectful display ASAP.”

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I followed this by calling Channel Ten, MasterChef Australia and Shine Australia (producer of MasterChef Australia) today.

I have asked them all to rectify the mistake and apologise for it during the programme broadcast.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_India

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_does_it_mean_when_the_flag_is_flown_upside_down

http://www.australiaday.com.au/about/flag-flying-protocols/#.U89-CGuKDIU

Improper and incorrect display including upside down display of Indian Flag is not permitted by law. Display and use of Indian Flag is governed by Flag Code of India 2002. Improper (intentional) misuse and display are punishable by Law at least in India.

We ask MasterChef Australia, Shine Australia and Channel 10 to stop improper display of India’s national Flag immediately.

May I ask Indian High Commission, Canberra and various Indian Consulates in Australia to do their bits to get it rectified urgently.

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PS: Within few minutes from my Blog going public, I have received two Tweets from MasterChef Australia. Here they are being reproduced.

“MasterChef Australia ‚ÄŹ@masterchefau 7m

…We unreservedly apologise for any offence caused.”

“MasterChef Australia ‚ÄŹ@masterchefau 9m

The flag being positioned upside down was an unintentional oversight during production…”

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Later on, Channel Ten too has sent an email.

Rebecca Nittolo

24 Jul (1 day ago)
to me

Dear Dr Singh

Thank you very much for your email below. I got in touch with the production company that makes the show and they confirmed that the flag being positioned upside down was an unintentional oversight during production. They unreservedly apologise for any offence caused.

Please let us assure you that the episode featuring the flag is being re-edited and will soon be updated on our website and also for the international version when it is eventually televised in India.

Please accept our sincere apologies again.

Kind regards

Rebecca

Rebecca Nittolo
Digital Producer
Lifestyle, Reality & Factual

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Dr Yadu Singh

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Sydney Indians met and interacted with Former Karnataka Chief Minister, Mr Jagadish Shettar!

Mr Settar and community

On Wednesday, 30th April, 2014, members of Sydney’s Indian community, particularly from Karnataka, met and interacted with Former Chief Minister of Karnataka, The Hon Jagadish Shettar, at the home of Hemanth Raju in Glenfield, NSW. Mr J Shettar and CommunityHemanth is the current President of Basava Samithi, Sydney.

Approx 50 people were present. Prominent among them were Hemanth Raju, Paramesh Halaradhya, Satish Bhadranna, Mallikarjun Ramanahalli and Chidananda Puttarevanna.

Mr Shettar was in Australia to take part in “6th International Sharana Samskriti Sammelana” meeting in Perth recently. He visited Sydney after this meeting, before travelling to Melbourne and NZ.

He has a vast record of public service in Karnataka. He was a lawyer by profession, before entering Karnataka Assembly in 1994. His family members and he has been long term Jan Sangh/BJP members/supporters. He was an active leader of Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) during his student days. He has also held the position of Karnataka BJP President at one stage.

He served as Speaker of the Assembly in 2008-9, Minister in various Karnataka Govts at various times, and was the Chief Minister from 2012 to 2013. Currently, he is the Leader of Opposition in the assembly.

He is a senior leader of BJP, with a lot of influence, following and support in Karnataka.

Our interaction with him included topics of Indian Governance, Karnataka Politics and Indian Mr J Shettar and Yadu Singh talkingelection. He felt that a minimum of 20 MPs from Karnataka will be from BJP. He was confident that NDA (National Democratic Alliance) will form the next Govt at the centre and Mr Narendra Modi will be the next Prime Minister of India.

We enjoyed home-cooked and typical Kannada food, prepared by various members of the community.

We were very impressed with his down to earth nature and simplicity. We enjoyed his sense of humour.

It was indeed a great pleasure to meet Mr Jagadish Shettar!

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/2nd May 2014

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People in detention centres in Australia should be monitored for mental health issues!

ImageI have just learnt about the sad death of a 27 years old Indian student, who was in Maribyrnong immigration detention Centre in Melbourne since Jan 2014. He was a University student and was in the Detention Centre because his Visa was cancelled for breach of Visa conditions. Details of his Visa situations are not clear.

Yesterday, he was found in an unconscious state. He later died. His death is not being considered suspicious, which usually means that he committed suicide. Further details are not known at this stage.

It is a sad news for anyone, but obviously for his parents and family. Our hearts go out to them. R.I.P!

Many members of Indian Australian community are asking why and how did this happen, and what was done to prevent it, knowing he would have been in severe distress. Full facts are not out at this stage, but we ask DIBP and Minister Morrison’s office to put Indian community in the loop with full information and take them in confidence. We also ask Indian High Commission in Canberra and Indian Consulate in Melbourne to take the community in confidence, sharing detailed information. It is not an ordinary death. A young man came to Australia, with his hopes and hopes of his family. All those hopes are shattered and his parents have to deal with the sad and unfortunate loss of his life. This must be naturally devastating to them.

It is well known that detention is a stressful situation and it creates distress and mental health issues for detainees. Mental health issues are number one health issues in Detention centres.

While no Govt can close detention centres, and detainees will continue to be detained for various reasons, they certainly can ensure proper pastoral care and monitoring of mental health issues among detainees. Staff in these centres must be properly trained to look out for any sign of severe distress and depression.

I understand, and believe firmly, that authorities  have a “Duty of Care” to those who are in any custody-Mental Health institutions, Hospitals, Police Lock-up places, Prisons and Detention Centres. Duty of Care also includes reasonable monitoring of signs & symptoms of distress and depression, and providing assistance and counselling to prevent self-harm or harm to others.

Recently, IHAG (Immigration Health Advisory Group), comprising of GPs, psychologists, psychiatrists, Social workers and Counsellors has been replaced with a single advisor. I hope this will not impact on the care of people in detention. 

We are a caring society, and must continue to remain so, within the constraints of our means and resources, while dealing with vulnerable people, and people in custody.

In regards to this particular unfortunate case, a thorough investigation should be done, which I believe is happening, to figure out all aspects of the case.

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/14th Feb, 2014

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India is the top source of migrants to Australia!

[Source of Pictures: TOI article, Ravi Lochan Singh’s Blog and DIAC press release]Australian Migration Sources2Australian Migration Sources

 

With 29016 people from India who were granted migrant Visa to come to Australia in 2011-12, India is now the top source of migrants to Australia. This is 12.7% more than the  previous year. This is likely to continue for years to come. By now, Indian-born numbers have grown four fold in the last 15 years, while Chinese-born numbers have grown by three fold..

The Census in 2011 told us that there were about 400,000 people of Indian heritage in Australia. If we add the numbers up to June 2013 and add the numbers from people of Indian heritage from other countries plus those born here in Australia, the number of people of Indian heritage could well be about 500,000 by June 2013.

With 21768 Indians in 2010-11, India was the third top source of Australian migrants. With 29546 Chinese immigrants, China was the top source then. Things have obviously changed.

The latest list outlining the sources of migrants also tells us that 7 of 10 countries are from Asia, the region where Australia has its major trading partners.

China with 25508 is the second top source and Great Britain with 25273 is at the third spot.

India has many good universities with a large number of young people with the skills and English which Australia needs. These skills are in the fields of medicine, IT, teaching, nursing, Engineering, accounting, management and many others. These are all high value skills which are in great demand all over the world. Australia is now competing with other countries quite successfully.

I am quite pleased that increasing numbers of Indians are choosing Australia as the place to migrate to, despite exaggerated negative coverage of Australia in the Indian media in the recent past. This is the best certificate that Indian media was not factual in its reporting back then.

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/4th June, 2013

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Census 2011:My comments in Australian Financial Review story!

 

Yadu Singh

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Australian Financial Review

21st June, 2012

India tops migrant mix

By PIP FREEBAIRN

First they were British and Irish, then Greeks, Italian and Vietnamese, but now the fastest growing wave of migrants to Australia are Indians.

The 2011 census showed yesterday that the number of Indian migrants in Australia has doubled since five years earlier with around 150,000 new migrants arriving here.

The proportion of Australian residents born in India rose from0.7 per cent in 2006 to 1.4 per cent in 2011 as their number increased from 147,106 to 295,362.

Their growing contingent joins longer-standing migrants such as Yadu Singh, the president of Indian Australian Association of NSW. He came to Australia in 1991 to train as a cardiologist and enjoys the quality of life. He denies that Australia is perceived as racist and dangerous.

“Despite all the nonsense, Australia is a welcoming country and Indians know that. It was the Indian media that overreacted to the events a few years ago.

‚ÄúIndian migrants know while there are¬†a few [racists], the rules¬†and regulation of this country are not in anyway racist.‚ÄĚ

Dr Singh is referring to a series of incidents in Melbourne in which robberies and assaults on trains and in public places were perceived as being racially motivated.

Most Indians live in NSW, followed by Victoria, and most are located in capital cities. Melbourne had the highest proportion of Indian-born residents, at 2.7 per cent. But a regional bonus in the points test for permanent migration status means some Indian migrants are now branching out to Newcastle, Wollongong, and Bathurst.

Indian-born Australians are most likely to speak English at home, followed by Hindi and Punjabi, a language spoken in Northern India and regions of Pakistan.

The census reveals that the number of Punjabi speakers grew the fastest¬†of any language in Australia ‚Äď by 207 per cent between 2006 and 2011.

The growth of Hinduism has also matched the growth of Indian migration. While only 1.3 per cent of residents identify as Hindus, its numbers of adherents have almost doubled from 148,000 in 2006 to 275,534 in 2011.

Census director Andrew Henderson said the growth of Indian migration¬†meant the Indian-born had overtaken Italian-born as those migrants moved¬†into their second generation. ‚ÄúIt is fundamentally shifting the cultural mix in Australia,‚ÄĚ he said.

Australia and India share a number of cultural touchstones, not least widespread English usage in both nations and a legacy of common colonial histories. Cricket also binds the two nations, with Test matches that involve India in Sydney and Melbourne attracting large vocal crowds in support of the visiting team.

Indian permanent migration to Australia hit a monthly peak of almost 1800 in early 2008, before dipping to 680 in 2010 but has recovered to 1350 arrivals a month in early 2012.

Many Indians come to Australia not just for economic opportunity but to take advantage of the education system. Dr Singh said Indians who came to Australia tended to be young and highly educated and were often seeking further training in accounting, medical degrees, or nursing.

Indian-born Australians tend to be younger than the median age of the total population, 36 compared to 47.

Hass Dellal, the head of Australian Multicultural Foundation,which advises government, said the new wave of migration indicated that Australia was engaging more in the region.

‚ÄúBut we are not taking advantage of the opportunities it brings, economically or culturally. We need things such as languages in schools so¬†that we can make the most of the advantages of our multicultural society.‚ÄĚ

Australian Census 2011:what it says about India & Indians in Australia!

Australian Census 2011:what it says about India & Indians in Australia!

I was waiting for the latest Census 2011 data. This is out today. It has some very interesting information.

  • There are a total of 21,507,717 people in Australia.
  • 26% people were born overseas and 20% had one parent born overseas.
  • Top 10 counties by birth of migrants include India at 4th spot [295400 people]. UK, NZ, China are higher.
  • People of Asian background¬†by birth have moved up in proportion of people born overseas [33% in 2011 Vs 24% in 2001].
  • Before 2007, UK was the top source of migrants but India is the top source of migrants in 2007-11. India now contributes 13.1% of migrants [2007-11] compared to 12% from UK. Most of the top 10 countries from where migrants are arriving from are Asian countries.
  • 47% of all Indians in Australia are Indians who have arrived in recent years [2007-11]. Corresponding numbers for Chinese is 35.
  • 200,000 Indians have arrived in Australia between 2001-11. Corresponding numbers are 176,200 and 127,700 for Chinese and New Zealanders respectively.
  • 98 males¬†for 100 females¬†in Australia but numbers skewed adversely for Nepalese [144 Males for 100 females], Afghanistani¬†people [143 males¬†for 100 females] and Pakistani people [143 males¬†for 100 females].
  • 390900 [2%] people have identified their ancestry as Indian ancestry, compared to 866000 [4%] for Chinese ancestry. This number may be an underestimate as some second and third generation people of Indian ancestry¬†may have identified themselves as from¬†“Australian ancestry”.
  • Among those who identified as of Indian ancestry, 61% were born in India, 20% in Australia and 19% in other countries.
  • Among those who identified their ancestry as Indian, only 12.9% had one more ancestry, compared to much higher proportions from other groups. This means that¬†marriages outside Indian segment is much less common. One explanation is that Indian community is a newer community in Australia. It is likely to change in years/decades.
  • Indian ancestry numbers may be an underestimate as a section of Indian community¬†ran a campaign before¬†Census¬†to identify themselves as “Punjabi” ancestry, not Indian ancestry.
  • 61% people follow Christianity in 2011 compared to 68% in 2001 and 96% in 1911.
  • Non-Christian faiths have grown from 4.9% [900,000 people] to 7.2% [1.5 millions] between 2001 to 2011.
  • Buddhism is the commonest non-Christian religion [2.5%], followed by Islam [2.2%] and Hinduism [1.3%].
  • Hinduism had the fastest growth. It grew 189% between 2001 to 2011. 275000 people identify themselves as Hindu now. 275000 Hindus from a total of 391000 people with Indian heritage means Hindus constitute 70% of total number of Australians of Indian ancestry.
  • Growth of Islam and Buddhism have been 69% [476,300 people] and 48% [529000 people] in the last decade.
  • “No religion” category¬†grew too from 15% to 22% between 2001 to 2011.
  • Over half [56%] people born overseas are Christian.
  • Hindi is one of the Top 10¬†language, other than English, spoken by people at home.¬†104900 people [0.5%] speak Hindi at Homes. Mandarin, Arabic, Cantonese and Vietnamese are spoken by more Australians. Hindi is the only Indian language among the top 10¬†languages in Australia. Punjabi language is spoken by Punjabi sub-segment of Indian community significantly but I am not completely clear about the comparison between Hindi and Punjabi languages. There is some confusion about it. It is however safe to say that Hindi is the only Indian¬†language in the Top 10 languages in Australia. I will study this data more carefully and will seek clarifications.
  • Among those who speak Hindi, 80.2% speak English very well.

My take is that increasing numbers of ¬†young and highly trained Indians are choosing to migrate to Australia. This is despite¬†a negative campaign against Australia,¬†which was run by a segment of Indian media in recent years. It proves that Australia is a fantastic place to live, work and settle. Indians have rejected Indian media’s campaign to create a false characterisation of Australia as a racist nation.

One could argue that India is losing so many well-trained¬†young people but I doubt it is a relevant factor anymore. There is unemployment and under-employment in India, which is made much worse by perpetual, if not permanent, reservation system which reserves 50% jobs/training positions and even promotion opportunities to people who have been historically discriminated.¬†¬†India’s so-called loss is Australia’s gain. Australia should continue to attract and accept skilled migrants from all over the world.

Indian Australian community has grown significantly in recent years and will continue to grow in coming years. There is an urgent need to network this community [particularly newer migrants] for mentoring/guidance in regards to settlement issues and integration in the Australian community, and also pastoral care, when needed.

Indian community associations and leaders need to analyse how they can provide guidance to newer migrants, when such guidance and mentoring become necessary.

One does not¬†need to be an Einstein to predict that Indian Australian community will achieve¬†increasing importance in Australian politics. They will constitute¬†significant proportions¬†in many constituencies. I predict, and in fact hope, that some “good” people from amongst us will enter Australian Parliaments and Local Councils within next 5 years.

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/21st June, 2012

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Community politics by Indian diplomats not acceptable!

I have been of double mind about writing this post for a while. I have raised this issue in Canberra on 17th Dec, 2011 when I participated in the meeting of Indian community leaders, organised by High Commission of India. High Commissioner of India in Canberra, Consul Generals of India in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth along with many other diplomatic staff and about 200 community leaders/media people were present in this meeting.  I expressed my strong objections against politics by one Indian diplomat.

So, what is it that I am concerned about?

Guess no more. This is about community politics from one Indian Diplomat in regards to Uranium decision by ALP on 4th Dec, 2012 when ALP National Conference passed a motion to support sale of Uranium to India.

Many from Indian Australian community  had raised the Uranium issue with political leaders. It includes various community groups including ourselves and many individuals. Uranium has been in the minds of Indian Australians. We all worked to get ALP reverse its policy to ban Uranium trade with India.

I wrote about it in the Blog posts http://tinyurl.com/7bytnbo, http://tinyurl.com/2eumejb, and http://tinyurl.com/8yawduc since 2009, unlike others who appeared in the scene only recently.

Despite all this, I believe Indian Australian community had only a minor role, if any, in this decision.

Few individuals, however, with the active support of a Member of Parliament from Western Sydney had tried to claim credit for this decision.¬† This Western Sydney MP has many Indian Australian voters in the constituency and will need support from them in the election in 2013.¬†This MP has been actively working on the plan to “promote” one of these two and a few more¬†from the MP’s political¬†party to¬† be recognised as Indian community leaders for obvious reasons. I am neither against this MP nor such people generally but I have issues with “manufactured” or “parachuted” leadership of anyone by anyone.

Unfortunately, a senior Indian diplomat got involved in this politics too.¬† I will explain it a bit later. A Link¬† http://tinyurl.com/848v5b7 from an unknown Indian¬†newspaper was sent to every one by an individual as a certificate of his claim that “he delivered Uranium to India”.

They were even credited to shape the foreign policy of Australia!

Even “Gandhi” connection was evoked indirectly, ignoring the fact that these gentlemen are just pushing the barrows for their political party!

This is of course totally ludicrous and laughable.

Talking about grandstanding, you can’t get a better example!

This claim is incorrect too. This question was directly asked from Prime Minister by a journalist from Indian Down Under newspaper recently. She did not confirm it at all. Please visit The Indian Down Under newspaper  [www.indiadownunder.com.au ], edited by Nina Badhwar here http://tinyurl.com/7pa5rp7 page 9.

Australia decided to sell Uranium to India because of;

1. its national interest as it was not a smart policy to deny Uranium to India but sell it to China, thus damaging Australia-India relations when India has so much strategic importance in Asia Pacific region

2. active encouragement by USA-very important factor [confirmed by many MPs]

3. pressure and support from Australian Think Tanks and Press-Lowy Institute and The Australian newspaper

4. India’s impeccable nonproliferation records

5. Coalition parties [Liberal and National Parties] supporting such trade since 2007

It definitely was not due to a few individuals¬†who are claiming to have “delivered Uranium to India”, just like Mahatma Gandhi delivered freedom to India!

Any such claim actually lowers the office of Prime Minister and must never be repeated or permitted.

I do not believe Indian community in Australia had a major role in it. This was the opinion of the top Indian diplomat in Canberra too. We all made noises at every available forum but still, it was not instrumental in this decision. I asked a few MPs and even Resources Minister, Martin Ferguson about it. They too were broadly in agreement with the points I had listed earlier. They laughed when I told them about the claims for credit by a few individuals from Indian community. They denied it was the case.

Indeed, we all did what we believed was our duty towards India, Australia and India-Australia relations. Taking Olympic motto, we all participated in it. We should be proud of that too. It would of course be wrong, inappropriate and unwarranted for anyone  from our community to claim a sole or exclusive credit for it.

Out of sudden, all Indian ethnic newspapers in Sydney¬†and others were sent¬†a link http://tinyurl.com/848v5b7¬†from an unknown Indian newspaper “Express Buzz”, which is not linked at all with or a part of¬†reputed Indian national newspaper, Indian Express. “Express¬†Buzz” article quotes an¬†anonymous¬†senior Indian Diplomat in Australia, attributing credits to two Indians for Uranium decision. Ms¬†Devirupa¬†Mitra, who is¬†of Bengali background,¬†of Express Buzz online newspaper gave a clear indication¬†of this diplomat being male, thus ruling out High commissioner, Mrs Sujatha¬†Singh. I had a discussion with High Commissioner¬†about it and know for sure¬†that it was not her who was quoted¬†in this article. I contacted Ms Devirupa¬†Mitra in India and asked about the veracity of the claims and the identity of the diplomat but she declined to reveal¬†the source. I sensed her feeling of being “used” in the politics. She encouraged me to write to her when I asked her to retract the article. I did not write to her but will be sending this post to her.

I have no doubt that this Indian diplomat “arranged” with Ms¬†Devirupa¬†Mitra for this story to be published¬†in this paper. No other¬†newspaper in India¬†has published this type of¬†story. This was an attempt to “manufacture” and “promote”¬†leadership of “some” people¬†in our community.

Some here in Sydney have¬†mistaken “Express Buzz” for “Indian Express” newspaper, which of course is untrue. “Express Buzz” has no link with “Indian Express” newspaper.¬†I hope,¬†Indian newspapers in Sydney¬†can check facts before printing factually incorrect¬†stories, sent to them by interested people.

This senior Indian diplomat was so blind in his politicking that he ignored the work by anybody else. We have been raising Uranium matter for the last 4 years. I raised it in our Australia Day and Indian Republic Day function in 2010 where heaps of ALP and Liberal pollies were present.  Senior Coalition leader, Joe Hockey, shadow treasurer declared the policy of Coalition to sell Uranium to India, putting ALP leaders on the spot light. This was the first such public announcement in our community functions. I urged ALP leaders to do the same as Coalition has done.We raised it in every function we organised and we raised it with every politician we met. I wrote Blog posts on it [see my Blog for details] and wrote an opinion piece http://tinyurl.com/6s7d7dx  on pages 40-41 in Mining and Investment Australia Journal which is a reputed journal. I wrote two opinion pieces in FPRC Journal [Foreign Policy Research Centre, New Delhi, India], highlighting Uranium issue http://tinyurl.com/7dec8mu .

Many others have done their bits all over Australia. This was all ignored by this diplomat in his blind desire to promote and glorify his friends. There are many theories and possibilities about the reasons for this promotion.

Both the individuals, who this diplomat gave credits to, are members of Unions and are from ALP. I must clarify here that there is nothing wrong in being a member of any Union or ALP. That is not my concern as to which party they belong to, but I have serious issues when diplomats try to glorify them without any basis or truth, ignoring equal or superior claims for such accolade or credit for others. This is indeed wrong, unethical and dishonest.

Both these individuals are close to one Indian diplomat for various reasons.

Both these individuals are from Sydney.

So, my questions are;

1. Who is this senior Indian Diplomat?

2.Why is he playing this game?

3. Is it not political interference in our community?

4. Is he not playing politics in our community by “promoting”, glorifying¬†and “propping” up two community members who are very close to him?

5. Is it not unwarranted, objectionable and offensive for a diplomat to play this type of politics?

6. What benefits he is getting? What is in it for him?

No Indian Diplomat is owning up these false claims, when challenged. And challenged they were quite forcefully, both privately and publicly!

So typical for Diplomats!

A little more info before you made your own mind as to who this senior Indian diplomat is. There are 4 senior Indian diplomats in Australia.

1.¬†High Commissioner in Canberra, Mrs¬†Sujatha Singh-Served for 4 years and had just left for the posting in Germany. She is not this “senior diplomat” quoted in the paper.

2. Consul General in Sydney, Mr Amit Dasgupta-here since 2009.

3. Consul General in Melbourne, Dr S K Behera-relatively new arrival in Australia.

4. Consul Gneral in Perth, Mr M. Subbarayudu-very new arrival in Australia.

I have spoken with many people from our community and they all have expressed their disgust with politics played by one of the senior Indian diplomats. This is not within the definition of the core jobs of Indian diplomats. They are to stay away from community politics. They should not promote or prop up any community member [s]. Just in case you are wondering, I must clarify that it is not an one off activity.

Indian diplomats must stay away from community politics, avoid playing favouritism game and conduct themselves in an impartial manner. If they are not careful, they risk harming the prestige of the position they occupy in Australia.

If not heeded, this might well lead to complaints to the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi, Ministers in India and MPs in Indian Parliament.

After all, Indian diplomats are not the only who can do politics. We too know how to do politics!

Indian diplomats are here to represent Govt of India and help Indian Australians, when needed, but definitely not to do politics in our community!

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/16th March, 2012

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$100,000 [52 Lacs Rupees] reward for information on the killer [s] of Pardeep Kumar from Mildura, Victoria, Australia.

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/what-happened-to-pardeep-100000-reward-on-offer-20120206-1r081.html

Pic from SMH.

This gruesome killing of Pardeep Kumar, 33 yrs old fruit-picker,  in Mildura, Victoria [Australia] has remained unsolved since 2009. Police believes that some people with information may be in India, apart from some who may be in Mildura and elsewhere in Australia..

Please spread the word and help Police track down the criminals and bring them to justice.

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/6th Feb, 2012

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India’s Look East Policy:Australia is a perfect fit in it!

I¬†was invited¬†to write this article for the Journal from Foreign Policy Research Centre [FPRC], New Delhi. FPRC¬†is a Think Tank on India’s Foreign Policy.

I have argued that Australia and India should develop the best of the best relations, and suggested how it can be achieved.

Link is here>>>  LEP.FPRC.Journal  See pages 200-206.

PS: Please note that ALP has passed a resolution in its national conference on Sunday, 4th Dec, 2011, reversing the ban on Uranium trade with India. Yadu Singh/6th Dec, 2011.

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/15th Nov, 2011

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IIFA in Sydney: How, when and by whom?

Indian actor Abhishek Bachchan with wife/actre...

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IIFA Awards [The International Indian Film Academy Awards] are the most prestigious awards from Bollywood, the premier movie industry in India, and are presented every year by the International Indian Film Academy to recognise professionals and artists from Bollywood.

The first IIFA event was held in 2000. So far, they have been held in different countries around the world, details of which are as follows.

2000: Millennium Dome London, United Kingdom,

2001: Super Bowl Arena, Sun City, South Africa,

2002: Arena of Stars Genting, Highlands, Malaysia,

2003: Coca-Cola Dome, Johannesburg, South Africa,

2004: Singapore Indoor Stadium, Singapore,

2005: Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam, The Netherlands,

2006: Dubai International Convention Centre, Dubai, United Arab Emirates,

2007: Hallam FM Arena, Sheffield, United Kingdom,

2008: Siam Paragon, Bangkok, Thailand,

2009: The Venetian Macao, Macau, Macau,

2010: Sugathadasa Stadium, Colombo, Sri Lanka,

2011: Rogers Centre, Toronto, Canada.

Social and economic benefits of hosting IIFA Awards are many. No wonders, there is a fierce competition among cities to host the event.  IIFA reaches out to millions of viewers and fans across the world providing them with an opportunity to see legends of Bollywood together on one stage. Toronto IIFA event was reportedly watched by >600million viewers. The Academy’s main objective has been to develop and promote relationships between film industries and organizations across the world. The focus is on foreign exchange and interaction, creating a common forum and meeting ground for enhancing business opportunities, apart from showcasing Bollywood cinema.

To prove that the hosting city benefits greatly, here is the latest evidence. Government of Ontario invested US$ 12 million to host 2011 edition of IIFA at Toronto and believed to have gained direct economic impact of over US$ 100 million in tourism. The organisers felt the returns of holding IIFA far exceeded the expectations estimated by the Government of Ontario.

IIFA have never been held in Australia, but Melbourne is trying to host them. They have already started the process.

Sydney is truly a world city with plenty of attractions for the Bollywood artists and fans. After all, who can beat Opera House, pristine beaches like Bondi¬†Beach, and Blue Mountain, along with Hunter Valley which is only a short distance away? NSW can rope in our cricketers too, knowing that some of them have a huge fan following in India. Sydney will beat any city, if it decided to bid for IIFA. NSW should definitely bid for it, as it is indeed¬†going to bring heaps of tourists around the time of the event, and thereafter too, which should generate more than $200 million for the NSW economy. With the flow-on effect on the inward tourism from India, and with the improved¬†image of Australia as a travel destination for Indians, this benefit may well cross 500 millions easily over the short to medium term. I know, I am not a NSW treasury official and can’t predict what the monetary outcome of this event would be for NSW, but one thing is certain that it would¬†be¬†beneficial to the economy.

If IIFA is held in Sydney, they will be the best ever (to match the best ever Olympics) and will help strengthen ties between India and Australia. Basically, there are many positives, and no negative.

Organisations of Indian Australians, and Indian Australians in NSW generally, can play a vital role by helping the NSW Govt in the bidding process. There are >150000 people of Indian heritage in Sydney [more if you add the fans of Bollywood from Asian and Middle Eastern backgrounds], who would be a potent force on behalf of NSW in attracting the event for Sydney.

My discussions with many prominent people have given me a clear impression that they would love to have IIFA in Sydney in the near future. To succeed in this however, the work has to start soon. It might be a bit late to bid for 2012, but we can start the process now for 2013 event or thereafter.

NSW Premier, Barry O’Farrell¬†is visiting India with a trade delegation¬†next month. I think, it would be a perfect opportunity to initiate¬†the¬†process before the visit and follow it up during the visit.

I, for one, can’t wait to see IIFA event in our beautiful¬†city, Sydney!

PS: I am not in favor of frauds and fake people, with no integrity and value system, getting anywhere near events like IIFA, because they will destroy the whole concept and the brand image. We all know that there are people who can con people to make money, and are very keen to promote themselves as event organizers. They operate with no principle and have no ethics.

Yadu Singh/Sydney/25th October, 2011

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The Age newspaper reports on “Ganesh versus the third Reich” play in Melbourne festival.

Ganesh festival in India

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http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/hindus-want-to-ban-play-that-has-ganesh-reclaim-swastika-from-germany-20110926-1ktkb.html

Barney Zwartz, the Religion editor of The Age newspaper has reported on “Ganesh versus the third Reich” play being organised in Melbourne festival from 29th September, 2011.

See more details in my earlier posts.

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/27th september, 2011

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Kyle Sandilands & India matter resolved.

A bend in the Ganges river, Garhwal hills, Utt...

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I am pleased¬†to report that Sydney’s 2Day¬†FM Radio station and Kyle Sandilands¬†have realised the mistake in their comments and issued an apology. This apology has been on air by Kyle, and in writing by Adam Lang, General Manager of 2day FM Radio station, who had sent a letter to me yesterday.

This is from what Kyle has said.

” I’m apologising….. anyone that’s Indian that listens to this show knows that I love Indians…. I don’t discriminate. I love everyone. I don’t care where they are, where they are from, what colour they are, I just made the mistake that the river which, to me, looks polluted, I said it was a junkyard and I did not realise it was holy.”

This is what Adam Lang said. ” In this instance, I hope that you feel that Kyle Sandilands¬†and 2Day¬†FM have taken full responsibility for the offence caused by remarks made. The offence was not intended but that consequence is absolutely accepted and we do sincerely apologise.”

I have heard the audio and it is good.

The Council of Indian Australians’ Press release is here. CIA_Press_Release_No12_2Day-FM-apologises

With this, the matter arising from Kyle’s comments has been resolved¬†to our satisfaction. We are happy that it has been resolved so quickly. This chapter is now closed.

I urge Indian media in India and Indians all over the World to close this chapter too. There is no need for any campaign or protest anymore. Desi Kangaroos TV clip is here.  http://youtu.be/LwIsrAaKilU

As I had said in my Sydney Morning Herald interview yesterday http://tinyurl.com/4xvkx2s , this matter was not between Australia and India. It was between Kyle and the listeners. It did affect Indians all over the world however. A lot of Indians were upset but some also agreed with him.

In Australia, just like India, press is free. Govt of Australia does not control press here, just like India. The protest by us and people every where else did work. This is a sign that media in  a free country does listen to public opinion.

Let us take emotions out from this debate now. River Ganges is a Holy river in Hinduism. Accepting it as a Holy River is fine and true, but it is not enough. National Govt and State Governments in India have not done enough to stop pollution of this river or any other river. This is unpardonable. How can they allow so much waste going into this River in the cities along the course of Ganges? 

Protests and campaigns are fine and justified, but they alone will not achieve results. There is a need to take real action to stop pollution of Ganges and recover it from the damage. Will that happen or will this outrage die out in a few days? Will people forget that the basic issue is that India has allowed Ganges and other rivers getting so polluted?

Let us take the message that India has a serious issue of pollution of its natural resources and let us accept that it is all man-made. All of us already know it and Kyle’s comments have only re-inforced this fact.¬†We have been shown a mirror and the things were not pretty. That needs to change.

Although we do love to blame bureaucracy and political system for the problem of this nature, it remains a fact that we too are responsible for it. It is about time that we accept this fact and do something effective and fast.

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/3rd Aug, 2011

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Nonsense about Australia from a Call Centre in India: My comments in A Current Affairs programme of Channel 9.

A call centre in Delhi was reported to be using offensive description for Australia & Australians, while training Call centre workers. See the report in Sunday Telegraph  newspaper.  http://t.co/g0hvK7C  It has created quite a bit of furore which you can see from the comments section.
 
A Current Affairs [ACA] programme of Channel 9 Australia covered it too. It is here.
 
Aussies a bunch of backward drunks’ http://t.co/QrNLsw4¬†¬†My comments are in this coverage from ACA.
 
The training of BPO workers, depicting Australians poorly is incorrect, offensive and objectionable. I do not agree with these ill-informed and uneducated comments.
 
We, Indian Australians,¬†are Australians too. Australians of any heritage are neither dumb nor backward. Contrary to the claims from this Call Centre in New Delhi, people in Australia do not¬†“drink constantly”. Australia is not a racist country either. There are racist people everywhere in the world. Neither Australia nor India is an exception. Fortunately, they are a small minority.¬† Australia’s rules and regulations are not guided by race, religion or gender. Instead, Australia is a progressive and successful multicultural country.
  
Yadu Singh/Sydney/25th July, 2011

OZ Uranium to India:my article in Mining & Technology Australia Journal.

Mining and Technology Australia asked me to write an article on OZ Uranium to India. This magazine is an Industry journal. It has now been published.

Link is here>> http://content.yudu.com/Library/A1sqpz/MiningampTechnologyA/resources/index.htm Page 40-41.

I am keen to hear from you about your views, points and counterpoints. I enclose this Radio interview about Uranium mining in Australia. http://radioadelaidebreakfast.wordpress.com/2011/05/06/in-focus-uranium-mining-business-and-trade-2/

Yadu Singh/Sydney/12th July, 2011

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DIAC Australia has India’s incorrect map, which should be rectified!

I have been made aware of a map, which DIAC [Dept of Immigration and Citizenship] Australia has put in its website. It excludes Jammu & Kashmir [J&K] from Indian map. J&K appears to be shown as a part of Pakistan.

Even Arunachal Pradesh appears to be shown outside India.

See the Link here.

http://www.immi.gov.au/media/statistics/country-profiles/_pdf/india.pdf

This is wrong and objectionable, and should be rectified.

Jammu & Kashmir is an integral, inseparable and inalienable part of India and will always remain so.

Let me remind those who do not know the relevant history. J&K became an inalienable part of India on 25th October, 1947 when King of J&K, Maharaja Hari¬†Singh, signed the “Instrument of accession” with India. This Instrument was executed¬†between India’s then Governor-General, Lord Louis Mountbatten, and Maharaja Hari¬†Singh on 27th October, 1947. All rulers of States and Kingdoms in India were entitled¬†to¬†choose¬†one of three options-¬†join India, join Pakistan or¬†remain independent-at the time of Indian independence in 1947.

J&K joined India in 1947.

Pakistan came into being on 14th Aug, 1947, and it celebrates its Independence day on 14th August.

India celebrates its Independence Day on 15th August.

Here is the Link for more details.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jammu_and_Kashmir

Maharaja Hari Singh’s Kingdom of Jammu & Kashmir¬†obviously joined India. The Maharaja made the correct choice. He was a smart King. J&K is part of the progressive, prosperous, secular, multicultural¬†and democratic India.

India and Indians will never allow anyone to undo what was done by Maharaja Hari Singh in 1947. Terrorism and unrest supported from across the border will never succeed.

I also want to see that something serious is done to facilitate return of Kashmiri Pundits [KPs] back to Kashmir, from where they were forced to go into exile in other parts of India. KPs are living in exile in their own country. I and millions of Indians feel for the plight of KPs.

It would be helpful if relevant parties have a proper geographical and historical knowledge in these matters.

LOC [line of Control] in J&K, depicting what is happening on the ground, can be shown, just as UNDP Map does. Arunachal Pradesh is clearly an Indian territory and Governed by India.

My view is that DIAC¬†India map is a genuine oversight, and can be¬†fixed easily. I don’t think even for a minute that it has been done¬†deliberately or done with malafide intension.

Yadu Singh/Sydney/09th June, 2011

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PS: DIAC had removed the map within days after this post. See the subsequent post in this Blog. Yadu Singh/25th Sept, 2011

The biggest Indian investment in Australia so far!

A Sydney-based¬†good friend of mine provided me the news that a Hyderabad-based Indian Energy and Infrastructure giant, Lanco,¬†has acquired Griffin’s coal mines for about $850 million a couple of days ago, after beating other bidders including Chinese. This is the biggest investment by an Indian company in Australia so far. This beats Adani Group’s investment¬†of $500m on Linc Energy’s Galilee coal tenements in Queensland in August 2010.

I am very happy with this development because I want to see some serious investment by Indians in Australia and Australians in India. I want to see very deep relations between India and Australia. These relations need to be financial, political and strategic.

Lanco¬†is a great business and its chairman Mr Lagadapati¬†Madhusudan¬†Rao is a respected business leader in India. They are a significant player in the Energy and Infrastructure sector in India. With what they are going to do in Western Australia where Griffin is based, Lanco will be a significant player in that state’s economy.

Lanco will be developing a Port and rail facilities in Banbury in South Western region of WA which will help them in linking Coal mines¬†in Collie to Bunburry. They will guarantee jobs of about 400 people who are working with Griffin. Lanco¬†has outlined their plan to triple¬†if not more, the output of coal within a short term. They want to go from the current 4 million¬†tonnes output to 15 million tonnes which will obviously provide¬†employment to many¬†more Western Australians. Griffin’s Administrator, KordaMentha, doesn’t see any problem in getting the approval for this business transaction from the creditors and the Foreign Investment Review Board. They must be¬†thrilled as the business was sold¬†for $850 Million rather than expected $700 Million. Secured creditors will get 100% of their money. This¬†is a good news in itself.

Lanco¬† will get a boost in its business because it is going to approve the supply contract which the Griffin’s administrator is¬†finalizing¬†with Perdaman¬†Chemicals [Coal to Urea] plants and this will be for about 2.8 million tonnes. Lanco¬†will not have any problem in selling the remaining Coal as it plans to export Coal to power-hungry Indian Energy businesses. Lanco¬†itself is in that business. Additionally, Lanco¬†may also bid for Griffin’s boss Ric Stowe’s Bluewaters Power Stations along with bidders from USA and China and Japan.

I congratulate Lanco¬†for investing in Australia and becoming a big player in Western Australian economy. I must also congratulate my good friend, Gautam¬†Sharma, and his hard working¬†colleagues, for assisting Lanco¬†in acquiring¬†Griffin. For those who don’t know Gautam, he is originally from Andhra Pradesh, India. He studied in IT in Bangalore¬†followed by UTS, Sydney. He has done a lot for Indian students. We have been in regular contact ever since and he played a big role in our Australia Day and Indian Republic Day celebration on 24th Jan, 2010.¬†Like me and my close friends, he loves India and Australia equally and takes the good values from both.

Yadu Singh/Sydney/18th Dec, 2010

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National organisation of Indian Australians is the need of the hour!

Australia has a substantial numbers of people of Indian heritage. It is approximately >250000. With students from India, this goes above >350000. It is going to increase as Indians have formed a good chunk of the total Australian immigrants over the last several years.

One of the things we have seen lately is the fact that there are Indian functions almost every weekend. In Sydney alone, we have had 6 Diwali functions including a big Diwali fair in Parramatta stadium. This Hindu Council of Australia fair was impressive and the biggest fair for/by Indian community. This is great.

With increased numbers, problems faced by some of us have also increased. It is expected. There are some issues¬†however which¬†appear¬†to be more pertinent for our community. Students’ issues is one such example. There is a large number of ex-students who are in a bridging visa and are in fact in a limbo as the processing of their applications has not been progressing.

Negative portrayal of Australia by Indian media last year was often hysterical and imbalanced. This was not fair. Issues were there but the manner of coverage was not right. There were heaps of leaders issuing a variety of  views which were often conflicting. One leader had a habit of calling every incident as a racist incident without even waiting for full evidence. This type of reporting has a potential to create a backlash against Indian Australian community. I am not denying that there were serious issues in regards to Indian students and Indian media, in fact, helped bring them to fore-front but exaggerated and imbalanced coverage in many cases and overuse of  racism word was not helpful. A segment of Indian media literally branded Australia to be a racist country without bothering to check the basis or the facts for that claim.

With the issues created by some students ie documentary frauds, contract marriages and crimes committed by them, the reputation and image of Indian community has had a significant hit. This needs to be¬†tackled too. We have to live and work here and our community can’t afford to have a negative image. Our image of a community of educated people with a relatively much less crime needs to be restored and enhanced.

There are several issues which our community must deal with. Helping new arrivals by mentoring is one of the things which we will need to do as a community. Helping new arrivals to integrate well is a very important mentoring job. Domestic violence and exploitation of our people, often by our own people, must be tackled.

There are issues between Australia and India. The classical one is about the sale of Australian Uranium to India which current Gov does not want to do. We obviously want to see that happen. Non-signatory status of India for NPT has no significance after India was given the India-specific NSG exemption last year with an active support from Australia. India also has a clean record on nuclear non-proliferation.

There are obviously several issues and I have mentioned only a few.

When educated Indian Australians¬†with vision talk about the community issues, they do talk about the need for a national body which can take up the issues which have a national significance for the community. While doing so, they also talk about the mushrooming of “community leaders” every where, many of whom do not have an idea of conflict of interest. Many such “leaders” do not have the pre-requisite for the leadership role. Such national body must be¬†able to work in a co-operative fashion with Indian/Australian Gov agencies including Indian consulates and the High Commission,¬†and business-focused bodies such as AIBC.

We need genuine associations of Indian Australians which can tackle the problems of the community in a genuine way. These associations need to be pan-Indian in outlook and should not have a linguistic or regional outlook, focusing on the language spoken at home or the place of origin in India as the basis for the organisation.

We really have far too many associations and far too many “leaders”. Leaders of all associations must move on after serving for a maximum¬†of two years. It is not a good idea for these “leaders” to use associations as a place for retirement activities. It is totally ridiculous to see “leaders” who are in their late 70s or 80s when they are clearly unable to grasp the situation and needs of our community. Respecting our seniors is one thing [and I too respect them]¬†but that does not mean that we have to put up with their¬†inefficient or inappropriate leadership. Issues of Year 2010 need leaders who can understand them and can do something about them. Our elder leaders [late 70s and 80s], if they have a burning desire to do community work, can do a great job by being the mentors and guides for the younger leaders. Their experience can be invaluable.

All such organisations must work in a transparent fashion. Indian ethnic media needs to do their genuine job to ensure that associations and leaders are doing the right job. Forming alliances with associations/leaders is not a good idea. This is a problem area.

We really need genuine leaders for our community and such leaders must be those who have;

  • vision and credibility
  • capacity to lead
  • ability to communicate with Gov authorities and people
  • ability to network and communicate with media
  • integrity
  • capacity to understand “conflict of interest” and practise it
  • capacity to follow the principles of transparency and accountability
  • capacity to lead by examples ie can be role models

Being “leaders” for photo ops and doing Melas [Fairs] only is not going to help! Taking commissions for their “leadership” is an absolute NO.

Some discussions are going on in these regards and an outcome is expected soon, hopefully.

One must not forget that we have literally hundreds if not thousands of “associations” most of¬†which are essentially pocket associations of our “leaders”.¬† We can see how/why associations-based federation[association of association]¬†at the national level will be a failure from the day one. It should therefore¬†be an organisation based on individual membership, taken from the people who¬†fulfill criterion explained above.

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/14th Nov, 2010

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ABC Media Watch blasts Channel 7 report on Delhi CWG’s security scare.

mediawatch_2010_ep34.wmv

http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s3023099.htm

http://www.abc.net.au/iview/?series=2810604#/view/646211

Someone has just¬†sent this link from ABC Australia’s Media Watch which has apparently done a thorough investigation [as it claims]¬†and exposed the report by Channel 7 on Delhi CWG’s¬†security arrangements. Channel 7 journalist reported that he could enter the JL¬†Nehru stadium with a suitcase full of explosives.¬†As Media Watch programme reports, not everything he said turns out to be¬†correct.¬†Media Watch raised some doubts about his claims¬†whether he was¬†even at the stadium gate. Channel Seven is standing by its reporter and reports. I understand that Ch 7 has now asked Media Watch to remove this programme¬† from Media Watch website but I see that Media Watch has not removed it [at 7PM,¬†29th Sept].¬†It is difficult to know for sure as to¬†who is right and I therefore¬†leave it to you to judge for yourself by visiting Ch7 and Media Watch websites.

Media Watch reports that there was a lot of manipulation and falsehood in Channel 7 report. Scare-mongering appeared to be the main game, according to Media Watch.

I am disgusted¬†with media sensationalism generally. Some of the recent reports on Delhi CWG¬†are grossly exaggerated and¬†manipulated with the intension of harming India’s image.

I am noticing a trend in at least a segment of Australian media to depict Indians and India in negative light. This has become more apparent¬†after the students’ issue last year. This is not good for Indian Australians. We will need to deal with this trend smartly and assertively.

People have often wondered whether this new trend in Australian media is a payback to hysterical, exaggerated, imbalanced and unfair reporting against Australia by a segment of Indian media last year. We did not agree with Indian media then just like we do not agree with Australian media now. Fair is fair and unfair is unfair, irrespective of who is the target of reporting.

Generally speaking, crap reporting will remain just that-crap, irrespective of who does it!

Yes, India has problems and CWG Organising Committee has not done everything right and in a timely fashion [thus bringing some shame on itself, India and Indians all over the world including India] but Media needs to be more balanced and must give credit where it is due.

I am wondering about how low Media will go to sensationalize an event. I am wondering about the real agenda and motives of this segment of Media.

Yes, I have Indian heritage and am¬†proud of it. I love India exactly as¬† I love Australia. India is my “MATRI¬†BHUMI” [my place of birth] and Australia my “KARM¬†BHUMI”¬†[my¬†place of work and my home]. Both deserve my gratitude and love. My disgust¬†with unfair reporting against India is not just because I am of Indian background but it is also because I find this report to be very unfair. Similarly, we found the reports from a segment of¬†Indian media on Australia¬†last year disgusting because they were unfair.¬†I believe that all fair-minded Australians [from any background] will share my views on unfair reporting about any person, race, religion¬†or country.

Fair and proportionate criticism of India is fine, justified, desirable and acceptable, but false, disproportionate, unfair, selective, exaggerated, distorted and manipulated is not.

Channel 7’s report has been branded by¬†Media Watch¬†as “Shocking beat-up”!¬† There are only two options. Either Ch7 defends it or it accepts the criticism. If it is the former, then it should do what generally happens in Australia. If it is latter, an apology will be due to India and Indians.

Yadu Singh/Sydney/29th September,2010

T: www.Twitter.com/dryadusingh E: singhyadu@gmail.com B: www.yadusingh.wordpress.com

PS: This is an evolving story. I am going to follow the spat between Media Watch and CH7 closely and will report any new development. Please keep an open mind and follow this story. We do have an interest in this story because we have an unbreakable bond with India which is much more than just a country for us.

About Delhi CommonWealth Games [CWG] 2010.

Obviously, there is a lot of media coverage in Australia about Delhi Commonwealth Games [Delhi CWG] which will start on 3rd October, 2010.  Both, Sydney Morning Herald and the Daily Telegraph have coverage on this today.   ABC also had coverage on this yesterday. 

Dani Samuels¬†[Discus champion]¬†has decided to withdraw from the Games but I was very pleased and indeed, encouraged to read that our swimmers and divers [Alex Croak, Matthew Mitcham¬†and Geoff Huegill] have declared their intention to go to the Games. They made¬†this very clear via a Blog [¬†¬†http://tinyurl.com/273cb7k¬†].¬† I also know that the Sports Minister, Senator Mark Arbib¬†will also be going to Delhi.¬† I say “good on you”¬†to participate in the Games in Delhi.¬†

I know that some sports authorities from certain countries including New Zealand have made a lot of alarmist comments about the Delhi CWG which seems to be creating panic and hysteria against the Delhi Games.   A firing at a tourist bus near a mosque a couple of days ago has of course fuelled  concerns about the security around the Games. A few building work problems, which have been characterised as minor by Indian officials, have received prominent reporting in the media.

Having come from New Delhi myself where I lived for several years, I do believe that some of the comments in the media are actually very unhelpful because they are creating hysteria against the Delhi CWG.    Something similar was floating around in the media about Athens Olympic Games only a couple of years ago.  Despite that, Athens Games were greatly successful. Similar concerns were raised in the media against South African soccer world cup but they were all proven to be incorrect.

My belief is that India would be able to deliver a successful Delhi CWG.  My belief is based on following: 

¬†The firing on the tourist bus a couple of days ago happened in the old part of Delhi which is grossly congested and has narrow lanes.¬† That part is not particularly safe even in the best of times.¬† I do not think we would have the same situation in the Games arena or the places where sports people will be staying.¬†Games are not happening in Old Delhi.¬†Of course, it is important for all people including sports people to be mindful of the security environment before they venture out to areas which are generally a “no go” area in any city anywhere in the world.¬† I myself would not go to Old Delhi unless it is extremely necessary.¬†¬†

 The Games facilities will be ready by the time the games start on 3rd October 2010.  They still have 10 days before the commencement of games. Only minor work, mostly cleaning, is yet to be done. The athletes village will be up and running with all the facilities by the time the games start.  The organisers and workers are working round the clock to get things done within days.  It is of course disappointing,  and to some extent embarrassing for us as Indian Australians to see the delay in getting the facilities ready.  Unfortunately, Delhi had 60-70% more monsoon rains this year which of course has added to problems but all stadia are already ready.  I have seen the photographs and comments of this fact. 

 India has had terrorist attacks and they have mostly originated and been masterminded from across the border.  Just like London, Bali, New York or Madrid, New Delhi will not be immune to a terrorist attack.  Having said that, I do not believe there is a very high chance (contrary to the claims in various media outlets) of a terrorist attack during the Games. I argue that the chance of a terrorist attack is minimal.  The reason for this is the fact that India has conducted IPL games without any untoward  incident for a couple of years.    In IPL games, there were many non-Indian players.  The Indian security apparatus including Indian army will provide a fool proof security for the venues and places where the games will be conducted.  People should not forget that India holds two big national events every year, namely the grand parade on the Independence Day (15th August) and Republic Day (26th January) when the whole political leadership including Prime Minister is present in the Parade venue, without any incident.  India can provide guaranteed security for a demarcated place or places but like any country in the world, it can never guarantee every place from terrorism. Sports arenas and athletes village will be demarcated places and Indian security apparatus is fully capable to do its job to protect them.

There have been concerns raised about Dengue fever in Delhi.  These concerns have created an unnecessary alarm.  Delhi is not the only city in the world which has Dengue fever.  Dengue fever is a problem in congested places such as slums or shanty towns but I do not believe sports people will be visiting or staying in those places.  The athletes village will, I believe, not have the situation where sports people will be  impacted by Dengue fever. Of course, they have to follow the advice about avoiding mosquito bite which will be given to them  by their own medical advisors as a matter of course. I and my family visit Delhi every year and have never suffered from Dengue fever. Preventive measures, of course, are crucial for every visitor.

There is a tendency in the international media to hype up and often exaggerate the issues in India which tends to create an unnecessary alarm among those who are going there.   The issues are there but they are not insurmountable. India will prove the alarm creators wrong and will hold a successful CWG.

Undoubtedly, India should have been ready with the construction and building works at least three months before, but this did not happen, leading to¬† much embarrassment for everyone including India as a nation and¬†Indians all over the world.¬† There is a culture in India which we often call “Chalta¬†Hai” which basically means that everything will be alright even when it does not appear¬†to be¬†the case. Before the D day comes, we create unnecessary chaos but ¬†however still deliver the outcome.¬† This culture needs to change with some significant speed.¬†We need to start following targets in a timely fashion. We need to start delivering outcomes in a planned and timely manner.¬†

There is no doubt that the credibility of India and Indian Government is on the line but having known India so well and having spoken with high ranking officials from the Government, I believe that India will deliver a very successful CWG. 

Jai Ho to Delhi  CWG 2010 and Jai Ho to all the participants in these Games!

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/22nd Sept, 2010

www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

singhyadu@gmail.com

Mahatma Gandhi in University of NSW [UNSW], Sydney:a proud moment for India and Indian Australians.

 

I was a witness to a great and proud¬†moment which happened in University of New South Wales [UNSW], Sydney today. NSW Minister, The Hon Eric Roozendaal¬†MLC, UNSW¬†VC, Professor Frederick G Hilmer¬†AO,¬†and Indian Consul General, Mr Amit¬†Dasgupta¬†inaugurated a bust of Mahatma Gandhi. It is situated¬†in the grounds in front of the UNSW¬†library. Speeches were made¬†on the relevance of Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings. He was described¬†as a man of peace, non-violence and wisdom. Two quotes which I liked most go like “An eye for an eye will render the world blind” and “Be the change you want to see in the world”.

In a grand yet simple ceremony, three students from Indian community were also awarded for their achievements in UNSW.

I remember vividly that Mr Gambhir¬†Watts of Bhavan¬†Australia has been working¬†on a project to get¬†Gandhi Ji’s¬†statue in Sydney for a while¬† but this project achieved a significant momentum after our energetic and “can do”¬†Consul General,¬†Mr Dasgupta¬†joined the Indian Consulate in march last year. Thanks and gratitude¬†is owed¬†to both these gentlemen. Mr Dasgupta has indeed made us proud.

CG spoke about his visit to UNSW¬†last year when Indian students’ issues were at its peak. He had a very productive discussion with UNSW. It was then that a decision was made¬†to install The Gandhi bust in UNSW. CG had also donated hundreds of books on Mahatma Gandhi and India to UNSW library as gifts from India and people of India. CG, Mr Dasgupta was praised for his work in this regards.

Apart from the Minister, CG and UNSW VC, this ceremony was also attended by other UNSW  officials,  Gambhir Watts, AIBC chairman [Mr Dipen Rughani], Harry Walia, Abbas Alvi, Nihal Agar, Rohitas Batta, Aruna Chandrala, Raj Datta, Neville Roach, Mrs Roach, Mala Mehta, N Saha, myself and many others.

Media was represented by Pawan Luthra [Indian Link], Aparna Vats [Voice of India] and Harmohan Walia [Hindi Gaurav].

It was a very pleasant atmosphere with beautiful music, drinks and finger food which were served after the inauguration.

This venue should become an important¬†place for occasions like Gandhi Jayanti¬†[Birth day celebration] on 2nd October. Inauguration of Gandhi Ji’s Bust should remind people about the principles and achievements¬†of this great soul. It should also remind people that¬†results can be¬†achieved without violence, a message the whole world needs to listen more often today than any other time.

I can’t describe how proud I was today.

Jai Ho!

Yadu Singh/Sydney/1st Sept, 2010

www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

Australian Uranium to India:Why Australia should sell it to India?

Last year, the then PM, Kevin Rudd and several ministers including the then Deputy Prime Minister, Julia Gillard visited India. India is an important country for Australia on multiple counts. It is a rising global power which is also an important trading partner of Australia. Indian students’ issues aside, both countries enjoy friendly relations with one another. 

We, Indian Australians, have a keen interest in seeing good relations between these two countries.

Both countries must consider the interests of one another while doing business with one another. There are too many things which bind us together. These are our democracies, rule of law, multi-cultural societies, love of Cricket and memberships of the Commonwealth to name a few.

Previous Australian Gov led by PM John Howard did many things to move Australia and India closer. He declared that he would sell Uranium to India as India had impeccable records of nuclear non-proliferation. Other important step in this direction was a decision to initiate¬†a quadrilateral strategic dialogue involving USA, Australia, India and Japan. Yet another was the naval exercises called Malabar exercises involving¬† Navies from India, USA, Australia, Japan and Singapore. After winning the Gov in 2007, Kevin Rudd led ALP Gov reversed the decision to sell Uranium to India and other steps too became non-operative from one or the other reason. Unhappy with Australia’s policies, India did not participate¬†in Kakadu¬†Naval¬†exercises where even¬†Pakistani Navy showed up. ¬†Basically, Australia-India relations have¬†moved backward since 2007. They moved back a few degrees more after the students‚Äô issues last year. A serious work is required to rectify this situation.

Indian economy is growing and will keep growing for years to come. GFC [Global Financial Crisis] did not affect India as much as it did others. India is on a roll. The only thing which holds India down is the fact that it has a problem in regards to its energy supply. It needs more and more energy for its growth. It  needs as much energy as it can get its hands on. Indian economy’s growth is essential not only for India but it is also essential for the health of the world economy.

India has been exploring all sources of energy supply as its local supply is far shorter than what it needs. India has to import petroleum from the Arab countries¬†and is debating about the gas supply from Iran. Iranian Gas is however problematic as it has to transit via Pakistani territory which is a problem in itself. Pakistani Govt authorities will never be able to guarantee a secure transit due to its weakness and the presence of the ‚Äúnon-state actors‚ÄĚ there who are anti-India. In addition, India cannot rule out a war between India and Pakistan which will create problems in the transit of the gas.

India is therefore¬†forced¬†to explore the option of atomic energy. It has no choice. Thanks to the leadership of The Prime Minister, Mr ManMohan¬†Singh and the then US President, Mr George Bush, India has an India-specific¬†NSG¬†[Nuclear Suppliers’ Group]¬†exemption in 2009 which enabled it ¬†to have¬†bilateral nuclear energy deals with USA, Russia,¬†France, Canada and some more countries. India needs a similar deal with Australia which will allow the Uranium sale¬†to India. Australia has about 40% of world Uranium and¬†sells it to China. NPT¬†should not be¬†an obstacle for Australia to sell Uranium to India after the NSG’s¬†India specific exemption and with India’s impeccable record in nuclear non-proliferation. NSG¬†exemption was a testimony to the fact that India has been a responsible country and has never been involved in nuclear proliferation, unlike others in our neighbourhood. Australia supported this exemption. NSG¬†exemption permits nuclear trade by India without signing NPT.

We should remind ourselves about what the former Australian PM, Mr John Howard had said about such sale. He said that it would not be fair to sell Uranium to China and deny that to India. PM Howard was dead right.

When Kevin Rudd’s ALP Gov reversed Mr Howard’s decision, India was upset and disappointed. Indian Australians were upset too. People felt that it was an unfair decision. India had a difficulty to understand the logic behind this decision once India was given NSG exemption with an active support from Australia.  NPT issue is not relevant at all in regards to India as India has impeccable records in these matters. ALP’s policy, insisting on NPT signature by India, is wrong and ill-considered. Australian Foreign Minister Mr Stephen Smith’s press conference in New Delhi is worth going through. It is available through DFAT website. India has never been involved in nuclear proliferation unlike Pakistan and China. China is a NPT signatory but its record in these matters is not that great. Everybody knows the nexus between China and Pakistan. We should not forget how North Korea got its atomic bombs. Pakistan would not have supplied anything to North Korea without the consent of China. Manuals in Chinese language were found even in Lybia which tried to buy things from disgraced proliferators like AQ Khan of Pakistan.

Simply put, it makes no sense for Australian Uranium going to China but not to India. In fact, there is more justification for Uranium sale to India. It will be pragmatic and a smart move if ALP drops its objection to selling Uranium to a non-NPT signatory country like India because India has fault-free records in proliferation matters and this fact has been recognised by the world with the India specific NSG waiver.  ALP decision to not sell Uranium to India has been considered unfriendly by many quarters in India and Indian Australian community. It is a big stumbling block in good Australia-India relations.

I¬†have urged the¬†Australian PM and ALP¬†to give India a ‚Äúfair go‚ÄĚ through emails and my Blog. I argued that it was what was expected¬†from a friendly country. It is not fair to bind Australia with the NPT¬†dogma and not see the whole¬†issue in a realistic way. A friend has to see the problems of ¬†his/her friends properly. Australia is a friend of India. It showed it by supporting the NSG¬†exemption for India in Vienna last year. It shows it by supporting a permanent position¬†for India in UNSC.¬†It is about time that we see it once again by seeing Uranium trade between Australia and India. As we understand, it [ALP]¬†would not have any political fallout from its decision to sell Uranium to India because the Coalition is already in favour of doing so. It should not be a problem to amend Atomic energy Act either, giving an India-specific exemption for Australian Uranium sale¬†to India. I remain doubtful though whether ALP and specifically ALP Left will change its objection in this regard.

I urge my Australian Indian friends to lobby with their local MPs on this matter. We need to pool our energies in persuading the Australian Gov to sell Uranium to India.

Like Lowy¬†Institute’s Rory Medcalf¬†[Ex¬†Australian High Commissioner to New delhi],¬†I and thousands of my friends in Australia do believe strongly that Australia should sell Uranium to India. We find this refusal to sell Uranium to India¬†¬†unfair and illogical.¬†India needs new and cleaner sources of energy ¬†and nuclear energy is¬†at the top of its list. Nuclear energy will not only help India but it will help the whole world as it will reduce pollution and carbon emission.

A time has come when Australia sees the issues properly and does the right thing. That right thing is to sell Uranium to India.

PM Julia Gillard, if elected on 21st Aug, will get an opportunity to change this illogical policy and sell Uranium to India but will she do it is yet to be seen.

Tony Abbott, if he gets the mandate on 21st Aug, and his team including Julie Bishop, Joe Hockey and Andrew Robb have already reconfirmed their resolve to sell Uranium to India.

We want some significant movement for more meaningful and better Australia- India relations.

The question in our minds is whether ALP will do the right thing or whether it would be the coalition which will do it!

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/09-11-09 

singhyadu@gmail.com

www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

Australia-India relations and the issues of Indian students:IBN Live documentary [Hindi]

http://khabar.ibnlive.in.com/news/35809/2ÔĽŅ

Smita Sharma, a senior journalist from IBN Live channel was in Australia recently. She has made this comprehensive documentary. She did a good job and covered the issues of Indian students in Australia and sought the comments of Indian Australians who have been here for a long period. Ravi Bhatia of AIBC, Vasan Srinivasan of FIAV, Anupam Sharma and myself were interviewed for this documentary. She managed to speak with some actors from a Bollywood movie  on this topic [a Mahesh Bhatt movie which was being shot in Australia at that time] too with the help from Anupam Sharma.

It is in HINDI. It is in multiple segments.

It is a very balanced documentary. It is definitely worth a watch.

Yadu Singh/Sydney/13rd July, 2009

John Howard should be renominated for ICC vice president from Oceania.

I am outraged with the stupid comments in a section of Indian media in regards to Mr John Howard’s nomination as the Vice President from Oceania.

TimesNow’s Arnab Goswami and this pompous character named Suhel Seth are on it again. They just love doing “Australia-bashing”. “Australia is a racist society” is their Mantra. Their coverage on students’ issue was pathetic, imbalanced and hysterical. I believe quite strongly that they are themselves racist against Australia.

Why are they not using their brain, if they have it, to analyse an issue objectively. Australia is not a racist nation and its laws do not discriminate people based on race, gender or religion. I agree with Bishan Singh Bedi who disagreed with these two jokers and asked people to see things in a proper perspective and with objectivity.

Here is a link of one of the reporting on this matter.

http://australianetworknews.com/stories/201007/2942781.htm?desktop

Racism is everywhere. India is no exception. Australia is no exception either. Australia is indeed a successful multi-cultural country.

Guys, racism is bad and abominable but reverse racism is no better. I hope people can understand this fact.

People, please see this ICC and John Howard issue with a proper perspective. ICC position of VP is given by rotation. No election takes place for this position. VP becomes the President in 2 years. This year, it was the turn of Oceania to nominate its candidate. Oceania [Australia and NZ] nominated Mr Howard as its candidate. Cricket Australia and NZ Cricket had a vigorous selection process and the outcome was Mr Howard as their joint candidate.

ICC board really has no option but to accept a candidate who was recommended by the region whose turn it was to do so.

There is no doubt that it is India which is playing games on this matter. Sharad Pawar, the current president does not want a strong personality as the VP. That is the bottom line here. This is the reason why they have rejected Mr Howard’s nomination as the VP and asked Oceania to renominate a candidate by 31st Aug.

Yes, India generates 70% of the money for ICC but it is not proper for any one to shred any organisation into pieces just because some one can do it. ICC must stop bringing more disgrace and shame to itself.

It is entirely appropriate for Australian PM, Julia Gillard and NZ PM, John Key, to come out openly in support of their common candidate, Mr Howard for ICC VP position.

John Howard is Oceania’s candidate. He is my candidate. He should be our candidate.

It’s about time that ICC bullies are confronted assertively. Australia and NZ will do so by renominating him.

Yadu Singh/Sydney/6th July, 2010

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

John Howard is a perfect candidate for ICC.

ICC is in news again. Unfortunately, it is so for the wrong reasons. In its recent executive committee meeting in Singapore, they have rejected the candidature of Mr John Howard as its Vice President. If he became the Vice president, he would have become its President in 2 years.

http://www.smh.com.au/sport/cricket/howard-dismissed-by-a-low-full-toss-20100630-zmtk.html
http://www.smh.com.au/sport/cricket/howard-veto-may-force-icc-change-20100701-zqpd.html

This is a wrong decision and is creating a wrong precedent.

John Howard is an eminent person and is one of the world leaders. He is of course the ex PM of Australia.

ICC has a tradition and protocol. This has been agreed by ICC. There is no need to disregard that protocol. ICC has a rotational system for Vice President who later becomes President.

The protocol is about who gets a turn to nominate its candidate for Vice President. This year, it was Oceania’s turn. Australia and NZ [Oceania] had a robust selection process and Mr Howard was the winner of that process.

I believe that ICC members should respect that process and approve Mr Howard as its Vice President. To reject his candidature is wrong and is in breach of the protocol. It is establishing a wrong precedent. Don’t forget that ICC had not advanced any reason for their decision while rejecting Mr Howard’s candidature. Not good, at all!

Mr Howard was a great Prime Minister of Australia and ran the Gov for 11 years. His personal integrity is beyond question. I didn’t agree with every thing his Gov did but it is irrelevant. What he did as the OZ PM is not of any relevance to ICC. He is now retired. His views on Mr Mugabe are not wrong. I do not agree with what was done by his Gov to Dr Haneef but again, it is not relevant. Again, even though it is irrelevant for this discussion, he was lot more pro-India , at least in the later part of his Gov, than one would like to accept. It was he who decided to sell Uranium to India. It was he who decided to strengthen strategic relations with India. Both of these policies were later reversed by the ALP Gov led by Mr Kevin Rudd.

The issue is about his competence to run ICC as VP initially with Mr Sharad Pawar as the president and later as President when Mr Pawar finished his term. There is no doubt that he would be a great candidate for both roles.

The second issue is whether it was the turn of Oceania to nominate its candidate for VP and whether there is a protocol to accept the nominee from the region whose turn it was currently. The answers to both questions are in affirmative.

I also believe that Mr Howard would be a great VP/President as he would do cleansing and bring transparency in that body. ICC needs it.

I am pleased that PM Julia Gillard is supporting Mr Howard. I believe that Australia and NZ should stand with Mr Howard and not allow the nonsense from the ICC delegates from Africa and Asia to succeed. Oceania should not endorse any one else as that would embolden the architects of the nonsense in ICC.

Give Mr Howard a “Fair Go”!

Yadu Singh/Sydney/2nd July, 2010

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

Australia’s new Skilled Occupations list [SOL] for immigration:Changes which were overdue!

Senator Chris Evans, Minister of Immigration of Australia has announced the new Skilled Occupations list [SOL] today.

It has excluded cookery, hair-dressing, community welfare and other low value trades/skills from this list but it does have doctors, Engineers, nurses, teachers, construction workers, IT professionals and accountants among others. I liked this list and support it fully. I spoke on this matter today and here are the links.

http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2010/s2901431.htm

http://player.sbs.com.au/naca/#/naca/wna/Latest/playlist/Skilled-migrant-list-to-shrink/

http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/pdf/new-list-of-occupations.pdf

As we all know, Australia’s international education is [or at least, it has been until recently] a significant source of income ie about $15 Billion/year and has been quoted to be the third biggest source of the economy. It has grown dramatically over the last few years. Chinese and Indian students were the backbone of this growth. This growth was more true for the private vocational sector as compared to the University/TAFE sector. It was estimated that about 80-85% of Indian students came to Australia to study in the private sector, most commonly in cookery related courses, hairdressing and community welfare. To cater to the increasing demands, a lot of private schools were opened by entrepreneurs, many of them did not provide proper and good quality of education. Exploitation of students was rampant and unfortunately, the quality control mechanisms were not as active as they should have been. When the problems in this sector were brought out in the open by Indian and Australian media and quality issues were taken up with seriousness by Australian agencies as a result, many of these private schools started to close down, leading to more difficulties to the students.

With the assaults on Indian students and hysterical and often exaggerated reporting by Indian media which damaged Australia’s reputation, Australian agencies finally decided to take the remedial actions to clean this sector. Multiple task forces were set-up and serious reviews were done. It became quite clear that Australia’s international education system has been rorted by many students, some migration agents and some education agents. Some students came to Australia with no interests to study. Even human smuggling has been mentioned as a way to send some so-called students to Australia. Some of these students had poor English, educational and financial backgrounds. False certificates of all sorts and even contract marriages were employed to bring the so-called spouses in many cases.

Many of these students were applying for the PR visa even though they did not have the requisite qualifications to be able to find the employment. They were able to get the PR only because their trades of cookery and hair-dressing were in the preferred list for immigration.There was a serious question of the suitability of these people to become immigrants of this country.

Finally, something has to be done and new skills list is the outcome.

Skills Australia-an independent body has helped bring this list out. This list will be updated annually.

Senator Evans has outlined that Australia’s immigration programme will be demand-driven, not supply-driven. He said that Australia needs teachers, doctors, nurses and IT professionals, not cooks and hair-dressers. He also said that Australia’s immigration programme can not be controlled or driven by international education only. Senator Evans is spot on here.

These changes were overdue but as people say, it is still better late than never.

Australia should attract and encourage the right type of immigrants with qualifications which we need.

International education and PR should not be linked. It was never linked in a legal sense but an expectation of this “link” was created by the marketing agents. It was known to every one including Australian agencies that PR lure was responsible for the spectacular growth of students numbers from India and China. Having said that, these students came to Australia because Australia allowed them.

While I support this new skills list whole-heartedly, I am concerned about the plight of those students who are already here. They and their parents have invested a lot of money-often mortgaged their homes and farms to send them to Australia. They came here with the expectation of PR and this was not totally their mistake. They came here under previous rules and had valid reasons to hold an expectation for PR Visa after completing the diploma.

The current and changed situation has shattered their hopes. This is akin to a humanitarian tragedy for them and their families. It is going to have a very serious ramification for some of them.

I do believe that some significantly fair transitional steps should be taken to consider their situation, provided they meet the English, training and work experience standards. I am generally against retrospective rules and their case is a classical example where it should not be implemented retrospectively.

Is there a case for a fairer transitional steps/strategies in these matters?

While I congratulate Senator Evans for this new Skills list, my view is also in favour of fairer transitional steps in this matter and I believe that there is a very strong case for this approach!

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/17th May, 2010

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

Community work:what I have done so far.

Updated on 11th April, 2011.

Information

Here is my account about what I have done so far and what I am doing right now.

1. Community work in General:

1.1. Leadership roles in Indian community Medical Associations, Continuing Medical education and Health education of general community.

1.2. Helping poor people from our community ie visitors, overseas patients and Indian students when they are in need of health care in Australia without sufficient financial resources.

1.3. Helping poor students in my district with  scholarships etc.

2. My work as the co-ordinator of the Indian Consul General’s committee on students’ issues:
Indian Consul General’s Community Committee on Students’ Issues, Sydney, NSW was formed¬†at the Indian Consulate on 6th April 2009. It did intensive work and completed its task in a¬†very efficient manner. After accomplishing its mandated task, it dissolved itself at the end of June 2009 and communicated this to the Indian Consulate on 1/7/09.

The committee had Harmohan¬†Walia,Vish¬†Viswanathan, Shubha¬†Kumar, Stanley D’Cruz¬†and Dr Yadu Singh as its members. I was its co-ordinator.

This committee had done following activities;

#met students numerous times.

#organised a students’ forum on 16th May at Strathfield.

#co-organised a students’ forum with UIA¬†in Strathfield on 6th June.

#arranged help to a woman student who was a victim of domestic violence.

#arranged help to 2 women students who were stalked by another Indian co-worker.

#arranged meetings with minister of education, NSW and her senior advisers and students from an aviation school-Work in progress.

#arranged a meeting with the president, NSW upper House [Mr Peter Primrose] and Ms Helen Westwood MLA and students.

#arranged meeting of an aviation school student with consul General [this student gave him his papers].

#arranged a meeting with a community minded lawyer and aviation school students.

#met the mother of a student of an aviation school. This lady’s husband had died only 4 weeks ago due to the serious stress involved in losing the money with the school in Sydney without the required outcome.

#arranged and participated in TV coverage of students’ issues on Channel 7, 9, 10, SBS TV, ABC TV, and Bloomberg.

#participated in the coverage on ABC radio, SBS radio, SBS Hindi radio, 2UE, JJJ, Indian Link radio, Radio UMANG, 2GB radio and SBS Kannada Radio.

#arranged talk-backs on these issues on SBS radio and Radio UMANG [98.5MHZ, Fridays,8-9 PM]-now stopped.

#participated in coverage on SMH, The Australian, Daily Telegraph, other newspapers and AAP.

#participated in the coverage on Indian newspapers in Australia [The Indian, Indian Link, Indus Age, The Indian Sub Continent Times, Indian Down Under].

#participated in TimesNow, NDTV, CNN/IBN, Headlines Today, AajTak and other Indian TV Channels.

#participated in the coverage on main Indian newspapers and PTI.

#involved with some top-grade Australian media programmes with wide audience in getting students’ issues covered.

#arranged funds for the accommodation for the relatives Mr Rajesh Kumar [the petrol bomb victim from Harris Park] within 24 hours.

#met commander Robert Redfern , Parramatta Local area Command of NSW Police several times.

#did what we could do to persuade/help the students when they were on the Harris Park streets for 3 nights.

#participated in the community leaders’ meeting with chairman, Community Relations Commission [CRC] at CRC HQ

#participated in a CRC organised meeting with Indian students at Parramatta RSL.

#participated in the community leaders’ meeting with the Premier, Mr Nathan Rees

#Met Indian Consul General and Consul several times

#helped a prominent Indian TV channel with a documentary on true situation in Australia. One of us [Yadu Singh] was the citizen Journalist.

#discussed and formulated the strategy to solve the problems of our students.

#submitted our strategy to the NSW task force and other relevant authorities.

#provided leadership in the matters relating to Indian students.

#gave our after hours and week-ends for students’ work and provided pastoral care to the needy students.

#provided/facilitated medical help to the needy students/their family members.

#met the visiting Indian journalists at the Consulate.
The committee members were all hard-working people with top-grade integrity. They did not have any conflict of interest in the matters relating to¬†Indian students. None of them were involved¬†in the students’ placement in a school [after taking a commission], running of any such school or running of any business which could have a potential conflict of interest in any manner.

All members worked with full dedication, cohesion and team feeling without any undermining of one another. This itself is a rare thing for an Indian group. We are proud of our work and ourselves.

We appealed to every person from Indian background to stay away from any leadership role if they were involved in any activity which did/could create a conflict of interest in these matters but we did not succeed in this matter.

We raised our voice forcefully against the exploitation of Indian students by some Indian employers.

We also appealed to the Indian newspapers and Radio programmes to ask questions from every leader [on students’ issues] about their involvement in any activity which¬† created a conflict of interest in those matters. We suggested that the¬† media should start with the questions on conflict of interests when interviewing those leaders.

3.My work beyond/outside the Consul General’s committee on students:

a. helped the refund of >$12000 to a student of a Flying school.

b. arranged legal assistance to the students from this Flying school from a solicitor in Sydney and Canberra.

c.1. facilitated a good outcome between parties involving VETAB, Flying school and students.

c.2. held several meetings involving VETAB high authorities, the Flying school and students in VETAB and my offices.

d. organised further refunds/savings [including waiving of about $50000f the legal fees in regards to a legal proceedings in the Supreme Court where students had lost their case and costs was awarded against them]] for a Flying school students from ESOS scheme with the help of VETAB, DEEWR and federal education dept which is worth >$250000 . I was the key and the only Indian person in this work for these students. I did this as I felt it was my duty to help students from my community who were feeling powerless in Australian system.

e. held meetings involving a Flying school people, VETAB and students.

f. helped payment of >$2400 to a student which was originally denied by his employer.

g. arranged funding of about $1000 to the family members of the “Petrol bomb” victim.

h. donated $500 to a students association.

i. arranged sponsorship for foods, meeting hall and public liability insurance for a students’ association [worth >$1000].

j. mentoring students for their careers and future in OZ.

k.1. donated $500 to AHIA’s seniors.

k.2. donated $500 to Fiji floods relief fund via International congress of Fiji Indians and organized $2000 donations from other doctors

k.3. donated $500 to Sanatan Arya Pratinidhi Samaj, Sydney.

l. donated a good amount [>$2000] for needy/deserving causes involving victims of earthquakes, accidental deaths, injuries and illnesses.

m.1. helping several students including assault victims for their work comp, treatment and issues involving their parents.

m.2. Liaised with NSW Police high ups in regards to the assaults of 2 Indians in Sydney.

m.3. Advised/mentored several others in regards to the steps they needed to take when they were assaulted.

n. established a benevolent fund for the community with further activities in the process.

o. participated as an active member of the working party with CRC on students including inputs for Z card.

p.1. took leadership role via the media including Indian and Australia media [Chanel 9, SBS, NDTV, Indian ethnic newspapers].

p.2. helped Radio National in making a documentary on students [see details in this BLOG elsewhere].

q. raised the issue of OZ Uranium sale to India during the Australia India Day celebration on 24th Jan, 2010 where several ministers, MPs, MLAs, MLC, and media people were present.

r. helped community members’ relatives/parents including FIJI Indians’ when they needed medical help.

s. helped students with their medical treatment of all types when they needed such help. This included getting a student admitted for the urgent treatment of his Kidney stone trouble which was threatening his Kidney.

t. helping the community members from India and South Asia with a concessional fees structure because they are part of my community [a service worth more than $50000/year].

u. met NSW Premier, VETAB authorities and NSW Education authorities on students’ issues

v. did all this work without any personal benefits or COMMISSIONs unlike some of our “leaders”. SEE my BLOG for more details.

w.1. trying to clean the community leadership and making them accountable.

w.2. Exposed commission taking by some leaders of an Indian community association in Sydney.

x. taking a leadership role against unfair portrayal of Australia as a Racist society by Indian media.

y. mentored medical doctors from India in regards to their training and registration issues including achieving a successful outcome for a house surgeon who was facing exclusion from the medical work due to her unfair treatment in a Sydney hospital. I worked very actively with this young doctor and her supervisors including Hospital administrators to get her into the internship at a different hospital. She passed her assessment and is now working in Sydney.

z.1. many other charity work in India including scholarships for poor students in India.

z.2. running a weekly Radio UMANG [Health radio] programme.

z.3. worked as a catalyst in resolving the issues between Indian consul General, Sydney and some businessmen with a successful outcome.

z.4. took an active and a leading  role in resolving the issues between Indus Age [after a controversial ad] and the community, and achieved a successful outcome [with an apology and a promise to not publish such ads again].

z.5. Formed a community committee [total 10 people in it] against Visa Capping Bill in May 2010 and lobbied with the Gov ministers and Media against this Bill which was very harmful to the students. Worked actively for this committee, visiting community gatherings, temples and Gurdwaras to collect signatures against this Bill. We also met the Immigration minister, Mr Chris Evans, asking him to not proceed with this Bill. See www.fairgo4internationalstudents.org.

z.6. Formed a national organisation called National Council of Indian Australians [NCIA, www.ncia.org.au] with participation from all over Australia [all states and territories representatives].

z.7. Spoke as a lead doctor in the Health Summit, organised by GOPIO, Sydney, educating/informing people on Health matters on 4th Dec, 2010.

z.8. Helped a family locate their son [International student] http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/a-dumped-bike-a-glimpse-on-sydney-stations-cctv-what-happened-to-indian-student-abhijeet-20101006-166rs.html

z.9. Raised $7100 as a team for Qld Flood relief on 28th Jan, 2011.

z.10. Took up the issue of attack on  Sri Mandir temple, Auburn and brought it to the national media.

z.11. Took up the matter involving HINDI in the Australian national draft curriculum-Languages and wrote to ACARA. 

z.12. Campaigned for removal of an incorrect map of India in DIAC website and succeeded.

I have not listed every thing I have done or am doing. Much more is being done presently.

I had to write this down because some of my detractors were making comments like “what has he done for the community”.

Just to let you know that it gives me a sense of satisfaction to do some community work beyond my medical work. 


Yadu Singh/Sydney/22nd November, 2010

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Australia race debate:The enemy within! Hindustan Times [HT] article.

http://tinyurl.com/ycj47cs

This is the article in one of the top newspapers in India [Hindustan Times] by one of the Indian Australians, who lives in Melbourne and is the anchor of the Punjabi programme in SBS radio. Ms Manpreet Singh has done a wonderful write-up. Similar write-ups have been done by me and others through Blogs previously.

This is worth reading.

We need to do introspection to figure out what is happening, where we are going and what we need to do.

Indian students’ matter and its coverage in Indian media [which has often been very imbalanced and hysterical] has created a situation which has been very unfair for the image of Australia. We will need to take an open, assertive and bold stand in this matter as unfair portrayal of Australia by anyone affects all of us including Indian Australians.

We will have to deal with Indian media, specially TimesNow TV channel, and its main contacts in Australia, specially Gautam Gupta, to ensure Indian media stops the nonsense reporting about Australia. It is likely that we will need to interact openly and intensively with the Indian Gov leaders in New Delhi and Indian Gov officials in Australia on these matters.

We can not allow the unfair, injurious and imbalanced portrayal of Australia in India to go on unchallenged!

Best regards

Yadu Singh/Sydney/13th March, 2010

Australian High Commissioner to India, Mr Peter Varghese’s Op-ed in an Indian newspaper:It makes a lot of sense!

Article by High Commissioner Peter Varghese- 1 February 2010 [Sent by DFAT with thanks. Also available on the website of Australian High Commission, New Delhi, India]

http://www.india.highcommission.gov.au/ndli/article1feb.html

¬†“What is happening in Australia? The widespread media coverage of attacks on Indians in Australia has raised several understandable questions. Are Indian students safe in Australia? Are Indians being singled out? Why are these attacks happening? Are they racially motivated and what is being done to address the problem? Crime is never easy to dissect and crime statistics even more so. We know that Australia is a relatively safe place with homicide and assault rates well below the global average. But we cannot prove with existing data, one way or another, whether Indian students are more likely to be assaulted than students from other countries. Also, with the number of Indian students growing by nearly 400 percent in the space of a few years the number of Indians affected by street crime has also increased in absolute numbers. The overwhelming majority of the half million foreign students in Australia, including the vast majority of Indian students, have a safe and positive experience. That may be cold comfort for Indian victims of assault and their families back home, but it is nevertheless an important point to make. Many of the Indian students in Australia are under financial pressure. Their visa requires them to have enough money in the bank to cover their costs before they come to Australia. But in many cases this does not happen. And when the pressure is on you to earn money quickly you do two things. First, you seek out night shift work because that is easier to get and may pay more. This means that you are more likely to be in a higher risk job such as driving taxis late at night. Second, you look for cheap accommodation which may put you in a higher crime neighbourhood and commuting to it at an hour when attacks are more likely. None of this excuses attacks. And no one should ever blame the victim. But it might help explain why some of these attacks are occurring. Are the attacks racist? For the most part they are the ugly face of urban crime committed by criminals from a wide variety of racial backgrounds. Many of the assailants have been juveniles or young adults acting in an aggressive and predatory way. But in some cases the attacks have been accompanied by racial abuse: something for which the Australian government has zero tolerance and the great majority of Australians condemn as completely unacceptable. If race is the motive, it will come out in the course of investigation and trial. We need to allow those processes to run their course and not make instant judgements based on initial media reports which may turn out to be wrong. This applies as much to the media as it does to those investigating these crimes. So what is being done? A lot. We have increased police resources. In Melbourne, where many of these attacks have occurred, we have put in place special action to target crime hotspots and to run a ‚Äúsafe stations‚ÄĚ program. We have given police wider powers to search for weapons without a warrant and to move unruly people on. We have introduced legislation to allow our courts to impose tougher sentences for hate crime. We have set up special consultative arrangements for the police to liaise with Indian and other international students, including a hotline for students who need advice or help. And we are going after the perpetrators. Already in Victoria alone some 45 people have been arrested for crimes against Indian students or nationals. The courts are dealing with the culprits, including in one case a sentence of 18 years for a vicious attack against a person of Indian origin. In one recent assault case, the assailant was given a three month prison sentence within twenty four hours of the attack. The Victorian police are giving a very high priority to finding the killer of Nitin Garg. And our Prime Minister has set up a special task force to deal with these attacks, chaired by the National Security Adviser and involving all the state governments. As a government and a community we take these attacks seriously. We cannot promise to stop urban crime ‚ÄĒ no government can credibly do that. But we are determined to address the problem, deal with the perpetrators and provide a safe and enjoyable environment for all our foreign students. It is neither fair nor accurate to paint these attacks as the actions of a racist country. Australia has travelled a long way on race. We have gone, in the space of single generation, from White Australia to one of the most culturally and racially diverse societies in the world. Rapid social change has not been without its tensions but, overall, the record is one of impressive harmony. And that is not a journey which can be made by a racist nation.”

Peter N Varghese Australian High Commissioner

Australia India Day [celebrating Australia Day and Indian Republic Day] function:Report

Report

Australia India Day Function

[Celebrating Australia Day and Indian Republic Day]

Held on the 24th Jan, 2010 [6-11PM]

Venue ‚ÄstRyde Civic Centre, Ryde¬†NSW 2112

 

Australia India Day Function Council celebrated its first Australia / India Republic Day at the Ryde Civic Centre, Ryde on the 24th January 2012.  The program was an astounding success with more than 500 prominent Indians, representatives from over 20 Indian Associations, and star-studded politicians from both the Labor and Liberal parties from State and Federal level attending this event. 

The celebration started with the singing of Indian and Australian anthems, followed by entre which was followed by the first part of the entertainment programme. The guests were welcomed by Harish Velji and the MC was Dr Yadu Singh. Vote of thanks was given by Ms Shubha Kumar.  

At no time in the past 20 years, any function organized by any Indian Association/s had such massive response for such events.  The only limiting factor in getting more numbers to attend the event has been the capacity of the Ryde Civic Centre function hall. 

One of the major aspects contributing to the success of this program was the enormous representation from both the Labor and Liberal parties. ALP took 2 tables and Liberals took 1 table in our function. More than 40 political leaders and party workers from both sides attended the event.  Prominent people from the political leadership included: 

Hon Ms Maxine Mckew [Parliamentary secretary, Fed Gov & representing Prime Minister of Australia], Hon Mr Joe Hockey [Shadow Treasurer, Fed Parliament & representing Hon Tony Abbott, Leader of Opposition in Fed Parliament],Hon Mr David Borger [NSW Minister], Hon Mr Peter Primrose [NSW minister], Hon Ms Barbara Perry [NSW minister & representing NSW Premier], Ms Angela D’amore [Parliamentary secretary, NSW], Hon Mr Laurie Ferguson [Parliamentary secretary, Fed Gov], Mr David Clarke MLC [Shadow Parliamentary secretary & representing Mr Barry O’Farrell, Leader of Opposition, NSW], Mr Phillip Ruddock [Shadow Cabinet secretary, Fed Parliament], Mr Greg Smith [Shadow Attorney General, NSW], Hon Ms Amanda Fazio [President, Upper House of NSW], Hon Ms Tanya Gadiel [Deputy speaker of NSW parliament], Mr Chris Hayes MP, Mr Michael Richardson MP and Mr Shaoquett Moselmane MLC.

Clr Mark Adler ‚Äď Canterbury Council, Clr Tony Hay ‚Äď Hills Shire, Clr Barbara Burton ‚Äď Hills Shire, Clr Vaseekaran Rajdurai ‚Äď Holroyd Council, Clr Bill Whelan, Hawkesbury Council, and Crl Trent Zimmerman, North Sydney Council also attended this function.

Hon Mr Amit Dasgupta, Consul General of India, Sydney and Mr Gautam Roy, Consul from the Indian Consulate, Sydney also graced this function with their presence.

In a highly emotional and charged up speech, Mr David Clarke [representing Mr Barry O‚ÄôFarrell] from the Australian Liberal Party, said that if his child goes to India he is sure the parents in India would treat him as their son and look after him.¬† On a similar manner, he urged that the Australian Moms and Dads to treat the Indian students as their own sons and look after them.¬† He went on and paid tributes to India and its traditions by saying that ‚ÄėIndia practices what it preaches.¬†

Ms Barbara Perry [representing the Premier of NSW] spoke eloquently about the contribution of Indian Australians and declared that violence against Indian/international students will not be tolerated. She said that students are very welcome in NSW. She was dressed in Indian attire which people appreciated with enthusiastic applause. She spoke about the interest of NSW premier and Gov in working actively with the Indian Australians.

Hon Joe Hockey, speaking at the function, said the Liberal party is fully committed to its policy of supplying Uranium to India.  Dr Yadu Singh, while responding to Hon Joe Hockey’s speech encouraged the Labor party to consider similar policy and implement it as early as possible. He explained that the issue of NPT is not relevant in case of India after India has been given an India-specific exemption from NPT by the NSG [Nuclear Suppliers’ Group] in Vienna last year.

Ms Maxine Mckew also spoke very highly of India, Indian Australians and multi-culturalism in Australia. She also explained that India and Australia have a great relations and it will get even better despite some hiccups. She was very impressed with the enthusiastic participation of women Indian Australians in this function. Her speech generated a thunderous applause from the audience. 

All the speakers from both the major parties spoke highly of India, Indian traditions, Indian sports ‚Ästin particular Cricket, and the Indian political landscape, which stood the test of times for more than 62 years since securing independence from the British rule in 1947.¬†All speakers were enthusiastically applauded by the audience. ¬†

The event was also graced by Mr Amit Dasgupta, the Consul General of India.¬† Speaking on the occasion the Consul General touched on two fundamental issues.¬† On the issues related to the Indian students the Consul General paid glowing tributes to the NSW Police force and the political landscape of NSW for containing the student issues in NSW.¬† As a clear indication to vindicate this matter the Consul General said that out of the 1340 attacks on Indian students in 2009, only 13 such attacks occurred in the state of NSW and South Australia ‚Äď the States which fall under the jurisdiction of Mr Amit Dasgupta.¬† He further stated that these statistics do not however condone the vast majority of attacks on Indian students that occurred and still occurring in other States.¬† He urged that the law enforcement agencies and the political parties should work closely in this direction and ensure safety of the Indian overseas students¬†

On a second major issue, the Consul General spoke about exploitation of the Indian students by Indian business ‚Ästin particular the food/restaurant industry whereby the restaurant owners pay less than the wages stipulated under the labor law.¬† He insisted that all business owners must do ethical business.¬† He further went on to say that ‚ÄėI will not attend any function where he is not assured of suppliers to that function follow ethical standards in conducting their businesses‚Äô.¬† The entire hall including all the politicians from both major parties echoed with a big applause.¬†

The overwhelming response to this event is an indication of the ‚Äėchanging times‚Äô¬†and ‚Äėchanging outlook‚Äô¬† to the leadership and responsiveness to the current issues and challenges being faced by various sections of the Indian migrant and student community living in the State of New South Wales. ¬†

Surely the representation of more than 40 students from the International Student community is an indication that they want to hear from the leadership and also from the large number of politicians on their views and actions proposed to be taken to address their issues. The Chief of VETAB [Ms Margaret Willis] and her assistant, Mr Shona Tannock and Mr Robert Redfern, Commander, Parramatta Police command [representing NSW Police Commissioner] were present as our guests. Ms Willis’ and Mr Redfern’s presence was meant to send out the message that quality of training and safety of students are 2 key issues in relations with Indian students.

It is noteworthy that students had paid at a very subsidized rate and all others including the organizers, except a very small numbers of VIP guests, had bought the tickets for their participation in the function.

The representation from more than 20 Indian Associations is a clear indication which shows they are bewildered with the current policies and practices, and financial management of our current top associations and leaders. The one fundamental reason for this large support stems from the fact that they found a new leadership in the AIDFC which can respond to the current issues and make representations at both Australian and Indian Government levels with a solid and united voice.   Some of the major Indian organizations who supported the event included the India Club, The Sydney Sangat, Australian Punjabi Business Association, Australian Indian Business Congress, Punjab For Ever, The Australian Tamil Association Inc (ATA), Hindi Samaj and the Aligarh Muslim University Alumni Association (AMU) in addition to others.  

ACR International Tours and Travels added spice to the event by offering one return air ticket through Singapore Airlines for auction.¬† The auction added nice A$1,000 to the much badly needed money for the ‚Äėbenevolent fund project‚Äô. Mr Navneet Chaugar was the winner of this ticket. For the raffle draw which helped us collect about $750, the Good Guys offered a Plasma 26 inch TV which was won by Councilor Bill Whelan of the Hawkesbury City Council.¬† Congratulations to the winners!¬†

Media-both Indian and Australian, were represented with Indian Link, The Indian, Punjab Times, Hamare Rang [Pakistani] and most importantly, Channel 9 team present in the function. This was the very first time that Channel 9 crew was present in an Indian function.

Many other ethnic community leaders also graced the occasion with their presence.

The Future ‚Äď the AIDFC Benevolent Fund

AIDFC has made a number of public announcements at the function to the community as a part of its commitment for the future.¬† Prominent among them is the creation and implementation of the AIDFC‚Äôs Benevolent Fund.¬† We are committed to get this fund going and make a significant contribution to the well being the Indian migrant and student community, our fellow Australian community and finally to our mother country ‚Äď India.¬† ¬†

Finally we promise you that we will provide you a solid leadership and will representation at various levels.¬† We will have clean governance in all matters of the AIDFC management ‚Ästin particular finance management. We will adopt an ‚Äėopen book‚Äô¬†approach in all these areas.¬† Consideration will be given to broaden the current AIDFC to include more Associations, individual members and businesses.¬† The community will be getting more frequent updates in the coming weeks and months!¬†

Ghungurus Group of Shalini Patel was the provider of the entertainment programme which was of 50 minutes duration and had the mix of Bhangra and Bollywood songs/dances. Every one enjoyed it tremendously.

Catering was done by Billu Group with great food, dessert and wines.

This function was so well attended and so well done that it has become a matter for the discussion among Indian Australians and the political eaders in NSW and Canberra.

This function has now become the talk of the town.
 
 JAI HO! 

Dr Yadu Singh

President

Australia India Day Function Council (AIDFC)

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Email: singhyadu@gmail.com

31st Jan, 2010

My interview on NDTV about Australia

http://www.ndtv.com/news/videos/video_player.php?id=1197889 My interview in NDTV about Australia.

http://www.ndtv.com/news/world/indians_in_australia_speak_out_on_attacks.php

Yadu Singh/Sydney/31st Jan, 2010

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Indian students in Australia and India-Australia relations:My article and views.

http://www.foreignpolicy.in/journals_4.html

Inviting your views and comments.

Yadu Singh/Sydney/29th Jan, 2010

Who is racist-Australia or Indian media?

Look, I agree, the title of this write-up is dramatic and provocative but this is the question which lots of people are asking. A segment of Indian media is calling every crime involving Indians in Australia as racist crime. They don’t even wait for full facts. It is grossly unfair, inappropriate, immature and ,I argue, racist. Everything in Australia is racist and the very same crimes in India are not. Indian media is doing it intentionally with one agenda only. This agenda is to harm Australia’s reputation. They are selectively blind to some crimes but hysterical about certain crimes.

Let me put some examples to illustrate my point of view.

1. Late Nitin Garg’s fatal stabbing: This was the most shocking loss of life in Melbourne. A 21 years old Indian permanent resident was fatally stabbed at 10 PM when he was walking through a park for his work. This was in the Western Suburb of Melbourne which is known for increased crime against people of all types. There was no witness and the park was dimly lit. Full facts have not come out yet. Vic police is investigating. One Indian minister demanded faster speed in the investigation just 2 days after the crime, while ignoring the fact that it took 19 years for the Indian system to deal with SPS Rathore, Ex DGP of Haryana, who had molested a young lady [Ruchika] and  had also harassed her family which led to the suicide of Ruchika. It is a bit rich to hear that statement from this minister. Indian media of course took up the job of branding Australia a racist country. Do they have any evidence to claim that Nitin was murdered due to his race? Do they have any evidence to say who killed Nitin? This is ridiculous and an indicator of the lack of fairness, accountability and responsibility to their profession. Make no mistake, we are all very sad and angry with what has happened. A young man has lost his life in this manner. Our hearts go out to his mother, brother and other family members. We owe it to Nitin that we put sufficient pressure on Vic Police to catch the criminal and prosecute him vigorously.

2. Ku Klux Klan cartoon: This cartoon by a newspaper in India was an outrageous sensationalisation by the Indian media. What evidence they have to claim what they claimed? It is not fair to brand the whole Vic police to be Ku Klux Klan! We are not surprised that Acting PM, Julia Gillard, Acting Premier of Vic, Mr Hull and Vic police reacted angrily and called this cartoon to be offensive. Rather than going on Ku Klux Klan direction, they could have highlighted the failure of Vic police in controlling the crime situation there.

3. Murder of an Indian lady in Westmead, NSW by her husband: It is alleged that Chaman Jot Singh had killed his wife and then ran away to Melbourne from where he was arrested. He is in prison now and awaiting his trial. We did not see much coverage of this murder! Indian media is treating one murder differently from the another. Is this an example of journalism?

4. Murder/burning of Ranjodh Singh in Griffiths: This murder was shocking too. Newspaper reports are claiming that he was a contractor who was employing other Indians. It is alleged that a dispute involving the payment of wages was responsible for the fight and murder/burning. Killers are alleged to be Indians. We did not see much coverage of this in the Indian media. Why?

5. Alleged burning of an Indian in Melbourne: This story is quite unusual and the newspapers are raising doubts on some aspects of this crime. Full facts are yet to be disclosed but police are saying that aspects of the story don’t stack up.

6.  IndianTaxi driver molesting a young lady in Brisbane: A taxi driver was sentenced to 15 months prison term in Brisbane but not much has been reporeted in Indian media. Why?

7. Puneet, an Indian student, drove drunk and killed an 19 years old Gold Coast man last year. He was tried and was convicted. While waiting for the sentencing, he jumped bail and ran away from Australia, using a false passport. He lives in India now. Should he not be arrested there and sent back to an Australian jail? Where is Indian police and Indian media? Why did Indian media not cover this topic? Is it OK for an Indian to kill someone else?

http://www.theage.com.au/world/india-urges-restraint-in-reporting-of-attacks-20100110-m0iz.html

http://www.theage.com.au/national/fire-attack-on-indian-deepens-race-tensions-20100109-m00j.html

http://www.theage.com.au/national/the-mean-streets-where-the-locals-fear-to-tread-20100109-m00l.html

http://www.smh.com.au/national/two-questioned-over-burnt-body-of-indian-worker-in-griffith-20100109-m03q.html

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/breaking-news/taxi-driver-pleads-guilty-to-schoolgirl-assault/story-fn3dxity-1225817388943

http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/indian-tvs-unsound-fury-20100106-lu8y.html

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/01/10/2789026.htm

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/01/09/2788802.htm

 http://www.indianexpress.com/news/indians-in-oz-fear-backlash-over-ku-klux-klan-cartoon/565039/

http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/-/latest/6660657/indian-govt-angry-after-attack-on-man/4/$

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/indians-in-oz-feel-race-angle-being-forcefully-fed-by-media/565571/

http://www.theage.com.au/national/southbank-crash-driver-drunk-and-speeding-20081001-4rcz.html

http://www.theage.com.au/national/killer-driver-fled-australia-on-false-passport-police-20090820-erzp.html

It does not matter to them that most Indian Australians do not believe Australia to be a racist country. Australia’s rules/regulations and laws are not racist. They are not discriminatory to any one on the basis of colour, race, gender or religion. It is a known fact that every country has some racists. Australia and India are no exceptions. Ask North Indians what they feel in Mumbai. Ask North Eastern Indians what they get called in New Delhi. Ask any one what Indians call Africans. Why is Indian media not taking this up? It is a known fact that every country has a crime problem. Australia also has it and India also has it. India in fact may have worse crime problem.  No country is totally crime free. What has Indian media done against crime/criminals in India? Some politicians there have extensive criminal background? Any thing being done by Indian media about that?

By the way, my comments here should not mean that I am happy with the policing by Vic Police. They are definitely not able to have an effective control on the crime situation in Vic. They need to do a review about the ways they do crime control. They should do random and unannounced searches for knives etc without giving the notice of 7 days before such searches. You read it right. They actually do give a 7 days notice about their searches in any particular suburb.Things seems to be better in NSW in this regards. May be, they should talk with their NSW counterparts.

Some “leaders” in Melbourne don’t waste any time to claim every crime being a racist crime. There is one whose comments are outrageous. He does not wait for any evidence.  His understanding of the situation is very deficient. I believe he is  harming Indian Australian community  due to his stupid statements.  His statements are irrational. He seems to have some sorts of connection with some in Indian media. His hypocrisy is objectionable as he has taken Australian citizenship and is bringing his parents to live in Australia. Why is this the case if Australia is nothing but a racist country? He is not even a student. As far as I know, he is not even working in the field of his training these days. He claims to speak for all of us. I want to tell him that we do not agree with his irrational views. We also know that he has hardly any support in Melbourne and Indian Australians in Melbourne dislike him intensely & with passion.

I ask Indian media to become rational and objective in its coverage of the problems in Australia. They should wait for the full facts to come out before jumping to any conclusion. They need to cover all crimes even when Indians are involved in committing those crime. They must stop hysterical and selective reporting. Some students also commit crime and the behaviour of some of them is below standard. They don’t know how to conduct themselves. Indian Gov’s advisory is a right thing but did we really need it? Should it not be a component of common sense and should we not know what to do and what not to do? These students are not children, after all.

The irrational reporting by Indian media is making them a laughing stalk and this is making the situation more difficult for Indian Australians. There is a risk that a backlash may happen against Indian Australians if Indian media continues its hysterical and unfair reporting.

The behaviour of a segment of Indian media begs the question. Is indian media racist towards Australia?

I know where I stand on this matter. I am going to let you make up your own mind. Do let me know what you think!

Yadu Singh/Sydney/10th Jan, 2010

My Interview on “A Current Affairs” of channel 9 Australia.

http://tinyurl.com/ya85bnx  [A Current Affairs Video]

This is the video from “A Current Affairs” programme of Channel 9, which has my interview on the fatal stabbing of a young man in Melbourne.

Yadu Singh/Sydney/5th Jan, 2010

Fatal stabbing of a 21 yrs old young man in Melbourne.Please keep race out of the equation!

As we all know, Nitin Garg, 21 yrs old young man from India was fatally stabbed in Melbourne a few days ago. He was on his way to do night shift at a Hungry Jacks and was walking through a park where he was stabbed. He staggered to his work place, calling for help. He was taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital but could not be saved. Apparently, the knife had caused fatal injury to his vascular system/heart. Apparently, his wallet and other belongings were not touched. So, what happened here and why was he stabbed this ferociously, are the questions which are bothering all of us.

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/please-help-me-im-dying-pleaded-knife-victim-20100104-lq5p.html

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/online-fury-over-stabbing-death-of-indian-man-20100103-lnb9.html

http://www.smh.com.au/national/fatal-decision-to-take-short-cut-through-park-20100104-lq7p.html

http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/student-assaults-teach-some-harsh-lessons-about-racism-20100104-lq1i.html

http://tinyurl.com/yzqsll7

http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/feelgood-sops-from-politicians-are-no-help-in-healing-a-mothers-heartbreak-20100106-lu82.html

http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/indian-tvs-unsound-fury-20100106-lu8y.html

http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/having-streets-filled-with-fear-is-a-frightening-way-to-live-20100106-lu8x.html

This is shocking to us. I am sure, this would be a shocking news to all decent Australians. It did not need to happen. He did not deserve to be killed in cold blood. Why did it happen and who did it, are the questions we all have right now.

His father¬†had passed away about 6 months ago due to Liver cancer and his elder brother, a sister and his mother are naturally devastated. Their loss, agony and distress can’t be described. We have felt this loss of life in our own hearts. I was very sad, angry and had tears when I heard about it. I have a son who is older than him. It could have been any one’s son/brother.

Vic police is doing its investigation and have appealed to people to not jump to any presumption about the motive of the killers. Appeals have been made by the acting Premier of Victoria and acting prime minister of Australia, Ms Julia Gillard, to let Vic police do its job.  It is important that Vic police does a proper investigation, catch the criminals and prosecute them. These criminals need to face the full force of criminal justice system. Every one including Tony Abbott, Fed leader of opposition and Ms Julia Gillard, acting PM have condemned this murder.

Indian media, Indian Gov officials and Indian people in India have expressed their views and reactions about Nitin’s cold-blooded¬†murder. There are all sorts of emotions which have come out. Blogs, online comments, TV coverage and print media have given due importance to this murder. They have mentioned this murder in the context of a long series of assaults of Indian students in Australia.

Some people have called Nitin’s murder as a racism based murder. This is a comment which I have heard from many people and have seen this mentioned in Indian media.

Since full facts are not available about who did it and why they did it, we really should not jump to any premature conclusions. Nitin was alone when he was stabbed. All facts will come out once the police investigation progresses. We must remember that Vic police did a good job in investigating the assault of Dr Mukesh Haikerwal, Ex AMA president and culprits were given very lengthy sentences. This is what should happen here too.

May I urge people to stay away from premature conclusions. Let us all wait for the police investigation to be completed. Please do remember that Australia is a multi-cultural society and a vast majority of people here are tolerant of one another. We do not believe that Australia, as a whole, is a racist society. We, of course, have a small number of people who do have the racist views and such people do come from all colours. Racist people are everywhere and no country is an exception.

May I urge people to treat this killing as a crime matter and not see it from a race angle. It is a fact that Australia, like other countries, does have a crime problem and victims/culprits come from all communities/races. I have a patient who is Anglo-Saxon and he is 6 feet 6 inches tall. He was bashed severely a few months ago in Seven Hills in Sydney. He had to be in the ICU of Blacktown Hospital for several days. His bashers were also white. My point is that criminals have no race or religion of their own. Frail and old people of all races get assaulted by these low lives.

Melbourne seems to be lot more in news than Sydney when we see the issues of assaults of students. Why is this the case is difficult to understand. I do wonder though whether policing in Victoria has some issues. I do wonder whether they should consult with NSW Police about the situation in NSW. We know that NSW police has anti-organised crime squads which is not the case in Victoria. Should this strategy be followed by Vic police is the question for Vic Gov and Vic police to consider. 

¬†Do we need to¬† have a public education campaign on “Australia says no to racism” on the line of the one against domestic violence, an effective crime control by effective knife/weapon control and an effective sentencing as the strategies, are something which must be considered too.

I would like to emphasize again that I do not believe that Indians are specifically targeted. I also believe that we have a crime problem in our cities and people from all races are the victims.

I am praying for the soul of Late Nitin and I am praying for his family members in India. Our hearts should go out to them. We would not even be able to imagine how much distress they are going through.

Yadu Singh/Sydney/5th Jan, 2010

singhyadu@gmail.com

www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

Australia India Day celebration: Sunday, 24th Jan, 2010, Ryde Civic Centre,Ryde, NSW.

Dear friends

Australian India Day Function Council [AIDFC], in a partnership with several Indian Australian associations/Groups, has organised a combined celebration of Australia Day and Indian republic day on Sunday, 24th January, 2010.

Venue: Ryde Civic Centre, 1 Devlin Street, Ryde NSW.

Time: 6-11 PM, Sunday, 24th January, 2010.

As you all know, Australia day and Indian Republic day fall on the very same day.

We have had a great response from Indian Australian community in Sydney and we are thrilled beyond expectation.

In addition to a gala dinner, the celebration will include a vibrant Indian entertainment programme with classical, Bollywood and Bhangra dances. We will keep the speeches to the minimum.

We have invited the top political leaders and Indian Gov officials, and are expecting their presence with us on that day.

Our vision is to make this celebration as a signature & key event of our Indian Australian community in NSW. Some innovative ideas will be outlined during the function. Indian benevolent fund is one such idea.

This function is a real deal and will start a new era in the matters involving our community.

So, come, join us, network and celebrate with us, the great occasion of Australia Day and Indian Republic Day on 24th Jan, 2010.

We have kept the costs per person at $40 and the table of 10 is for $400.

For business/corporate sponsors, we have a special package with advertisement in the souvenir and promotion during the function. Please discuss with us re the business/corporate sponsorships.

We invite you to be a part of this great celebration.

Kind regards

Dr Yadu Singh/27th Dec, 2009

On behalf of the organising committee

Australia India Day Function Council [AIDFC]

singhyadu@gmail.com

www.yadusingh.wordpress.com

www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

PS: Please contact us [Dr Yadu Singh singhyadu@gmail.com, Rahul Jethi Rahul.jethi@boq.com.au, Jitendra Verma jv.platform@gmail.com

Australia should sell Uranium to India:Australian Labor Party [ALP] should drop its objections to sell Uranium to India!

 

I was happy to see that Deputy Prime Minister, Hon Ms Julia Gillard and several federal ministers have visited India recently and now Prime Minister, Hon Kevin Rudd is visiting India in a couple of days.  He has already been to China, USA, Japan, Indonesia and many other countries, and I believe his Indian trip was truly overdue. His previous planned visit to India had to be postponed for various reasons. India is an important country for Australia on multiple fronts. Indian students’ issues aside, both countries enjoy friendly relations with one another.  We, Indians, in Australia, have a keen interest in seeing good relations between these two countries. We know that both Indian and Australian Governments are working seriously to fix the problems involving the Indian students.

Both countries must consider the interests of one another while doing business with one another. There are too many things which bind us together. These are our democracies, rule of law, multi-cultural societies, love of Cricket and memberships of the Commonwealth to name a few.

Australia and Australians are accepted as friends by India and Indians. I do not think the recent problems which our students faced, are going to cause a lasting damage to Australia-India relations.

Indian economy is growing and will keep growing for years to come. India is on a roll. The only thing which holds India down is the fact that it has a problem in regards to its energy supply. It needs more and more energy for all its needs. It is essential not only for India but it is also essential for the health of the world economy.

India has been exploring all sources of energy supply as its local supply is far shorter than what it needs. India has to import petroleum from the Arab countries¬†and is debating about the gas supply from Iran. Iranian Gas is however problematic as it has to transit via Pakistani territory which is a problem in itself. Pakistani Govt authorities will never be able to guarantee a secure transit due to its weakness and the presence of the ‚Äúnon-state actors‚ÄĚ there who are anti-India. In addition, India can not rule out a war between India and Pakistan which will create problems in the transit of the gas.

India is therefore¬†forced¬†to explore the option of atomic energy. It has no choice. Thanks to the leadership of The Prime Minister, Mr Man Mohan¬†Singh and US President, Mr George Bush, India has an India-specific NSG¬†exemption and India has been able to have¬†bilateral nuclear energy deals with USA, Russia,¬†France and some more countries. India needs a similar deal with Australia which will allow the Uranium sale to India. Australia has about 40% of world Uranium and¬†sells it to China. NPT¬†should not be¬†an obstacle for Australia to sell Uranium to India after the NSG’s¬†India specific exemption and with India’s impeccable record in nuclear non-proliferation.

We should remind ourselves about what the former Australian PM, Mr John Howard had said about such sale. He said that it would not be fair to sell Uranium to China and deny that to India. PM Howard was dead right.

It is therefore unfair for the ALP Gov to deny Australian Uranium to India. NPT issue is not relevant in regards to India as India has an impeccable records in these matters. Australian Foreign Minister Mr Stephen Smith’s press conference in New Delhi is worth going through. It is available through DFAT website. India has never been involved in nuclear proliferation unlike Pakistan and China. China is a NPT signatory but its record in these matters is not that great. Every body knows the nexus between China and Pakistan. We should not forget how North Korea got its atomic bombs. Pakistan would not have supplied anything to North Korea without the consent of China. Manuals in Chinese language were found even in Lybia which tried to buy things from disgraced proliferater AQ Khan of Pakistan.

Simply put, it makes no sense for Australian Uranium going to China but not to India. In fact, there is more justification for Uranium sale to India. It is fully justifiable if ALP drops it objection to selling Uranium to a non-NPT signatory country like India because India has a fault-free records in proliferation matters and this fact has been recognised by the world with the India specific NSG waiver. Australia itself supported this exemption actively.

I therefore urge the¬†Australian PM and ALP¬†to give India a ‚Äúfair go‚ÄĚ. This is what is expected¬†from a friendly country. It is not fair to bind Australia with the NPT¬†dogma and not see the whole¬†issue in a realistic way. A friend has to see the problems of the his/her friends properly. Australia is a friend of India. It showed it by supporting the NSG¬†exemption for India in Vienna last year. It shows it by supporting a permanent position¬†for India in UNSC.¬†It is about time that we see it once again by seeing Uranium trade between Australia and India. As we understand, it [ALP]¬†would not have any political fall out from its decision to sell Uranium to India because the Coalition is already in favour of doing so. It should not be a problem to amend Atomic energy Act, giving an India-specific exemption for Australian Uranium sale to India.

I urge my Australian Indian friends to lobby with their local MPs on this matter. We need to pool our energies in persuading the Australian Gov to sell Uranium to India.

I and thousands of my friends in Australia do believe strongly that Australia should sell Uranium to India. We find this refusal to sell Uranium to India to be unfair and illogical. India needs new and cleaner sources of  energy generation and nuclear energy is at the top of its list. Nuclear energy will not only help India but it will help the whole world as it will reduce pollution and carbon emission.

A time has come when Australia sees the issues properly and does the right thing. That right thing is to sell Uranium to India. PM Mr Kevin Rudd has a perfect opportunity to declare Australia’s intentions during his visit to New Delhi in a couple of days.

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/09-11-09 

singhyadu@gmail.com

www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

 

Student Visa Scam in Australia:One more story and one more angle!

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,,26252691-12332,00.html

I am sick and tired of the scams, rorts and fraudulent acts on the name of Student Visa and International education in Australia.

Now, human smuggling has been mentioned.

Please clean it, investigate it and prosecute those who are involved in it.

Yadu Singh/Sydney/24th Oct, 2009

Amitabh Bachchan Ji: we need your assistance!

Amitach Bachchan photographed by Studio Harcou...

Image via Wikipedia

We have a great admiration for Mr Amitabh¬†Bachchan¬†AKA Amit¬†Ji. I have even more admiration for him because “CHHORA¬†GANGA¬†KINARE¬†WALA” is from Allahabad and I am from Banda which is the adjascent¬†district in Uttar¬†Pradesh. He has some¬†relatives in Banda too. I was¬†in class 6¬†or 7 when he visited Banda.¬†I was a kid then but¬†I remember this very well. He visited a school called “Arya Kanya¬†Intermediate College, Banda” whose principal was Mrs Indira Rajan¬†who I believe is his relative. The function was huge and I remember almost whole Banda¬†district [few lakhs]¬†came out to see him. That is how popular he is!

Amit¬†Ji is¬†popular all over the world. He is an icon and we all are genuinely proud of him. We were very happy to know that he was going to be awarded a “Doctorate” by a Queensland University but unfortunately he could not accept it. We understood his reasons. We even agreed with him then. We know he is a great man and his heart beats for our great motherland, India and its people, irrespective of where ever they live.

Indian international students have chosen Australia for their training/education and we have around 97000 students in Australia. They are spread¬†around the country but most are in Melbourne and Sydney. They have several issues and some¬†of them have been assaulted/robbed. Things have quietened¬†down to a large extent but their problems have not disappeared completely.¬†Some of our Indian students have to go through¬† very stressful times which could be due to so many issues.¬†It is often not very easy to find jobs here either. Worst of¬† all this is the fact that some of our own Indians exploit them by under-paying and sometimes, not paying them at all. Some of these rascals then try to project themselves as the “leaders” or “NETA JI”. On top of all this, it is not unusual to find out that the school they were in has gone out of business, leaving them in lurch. They thus end up in a hopeless situation. It is these times when they need all the help they can get.

I should know their predicament as I am a medical practitioner and have been involved in providing such support. Some of the students of a Flying School in Australia are having a horrendous time. I have been with them, sometimes right up to midnight, talking, counselling and keeping them in a positive frame of mind. Their stories are indeed heart-moving. We are working through the system here which, akin to the system in India, some times does not work fast enough.

To be able to help our students in all sorts of situations and to provide¬†the emergency assistance, we need “DHAN” or money. While we can collect some money from ourselves which is what we did when we were requested by the¬†Indian Consulate to help arrange accommodation for the relatives of Mr Rajesh Kumar[Petrol Bomb victim in Sydney], we need lot more money to do these things effectively. That is where we need a generous help from every one in Australia and India. Some of this money, thus generated, could be used for something like “India House” which would not only function as the centre for the social/cultural activities for Indian Australians but also as the place for emergency accommodation for those who are in desperate need for such help.

It does not have to be¬†money only. It could be the help in the form of their presence in a function, encouraging Indians to open their heart and purse. While “purse” is the right approach for our Indian Govt of PM Mr Manmohan¬†Singh which would allow the Indian Consulate to have some money to help the students, the “Heart” would be sufficient¬†for our Icon, Amit Ji.

It would be wonderful and helpful if Amit¬†Ji were to agree to visit Australia, not only to take the “Doctorate” but more importantly, to participate in the Indian community functions in Melbourne and Sydney to help generate money for “Indian students’ Emergency Assistance and Benevolent Fund”.

Knowing Amit Ji for what he stands for, I am quite hopeful that he would respond quickly and positively. 

 Amit Ji, we need your help, counselling and encouragement!

We hope you would not disappoint us!

Dr Yadu Singh

Sydney, Australia

singhyadu@gmail.com