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In Australia, Indian Students Find Themselves Targeted

Posted by: Mehul Srivastava on June 03, 2009

While the media brouhaha continues over the attacks against Indian students in Australia, it is worthwhile to take a step back and ask what exactly is happening – and why.

The Indian argument that Australia is a racist country is just as ridiculous as the suggestion by Australian authorities that Indians invite these attacks by carrying laptops and MP3 players openly. (Don’t Australians own laptops? Other foreigners don’t carry iPods?).

Anthropologists will tell you that at the bottom of all this is a sort of race-based anxiety, both on the part of Australians and the part of Indians. I beg to differ – at the bottom of most things in the world is economics.

Take for instance, Indian-bashing, and not just the violent kind. As the world goes through its worst economic re-ordering, countries are looking inward, closing borders, trying to hold jobs for their own citizens. In the U.S., Indians make up the richest immigrant group, according to the census bureau. In India, the outsourcing industry exists for the exact purpose of taking overseas work and shifting it here. And in Australia, Indian students make up the second largest group of all foreign students, and are amongst the most likely students to stay on with resident visas.

In just the same way that some western European people resent Turks and North Africans for taking low-paying jobs, and some Americans are joining a huge anti-immigration wave because of Mexican and other Hispanic workers, some Australians have singled out Indians for having the personal wealth to afford expensive universities, for taking jobs after graduation that not all Australians can get, and yes, for being foreigners who stand out in a mostly-white country.

Not all of it is just simple racism - it’s anger and resentment tinged by economic envy and by anxiety over their own financial conditions. (The thugs and goons who snatch valuables and smack around people walking alone at night aren’t often college graduates with well-paying jobs.)

It is definitely “anti-foreigner”, but that, sadly, is a common enough sentiment in almost all countries of the world. Indians in the west, particularly, take good jobs – software engineers, doctors, architects, nurses – because economically, they are the most likely to emigrate westwards. And in the Middle East, where lower-skilled Indians take up jobs, nearly 2 million Indian laborers build the skyscrapers and malls of oil-rich Emiratis who simply are not interested in those jobs. Last month, President Barack Obama singled out Bangalore by name, and criticized a U.S. tax code that encouraged companies to create jobs there, rather than in the U.S. He may be a lot of things, but President Obama is not a racist – and nobody dared suggest that.

There is perhaps no economic subject that raises more ire than the ownership of jobs. Every time BusinessWeek writes a story about outsourcing, or about H1B visas, hundreds of commenters flood the site. Most bring up interesting facets of the argument; some, like one regular poster, ponder how Indians can pretend to be a great country when they, he alleges, have the worst personal hygiene.

The argument never changes. As a reporter in Ohio in 2005, I wrote about Bangalore’s outsourcing industry, and a software engineer turned blogger attacked the paper for hiring an Indian to do an American’s job. (Thanks to the Internet, you can read that exchange here, which quickly turned snippy.) Lou Dobbs has ridden the wave of that anger on CNN by being a one-man army against the economic forces that bring foreign workers to American shores (His network did well, propelling his show into the top ten cable news shows for a while, but the number of foreign workers in the US only increased, not the other way around).

Things between India and Australia will eventually cool down. The media will lose interest, the police will crack down, some Indian students will flee home, others will take precautions. But the fact that borders matter less in today’s world, especially when it comes to jobs, will continue to irk people, and I suspect, that when economies go sour, so will people’s moods.

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Reader Comments

R. Lawson

June 3, 2009 02:11 PM

Sure there are some racist people - especially on the extreme right - who dislike Indians just because. We aren't going to make racist people become un-racist, that's just a fact of life.

However, MOST people in this debate see this issue for what it is: entirely about labor rights, erosion of wages, and the exploitation of immigrants.

I don't dislike immigrants and don't blame them for their actions - I would do the same thing if in their shoes.

The problem is that the H-1b program was created to fill a shortage. Instead, companies (and especially Indian offshoring companies) are using it to send jobs to India.

I'm sorry but if anyone believes that our immigration programs should enable the offshoring of jobs, we are going to have to agree to disagree. The IT job market has become a race to the bottom as a result of this and a once promising career is left wanting. This is a direct result of offshoring and "body shopping" of imported labor.

For me, it's 100% about the jobs. I have no animosity or bitterness towards Indians. If you are an Indian and reading this, it isn't about you. It's entirely about the interests of our country and our workers. Period.


June 3, 2009 02:42 PM

Mehul you are Jerk....

Raj Rao

June 3, 2009 02:50 PM

Australia has no choice. Where else can it get an unlimited supply of nuclear engineers, scientists, doctors, software engineets etc, all by running some classified ads in Indian newspapers, and without spending a dime on their education and training. Actually the Indian government should be glad that if its talent stays home.
The author of this article is mistaken if he believes that only the less fortunate emigrate to Middle East. The professional class is also mostly made up of people from the sub-continent. Believe me, I was there.


June 3, 2009 02:58 PM

Your arguments seem logical but one has to ask the question - if India was a European country, would they have invited the same ire in Australia and the US? How much of the anger is due to the inability of the white residents of these countries to reconcile the economic success of Indians with the color of their skin?


June 3, 2009 03:23 PM

A regional head cop of Australia has commented that Indian students are soft targets. He is perfectly right. There are mainly 2 reasons for this; Australian Universities do not provide on-campus jobs to foreign students. While looking for off campus jobs, due to their low comprehensive skills in deciphering the local accents, they are left with dangerous jobs such as late night taxi drivers or gas station attendants in desolate neighborhoods. Secondly somehow they feel that the Australian legal system is biased against non-citizens they are afraid to retaliate attacks fearing deportation.

On the other hand the Australian police also appear to be going soft on the criminals and juveniles attacking foreigners and citizens. There seems to be an unpronounced gag on the Australian press in reporting such attacks, whether on locals or foreigners, in order to make the life easy-going for administration and Government. Short term measures include tough laws on mugging and robbery related assaults. In the long term create career and growth opportunities to Australian youth.


June 3, 2009 03:52 PM

Enough already. These deplorable attacks against Indian students in Australia need to end NOW !


June 3, 2009 03:54 PM

There are "Uncle Toms" in every community. Trust Business Week to get an Indian to write an article denying racism in Australia. Sorry - Business Week comes across as simply a racist apologist for the UGLY AUSTRALIAN. We remain completely unconvinced.


June 3, 2009 04:00 PM

This is not an issue of race, but rather taking care of one's own country before helping those in other countries. If we have 10% of Americans looking for work, why shouldn't they get preferential treatment for the available jobs? If families are struggling to pay for a collage education for their children and students are loaded with student loans, it seems reasonable that we would resent foreign students (many on scholarships; increased demand for education services raises the price for everyone). Why are rebuilding other countries and sending aid to them when we have starving people within our own borders? Why do we have unfair trade agreements that will ultimately make our country worse off, in part by destroying the middle class and exporting the wealth earned through our own industrialization (for example, China imposes tariffs and fixes the value of their currency, the USA cannot do the same). Why would we want a population of illegal immigrants that not only lower the wages of Americans and other legal workers, but also come with huge social costs, including medical, welfare, schooling and crime? Lou Dobbs is hardly a 'one man army'. I think it's safe to say that the majority of Americans are in agreement with him. It is great if we can help others, but in order to do so, we must take care of ourselves first.


June 3, 2009 04:39 PM

so if u dont agree with ur govt policies on immigration is it right to attack students who have mothers, fathers ,brothers&sisters at to ur govt rather beating, robbing these students.BIG SHAAAAAME.


June 3, 2009 04:39 PM

so if u dont agree with ur govt policies on immigration is it right to attack students who have mothers, fathers ,brothers&sisters at to ur govt rather beating, robbing these students.BIG SHAAAAAME.

Pradeeep Rajkumar

June 3, 2009 06:09 PM

I am an International student from POllachi-Coimbatore(Billu Barber and Virasat movie shooting spot)finishing my final year in Melbourne Australia-Melbourne Institute of technology wasted lots of money for 2 years without part time job availability
Australian government is the worst..They cover up all their issues when it comes to international maters.
Australian police and they govt sys are useless. There is no Newton's 3rd law here for crime
There is no concession for train-tram ticket,dental,eyes,general health check up etc including the security.Students are like ATM machine here.
Australia is a confirmed racist couuntry..
Please say NO to Australia..
They fail students for business here..


June 3, 2009 06:43 PM

the problem with your argument is you don't understand the problem itself. This isn't your kingdom/village/skulls(race groups). Capitalism whose benefit we were all enjoying is an evolving system. It brings with it self globalization. The H1B workers are brought both in right and wrong ways. The wrong ways are due to the loop holes in the immigration system which some greedy people exploit and call themselves enterpreuners. A private or listed company will always look for best talent rather than just Americans. 2 reasons it sells it's products/services in other countries too and it has to remain competitive. So to answer your question US should fix it's immigration system so that H1B visa fraud shouldn't happen. I don't know about the illegal immigration it needs a bigger fix unless you mister strategy want to clean my restaurant $8/hr ...


June 3, 2009 07:06 PM

Your article here is completely biased against Indians. I believe many would agree with me. May I remind you that one need not be racist despite being anti-India."he alleges, have the worst personal hygiene". He may have alleged but you Mr. Srivatsava publicized it understandably for selling your article although at what cost.
You insenuating that the attacks in Australia are not racially motivated is totally absurd. You mentioned in your article that Indians are the richest immigrants in the US and they take jobs like doctors, engineers or columnists like your self. But you failed to note that they struggle hard for years to be successful. So, please don't instigate hatred towards Indian community living abroad. They are just normal people going about their lives.
So stop giving the Australian authorities a free ride and push them to take action agianst the perpetrators and protect everyone residing in that Country without discriminating them. Do us a favor and not write such articles anymore.


June 3, 2009 07:06 PM

well said Bob. if they dont agree to their governments policies they should be fighting against the system rather than cowardly attacking the students. they dont realise how much money they earn by milking these international students. and trust Business week to get an indian to write that they arent racist people. This is the most racist country i have ever heard of. Students should rather consider asking for their money back and moving to safer havens like new zealand and ireland.


June 3, 2009 07:50 PM

I think it is really a shameful for all Australians, if they are not able to education themselves in their own country and get those high paying jobs available for them in their own country. All Immigrants come to their country in search for better life and prosperity for themselves as well as their families.
They work hard and prove themselves to get those better life opportunities. They don’t get any kind of preferential treatments from federal or state governments or social subsidies if they lose jobs. It is completely unfair to raise voice against immigration if you can’t perform well or do enough hard work when you are in school.


June 3, 2009 09:51 PM

Australians are insecure and scared. They have seen Indians dominating the world's cricket affairs (BCCI can now steamroll ICC into submission). This is a long way from the time when Bradman enroute to London wouldn't get off the ship in Mumbai (then Bombay) because then India was a land of colored people and also a British Colony. Australians have always been racist.

It is interesting to see how NZ is distancing itself from and has made official statements saying 'they are different'. Isn't that enough indication that all the good people went to NZ while the convicts, thieves and criminals stayed back in Australia. Australians must remember their roots.

And finally whenever I mention Australians, I mean the European / British Australians (not the Aborgines / Natives).


June 3, 2009 09:57 PM

If US citizens have the education and skills, then they will get the jobs that H1B visa holders take. Sponsoring a H1B visa holder is too much hassle and cost to not hire an American. The US needs a large number of non-US citizens to teach in our universities (lack of US PhD graduates), nursing (too few US nurses graduating), engineering jobs (too few engineering graduates), and software programming (too few US programmers). As a country, we are responsible for not educating enough professionals for our needs. We reward athletic ability with praise from little league to MLB and all other sports. When do you see an academically skilled student honored? Where is the economic incentive for our best students to spend the extra 5-7 years earning a PhD? Unless we create a social and an economic system that encourages and rewards our best students, we will increase our reliance on non-US citizens to fill our skilled, professional jobs.

There are negative economic issues with outsourcing jobs to low cost countries – China, India, Philippines, etc. Our loss of jobs does not lay totally at the door of our companies or our government policies. As consumers we demand that all of the products that we buy are the best product or service at the lowest price. As consumers, we have “voted” to outsource jobs with our spending. We have made this purchasing decision without regard for what country’s labor makes the product or provides the service. Until we are willing to pay a price of a product or service that can be provided profitable by US labor, outsourcing will not end. This is our choice, not some company or government department.


June 3, 2009 10:49 PM

Enough already. These deplorable attacks against ALL Americans Workers in America BY cheap cheap H-1B Indians need to end NOW!

Discrimination Is Occurring On A Massive Scale

June 3, 2009 10:57 PM

Discrimination Is Occurring On A Massive Scale Against Qualified American Citizens in America.

The Middle Class Has Been Destroyed.

Families Have Been Torn Apart.

The EEOC, the OFCCP, the DOJ-OSC Have Done Next To Nothing To Protect US Citizens Whose National Origin Is USA.

Immigration Law Firms Are Harming American Workers.

The H-1B Visa guest worker program has “RESERVED” millions of high-value jobs for citizens of foreign countries.

"Fake Job Ads” consistently and routinely DENY, DEPRIVE, EXCLUDE and DISCRIMINATE against United States Citizens during the hiring process.

Here is Cohen & Grigsby, a prominent immigration law firm, displaying their Good Faith Efforts To Recruit American Workers...

When companies have job opening, they "place an order" with job descriptions to third party recruiters like ManPower, Volt, Adecco, Robert Half, etc.

The job descriptions are not advertised publicly so that qualified US Citizens can apply.

This is a violation of EEO, the law of the land and the Civil Rights Act of 1967's "Unlawful Employment Practices'.

The available talent pool in the US workforce is being COMPLETELY BYPASSED
(and not just under-utilized).

Only mom & pop recruiting firms willing to $ub$cribe to the large third party firms services can see the job descriptions and then submit resumes from H-1bs…
Resume Blaster Streams $ubScribe to their service… also a violation of EEO… segregating resumes by National Origin…
and it is all automated using information technology.

Out in the field, we are not seeing the job descriptions and the most meritorious candidates are not receiving any job offers.

US Citizens and Green Card Holders never know the job openings even existed.

This is exclusion / discrimination.

john ng

June 3, 2009 11:01 PM

In my opinion a lot of the aggression stems from aspects of the indian culture. Indians commonly do not have polite etiquettes of western cultures. example of the indian irritating telemarketer. If you combine this with the massive influx of indians taking our jobs as well. Then noteably pple get pissed off.
People always act all politically correct, and pretend to be all "i'm pro anti-discrimmination"
Well ask yourself this question "would you marry and indian?" or do you find them less attractive? There's a bit of racism in everyone.


June 3, 2009 11:15 PM

Remember Pauline Hanson? There are still a lot of white racists in Australia that want to keep the country white today. These people not only want to keep out non-white immigration, they also want to keep out non-white investments.

James Mason

June 3, 2009 11:29 PM

Sol Trujillo, former CEO of Telstra, Australia’s largest telecommunications company (and who has had articles published in Businessweek), recently resigned and went back to the US with a payout of A$30 million. When leaving he described Australia as racist and backward looking. He said coming to Australia from the US was like stepping backwards in time. If he felt that, how can you say the Indian students are exaggerating? For his trouble, Sol was vilified in the Australian press. And what was Prime Minister Rudd’s comment on Sol’s departure? “Adios!”

Truth hurts

June 4, 2009 12:13 AM

Why only Indians? Saying that "it's because Indians are the most successful" is the easy way to make yourselves feel better. There are many other successful immigrant groups as well. Could it be because India is so poverty stricken, dysfuctional and overpopulated that its citizens simply get no respect anywhere? Perhaps it's time India's "best and brightest" think about staying/going home to make their country stronger so that they can be better respected elsewhere instead of being treated like beggars and job stealers everywhere.

Kathy Au Lait

June 4, 2009 12:25 AM

Obviously, violence against anyone is deplorable.
I don't agree that Australia's situation is similar to the US with H1B highly skilled visas. From my experience, the majority of Indian (& Bangladeshi, Nepalese, Pakistani) students studying in Australia are doing it simply as a rort to gain easy Permanent Residency.
They mainly "study" courses such as commercial cookery, accounting etc which give them requisitr points for immigration and have no intention of following these careers once PR is granted.
They also study as disreputable colleges set up in majopt city office blocks etc, exploiting this racket.
One cannot blame the students for this loophole however. Nor does it excuse the racist attacks.
The Australian Govt. is really to blame for the short-sighted $$ policy of essentially selling Australian PR through dodgy courses.


June 4, 2009 12:59 AM

"Truth Hurts":
Seriously? Is that the only "truth" you could come up with. Real truth is "Equal opportunities for ALL" which should be based on job requirements, and not on race, religion, origin etc. Dont change these basic rules of life, just so life becomes easier for you, and yea stop with the lies.."biased truth is no truth" WHats applicable to you is applicable to rest of humanity.

Common Sense

June 4, 2009 01:03 AM

Why must India invade ALL productive lands instead of developing its own country? There must be something (other than their fraud culture) that suckers the businesses of other lands in. Could it be the cheapness factor? Where are the studies that indicate that when cheap labor is imported, the country that imported them did so at the expense of its own citizens and then bailed out the businesses because the Indians' cheap labor model wasn't analyzed for the fraud the Indians include as part of their model? Oh yeah, those studies were posted then suppressed because the pro-India lobby had the muscle to have those studies removed from the Internet!

Common Sense

June 4, 2009 01:13 AM

Vikram - you are a racist that has not yet evolved to where the rest of the globe has. This is not about Indians being brown. This is about every country resenting the India model which is cheap is best and fraud is even better. Indian cannot continue to double and treble bill the citizens of all civilized nations using the rationale that India produces superior intellect and no other nation does. Indians are racists plain and simple. Your people need to learn how to play fair in this global economy else feel the wrath as all other nations call your country out for what it is. For example, here in the U.S., we pride ourselves on diversity. But upon investigation of Indian-owned businesses and MNCs, it has been discovered that you only employ Indians. In the U.S., this pattern amounts to discrimination against ALL AMERICANS OF ALL ETHNICITIES. Fix it by hiring AMERICANS or get out. It is illegal to discriminate and this is a lesson that Indians have not yet learned!


June 4, 2009 02:43 AM

Common Sense above is lacking it. He hasn't stayed on topic, spewing vitriol against Indians that reveal he is in fact, a seething racist.
"Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?" Matthew 7:3....Now that's common sense.


June 4, 2009 03:51 AM

Why is there the assumption that the violence in Australia is uniquely perpetrated by "white" Australians - actually not true, but I won't go down that path.

Actually given the massive immigration driven population shift in Australia, New Zealand, United States etc over recent years I think the case can easily be made that Europeans have been extremely welcoming and tolerant.

Ponder this, the annual influx of Indians and other Asian groups into Australia would be the equivalent of dropping 5 million "white" people into India each year. I wonder how welcoming Indians would be to that!
But then the ongoing violence in India toward people of their own race (but seperate caste or religion) probably provides a ready answer.


June 4, 2009 04:03 AM

Wal-mart has been banned in India. India puts 150%tariffs on u.s auto products there. There are LAWS on the books in india making it illegal to hire Australians or Americans there. What goes around comes around india.


June 4, 2009 04:14 AM

@ Pradeeep Rajkumar

If it's the worst place on earth to be as a student, why are you still here? LOL Hilarious. I'm 100% sure there's no waiting list of Australian students looking to get a subsidized education in your unpronounceable home country. The old red neck Australian saying goes, if you don't like the place, leave!

Most Australians would probably have considered Indians to be harmless and passive until a few years ago when the nations phone lines were invaded with thousands of Indian call center workers incessantly calling in a form of commercial telephone harassment! Like having a listed phone number is an open invitation to have Indians call you 3 times a day, every day.


June 4, 2009 05:06 AM

2Bob and Bobo - give us the data. What is the EXACT annual "influx" of Indians and Asian groups into Australia? How is it equivalent to dropping 5 million "white" people into India each year? NAME those laws that make it illegal to hire and Australian or Americans in India? Where is the INDEPENDENT reference to 150% tariffs on U.S auto parts in India? These keyboard racists easily spread their brain pollution but it’s just too hard for them to bring the facts. Poor sods.


June 4, 2009 05:29 AM

John Ng- The same question can be applied to Vietnamese and East Asian men- how many white women would want to marry them? Why are there no East Asian male models in the West hmmm? As far as beauty is concerned, India holds the highest number of Miss World winners only to be tied with Venezuela.An Indian is also whom Julia Roberts stated as the 'Most Beautiful Woman In the World', Miss World 1994 winner, Aishwarya Rai,who was also voted the most beautiful Miss World ever, in 2000. Bollywood has their share of TALL, dark and handsome leading men as well who can hold their own in any movie. Don't get jealous.

Why hate

June 4, 2009 08:53 AM

I feel for the Indian community, they are being targeted by SOME people based soley on race. However it has become apparent to me that in all of this bickering it is the Australian citizens making less racial comments, and it is the Indian people who are making a large deal out of the situation.

I have read indians calling australians dumb monkeys, convicts, thieves, racists. it is truly a racist thing to give any such slur tp a human. i want you to all ask yourselves, why do you hate a human? why hate?

The majority of australians respect customs, and Australia has been changing herself for decades to suit other cultures, and this is wrong, we shouldnt change our customs, but our racial view YES..

this will shock alot of people but i will have to say that nearly 10% of Australians ARE intentionally or subliminally racist.. considering federation was not that long ago i think we have come along way and we MUST commemorate ourselves on being the quickest nation EVER to reduce its racism so early in being a nation

respect our land, and stay, if you dont, then stay, but its rude to do so. but your always welcome here as its a welcome refuge for all.. and before you keep complaining, think about the millions upon millions with worser problems that a few biffs and taunts.


June 4, 2009 09:10 AM


You have done the same mistake of mixing 2 totally different issues like lot of other people and it simply reflects your lack of understanding of the issue on all fronts. Racism exists and will exist in the west in one form and in the east in another form. If it affects people in a strong way, then i would suggest them not to burn effigies of leaders of other countries but choose not to enter that country.

Please DO NOT mix racism with dissent amongst people in the western world due to the financial mess. Racism existed even in "good times" and financially troubled times gives these bigots another opportunity to raise their voice Camouflaged with unemployment issues.

Its best to address these 2 issues separately.

Indians to some extent feel inferior as well and they try to analyze everything in that context. Some white guy is rude to me does not mean he is a racist, he might just be having a bad day.

Westerners have every right to protect their jobs, why shouldn't they! But they do tend to be a bit short-sighted when they think their economy would improve by limiting immigration. But then that's their problem and we should just let them deal with it.

Some Indians by all means are racist and so are some Australians.

India is not racist and so is not Australia!


June 4, 2009 09:10 AM

Here is the irony...those Indians who head for foriegn shores(for study or work) are the ones who actually dont believe in racism(caste system) that is rampant in India.And the goons who are now protesting in India are the ones who elect MPs to Indian parliment based on caste/religion. So basically NRIs (non resident indians) are stuck between rock and a hard place.

PS:Racism is prevelant in almost all countries in one form or the other. Just because racism is prevalant in India does not mean Indians have to be racially abused in Australia or anywhere else and vice versa!!

Fed Up

June 4, 2009 09:20 AM

94,000 Indians in Australia is proportionate to 5.7 million Australians in India.

Would 5.7 million Australians (mostly white Christians) in India face attacks by Hindu mobs? Would Indian police watch and do nothing as nuns were raped and paraded around by Hindu mobs? Where is the "furor" in India over attacks on Christian minorities?

Is this what western nations can expect if we allow Hindu population to continue growing in our countries? Should western nations learn from native Americans about the dangers of uncontrolled mass immigration?

Why doesn't India confer "birthright citizenship" upon the India born children of foreigners? Perhaps a few million Chinese, Filipinos, Indonesians, Africans, Arabs, etc would bring the wonders of "globalization" to India? Is it because India is racist?

Indians whine about "protectionism". Yet, does India practice what it preaches?

India Sends the Foreign Pilots Back Home

Jobs-for-locals demands Shiv Sena

"India's restrictive commercial laws prohibit most foreign companies from setting up shop to compete with domestic retailers. So Wal-Mart's debut outlet, which will open in the city of Amritsar in northern India later this month, is a wholesale-only operation that will sell mainly to vegetable vendors, hospitals, hotels, restaurants and other companies. The Amritsar outlet won't even carry the familiar Wal-Mart brand. To deflect the attention of politicians and activists who oppose the entry of foreign multi-brand retailers, the Bentonville, Ark., company has named its Indian outlets BestPrice Modern Wholesale.",8599,1898823,00.html

Why such HYPOCRISY from Indians?

Many Indians insist that H1B/L1/Outsourcing MUST benefit Americans because many so called "US Corps", in synergy with NASSCOM/TiE/USINPAC/IMMIGRATION VOICE/ETC, lobby on their behalf. This is proof they say that H1B/L1/Outsourcing benefits "US Corps" and hence Americans.

Abrogating child labor, safety, environmental, etc standards would also benefit many "US Corps"--does that mean its in the interests of the American people?

India DEMANDS the right to undercut US wages, and the livelihoods of Americans, via outsourcing.

Tata Consultancy Services Vice President Vice President Phiroz Vandrevala explains;

"Our wage per employee is 20-25 per cent less than US wages for a similar employee...Typically, for a TCS employee with five years experience, the annual cost to the company is 60,000-70,000, while a local American employee might cost $80,000-100,000. This (labour arbitrage) is a fact of doing work onsite. It's a fact that Indian IT companies have an advantage here and there's nothing wrong in that. The issue is that of getting workers in the US on wages far lower than the local wage rate."

Are the American people better off with Indian outsourcers undercutting US wages or allowing market forces to "persuade" US employers to offer training (or retraining) programs like they did BEFORE the H1B/L1 scam? Are Americans better off allowing market forces to attract Americans to STEM programs once H1B/L1 is curtailed? Isn't H1B/L1 simply rigging the supply side of US labor markets to the detriment of Americans?

Foreign Workers Replacing Charlotte Bank Employees

As my favorite financial analyst shows in the series of charts below, the US is not even at the beginning of the wave of mortgage foreclosures.

Coupled with accelerating job losses, it's clear to see the worst is yet to come. Imagine the political climate by election time next year.

Americans cannot continue living off debt and equity. We need jobs and productive capacity. That means jobs for Americans, not Indians. The US government cannot continue borrowing 50 cents of every dollar spent as it plans to do next year.

As the US (and global) economy continues to worsen, the American people will continue losing faith in established institutions, including media...and...


Simply put; Americans must RISE UP, as in generations past, and TAKE BACK our country from ALL usurpers--foreign and domestic!

The Revolution: A Manifesto


June 4, 2009 09:56 AM

Some of the comments about Australia being racist because Indians are being mugged is ludicrous. If Europeans were mugged in India, would India be a racist country? No, it would be looked upon as a crime of opportunity and not as a chance to denigrate a whole country.

Nasty Nate

June 4, 2009 10:51 AM

insted of being humble, this author is suggesting that Indians are being attacked because they're so successful and everybody is jelous of them. it is this arrogance and hyprocracy that make people root against some you. within india itself there's much more racism and discrimination towards poorer and darker skin Indians.


June 4, 2009 01:32 PM


You are adding fuel to the fire unnecessarily. Not only a lot of your facts are completely wrong and fabricated, your entire article is an irresponsible columnists work.

This is the third time in a month I have read an article written by Businessweek that promotes hatred.

Good Bye Businessweek. You will not see me here again.

(Most articles that you write about are available on Yahoo News anyway.)

samy vellu

June 4, 2009 01:37 PM

Australia would be such a loss when Indians decide to go home! Where else can you get talented and intelligent people?


June 4, 2009 01:37 PM

Europeans are not Australians.

Europeans are not like Australians.

The European Manner code is not at all like Australians.

The European lifestyle is not at all like Australians.

The only other part of the world which can be compared with Australia is Texas & Louisiana. They have similar cultures, lifestyles, manners, eating habits, governments, churches, etc.

niranjan swamy, Mysore

June 4, 2009 02:14 PM

Dear friends please say no to australia.....we always welcomed the foreigners as our guest now they started showing the recist why? guys just say no..........

East Asian

June 4, 2009 04:04 PM

[__Australia would be such a loss when Indians decide to go home! Where else can you get talented and intelligent people?__]

LOL! who said Indians are inelligent ? 1.2 billion Indians, 4 science Nobel prize winners, 20 million Australians==>21 Nobel prize winners!!

East Asian

June 4, 2009 04:09 PM

Indians, please stay in your own country. The rest of the world don't need you. STOP globaliztion!!


June 4, 2009 04:47 PM

Today's Indians have to share the same racism that Gandhi were facing in the British commonwealth world.When will India wake up looking East and investing in Asia where it belongs?


June 4, 2009 04:48 PM

The people who did the crimes are racist, but that doesn't mean the whole country is. Let's be honest, it's easier to prey upon people who look different than you than to prey upon people who are family. In America, hispanic gangs have been robbing Somali businesses, blacks rob whites, whites murder blacks, and it goes on and on. America isn't about to adopt apartheid and neither is Australia. England learned her lesson in 1940. OTOH immigrants often present soft targets. Hispanics don't trust banks and keep their money in mattresses. Criminals know this and that's why immigrants are targeted for home invasions.

East Sian

June 4, 2009 04:56 PM

IQ estimate ranking by country:

In short, IQ rank is (high to low):

1) East Asian(Chinese, Japanese, Korean)
2) North & West European
3) South east Asian
4) Indian, Middle eastern
5) African

Truth hurts

June 4, 2009 04:59 PM

Mani: "Real truth is "Equal opportunities for ALL" which should be based on job requirements, and not on race, religion, origin etc."

That's right. So why don't you people practice what you preach. Why do Indian companies like TCS, Wipro, Infosys hire practically 100% Indians on H1-B or L1 in all their US offices? Where's the equal opportunity there?

As for the truth I spoke about, the fact that Indians are getting attacked(which I don't condone whatsoever) and looked down upon the world over not because they are "successful"(please, there are tons of poor Indians manning gas stations by where I live), but because India is so messed up and pissed poor that people give Indians everywhere no respect. Your angry response proved my point exactly. Truth does hurt.

I also find it ironic that Indians in Australia are complaining about being discriminated against because of the color of their skin, yet these are probably the same people who discriminated against other Indians of even darker skin, or caste, subcaste, religion, subreligion, region, subregion, etc. back in India. I guess they don't like it when they are on the receiving end.

Maybe Australians and Indians are the 2 most racist people on earth, that's why hell catches fire when they mix. In which case, they are made for each other.


June 4, 2009 06:07 PM

Indians, amke your country a better place, and stay in your OWN country. This is the only way to prove yourselves.


June 4, 2009 08:30 PM

These are very minor incidents, why does BW make it sound like Australia has had its own version of the Gujarat Massacre? Fact is this kind of bigotry happen everyday in every Indian states, cities and towns. They do this to one another all the time in caste violence, religious violence, ethnic violence, communal violence, or just simply violence. The Australian youths involved in this probably just watched Slumdog Millionaire and do what they do.


June 4, 2009 09:31 PM

I suggest Mehul Srivastava to live in Austrlia and then have the guts to write this. I understand the level you are thinking and writing about. But at this moment the violencce to Indian should stop. Period. The Indians have all the right to stay safely in Australia. And by the way to all you racist Australians these Indian student pays $30000.00 directly into the australian economy in terms of mostly fees and living expenses. These are not your illegal island immigrants you are used to. So I think Indians all over the world should protest and jack Australia.

Hello Kitty

June 4, 2009 10:13 PM

Indians are hypocrites. They are probably the most racist people on this planet. Wonder why they have a caste system? Because they're racists. Can you imagine where other races will fall on the caste system? This is only Karma. The great Indian leader Gandhi complain to apartheid South Africa. Not because he thought their country was racist but because Indians were put on the same level as blacks. SO he fought to get Indians recategorized as not black not fight against apartheid.

TOPCODER 2008 Championship

June 4, 2009 11:30 PM

1 Russian Federation
2 China
3 Poland
4 United States
5 Canada
6 Ukraine
7 Slovakia
8 Germany
9 Croatia
10 Netherlands
11 Sweden
12 Belarus
13 Romania
14 Korea, Republic of
15 Vietnam


June 4, 2009 11:31 PM

If young aussies are beating up Indians for drug money then I have the PERFECT solution! We'll buy EVERY young aussie some drugs! To ALL Indians - let's start a collection and buy drugs for aussie kids! Maybe if these animals are narcotized they'll stop killing our children.

Amerikan Werker

June 5, 2009 02:08 AM

Indians and Pakis come to usa and develop their own Mafias. Once one of these guys get to be manager, forget it, they will likely never hire an American again. If one is there, he will likely become marginalized over time. Women in the workplace are often treated poorly. There are a lot of very good american engineers and a lot of Indian/ Paki Resumes which are cleverly written. Many employers will see an American in a pile of resumes and it will then never see the light of day.
Culturally: They are very good at schmoozing their American Bosses, Taking credit/ picking the brains of or attempting to crawl over the head of their peers, and mashing anyone below them.

We are being destroyed in our own country by people who are here to get a job. American Businesses have no loyalty to the people of USA.

I say we have to start boycotting companies till they and the government hear us loudly. It is stupid to attack the foreigners, you have to go after the companies and Politicians till they understand.

If it was a few people here and there taking jobs, OK it happens, but entire engineering sections are being taken over and this should be an alarm bell. Something is not right, and we need to stop this right here and now.

WHat do you think the Indians would do if a bunch of Westerners came there and took over all of their jobs???

Yes the Indians and Pakis would waste no time in dealing with that situation.


June 6, 2009 04:32 AM

The writer is clueless - Australians have no issue with white immigrants from England or S. Africa. However they are not as generous in their mindset toward Asians. Aus is at least 30 years behind the United States in its acceptance of Asians. Maybe the writer should visit Melbourne and ride the trams late at night and face the racial abuse - instead of making excuses for the Aussies.


June 6, 2009 08:17 AM

Whether you like Indians or not, one thing is sure - Indians have made people raise their competency levels around the world. You can't be a jerk & expect to have a high paying job, because their is an intelligent Indian who can do that job. Today good companies do not look at your origins before hiring you. It does not matter to them whether you are an Indian, an Aussie or American - you get hired if you are good and you get good salary if you perform right.

The attacks on Indians are by people who have failed to raise their skill levels and compete in a global workforce. They are just taking out their frustration.

I am happily working as an engineer in mideast. The less fortunate ones are those who go to racist countries like Australia to get beaten up. Australia has been known as a racist country much before the recent attacks on Indians. They lag Americans when it comes to equal rights.


June 6, 2009 05:24 PM

Why Indian business people keep invest in the West and at the same time facing discrimination.Your nation is in Asia,why your hearts and souls are in U.K and Australia.I would not feed dogs that bite hands.It is time for India to consider its status in British Common Wealth.


June 6, 2009 09:46 PM

To the person called :"Discrimination Is Occurring On A Massive Scale".This is the Australian social issue and has nothing to do with Americans.But I do agree with you.However,you do have the problem with the so called democratic governments (which Americans democratically elected not once but twice)not with Indians.The guns you have to aim at your own governments.Americans have to free themselves (If you really love freedom) from Banksters,bankster financed institutions,bankster run corporations, bankster backed politicians, bankster owned media...

India Crowned the most Corrupted Country

June 6, 2009 11:58 PM

India has always been known as a highly corrupt country (As an Indian, I hate it, but thats the fact). Two government offices, legal and Police, are the most corrupt among the lot. This is one problem that India needs to take drastic steps to resolve. Here is the Reuters video where Chandrashekhar Krishnan, Executive Director of Transparency International speaks about the latest Bribe Payers Index findings The results draw from the responses of more than 11,000 business people in 125 countries polled in the World Economic Forums Executive Opinion Survey. A score of 10 indicates a perception of no corruption, while zero means corruption is seen as rampant. Leading the ranking is Switzerland, but even its score of 7.8 is far from perfect.

Frankly Speaking!

June 7, 2009 12:02 AM

Reading the posts here it makes me believe more than ever that Indians are a sneaky group. Mostly they allow us to make all sorts of dumb assumptions about them and they use this to their advantage. Of course, our media plays a key role in this. Most people working in the media have never really worked with Indians, including Tom Friedman or David Brooks at the NYTimes. And by work I mean worked with a group of Indians that are not subordinate. The media constantly warns us to ignore the complaints of tech workers even though we actually have experience working with Indians and going to school with Chinese. The media allows Indians to get away with the most bizarre and obviously bs argument. In particular, they keep saying that if H1b were ended the jobs would just go directly to India. Well, why would Indians be so obsessed with the H1b if that was the case? Why would they care? It reminds me of when you're a kid and they tell you don't get in the car of a stranger, no matter what they say. Indians are the creepy guy in the car with his hands in his pants and Tom Friedman says get in and don't worry. No wonder NY Times lost 10% of its readers in the last six months.


June 7, 2009 02:44 AM

Australian media said that indian students are poor and unwise compared to Chinese students. Most Chinese student live in rich area and do not work very late in such shop as 24 hour shops but indian students have to work very late and walk back to home at night. Most Chinese students drive cars but indian students can not affort to buy a car or by taxi. Therefore, Chinese students do not attract a lot of abuse at night. Most australian think so.

Any Logic?

June 7, 2009 11:17 AM

I see so much hate and ignorance here:

1. Why blame Indians when your own greedy corporations are hiring them?

2. Why assume all Indians are the same, a "stereotypical image" are all other Americans the same in their thinking and behavior?

3. If attacks on "Indians" are being justified then remember that attack on "foreigners in India can also be justified, then would that be fair?

4. Why blame Indians when Mexicans the largest immigrant group coming to America illegally?

Any Logic?

June 7, 2009 11:17 AM

I see so much hate and ignorance here:

1. Why blame Indians when your own greedy corporations are hiring them?

2. Why assume all Indians are the same, a "stereotypical image" are all other Americans the same in their thinking and behavior?

3. If attacks on "Indians" are being justified then remember that attack on "foreigners in India can also be justified, then would that be fair?

4. Why blame Indians when Mexicans the largest immigrant group coming to America illegally?


June 12, 2009 06:37 PM

While the root causes for violence against Indian students can be explained, it can never be justified. If Indian students are being targeted as a group, it is racism, plain and simple.

I agree with one poster's statement that Mehul Srivastava comes accross as an apologist for the misguided and ugly phenomenon of racism that is manifesting itself openly in Australia (although I won't so far as to call him an "Unle Tom"). Mr. Srivastava says "Indians in the west, particularly, take good jobs – software engineers, doctors, architects, nurses ". Sorry, but we don't "take" jobs, we earn them through our hard work in school and diligence.

There is also a lot of misinformation concerning the H1B program. Job seekers under the H1B program don't depress wages because the employer is required to pay prevailing wages under the law. America, in fact, benefits greatly from getting the best and brightest talent the world has to offer.

Even in the current hard economic times, there is huge demand for jobs under H1B. Steve Ballmer of Microsoft made the point that if the government hardens policies for American companies to recruit foreign talent, they will be forced to move more development activities overseas to places like Bangalore. We are not talking call centers here, but development work that requires highly skilled talent.

Besides, the Internet has no borders. If a company cannot find talent within its own country's borders, it will seek it elsewhere.


June 13, 2009 11:04 AM

Lou Dobbs is not Racist he is the only that reports the truth and fights for the American Middle Class. How come Indians always have to twist the truth in their favor? Equally disturbing is the unwillingness of Indian IT outsourcing companies to give U.S. citizens a chance to compete for jobs on U.S. soil. This massive open discrimination, practiced by WIPRO, TATA, and Satyam where fully 90% of their U.S. based workforce are Indian citizens. These same companies are now complaining that their current growth, is affected by U.S. immigration policies, can this be possible at a time when IBM, Microsoft, Oracle... and many others are laying off skilled hi-tech workers? How can their growth within the United States be affected when there are hundreds of thousands of unemployed hi-tech workers? It could only be the case, if these companies never intend to hire U.S. workers for U.S. jobs. It's about time that these Indian companies gave up their old-world discrimination, and started to hire fairly, without bigotry, in the U.S. labor marker. No indeed these companies are using the H-1b and L-1 visa to remove millions of U.S. jobs, at all levels, to India.

Ram Murthy

June 15, 2009 09:52 AM

Who killed Graham Staines, why was he killed - So, why blame the aussies?

Raman Nair

June 15, 2009 09:54 AM


We are NAIRS from kerala, we are warriors. If you can fight , please fight -lets see who wins. You just can't beat us.


June 15, 2009 12:25 PM

I totally agree the fact that the above person has quoted. WHy is it that Indians are always blamed for everything?
I disagree with the author when he says "Indians can pretend to be a great country when they, he alleges, have the worst personal hygiene. "
First of all, when it comes to personal hygiene let me tell you its a personal preference and let it be an indian or American or anyother citizen, personal hygiene is something personal you cannot relate that to a country. So I belive the author is STupid. And the second point is India being great, Every country is great in its own way. Do you expect a citizen to say that my country sucks, I dont think so. SO its not about india remember. If you are patriot enough you would praise your country rather than be mean to it (exceptions are if your country is evil and killing other people) and I dont think India is such a country, everybody knows it.

When it comes to taking up jobs in other countries the indian people do go through different phases like going to VIsa embasy and immigration checkpoints at airport, so its not like indians cross the us border like illegal immigrant. These are just some examples not to blame Indians


June 21, 2009 04:16 AM

What about the "untouchable" peoples treatment in India. Heres a little brief. They are treated really harshly. So dont think indian peole dont judge, and discriminate. They are treated way worse than an indian student in Australia:

From Wikapedia:

Social status of Dalits
See also: Persecution of Dalits and Caste-related violence in India
In the context of traditional Hindu society, Dalit status has often been historically associated with occupations regarded as ritually impure, such as any occupation involving butchering, removal of dead animals, removal of night soil (human feces) and leatherwork. One million Dalits work as manual scavengers, cleaning latrines and sewers by hand and clearing away dead animals.[13] Engaging in these activities was considered to be polluting to the individual who performed them, and this pollution was considered to be 'contagious'. As a result, Dalits were commonly banned and segregated from full participation in Hindu social life (they could not enter the premises of a temple or a school and stayed outside the village), while elaborate precautions were sometimes observed to prevent incidental contact between Dalits and other castes.[14] Discrimination against Dalits still exists in rural areas (where two-thirds of India's people live) in the private sphere, in everyday matters such as access to eating places, schools, temples and water sources. It has largely disappeared in urban areas and in the public sphere.[15]

Most of the Dalits are bonded workers and many work in slave-like conditions to pay off debts that were incurred generations ago.[16] The majority of Dalits live in segregation and experience violence, murder, rape and other atrocities to the scale of 110,000 registered cases a year, according to 2005 statistics.[17] Common belief is that these numbers do not approach the real total of crimes committed against Dalits. Many crimes go unreported, and few registered cases ever get to trial.[18]

Many Dalits who have converted to other religions in the past few centuries continue to retain their Dalit heritage. In the 1991 census, Dalits numbered just over 130 million and constituted more than 16% of India's population. Discrimination against Dalits is not limited to the Hindu community.

Some Dalits have successfully integrated into urban Indian society, where caste origins are less obvious and less important in public life. In rural India, caste origins are more readily apparent and Dalits remain excluded from local religious life, though some qualitative evidence suggests that its severity is in fact fast diminishing. [19][20] Dalits and similar groups are also found in Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. In addition, the Burakumin of Japan, Baekjeong of Korea and Midgan of Somalia are similar in status to Dalits.

Is There Manpower Here?

July 3, 2009 12:37 AM

Australians have been racist to their own race.

Chinese, Indians along with other minority groups have been targeted as less capable then their white skinned peer groups.

Last word

July 21, 2009 02:37 AM

Now last word, how this problem can dissolved! Politically, legally and sociologically. Tackle them at all levels with all ethical means available to a good citizen and good person.There are no countries, only one earth,so discover, decide and settle anywhere you want. Total freedom.Never compromise and bring harmony thru all the ethical methods available. Eradicate all kinds of violence before blaming other people.Violence outside in the world is because of me!! So first, I WOULD SAY FEEL THIS CONTRADICTION OF DENOUCING OTHER PEOPLE'S ACT OF VIOLENCE.There is nothing like tit for tat.Only compassion would solve the problem.


July 22, 2009 07:05 AM

Prior to reading everyone's insightful comments, I had not realised how many facets this issue had, and its varying levels of importance to so many people. Thank you.

Being an young Asian in Australia, it is hard to take any firm view on any side of this topic, but it is in my opinion that while racism is obviously an ugly side of any multicultural society (which is what most countries are becoming, after all) it should not be used as either a shield or a sword by anybody, TO anybody.

Racism is a personal thing; one cannot stop another from being racist or ignorant, but one can try to save oneself from its pitfalls. Whether it's the "Aussies" fault for being intolerant, the "government's" fault for being inadequate, the "Indians'" fault for being either conspicuous or hypocritical... It’s not important. What is important is to remember it isn’t really ANYONE’s fault, and everyone should really try to see it that way. Thank you to ‘Last Word’, who put in perfectly: Only compassion would solve the problem.


September 15, 2009 05:24 AM

To all my dear Indian Students around in Oz,

You guys out there are no doubt intelligent folk, pursuing higher studies and perhaps also wanting to settle down post studies in Australia. But inspite of being modern in your approach to higher education, you guys are extra-traditional when it comes to your ways of living. You wear typical Indian shoes and Indian clothes, some of you wear turbans, you guys talk loudly in public places and all these things contribute in showing you as "different" from the lot. In spite of being intelligent race, you guys fail to understand what it means by "be a Roman, when in Rome". To add to that, your brown skin and thin physical build (sorry but absolutely no racist remark meant here!!) contribute to your standing out of the crowd.

You must realize that there are things that are in your hand to change,, and there are other things that you have no control on. So, if you guys are wise enough to understand (which I am sure, you are) why aren't you implementing it? Guys, try to gel in the society.. shed your traditional ways when living in Australia and try to embrace our OZ ways. Increase your friends & communities by inviting OZs to your groups and to your events. About your physical features, don't sit with This-is-how-it-is attitude, but spend some time building your own physique or take some lessons in martial arts. What you guys lack is just the self-confidence. Go pump that in you.


September 16, 2009 12:52 PM

A couple of years ago there were clashes between Lebanese young men and the locals over beach turf and attacks on local girls in Sydney but that seems to have died down.
Because of the better lifestyle in Oz a lot of Indians don't want to return to India after they finish their studies. I can't blame them. But while waiting for job visas or immigration visas they work illegally for cash in jobs such as Indian run grocers/newsagents or as substitute cab-drivers in Melbourne. This further expose them to risks of being picked up and deported or mugged for the cash. But these are graduates and they know the risks. Further agitating the locals was the recent case where a group of Indian men attacked and assaulted young local female. That certainly would have further inflamed the situation.
Immigrants to Australia rarely face the discriminations that other countries met out to the newly arrived. This is because a large part of Australia's population were from overseas or born to people who were first generation immigrants. Any potential immigrant from anywhere in the world can apply using the same application processes. I should know as I have relatives there. I may not live there but I'm a great fan of Australia's 'fair go' culture and even though Australia is developing a problem with hooliganism it is still one of the safest countries in the world. I can but hope that it stays that way.

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BusinessWeek’s team of Asia reporters brings you the latest insights on business, politics, technology and culture from some of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing economies. Eye on Asia’s bloggers include Asia regional editor Bruce Einhorn, Tokyo reporter Ian Rowley, Korea bureau chief Moon Ihlwan, Asia News Editor and China Bureau Chief. Dexter Roberts, and Hong Kong-based Asia correspondent Frederik Balfour.

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