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BJP objects to Tharoor’s remark on racism in Australia

BJP objects to Tharoor’s remark on racism in Australia
PTI
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First Published: Tue, Jun 16 2009. 06 52 PM IST
Updated: Tue, Jun 16 2009. 06 52 PM IST
Allahabad: The BJP on Tuesday slammed minister of state for external affairs Shashi Tharoor for describing the recent attacks on Indian students in Australia as a “domestic matter” of Down Under, saying “It is not a simple law and order problem.”
Referring to the minister’s remark on Monday in Kerala, saffron leader Murli Manohar Joshi said, “It is hard to understand how the minister could describe the attacks on Indian students as a domestic matter of Australia. It is not a simple law and order problem.”
“Racial prejudice and violence resulting from there can not be dismissed as a country’s internal matter. He (Tharoor) needs to remember that even Mahatma Gandhi had begun his political activism by raising a banner of revolt against racial prejudice in a far-off land (South Africa),” he said.
Tharoor, the Thiruvananthapuram MP, had told in his constituency, “I think that this (racial attacks) must be seen principally as a domestic issue for Australia to deal with, within their own society, rather than as a bilateral problem between Australia and India.”
But at the same time, he had said, India wanted to make it clear that when its students go abroad for study, they were not in any way put under danger. “But, very much, the responsibility is the Australian Government’s”.
Joshi also alleged that the new US administration seemed to “be less sympathetic towards Indian interests and drifting more in favour of Pakistan, where it has vested interests in the form of troops deployed for the counter-insurgency operations in Afghanistan”.
“The change in the US attitude towards India is also reflected in its silence over the attacks on students from our country in Australia. The indifference of the US is in stark contrast with its earlier vehement opposition to racial discrimination in any form,” he added.
The former Union minister said the “Centre has so far failed to give a strong and effective response to the situation in Australia and the indifference of the US. We demand that the government expeditiously act on this front.”
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First Published: Tue, Jun 16 2009. 06 52 PM IST