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Indian community condemns Harris Park brawl in NSW
By Mr Kartik Pratap Singh, Director India News TV on Youtube
Sydney, India News Bureau: The vicious brawl, which involved 30 to 40 people in western Sydney, has brought together all sects of Indian community in Australia in condemning it. The wild fight took place between two community groups on the streets of Harris Park in Sydney. The dramatic video of the brawl, which went viral, showed punches hurled and a person being thrashed repeatedly on the ground as people ran across the road disrupting traffic. The riot squad had to be called in to break up. Two men have been charged for allegedly having an involvement in this.
Community members from across Australia have unanimously denounced the act and expressed their concerns over the impacts such incidents will create in undermining the community’s respect and allegiance to the Australian values and rule of law. They have also shown concern over the threats such incidents will have to rapidly evolving Australian-Indian relations.
As members of the Indian community woke up to the rude shock of the vicious brawl, they have been vocal in denouncing the act in the strongest of words. Expressing his views on the incident, Gurmeet Tuli, President of Little India Australia, said, “Such a brawl will leave serious impacts on India-Australia brand, daily business, student’s image, etc. There is a need to understand that everyone is equal before the law, we should not let our mutual differences divide and impact us in such a way.” He was hopeful of justice prevailing in this case and said, “The police are doing an excellent job in investigating the matter and we have faith in the judiciary. So, there is tremendous hope that guilty will be brought to book soon.
However, he rued saying, “Incidents such as these can lead to a serious impact on the impressions of rapidly surging ties between Australia and India across sectors.”
Another member of Little India Australia, Ajay Das strongly opined that “These elements should be deported from Australia and banned for life. Wherever they go, they will create trouble. There is no place for such elements in Australia.” He further asked, “Those who cannot be loyal to their motherland, how can they be loyal to their adopted country?”
Echoing similar sentiments, Gurnam Singh, Founder of Australian-Indian Sports Educational and Cultural Society, said, “It is a threat to evolving Australian Indian relations and the Indian diaspora in Australia who are working hard to build their future and contributing vastly to the growing multiculturism in Australia.” What all happened reminded him of the painful memories of 2007-08 when he came to Australia as an international student from India. Many youngsters like him at that time were at the receiving end of racist abuse. Today after 13 years, he is getting bothered about the same abuse.
Many Indians feel that they have been let down by such incidents. “What happened on the night of Friday 28th of August, has deeply let down the true values of India, the land of Mahatma Gandhi who championed the cause of non-violence,” laments Javed Khan, Director, Delhi O Delhi, Sydney. “Hate is an open attack on tolerance and acceptance. It must be countered with acts of goodness. Sitting home with your good morals does not go a long way. In the face of hate, silence is deadly. Lack of interests will be interpreted as acceptance,” he warns.
Condemning the incident, Dr Ram Mohan, Chairman and Publisher, India News Group said, “The social media post of the incident at Harris Park in Sydney is very upsetting and it is disgraceful showing no respect to the Australian values and law. I strongly condemn the incident as it seems very racially motivated. We live in a country where we express and celebrate, in a lawful way, of our cultural, linguistic and religious diversity.”
He further said, “Australia is a free and democratic society governed by the rule of law which fosters a strong and unified community. I agree with other leaders that people migrating here, or international students will be mandatorily given the Australian law and value awareness that encourages them in integrating with wider community.”
Mannu Kala, General Manager, Medlab Pathology Queensland, urges the Indian community to act responsibly. About the need to act sensibly he said, “As a first generation immigrant we carry a responsibility to act with our utmost integrity as our acts can reflect upon the entire community.” However, he feels that “India as the largest democracy on the planet carries a challenging political system. There will always be regional and religious conflicts because of the nature of the socio-political and geopolitical complexities. It is obvious that we will always be connected to our background and will have opinions, but those conflicts cannot be entertained in our society here in Australia.”
He adds, “Once we have boarded that flight to Australia we are no longer Punjabi, Gujarati, Bengali, etc. We are Indians and even after settling here we will always be Indian-Australians. We know negativity and conflicts are more popular on social media and get more traction as by nature social media is built for that. We need to look beyond our selfish reasons and work together to build a healthy community for our younger generations.”