Racist Australians? No, Indians students are blamed

9 Jun

Today, AOL India published a very interesting story about Indian Students living in Australia.  I personally believe its not 100% right in every case but not even 10% False too. Read it.

Indian students in Australia are to be blamed for getting attacked – this seems to be the belief of many Indians prospering in Australia. In a flurry of e-mails from Down Under, it is made out that the Indian students invite these vicious attacks upon themselves.

The Australia-Indian community leaders and their religious/social welfare organisations have hardly issued any strong statements against these racist attacks.

During the recent Melbourne protest, hardly any older Australian-Indians turned up to show their solidarity with the Indian students even as the students cried themselves hoarse demanding justice. In fact, some white Australians were seen carrying placards to support them. Reports in the Indian media stated that these well-settled Australian-Indians do not want these events to affect their cushy life or tarnish their relations with whites.

These racial attacks have continued for the last two or three years with a growing number of them now directed at Indian students whose numbers have swelled to about 97,000.

Did the local Indians take any individual or community action to prevent these ugly attacks? On the contrary, when the recent spate of brutal assaults by Australian hooligans hit the headlines, they were quick to point out the reasons emanating from the students.

According to e-mails from Australia, Indian students allegedly do not know English, they display their expensive gadgets like mobiles, laptops and iPods; play loud music, talk loudly in their native tongues, live up to 15 in rooms rented for four persons, make their accommodation filthy, come out to their compounds in their underwear to urinate in the open and display innumerable other uncouth habits loathed by Australians. No wonder they are attacked, say the e-mails.

Many students are frustrated when they find that their colleges are run by Australian-Indian ‘crooks’. ‘When they go to their class, they find that all the students are from India, and the teacher teaches them in Hindi/Punjabi. They realise that they could have

received a better education at a fraction of the cost and without the problems and pains (in India). Many of our people have opened educational institutions as on-line licensing was so easy here. These people cheated the system by supplying false information. Now many of such colleges face closure, further putting strain on students who have paid so much money to study there,’ said one such e-mail.

If the well-settled Australian-Indians have known all these problems for the last few years, what have they done to alleviate the situation? Did they launch any orientation courses in their places of worship to ‘welcome’ the new Indian students every year and explain to them the norms of the Australian way of life? Did they approach their elected representatives to press for starting these orientation courses in India or Australia? Or, urge them to enforce additional measures at the Australian high commission in India, like an oral English test, before granting them a student visa? Did they seek the closing down of these sub-standard ‘teaching shops’ run by unscrupulous Australian-Indians as they attract unsuspecting students through their recruiting agents in India?

‘Many students have committed suicide due to pressure from India and their inability to study without tuition as they fail to follow classroom lectures,’ says an Indian professional in an e-mail. ‘They cannot get more funds from India; on the contrary, every relative from India phones them asking: ‘When will you get a job and remit money to repay your loan?’ Students have been committing suicides here and the Indian high commission would not even listen to anything nor acknowledge that there was a problem. Local Indians and students have been arranging for the dead bodies to be sent to India.’

Then the Indian media is to be blamed for highlighting these attacks and giving an unbalanced picture – never mind the fact that most print media have published articles by Indian university professors in Australia or established leaders on this situation and TV channels aired reports by local and ‘citizen’ journalists. They are pained at the reaction from India: film legend Amitabh Bachchan declining an honorary degree from an Australian university; Indian tourists cancelling their Aussie holidays in large numbers; Indian film producers boycotting film shootings; Indian student numbers declining this year; and perhaps, bilateral trade going down as India is the seventh biggest trade partner of Australia.

The established Australian-Indians are unwilling to accept the violent attacks by the Aussie lumpens who demand cigarettes, money and their gadgets and then slash them with knives or pierce their skulls with screwdrivers. They would not comment until the courts decide them. How many convictions have been reported in the last few years? They don’t know. It’s to do with their clothes smelling of curry, so they get ‘curry-bashing’, the local Indians say.

(09-06-2009- The author previously worked abroad as a newspaper editor and has travelled to over 50 countries. He lives in New Delhi and can be contacted at: kulbhushan2040@gmail.com)

@ Copyright 2009 Indo Asian News Service.

BDR Mutiny in Bangladesh

5 Mar

Last month, there was a mutiny of some soldiers from border security guards of Bangladesh. This happened very much within the heart of Dhaka, a few kilometers from home of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Ironically, his daughter, Sheikh Hasina Wazed is presently prime minister of Bangladesh. Recently, through a major and popular victory in recent general elections in Bangladesh, Awami League has emerged as a front runner political party in terms of ruling the governance of Bangladesh.

I still remember a very popular hangout place in Dhanmondi which is known as Rifles Square, its a shopping mall, well maintained, well managed place, and adjacent to this is Bangladesh Rifles Head Quarters.  This so called ‘mutiny’ happened very much here. I still remember every approaching roads, shopping and food joints around this very place.  A place for popular weekends hangouts for youth.

These pictures I have copied from different websites of press and media agencies, personal blogs, other sources. All credit regarding photographs go to them.

A report from Xinhua, China

Thousands of BDR soldiers staged revolted against their army officers on Wednesday leaving 64 army officers dead and 71 still missing. The revolt came to an end after a series of negotiations between the mutinous soldiers and highly placed government officials. Gunfights broke out inside the BDR headquarters in Dhaka Wednesday morning as BDR troopers mutinied to protest poor wages and frequent transfers.

A report from Sindh Today

At least 500 trucks ferrying goods to Bangladesh, were stranded at the India-Bangladesh border in West Bengal’s Petrapole Friday as exporters feared a loss of Rs.2 billion ($38.83 million) following the mutiny by Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) troopers.

A report from merinews

BANGLADESH’S BORDER security force, Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) mutinied in capital Dhaka on Wednesday (February 25) morning asking for better pay and facilities. The soldiers of BDR shouted slogans against the government and are reported to have taken Major General Shakil Ahmed as hostage.

The mutiny by BDR men triggered several gun battles in the capital city leading to a number of casualties. Several officers have also been killed at BDR headquarters located in Dhaka’s Pilkhana area.

Local police said that firing was heard from the BDR complex in the morning and the gunfight is still going on. The government has called in the army to control the situation after the fighting broke out during an official meeting.

Streets in Dhaka witnessed panic with no one knowing what was going on in the rebel headquarter. While the rebels are firing indiscriminately, the army has pressed in helicopters to take stock of the situation and bring it under control. Resentment has been brewing in the ranks of Bangladesh Rifles since last two years after the government did no listen to their repeated demands. Along with manning the borders, BDR has been asked to do a number of tasks but given no reward for the same, said an official on the condition of anonymity. Bangladesh Prime Minister, meanwhile, has said that their grievances will be looked into and demands met.

Last four pictures in the gallery were the rebels, who did crime against humanity, country and committed nothing but a genocide. A part of South Asia political analysts are also seeing shadow of external forces behind this incident.


Recession had no effect in Aero India Show, Bangalore

3 Mar

lastscan1

Barbarism in Faroe Islands!

3 Mar

While it may seem incredible, even today this custom continues, in Dantesque – in the Faroe Islands. A country supposedly ‘civilized’ and an european country at that. For many people this attack to life is unknown– a custom to ‘show’ entering adulthood. It is absolutely atrocious. No one does anything to prevent this barbarism being committed against the Calderon, an intelligent dolphin that is placid and approaches humans out of friendliness. I request to International Organisations and Danish Government to stop this massacre!Last year, we were thinking to travel to Faroe Islands, I have heard, nature at its best there in these islands. But, I never knew this! This should be stopped immediately.

What is a SCENARIO?

8 Feb

Yesterday, I was trying to think “what is a scenario”? how to define it? We designers, always refer to this particular word. I logged onto net then and tried to find out the concepts about scenario. Found a info on the same. Jotted down sequencially, I have formed the following text on “What is a Scenario”? Thanks to http://www.infodesign.com.au/ for their inputs. What is a Scenario? A scenario is a description of a person’s interaction with a system.Scenarios help focus design efforts on the user’s requirements, which are distinct from technical or business requirements. Scenarios may be related to ‘use cases’, which describe interactions at a technical level. Unlike use cases, however, scenarios can be understood by people who do not have any technical background. They are therefore suitable for use during participatory design activities. When are scenarios appropriate? Scenarios are appropriate whenever you need to describe a system interaction from the user’s perspective. They are particularly useful when you need to remove focus from the technology in order to open up design possibilities, or when you need to ensure that technical or budgetary constraints do not override usability constraints without due consideration. Scenarios can help confine complexity to the technology layer (where it belongs), and prevent it from becoming manifest within the user interface. How do you write scenarios? To write a scenario, you need a basic understanding of the tasks to be supported by the system. You also need to have an understanding of the users and the context of use. Scenarios can be derived from data gathered during contextual enquiry activities. If you do not have access to such data, you can write scenarios based on prior knowledge or even ‘best guess’, provided the scenarios will be subject to review by users prior to being used as a basis for making design decisions. To write a scenario, describe in simple language the interaction that needs to take place. It is important to avoid references to technology, except where the technology represents a designconstraint that must be acknowledged. Include references to all relevant aspects of the interaction, even where they are outside the current scope of the technology. Such references may include cultural and attitudinal issues. For example, the fact that Jane is continually interrupted by telephone calls may be just as relevant as the software platform she uses.After you have written a scenario, review it and remove any unwarranted references to systems ortechnologies. For example, the statement ‘the customer identifies herself’ is appropriate, whereas ‘the customer types her 4-digit PIN’ is not (unless the PIN is a non-negotiable system constraint). You should also have the scenario reviewed by users to ensure that it is representative of the real world.

Attention: Brand Designers

8 Feb

Elsie Maio is the founder and president of Maio and Company, Inc. She began her career on Wall Street in equities research and was a senior editor at Institutional Investor before joining McKinsey & Company. Inspired by the potential for disciplined strategic communications to move business forward, she became a senior partner at several world-class identity firms. In 1994, she founded Maio and Company to focus on helping clients achieve hard business results through the soft science of brand and identity management. Her opinions appear in The Wall Street Journal, Institutional Investor, Brandweek, Brand Marketing and American Banker, as well as in leading European business publications. She also provides marketing commentary for National Public Radio’s “Marketplace News.”

GAIN: Although many of the issues you champion are often lumped together under “sustainability,” you are resistant to the term. Why?
MAIO: The term “sustainability” can be misleading. When a company talks about its commitment to sustainability, what do they really mean? Self-preservation? Environmental sensitivity? Or do they mean a broad social contract with humanity? That ambiguity is confusing. And the last thing business wants to do these days is confuse already skeptical stakeholders. At worst, the term suggests that “endurance” or the status quo are worthy corporate goals. But our research points to growing pressure for a new paradigm. For the engine of business to turn its momentum toward enhancing life on earth in a profitable, moral manner that focuses its extraordinary ingenuity and passion for profitable growth on inventing the next generation of win/win solutions. Yes, “sustainability” is necessary but it is just not enough.
GAIN: Why is the need for this change particularly acute today?
MAIO: Historically, the seeds of this larger role have sprung up in the face of tragedy and moral outrage. For instance, the Triangle factory fire of 1911 led to new regulations that made businesses responsible for the safety of employees. Now, with our recent scandals, there is again a call for greater ethics in business. What we see in our institutions is a process of decay and of systemic breakdown. Corporations have been granted the privileges of personhood under the law of the U.S. but they haven’t been given the responsibilities. We, as a society, are beginning to hold them responsible. As businesses become larger parts of our lives they are going to have to address larger questions. This is not just a social or environmental necessity. Recent scandals have shown that businesses that are not ethically sound are not financially stable.

GAIN: Why does it seem that businesses are now more vulnerable to scandals?
MAIO: Stakeholders can see the intent of the company more readily now. It used to be that the messages of advertising or PR would dictate impressions of a company. Today, the pattern of its actions shows the corporation’s main premise. How? The internet has empowered consumers to observe corporate behavior much more closely. Communities of interest now have a way to connect instantaneously to companies and to each other, regardless of how many shares they hold or where they are located geographically. This is a new ability for consumers and small shareholders, who in the past may have felt powerless to understand business, much less effect change. Technology has made business more transparent, visible and vulnerable. There’s no place for businesses to hide.

GAIN: Can you give us an example of the effects of this new transparency?
MAIO: Take Monsanto. Monsanto had a visionary CEO and extraordinary people inside managing that branding practice. They had excellent professional design support and they had a fabulous creative team. It was inspiring. I was impressed with what they did but the world wasn’t. Monsanto failed to take in to account how visible their products had become and how strongly certain consumers felt about having genetically modified organisms in the agricultural system. As a result when they went into Europe they were shouted down time and again. The backlash for Monsanto basically dismantled the company. So I say that, from a creative, brand design perspective, the brand operation was a total success, but that patient died. The old branding process forgot key stakeholders. This was a sad because that company’s intent, I believe, was truly to provide “food, health, and hope” to the world’s populations.
SM SoulBrand, SoulBranding are service marks of Maio and Company, Inc. 1997-2003. All rights to this term and associated exhibits and visual images are reserved.

GAIN: How could Monsanto have prevented this reaction?
MAIO: They couldn’t prevent it, but they might have anticipated this reaction and collaborated with their critics more effectively in order to mitigate it. Corporations need to sit down with their critics and really listen. They need to seek their critics out and ask, “What is our shared goal? What can we do so that we can see that we are making progress based on joint milestones?” And, as a compliment to traditional media analysis, business needs to be aware of the continuing chatter of the very smallest stakeholders. Again, this is critical for financial as well as ethical reasons.
GAIN: Do you think this hypersensitivity might make companies risk averse and so dampen innovation?
MAIO: The answer is it could, but it doesn’t have to. The public is not necessarily risk averse if there is a mutual goal established that benefits both sides.
GAIN: Where does this leave the CEO and the tradition of the maverick entrepreneur?
MAIO: Well, they had better be able to articulate their core values and make sure that they permeate the entire organization. Listen, we need strong leadership now more than ever. The role of the CEO is still to provide the vision and empower the organization. But they also need to describe the role of the organization in the larger context in a manner that is respectful of every piece of the organization as well as its social and environmental context. The issue of how you maintain values across a large organization is crucial. It’s a big challenge that’s made bigger by the fact that it has not so far been identified as a management discipline. Jeffrey Immelt, when he first took over GE, said that what kept him up at night was the behavior of employees in the far-flung corners of the earth. Now, ironically, the breach turned out to be much closer to home. But Immelt recognized that the stability of a business is determined by the actions of average employee going about their daily routines a long way from headquarters. Decisions that affect the future of the business are being made every day in ways in which the business is least prepared for. This is why it is so crucial that a common set of values permeate the organization so that every employee, when faced with an ethical dilemma, knows how to react.
GAIN: But haven’t companies been talking about values for years? And yet we continue to have scandals.
MAIO: Beginning in the ’80s, it became popular for companies to have mission statements. Unfortunately, these mission statements were created by outsiders, often branding companies, endorsed by a CEO and then pushed down through the organization. But they had no connection to the spirit of the organization. Enron had an exemplary mission statement. If you read Enron’s mission statement you would think, “Hey, this is a company that I want to work for.” They talked values but these values did not inform the behavior. This is pretty typical. Generally speaking, it has been the head telling the body something and the body walking the other way.

GAIN: Have branding practices contributed to the current crisis?
MAIO: When I look at the branding discipline, I see a set of behaviors and objectives that are no longer sufficient. For companies to think that they can improve their positioning simply through increasing communication is just making them more and more vulnerable. BP, for example, has redefined themselves as a company that cares about people and the environment. This repositioning has opened up broader opportunities for them. But they have also made themselves very vulnerable. Any prime mover is a target, especially in what has been termed the “greater good marketplace.”
GAIN: Usually what problems do businesses bring to you?
MAIO: The businesses that come to us for help are usually in the process of expansion. They are raising their profile. As they step up into the spotlight, the leadership needs to be confident that their act is clean. Often these companies have been driven by a single personality or set of personalities and now need to institutionalize their value system. In order to step up into the spotlight, the leadership needs to have a reality check on ethical and environmental risks and a viable plan for improving current shortcomings. Others clients come seeking to gain a broader strategic value from specific ethical practices. Our clients come to recognize that the promise of their brand, no matter how creatively scintillating, is a liability unless they deliver it in the spirit of mutual benefit to their communities.

GAIN: So how do you help business create an effective value system?
MAIO: It has to happen from the inside out. Really, it is more a process of discovery than creation. The values are there. They live in the people who work for the company. What we try to do is to provide a voice and a framework for inputting these values into the decision-making process. One of the first steps is a self audit. Employees identify what their core motivating values are. They rate each aspect of the company separately, creating a kind of report card. We then ask the employees where they think the company should rate. The results vary from industry to industry and from level to level within the company. We then ask the employees what specific evidence the employees would need to be convinced that the company had actually improved. So, in the end, what management gets is a detailed report card, a set of goals and a snapshot of milestones of credibility.

GAIN: I can see why this approach might make for happy employees, but is this kind of rule-by-consensus effective for generating business value?
MAIO: Not only are we factoring in employee’s inputs, but strategic external stakeholders’ input too. The transparency of corporate behavior is a fact of life now. It is changing brand management from a directive to a participatory process. And the solutions are richer for it. The leverage for management is potentially huge. Of course, consensus is not the only factor in determining the direction a business should take, but it is important. More and more I see strategists coming together around the idea of participation and inclusiveness. Studies show that business leaders make better decisions when they have more inputs. This is contrary to the whole expert setup. What we’re seeing in business today is, to borrow a phrase I have been hearing a lot lately, “the fall of the house of experts.” Decisions that come from within are richer and more efficient than expert-driven points of view.

GAIN: We have been talking a lot about the responsibilities of business, what about the responsibilities of shareholders and consumers?
MAIO: The Dow Jones sustainability group index was started in 1999 to track companies that manage themselves in a more balanced way. How did they determine which businesses were balanced and sustainable? The first cutoff was a 10-year planning horizon. Investors have been pushing CEOs to drive up stock prices by doing what is expedient in the short term. So how can we blame the CEOs? This is what they are rewarded for. You can’t run a sound, balanced, responsible business quarter to quarter. You are going to win some profit quarters and lose some. The greater good is the responsibility of each investor and consumer. We need to look at our own motivations and our own greed. Businesses, by and large, are jumping through the hoops that we set.

Interview by David Womack