Racial Ad: An Australian is unaware of “multiculturalism”

By Ashok Kumar
An advertisement by the agents of a superstore chain in the social media has, once again, stoked the embers of racism in “multicultural” Australia. The advertisement appearing on a site Gumtree seeking to fill positions of cleaners in Hobart and specifically asking Indian and Asians to excuse as they want English speaking persons only.
There’s a huge gap between the rhetoric multicultural Australia, as professed by the political leaders, including the various Prime Ministers, and, the understanding of an Australian we see on the streets.He doesn’t attend the gatherings addressed by the politicians and hence,unaware of government’s multicultural policies.
I remember, soon after arrival in Australia, during my first job interview I was asked when did I arrive in Australia and I told the interviewer ‘just a day before’. He was shocked at the level and fluency of my English language.
So what kind of English-speaking people the advertiser is looking for? Or, is it the level of English spoken by Indians way above their understanding? No wonder, my wife was told after an interview that she was “over-qualified” for a job she had been doing for umpteen years.
Coming back to “multiculturalism” issue that started with the citizenship test solely aimed at assimilation of people with different heritage into Australian community. Several communities felt the anger at the doubting their integrity. An appeasement policy followed to grab the emerging vote bank.
Politicians of all hues thronged the festivals of various communities and all singing the “multiculturalism” song. Successive governments began doling out grants to the communities and lured several of them with “achievement awards.” Different sets of political parties would reward their followers from among a particular community. But the man on the street is unaware of all this.
For him, a migrant is the one who has come to share not his sorrows but his bread. He is least bothered about a Diwali or an Eid. In other words, the multiculturalism has remained confined to the political functions and failed to percolate to, where it matters the most –the grass root level.
In this regard, I had written on January 8, 2010 http://www.theistimes.com/death-of-two-indians-govt-should-prove-its-not-racial/ wherein I had listed various instances that smacked of racial behaviour by the so-called multicultural Australians.
Talking about assimilation, I feel it’s a two-way lane and both the communities need to understand each other. From an Indian point of view, Christmas is not a new phenomenon as it is celebrated in India and the Indian have a greater understanding than an Australian would have of Diwali or Holi or Eid.
If mutual understanding is not reached, assimilation or accommodation is incomplete and such racial advertisements would not see an end. The ball is now in politicians’ court. It’s up to them to devise a strategy that ensures their thoughts reach the Australian on the street.
The Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr had recently written a beautiful opinion piece on “overlapping cultures.” http://www.theistimes.com/bob-carr-views-the-world-with-overlapped-cultures/
Mr. Carr advocates “…we can also promote and defend cultural diversity, the idea of a planet of seven billion that celebrates and does not deny its contradictions”.

Share this :

About Ashok Kumar

Ashok Kumar is an accomplished journalist with over 38 years of experience in the profession in various capacities. He was a sub-editor in Patriot and later Chief Sub-editor in The Hindustan Times, New Delhi. He has several published articles and reports in Patriot and HT. Published reports in The Blacktown Sun in Sydney. He had also been a tutor in journalism in the University of Western Sydney. He is currently Editor at The Indian Sub-continent Times, Sydney.

View all posts by Ashok Kumar →

5 Comments on “Racial Ad: An Australian is unaware of “multiculturalism””

  1. As a migrant that arrived in Australia 50 years ago I can speak with some authority. If you look for a racist remark you can find it in Australia and in India without too much effort. It is ubwise to generalise having found one racist remark; newspapers do that. Are Australians racist? Some are, not unlike any other country in the world. If you are with previlidges in India you will feel disadvantaged in Australia. If you seek equality you will generally be respected, but you have to earn it like everybody else.

  2. I have been a migrant too, in fact I finished my schooling in Sydney. Being a school student that I was, I didn’t go around looking for any racist remarks. As a matter of fact, I didn’t even know what “inequality” meant until my peers started treating me differently. So, as a kid, how exactly should I have “earned” respect for the fact that I was an Indian?

  3. They make a big deal about this, but what about the stores that excusivly hire people of Asian or Indian decent and no one else? Does that not matter?

  4. Can I just say what a comfort to discover an individual who
    really knows what they are discussing on the web.
    You definitely realize how to bring an issue to
    light and make it important. More people need to look at this and understand this side of the story.

    I was surprised you’renot more popular since you certtainly possess the gift.

    my homepage … strikes bowling dallas

Leave a Reply