GLOBAL: Racism is often a two-way street

It's quite refreshing to wake up in London with Australia making headlines on BBC News. But if the country is coming under attack for being racist, for not one but three separate incidents involving assaults on Indian students in a matter of a week, it's quite something else. Going through the reports, it amused me to think of how many Indian students are bashed on Delhi Metro, the Indian capital's new rail network, and how they never make news.

Watching these news clips in London irks me most because I genuinely don't think Australia is as racist as it is often portrayed to be by international media. I was born and brought up in India, lived in Sydney for five years and have been living in London for a year.

Of course, I have seen instances of racism in Australia - some surreptitiously subtle, while others hit you like a bullet in your brain. But I have also come across as many instances of racism, if not more, during my travels in Europe and during my life in London (after all, wasn't it here where Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty was racially ridiculed on national TV not so long ago?).

In fact, I have encountered the worst form of discrimination, and most varieties of it, in my own country, India, where people are discriminated against on the basis of almost every difference: race, caste, class, gender and sexual orientation. So it is indeed puzzling that news about Australia being racist is reaching epic proportions in countries that can hardly claim to be any better. After all, charity begins at home. And so should social reform.

*Akash Arora is chief sub-editor for the British design magazine Wallpaper. This is an extract from a commentary published in The Age newspaper last week.

So, according to this logic, racism is nothing wrong because discrimination is just part of our life. If this is true, then I wonder why we need social justice since injustice is also part of our life. Akash Arora needs to clarify his logic if he writes something so public. Yes, what happened in Australia happens elsewhere. I think instead of defending Australia for no reasons, we should condemn any form of discrimination.

The bottom line should be that racism and any form of discrimination should not be acceptable and should be condemned.

MC Yan