22-year-old Graphics student Rajan Kumar Katkam was travelling on a bus from Frankston to Rye on February 6th this year when he was subjected to a 45 minute ordeal of punching, kicking and racial taunts by the young men.
He said that no one on the bus did anything about it, except for one old lady who tried to intervene, but was then herself threatened by the men.
Interestingly, the article at the Herald-Sun about this incident has a considerable number of comments that seem to blame the Indian student for the crime of being brown and riding a bus. They display hostility to the concept of a racial vilification law, which also spills over into hostility towards Indians and non-white people in general. Observe a selection:
Mark of Knox Posted at 10:11 AM July 28, 2010
OK,so you name the nationality of the Indians,lets be fair and name the nationality of the accused.Quiet often these offences are done by other ethnic groups as i have witnessed in this city on numerous occasions
Comment 2 of 52
Sid of Geelong Posted at 10:12 AM July 28, 2010
What about all the racial taunts issued by Indians against Australians in our own country. What goes around comes around.
Comment 3 of 52
JIMMY PO of South Melbourne Posted at 10:28 AM July 28, 2010
WHAT A JOKE AND WASTE OF TIME!
Comment 8 of 52
brian wood of sunbury Posted at 10:47 AM July 28, 2010
ITS ABUSIVE LANGUAGE NOT RACE, TO VILIFY AUSTRALIANS OR OTHERS OVER COMMENTS TO INDIANS WILL CREATE BIGGER RACE DIVIDES. NO SPECIAL LAWS FOR RACE OR INDIANS ARE REQUIRED, OLD LAWS COVER THIS ADEQUATLY. THIS ARTICLE EVEN NOW INCITES ME TO DISLIKE INDIANS, AND SIMMILAR WAS LIKELY THE CAUSE OF WHY THEY ABUSED HIM. TREAT PEOPLE AS PEOPLE NOT RACE.
Comment 12 of 52
Nathan of Melb Posted at 12:06 PM July 28, 2010
Why are we bending over backwards and creating new laws for immigrants . You can't even read shop signs in some areas now as they are all in other languages. Australia takes more care of immigrants and listens more to them than people who have lived here all their lives. White Australians will soon be the most disadvantaged in our society.
Comment 25 of 52
NJS of Melb Posted at 12:11 PM July 28, 2010
I bet if the victim was white this wouldn't be going to court.
Comment 26 of 52
James Stuart of Melbourne Posted at 12:52 PM July 28, 2010
Why is expressing an opinion that you want your country to remain white a crime? Sure they allegedly assaulted him, and should be brought to account, however, the scary thing is they are ALSO being dragged into court for expressing a political, racial and deeply held opinion. Now THATS the scary thing.. Victoria..Welcome to the Gulag state. Where voicing a dissenting opinion is now a CRIMINAL offence!! Imaging YOU being arrested for being a Liberal voter when a Labour government was in power. Or vice versa. Holding an opinion NO MATTER HOW REPREHENSIBLE is NOT and must NEVER be a crime!!! Lets hope the courts throw those charges out as being unconstitutional and a breach of International Human rights laws. On the assault charges, lets hope they receive a fair and impartial trial and are NOT held to account simply because of their political beliefs!!!
Comment 33 of 52
And so on. "Mark of Knox" wants to know the ethnicity of the attackers and seems to think white Aussies couldn't have done this; although given the location of the attack, its unlikely to be anyone else other than a white Aussie. (Edit: it has been later revealed the three attackers are all in their mid-20s and named Jason Ritchie, Adam Baxter and David Potter.) "Brian Wood of Sunbury" seems to think the real victims of vilification are the upstanding young men who attacked Rajan Kumar Katkam and are now having their good names sullied by the accusation of racism. It's such an outrage that it makes him dislike Indians, as well as making him write all in capitals. Go figure. Meanwhile "James Stuart of Melbourne" seems to think these three violent offenders are political prisoners, heroes for the right to free speech. Hmmm...
Now, there are perfectly legitimate reasons for questioning the need for a racial vilification law; for example, you could argue that any harmful act would probably be covered under our penal code, and thus not require another charge on top of that. But the anger of those commenters is sorely misplaced in this case. They should direct it toward the actual villains, a trio of thugs who drunkenly assault people for looking foreign. Given the constant crowing by Herald-Sun readers for tougher sentencing, they should remember that a charge of racial hate may mean the offenders actually do some meaningful time behind bars.