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article imageAustralia Attacks Indian Paper's Ku Klux Klan Cartoon

By Chris Dade     Jan 8, 2010 in World
Australian authorities have expressed their anger at a cartoon in an Indian newspaper which compares the police in Australia to the Ku Klux Klan.
Julia Gillard, Australia's Acting Prime Minister, was one of those who on Friday criticized a cartoon that appeared in the Delhi Mail Today on Tuesday showing an Australian police officer dressed as a member of the Ku Klux Klan, the U.S.-based white supremacist/white nationalist organization.
The cartoon has the caption "Indian killed in Australia" and in it the police officer is saying “We are yet to ascertain the nature of the crime”.
As the London Evening Standard reports the cartoon was a response to the perceived inaction of the authorities in Australia when it comes to racially-motivated attacks against Indian nationals and followed an incident in Melbourne, Victoria last Saturday during which 21-year-old Indian student Nitin Garg was stabbed to death.
Incidents such as the one last Saturday in Melbourne and their coverage in the Indian media, Australian police reportedly maintain that there is no evidence of a racial motive for the killing of Mr Garg, have says the Associated Press led to a drop in the number of Indian students enrolling in Australian colleges.
And the London Evening Standard confirms that in the last six months visa applications from Indian citizens wishing to enter Australia have dropped by 46 percent.
In addition to Ms Gilliard, a resident of Melbourne - a city with a population estimated at close to four million - calling the cartoon "deeply, deeply offensive" the Police Minister for the state of Victoria and the Secretary of the Victoria Police Association have also criticized its appearance in the Delhi Mail Today.
Australia Network News quotes Police Minister, Bob Cameron, as saying:This is just terrible. Victoria Police is a very tolerant organisation and Victoria is a very tolerant state and to suggest that Victoria Police is racist is just plain wrong and it's offensive to the good police we have here in Victoria. It just doesn't help anyone at all to have people from the sidelines throwing bricks. We've got a good police force and we should let our police force go about their policing business in a sensible and a calm way
Greg Davies, Secretary of the Victoria Police Association, stating that the cartoon is not "clever or witty" like many of those seen in Australia, said too:To say that our detectives are going slow on this, or for some reason trying to protect somebody, is incredibly offensive and wrong. It's based on nothing but obviously a slow news day in Delhi. The identity of the offender from the homicide in Footscray isn't even known at this stage, so we don't even know what nationality the offender is. To say it's a race-based crime is not only premature, but stupid
Responding to the anger directed at his paper Delhi Mail Today editor Bharat Bhushan explained that he hoped the cartoon would ultimately lead to less attacks against minorities in Australia, adding:A cartoonist uses humour to draw a caricature of a real life situation to hammer home a point of view. ... The cartoon has to be seen in that spirit. If the cartoon forces Australians, including the Melbourne Police, to introspect, then the cartoons purpose will have been served
Relations between Australia and India have become strained as a result of the attacks on Indian nationals in the former country, a number of which have occurred in Melbourne.
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