Unfortunately the new Mapping Social Cohesion study reported last week doesn’t seem to be online anywhere, though I have been given the summary report.
Though it generally shows that ethnic relations in Australia are reasonably good, it provides further evidence that Indians have come from seemingly nowhere as the subject of racism and discrimination to being the lead victim group.
The Indians and Sri Lankans in the survey, recruited from areas of high ethnic diversity, were the most likely to report discrimination on a monthly basis, with 12% saying this was their experience. By contrast, 7% of Middle Eastern background people and 8% of Chinese or Vietnamese background people reported this frequent discrimination (though not reported by ethnicity, by far the most common forms of discrimination were verbal abuse and ‘made to feel that did not belong’.)
A Saulwick poll in 2004 and the earlier 2007 Scanlon report both found opposition to migration from India at under 2%, much lower than the proportions of people opposing Middle Eastern migration or Asian migration (around 7-8%, though both a little hard to work out because of numerous similar options).
I can’t think of any reason why Indians would suddenly become more discriminated against than less popular groups, which inclines me to the view – put somewhat controversially by Victoria Police – that situational factors explain the differences. Indians seemed to be concentrated in occupations, such as security guards, taxi drivers, and attendants at late-night stories, that expose them to the anti-social elements of Australian society. People in these jobs are more likely to cop abuse than other workers, and if they are obviously from an ethnic minority the abuser may chuck in some racist remarks as well.