‘On his recent 2-hour return flight from a mining site located to the north of Western Australia, a colleague, George, who hails from the UK, had an interesting chat with a fellow passenger, who happened to be of Indian origin. George mentioned to him about me, as one of his Principals, and my origin in Kashmir, India. The Indian fella did not seem to be very much pleased with the word ‘Kashmiri’ and advised George that Kashmiris are not trustworthy at all, they are problematic and, therefore, he (George) should be very careful and keep an eye on me, despite George assuring him repeatedly that I was a nice fellow. Note that George does not know my religious background nor he cares about it. What does it show?
The Indian fella was complete ignorant, like millions of others, about Kashmir and the Kashmir situation. Out of his sheer ignorance and a stereotypical mindset, he believed all Kashmiris are simply problematic people. His announcement about Kashmiris also depicts his irresponsible and careless character, in general. This is what causes people’s issues amongst the otherwise peaceful communities, which then leads to strife and violent disturbances. Sadly, misinformed people make stereotypical impressions about other people based on their race, caste, colour, creed etc. I am sure this Indian fella will definitely be whinging about (an imaginary) racial discrimination in Australia, which I haven’t come across personally, at least in the past two decades.’ … Bill K Koul