We have a saying in our culture, “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”. It is a philosophy that teaches an understanding that the whole world, the whole of humanity, is one big family. This is the core of Hinduism, we all follow it. We are strongly connected to this philosophy, it is our way of living to help and support everyone. It is a way of living from 10,000 years ago.
Here in Australia we have been given all the opportunities to follow this philosophy. With food and shelter taken care of, you can follow this easily. You don’t have to be a cheat, you don’t have to lie or hurt anyone. It is critical in all our prayers, every day we pray for all people, we do this since childhood; it is part of our thought process, the way we think.
Australia has its own culture, appreciated by the whole world, but true humanity and brotherhood only comes when we break the stereotypes. There are people doing different things to break the stereotypes, trying to influence people to listen, that’s why I’m doing this. If people are happy to accept others then they are more inclined to see a brighter future and then the good culture can be enjoyed by all.
I feel part of this culture, part of Australia. There are not many countries that can make you feel this way in such a short time. We Australians are lucky; we get the cream of the crop, the well educated population of the world. And we need to value it. Like many others, Indians came here with good education, but Indian resumes are the first to go in the bin because you can’t read the name! We have so much to offer. We just want to be accepted for who we are, the same way we accept you as part of one big family.
One day I was parking when a woman launched a racial attack on me and even jumped out of her car to knock on my car window and abuse me. When I asked her why she was so angry, she said “you Indians need to get back where you came from.” I saw that she had a baby in her car and I thought about how she was teaching hatred to her baby. There was a tremendous hatred toward me, she was preaching anger. It was her spontaneous reaction, hatred.
People are under a lot of pressure today, but we need to build acceptance for outsiders and be rid of the discrimination. Anti-racism should be taught in schools with parents taught to teach their children, because children pick it up from the parents. Company affects you; one rotten mango can spoil the box. It is the same with the actions we take toward each other. Good actions will see good results.
People need to have a calm mind. Just a little bit of positiveness coming from the whole community will help us all to flourish. If we don’t speak out it will never change. It needs a force to change it, it is not easily done, but it starts with us. We can all learn new ways.
You can see Samridha's image at Laverton Community Hub, Altona Meadows Library and Williamstown Library