The murder of Indian student Nitin Garg while he worked to work one night formed a dark stain on our reputation.
Not just the brutal nature of the crime but the way it was spun by those with a short-term cynical political agenda.
Indian politicians desperate to appeal to nationalist sentiment there, one local Indian self-appointed spokesman Gautum Gupta and Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu were all desperate to assert that racism was the motivator for the horrible crime. We have exposed the nature of the scam Gupta runs previously.
Accusing Victoria of being a cess-pit of race-hate motivated crime was a very serious accusation to make. Murder is murder but the prospect of race-hate motivated murder was especially chilling, particularly in this land where we rightly celebrate and cherish both our diversity and tolerance.
And just as we â€“ and many Liberals – thought at the time, these Indian beat-up merchants and their local patsy Ted Baillieu, falsely denigrated all of us.
Victoria Police have charged an unimaginably young man â€“ fifteen years old â€“ with the murder.
The Victoria Police spokesman said yesterday their investigations have led them to conclude the crime was not racially motivated.
Nitin Gargâ€™s friend and housemate yesterday said what Ted Baillieu should have the decency to say at the time:
Mr Sandeep said Melbourne was safe for Indian students and it was impossible for politicians to know of their experiences in the city. ”That can happen anywhere in the world. It’s not like it was a racial attack. We are safe here in Melbourne.”
Too right it is. It is much safer for Indian students to be here than it is for them to stay in India. That sounds boastful and over-the-top but it doesnâ€™t change its essential truth.
Ted Baillieuâ€™s reaction to the murder of Nitin Garg at the time:
The issue is violence. The issue is racist behaviourâ€¦
I am not going to allow our state to become a community divided where people live afraid to leave their house at night, wherein Indian, Chinese or African man or woman is afraid to ride on public transport lest they be assaulted and I am not going to allow this state to become one where only the strong survive and for criminals, thugs and those engaging in racist behaviour, we have a very simple message for you – under a Baillieu government, it is over.
We applaud Ted Baillieuâ€™s attempt to be tough on crime. Indeed on these pages, we have implored him to be so.
But it is not tough on crime to find excuses for it that would give an ultra-leftist social worker validation. And it is not tough on crime to denigrate Victorian society as a â€œcommunity dividedâ€ by racial fear when that just isnâ€™t true.
Could you imagine former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett ever saying such things about Victoria?
Baillieu has been a horrible disappointment who has thrown much more energy and malice at the â€œcancerous cellâ€ of opposition within his own party than he ever did at the Brumby Labor government.
Victoriaâ€™s good name was assailed overseas as never before after the murder of Nitin Garg. We should long remember him.
And we should never forget those who tried to exploit his death for their own benefit. They are the lowest of the low.