Jayant Dagore was a courageous person who exposed the scary face of racial violence in Australia. This is his story. He exposed the nexus between the Australian media, Australian Police, the Judiciary in Australia, and the Government of Australia. None of them come out to help the victims of racial violence. The victims do not receive the support of even their own government in India. Jayant’s struggle started from the Australian High Commission in Delhi and continues in Australia. An exclusive report by Chauthi Duniya:
According to reports in the Indian media, there were several fatal attacks on Indian students and Indian workers in Australia in the last few years. Governments of both the countries delivered only routine statements and guidelines but did nothing concrete to stop such attacks on Indians. In the mean time, Australian leaders came to Delhi to invite Indian students to Australia, guaranteeing zero tolerance against such activities. But, the story of Jayant Dagore is sufficient to expose the reality of these promises and bring to light the real picture of the Australian perception of Indians. Jayant has all the relevant documents and letters which clearly show how a nexus between the media, police, corporate houses, government officials, judicial officials and, last but not the least, the Australian High Commission in New Delhi supports such activities. In 1989, Jayant and his twin brother Anand, both with the same Degree of Catering from the same college (Institute of Hotel Management Catering and Nutrition, Pusa, New Delhi) applied for a work visa at the Australian High Commission, New Delhi. Anand got a visa but Jayant’s form was rejected, saying his degree was not valid. Also, a sum of $500 which was deposited with the application form was not refunded. After getting a visa, Anand reached Australia and tried his best to get one for his elder brother Jayant but failed. Finally, after collecting some revealing information regarding inexperienced chefs who did not have degrees and documents but had been given Australian visas illegally, Anand got this published in the Australian media.
Consequently, the then Immigration Minister, Nick Bolkus, ordered a probe. Federal Police came to Delhi and investigated this issue and also talked to Jayant. After investigation, Nick Bolkus ordered Australian High Commission in New Delhi to grant a visa to Jayant but the High Commission refused. Finally, Jayant’s brother Anand proceeded to file a suit in an Australian Court but before the suit could be filed the High Commission granted a visa to Jayant in 1996. ‘There is a strong visa racket flourishing in the Australian High Commission where officials are demanding huge sums of money for a visa. They issue visas to even those who do not have sufficient experience or a valid degree in exchange for money’, said Jayant Dagore in a conversation with Chauthi Duniya. Also, the wording of the then Immigration Minister’s letter indicates such activities.
White Chef, Black Chef
In 1996, after getting a permanent visa, Jayant reached Australia. First, he went for a verification of his educational/professional documents with the National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition (NOOSR) in Melbourne. This department verified all his documents and found them valid for a job in Australia. Interestingly, the Australian High Commission had earlier denied Jayant a visa saying that these very documents were invalid. Finally, Jayant got a good job with Kari Packer’s five star hotel Crown Casino in Melbourne. Here, there was an Australian chef, a senior of Jayant. He was not happy with Jayant and never lost an opportunity to humiliate him. Jayant says, ‘I complained to HR (Human Resources) Manager Darren Hildred so many times in this regard but the HR department never took any action.’ He added, ‘Due to work overload, lifting heavy objects and working without rest, I developed a carpel tunnel problem and I needed to get both of my hands operated for this.’ One day, his senior threw a box of frozen chicken weighing
10 kgs at him. Jayant escaped unhurt, but it was the proverbial last straw. He complained about it to the HR Department and produced a witness also. Again no action was taken. Then he went to the Australian Hospitality Union and informed it about the incident. Even the Union took no notice of Jayant’s complaint.
Biased Crown Casino & Law Firm
Even after a year, no action was taken by Crown Casino management in this case. The Hospitality Union sent Jayant to a law firm named ‘Slater & Gordon’. This firm was especially entrusted with the responsibility of looking into such cases. Here, Jayant narrated a very interesting story. ‘Once a White chef pushed his junior and the hotel management decided to fire him but in my case the hotel management did nothing.’ Though Jayant had submitted all medical reports, reports of HR Department, statements of witness before Lawyers of the law firm, Diana Agostinelli and David Moody, this law firm did nothing in 4 years. According to the lawyers these documents were not sufficient to fight and win the case. An important question arises: why did the lawyers take 4 years to say ‘no’ in Jayant’s case? In the meantime, Jayant had lost his job and was getting disability support pension from the Australian Government. He had been married to an Australian, Anna Maria. Also, he was unable to come to India to meet his parents during this period.
If you are planning to go to Australia for education or a job, you will have to go there at your own risk. You yourself will be responsible for protecting your life, your pride, your dignity. The Australian Government will do nothing for you and you cannot expect anything from your own government. Although there is an Overseas Ministry, there is an External Affairs Ministry, there is an Indian High Commission in Australia, none of these institutions will do anything for you except issuing guidelines and directions.
Inactive Australian Government and Media
Jayant continued his struggle for justice. He also approached Australian media houses but they too refused to take up his cause. The fact is that that these very media houses do not leave even trivial issues. In July 2009, Jayant also wrote letters to Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard. But the government kept mum. Obviously this silence showed that a person of Indian origin (PIO) has no dignity or rights and is not important for the Australian Government even after getting the citizenship of the country.
White Elephant: Amnesty International
In 2000, when he approached Amnesty International he was told that no case which was less than 6-years-old would be taken. Again in 2006, he was told that no case which was more than 2-years-old would be taken. In 2010, Jayant sent a registered complaint to the London office of the General Secretary of Amnesty International, Salil Shetty. But no action was taken and after a year Jayant was informed that his complaint and all the documents had been lost.
Silence of Indian Government
In August 2010, while Jayant was in India, he wrote letters to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Overseas Ministry and Ministry of External Affairs. Jayant received a reply from the PMO that his letter had been forwarded for further action but the rest of the government offices never replied. Finally, Jayant filed a Right to Information (RTI) application with the ministry to know the status of his complaints. Instead of any reply, Jayant was told that he could not be provided any information as he was a citizen of Australia. Even the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) issued such an order. Jayant could not get any help from his own motherland.
Morale of the story
If you are planning to go to Australia for education or a job, you will have to go there at your own risk. You yourself will be responsible to protect your life, your pride, your dignity. The Australian Government will do nothing for you and you cannot expect anything from your own government. Although there is an Overseas Ministry, there is an External Affairs Ministry, there is an Indian High Commission in Australia, none of these institutions will do anything for you except issuing guidelines and directions.