Andrew Symonds, racial attacks on Indians, the ugly Australian and Indian education

I believe that all these are connected.

Australia is a beautiful country with many wonderful people. I have met some and lived with them. What follows does not apply to all Australians.

All is not well down under! The seamy side is showing.

Symbolic of the rot is Andrew Symonds, an abusive, loud-mouthed, uncouth alcoholic who ought not to be allowed into the spectator stands of the ‘gentleman’s’ game, much less the pitch. Not much was made of his detestable sledging of a rookie player in the IPLII final.

His captain, Ricky Ponting, is only slightly better in that he is more subtle. When faced with teams with equal or greater firepower, he stoops to using every possible unsporting tactic, including excessive appealing resulting in umpires like Steve Bucknor buckling under the pressure and complaining to pliant match referees who deliver doubtful, partial and one-sided disciplinary actions as in the Indian team’s 2008 tour of Australia.

In this context, one can also quote Indian players in the Kolkata Knight riders team being referred to as ‘You bloody Indians’ during IPL 2009 or the rift caused by the Australian coach of the Indian Cricket team leading to its ignominious exit from the One-day World Cup in the West Indies.  

Such players should not be members of any team in IPL, no matter if they are match-winners. They set a poor example to the younger generation of players and spectators for whom cricketers are heroes and role models.

If this is the kind of hooliganism that goes on on the field, can there be too much difference on the streets of Australian cities?

The lumpen illiterate youth who see students coming in from India and getting a higher education in ‘their’ educational institutions feel jealous and vent their anger on our students who may be traveling alone and unprotected at night. Indians tend to be non-violent and being in a foreign country do not want trouble. They do not know the legal system and have no desire to get embroiled in litigation. Most of them do not complain when such incidents occur. What has come out recently is thus probably only the tip of the iceberg.

What is even more intolerable is the attitude of the Australian police. They assaulted a peaceful protest rally. So much for their democratic credentials. One of the police chiefs said that Indian students should not carry iPods and wear expensive watches, thus provoking these assaults. In other words, the victim is to be blamed. By the same logic, if an Australian girl wearing a bikini on an Indian beach were to be raped, she would be the one at fault. The Australian High Commissioner says that racism is everywhere. These high-ranking officials need to hang their heads in shame for the way their compatriots treat guests and apologize to the Indian public who can teach them a thing or three about hospitality. Poor Indians may be but we do not attack our guests, rob, and maim them in this way. Quite obviously, the security and law and order situation in Australia leaves a lot to be desired. Bullies and thugs rule the streets.

In the case of the Indian team’s 2008 cricket tour,  better sense prevailed within Cricket Australia once the Australians realized the disastrous economic consequences of pursuing their foolhardy path of confrontation with the Indian Cricket team. Undoubtedly, a threat to the Australian pocket will help them to realize the need to protect their Indian guests.

It is said that there are nearly 100,000 Indian students in Australia and they contribute $ 2 Billion to the Australian economy. Can you imagine how much good that kind of money would do to the Indian education system?  Indian parents need to reexamine their craze for ‘foreign’ education. It would be far better to pay a capitation fee to a good Indian college and encourage education in India. They would also not be putting their children at risk. 

The Indian governement needs to come out with a travel advisory cautioning Indians traveling to Australia for any purpose whatsoever.

The Australians will possibly see sense and enact and implement some tough laws.  Indian education will be better off receiving some of the funding diverted from foreign shores and our younger generation can go around freely in their own country wearing iPods, expensive watches and whatever else students today like to sport.

A win-win situation all around.

Some further reading.

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~ by parimalgandhi on 06/06/2009.

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