About the Blog

This is my diary....what I make sense of, around me. You'll find short prose on contemporary topics that interest me. What can you expect - Best adjectives? …. hmm occasionally, tossed around flowery verbs ?…. Nope, haiku-like super-brevity? … I try to. Thanks for dropping by & hope to see you again

September 19, 2009

Down under: True to character?

I had a chance to link up with a good old friend & excolleague recently. A chartered accountant by profession, this quiet diminutive guy is currently based out at Sydney in Australia. Regular mail exchanges followed our LinkedIn connection and in one of the mails I put a general note of caution asking him to watch out his back & keep safe, out of harms bound. I guess the recent nasty developments in down under was uppermost in his mind too. Yet , he choose to tone down his reaction and wrote back me to saying “Thanks Vasant ...Generally Sydney is quiter than Melbourne. But life is pretty cool here with 99% of the people are good..”

Now he may be a better judge at assessing the situation out there but I was surprised at this calm demeanor in which responded. I am not sure whether the sensationalizing electronic media out here especially the TV NEWS channels have overhyped this situation and carried these incidents overboard, but whatever has happened, in whatever measure , has been utterly distasteful and downright ugly and nasty.

Looking back at his reaction, do i assume that only certain cities in Australia are violence/crime prone than others? Is Sydney safer than Melbourne going by the profile of its residents? Does it mean that these hoodlums are not restricted to few back corner alleys in dark downtown Australia but certain specific geographic locations defined by select cities? Seems hard to digest but Ian Botham, the former English cricketer had an interesting take on this; he always considered all Aussies to be a bunch of convicts who had been banished downunder from England (Ian also had an interesting take on Pakistan, he once described it as "the kind of place to send your mother-in-law for a month, all expenses paid" in an off-the-cuff remark in a radio interview in 1984)

Could it be that this ‘Kalapani’ type island is turning true to its character now, especially with Indians? Between 1788 to 1868, about 165,000 convicts were sent to Australia which means 22 per cent of Australians are descended from exiles. Their sentences served, many convicts remained Down Under, becoming Australia’s first western settlers. Now their descendants are showing why they are often called the offspring of ‘burglars’, ‘heifer stealers’,’ felons’, etc. Ask those numerous badgered Indians and they shall swear by it.
Post a Comment

Feedburner Count