Australia Attacks On Indian Students Spill Into Cricket World

There’s been a spate of highly publicized attacks on Indian stuents in Australia recently. Pretty gruesome stuff — I think one student had a “petrol bomb” thrown at him — and another one was attacked with a screwdriver. The whole affair has received a lot of attention in the Indian media, especially after film star Amitabh Bachchan refused an honorary degree from a Brisbane university because of the fracas.

Things are getting even weirder now: apparently, a cousin of Harbhajan Singh alleges a Melbourne taxi driver killed his son and left his body on railroad tracks. I really don’t know how much credence to give this story, because the Deccan Chronicle — which published the charges — is fairly respectable, but its article does not quote any Australian sources (or any Indian police sources either).

But here’s my problem: first, would these attacks receive as much publicity in India if not for the country’s often difficult cricketing relations with Australia? Second, why can’t Australians and Indians get along in the cricket world? I understand why South Asians would be attacked in a white-majority Australia, but I’m not sure I’ve ever figured out why the two cricket teams would have any beef with each other.

(Indeed, one of the most mystifying things about the Harbhajan-Symonds scandal was that it involved two non-white players, who otherwise would have found much to agree on.)

I have some theories: 1) India, an emerging economy prone to increasingly jingoisitc displays (tied to a post-colonial inferiority complex) feels Australia lords its cricketing superiority too bluntly and without respect to opposition teams. Other countries don’t take this to heart, but India feels it’s a cultural slight. 2) India’s cricket team, for once, could be world champions and therefore need to beat the current champions, Australia. Hence, conflict. 3) The two teams used to play with different styles — India, more spin- and attrition-friendly; Australia, more “modern” and aggressive. The two styles clash, both in strategy and onfield behavior. 4) Australia think India mistakes its financial clout and love for the game for actual onfield talent. In other words: the Indians act too big for their boots.

I’m sure there are other theories, less convoluted than the above. Feel free to state yours in the comments.

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5 thoughts on “Australia Attacks On Indian Students Spill Into Cricket World

  1. […] Here is the original:  Australia Attacks On Indian Students Spill Into Cricket World … […]

  2. hari says:

    Come on the whole world is full of racist. Did you not know this before? You are asking off Australia as if it owes us something? Remain in India and live with familiar racism. Better.

  3. rootofall3vil says:

    I beg to differ with the theory about the attacks related to the strained relations between the two cricket teams. It has more to do with the locals feeling threatened- mostly of the employment opportunities, by the increasing population of foreign students. It has been a big deal in India when such previous attacks were carried in other countries.

    I firmly believe that the strained cricketing relations between the two countries have much to do with the general impression that Aussies are sore losers and do not like to be at the recieving end of sledging. You could see the similar tension between SA and Australia whenever two teams have collided. I recall the long verbal dual between Michael Clarke and Paul Harris in the 3rd Test in SA.

  4. rootofall3vil says:

    P.S. I generally agree with most of recent posts. You’ve been “blogrolled”. 🙂

  5. alwaysindian says:

    I am with rootfall3vill, the theories sound good to hear but it’s quite judgmental. I am huge fan of Australia’s cricket but sledging is what they are more proud of then their own cricketing ability. In regards to some points of the theory, India being slightly cultural so very true but in context to taking it to our hearts, we were patiently on the other end but once gave it back coz’ somebody had too.

    As for the post nicely written, I just pointed out stuff which I felt was probably wrong. I have written a blog on the same topic my style, just check it out:-
    http://alwaysindian.com/2009/06/racism-for-how-long-do-we-have-to-face-it/

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