– by SMITA HEGDE
Hypocrites, that is what this makes us, doesn’t it? Our reaction to the whole “Indian bashing”, sorry, “Curry Bashing” (that was the “afflicted” community’s choice of words, and not mine) episode. Who are we kidding? Even we can’t stand ourselves. Remember the charade that Mr. “I-borrowed-my-last-name-from-an-English-author” set up- sending back people to where they belonged for the love of his dear city and state- back home, here in India. When he “feared” people from another state in his own country were disrupting life on his home turf, how then can we blame the Australians for being paranoid? The intruders in this case are not even fellow countrymen.
Let’s be honest. All those hate-posts on online message boards are saying what we have been muttering under our breaths for so long. “Won’t move out of the way”, “No courtesy”. The list was long of course and complaints just as many and same as the ones we have of our compatriots.
Really then, can we blame the Australians for feeling as they do? It’s prejudice, no doubt and the retaliation inhumane and barbaric, but, the emotion isn’t certainly wrong. It’s what human kind has been doing for millennia – fending, guarding territory. How can we help? Stop unloading so many off at the airports – 97,000..!? We are welcome guests, but, guests as we are, the key is to soak in the culture and diversity and not keep holding on to your own. Blend in, yet stand out as a distinct element of the cultural scene. May be like the spices in a curry, creating the medley of flavours we are famous for, yet each tantalising the taste buds with a taste that is distinctly its own.
– Smita Hegde is my daughter just out of PU College.