I have just returned from spending five weeks in India. The purpose of the trip was to deliver a number of papers and lectures, attending various conferences including the Indian Association for the Study of Australia – a three-day conference looking at the cultural interactions between the two nations.
Leading up to the World Cup, there were obviously discussions about cricket, but the history is a lot more complicated than that, as our nations are intertwined in ways that most of us are ignorant of.
For example, Professor Deb Narayan Bandyopadhyay is researching the way our two countries collaborated during the World Fair in the nineteenth century. Researcher Amit Ranjan presented a personal account of his research into the grave of Australian Alice Garden who died of cholera in Calcutta in 1882: Why was she there? What kind of interactions did she represent?
Another issue that is often raised is the experience of Indian students in Australia - not only the attacks of last year, but the more general encounters between Australians and Indians. In the context of a history that includes the mistreatment of indigenous Australians and the infamous ‘White Australia Policy’, I am asked: ‘Is Australia a racist country?’
Latest 2 of 139 commentsView all comments
The debate over the abolition of the states is a non-debate. Aside from a few single-issue crazies who want to turn back the rivers to create an inland sea, or as a moot debating point for constitutional law enthusiasts, there is no clamour whatsoever to pursue such a complex and challenging reform.
Perhaps the argument should be recast, with a proposal that if we aren’t prepared to abolish the states, we should at least abolish New South Wales.
Under the baton-passing stewardship of NSW Labor, with the top job having been hand-balled from Morris Iemma to Nathan Rees to Kristina Keneally in just over 12 months, NSW has cemented itself as a failed state, if not a rogue state, on the national stage.
Latest 2 of 31 commentsView all comments
We should cut the coppers some slack as they grapple with the public handling of the attacks on Indian students in Melbourne.
Policing has long been a closed culture. Less than a generation ago the only way police reporters could get stories was to spend months or even years hanging around the Police Club, drinking with detectives and slowly building enough trust to get the inside running on big stories. These days, whenever a cat gets stuck up a tree there’s an expectation that an all-in press conference will follow within the hour to discuss its breed, name, and how the pesky little varmint got up there in the first place.
There is no point in police complaining about this. It’s a reflection of the public’s legitimate conviction that information should flow freely from every arm of government. People have a right to know what is happening in their community and, these days, it is the job of the police to tell them.
Latest 2 of 53 commentsView all comments
Update: The Times of India is running this as its second lead story, after the Air France crash, under the headline “Australian police punch, stomp on peaceful protestors”. It also reports local travel agents saying people are cancelling planned holidays to Australia. Screenshots below.
You’d hope that only time you’d see this photo would be in, oh, 2017 when Rudd’s been in power far too long, and half a dozen students who think he doesn’t stand for their generation stage a tired protest ahead of a campus visit where the PM is due to declare victory in the education revolution.
But no. It was New Delhi. Yesterday.
But I think the comments below might be a good place to voice condemnation of any race-related violence against Indians or anyone else. Over to you…
Latest 2 of 112 commentsView all comments
Read all about it
Up to the minute Twitter chatter
The latest and greatest
Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…
I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…
In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…