Hi, this is a link which I came across in the online edition of Wall Street Journal. Seeing as how it is related to my previous post IIM summers – Surviving Down Under, I thought that I’d provide a link here. The article has been written by Paul Beckett, WSJ’ South Asia Bureau chief, based in New Delhi.
A lot of my friends have got summer placements in companies that would like to send them to Australia for the 2010 summers. While none of them is afraid of getting a sunburn Down under, almost everyone is afraid of becoming a victim of racial attacks. The MNCs responsible for packing them off to Aus would of course, like to believe the Aussie PM who adamantly states that the attacks are not racially motivated. The Aussie line of thought seems to be that there is no reason or cause to differentiate attacks into racially motivated and otherwise. All visitors, irrespective of caste, creed or race, shall be equally attacked. However, news reports seem to suggest that it is Indians who are being continuously mistaken for visitors. None of the scores of Americans, Israelis, Afghanis or Papua New Guineans in Australia are currently being attacked. This seems to suggest that Australian thugs are not at all upto speed in their victim selection. They need better profiling software, I say.
Meanwhile, back home, we are all racking our brains to come up with ways to avoid getting beaten up on the streets near the clubs, bars and strip clubs our friends are sure to visit as an integral part of their summers training. One suggestion was to give visas only to the physically strong Indians. But then this would exclude almost everyone from IIMs. Another was to get everyone started on martial arts training. But then all of us have heard the story of the martial arts expert who was jumped by thugs in an alley. They beat him up black and blue, cause he wasn’t given time to choose from his vast repertoire of moves. And then comes the mother of all suggestions, made by none less than the police chief commissioner of Victoria, Simon Overland. “Look poor”, he said. “Hide your iPods, your bling-blings, your rich clothes.” How hilarious. Can you expect a twenty something Indian IIM student who suddenly comes into a lot of money in Australia amongst all the babes and hunks to suddenly renounce materialism and showing off? Simple Simon, I say. If I were to reach such a paradise, I would walk around covered in iPods and bling-blings, attacks or no attacks. We are Indians, we will advertise.
So, the only thing to do seems to be what an Indian cabbie did when an Aussie hooligan decided that he didnt have to pay for his cab ride. The cabbie took a baseball bat to the negotiation and rearranged the visage of his errant client. It seems to be a nice idea.