By Aashu Anshuman:
I was browsing through the topics onÂ Bigfooty Cricket when I came across one which read ‘Who is the better batsman: Sachin Tendulkar or Ricky Ponting?‘ Any cricket lover would expect to see some heated but passionate discussion on such a topic. So I did too; and clicked on the link to the thread. But the discussion I saw was way more twisted than what I expected. Sinister even.
While a few Aussies called the discussion rubbish (saying Sachin is beyond comparison, which isn’t entirely true but definitely closer to the reality), there were others who brought in everything from indefinable variables to downright ridiculous comments which should have no place whatsoever in a discussion covering two greatest batsmen of the modern era. The entire thread, otherwise a lovely read, was ‘killed’ by these typically Aussie comments which reeked of gross childishness and immaturity, coming not from lack of knowledge or information but what has lately been attributed to what I call the Great Australian Arrogance.
The washing machine incident in the CWG Games Village, the behavior of an Australian wrestler in the 95 kg Greco-Roman style wrestling or the discussions on these forums. All these along with many more events over the years have brought this phenomenon to the front. It is often appreciated by many as merely a strong display of nationalism while the one more difficult to explain has been dismissed as never to have occurred at all. Such aggressive attitude over their mistakes-characteristic by the Aussies is well-known (remember Cricket?) but rarely appreciated in sporting circles.
But if one looks carefully, a clear, desperate need to defend themselves is visible. And so desperate that it successfully disguises itself as childish aggression. The way the cricketers from the island continent reacted at a chance to have an Indian Sikh punished for something they allegedly do all the time is a clear indication of this. Where this defensiveness, even more juvenile, comes from is a perplexing question.
Such need to defend oneself and project an image which isn’t true comes from a lack of belief in oneself. So is the nationalism, which so many Australians wear on their sleeves, a farce? Probably. It’s not something entirely unexpected from the people of a country where each state team fires up feelings of animosity which might put the India-Pakistan rivalry behind.
My views, because of my nationality, might sound biased against a country where so many Indian students have been killed and victimized in the recent months. My anger at those killings and the events during the CWG is a reason behind the writing of this article. But really, it is frustrating to watch an entire country behaving rather immaturely for so long. There are people in Australia who love Indians but the decade-old arrogance is almost beyond sports and bordering on racism. That should not happen!
Come on Australia! It’s time to behave like grown-ups do.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are entirely of the author.
Image courtesy: http://www.itsanhonour.gov.au/students/student_symbols/colours.cfm