We’re even more racist than Aussies

The attacks on Indians in Australia have once again raised the ugly head of racism. Once again India is caught up in the midst of a racist storm. A while ago, the Big Brother controversy launched Shilpa Shetty as an international anti-racism icon from India. This is entirely appropriate as Indians are arguably the biggest targets of racism in the world. And they are targeted not just by unlettered British yobs or Australian thugs but, first and foremost, by their own compatriots. It’s because we are so racist ourselves that we are so quick to react to a racist slur: it takes a racist to catch a racist. And our racism is colour-coded in black-and-white terms: white is intrinsically superior and desirable; black is inferior and undesirable.

In the Indian colour scheme of things, black is far from beautiful. The colloquial word for a black person of African origin is ‘habshi’, an epithet as offensive as the American ‘nigger’, both terms derived from the days of the slave trade.

For all India’s official championing of the anti-apartheid crusade in South Africa’s erstwhile white regime, north India at least is steeped in colour prejudice – ask any African student who’s had a taste of Delhi’s campus life. For the north Indian, fair is lovely, as those abominably tasteless TV commercials keep proclaiming: Don’t get sunburnt, use skin whitening creams, or you’ll end up dark and no one will marry you. (When did you last see a matrimonial ad seeking an ‘attractive, dark-complexioned life partner’?)

Why is dark literally beyond the pale for so many of us? Is it an atavistic throwback to the supposed superiority of ‘white’ Aryans vis-a-vis the ‘non-white’ original inhabitants of the subcontinent? Is it the result of 250 years of white rule under the British? Is a pale skin, as against a deep tan, a testimonial to social rank, segregating those who don’t have to toil under the sun from those who do? Is it an amalgam of all these?

Whatever the reason, ‘chitti chamri’ (fair skin) is a passport to fawning social acceptance — which might partly explain why an increasing number of Caucasians look for assignments in India, be it as MNC executives or bartenders in 5-star hotels.

Our racism is largely, but not exclusively, based on colour. Caste is India’s unique contribution to the lexicon of racial bigotry. Whether ‘caste’ – a result of cultural and social segmentation – can legitimately be conflated with ‘race’ – with its genetic and physiological underpinnings – is a matter of academic debate. However, as only too many horror stories testify, the average rural Dalit fares worse on the human-rights scale than her ‘kafir’ counterpart in the worst days of South African apartheid.

Caste apart, real or imagined ethnic traits compound our racism. People from the north-east are said to have ‘Chinky’ (Chinese) eyes and are routinely asked if they eat dogs. Even in so-called ‘mainstream’ India we sub-divide ourselves with pejoratives: ‘Panjus’, whose only culture is agriculture; stingy ‘Marrus’; mercenary ‘Gujjus’ who eat ‘heavy snakes’ for tea; lazy, shiftless ‘Bongs’; ‘Madrasis’, who all live south of the Vindhyas and speak a funny ‘Illay-po’ language. In our ingrained provincialism is our much-vaunted and illusory unity.

No wonder we can’t stand racism. It reminds us disquietingly of the face we see in our own mirror.

Source: TOI

Views of an Australian professor

Prof. Isaac Balbin is a programme director and professor at the school of computer science and IT at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia.
A regular visitor to India and a mentor to lots of overseas education seekers in India, Prof. Balkin expresses his views about the recent incidences in Australia.
As @Asfaq terms it, this is one of the most sensible & practical posts we have yet read about the issue.
This post was originally published in Indian Express (found via @Asfaq)

I have frequently visited India and have mentored Indian students for over two decades. I have supervised 11 Indian postgraduate research theses. Recent events compel me to pen these words.

The easiest part of my visits to India is convincing good students to join my school’s well-regarded programmes. My central aim is to speak with better students and offer these partial scholarships so that our school continues to flourish, and they may become global leaders in their profession. Indians proudly value quality education and the international experience.

I confess: I love India. I love the people. There is much goodwill and diversity and I am always treated with reverential respect. I have sat with family members and discussed their children’s prospects; I have always given an honest appraisal of their child’s suitability for overseas study. I am not a salesman. I advise with both a professorial and parental hat firmly on my head. Also, I have a keen perspective on racism, as I am visibly Jewish and the son of Holocaust survivors. People of my faith have been persecuted since their beginnings.

To be sure, there were times when I was not able to travel to Ahmedabad because of religious violence, and warned to avoid questionable Indian taxi drivers because foreigners had been robbed, murdered or abducted. I commonly read press warnings to female Indian university students about the possibility of rape upon returning to Delhi hostels in the evening. Pockets of violence are an unfortunate abnormity of our world, but my overall perspective, however, was and remains one of confidence and contentment.

I sojourned at Nariman House exactly 2 weeks before terrorists in cosmopolitan Mumbai murdered my good friends, Rabbi and Mrs Holtzberg. I saw the bullet-riddled and bloodied room that I had slept in. I frequented the Taj Hotel in Mumbai. In Melbourne I spoke and wrote about these events and my comments were reported in the Australian Parliament; they continue to shake my core. I know I will return to Mumbai soon, but this time, apart from the psychological trauma induced by that memory, I will have anxious parents asking me whether they should send their beloved to study in Melbourne, or indeed any other city in Australia.

It is counterproductive to generalise about Australians in the same way that it is counterproductive to generalise about Indians. Indian students in Australia are not all the same. Some are serious and highly motivated, seeking international educational excellence; some are opportunists who knowingly enrol in programs from nefarious institutions and whose primary concern is to find a way, any way, to stay in Australia. This second type of student can sometimes be seen congregating in centre of cities as if they have little to do — that is, until they commence night-time employment as taxi drivers, cleaners, guards or door-to-door salespeople. It is demeaning. Why do it? Students should come for real educations by all means, stay if they choose by all means — Australia is in need of qualified professionals — but “purchasing” paper diplomas is not a sound aim.

Some sober realities:

  • Australia is a great and relatively safe country with an exemplary but currently challenged police force. I consider it the multi-cultural success story of the world. Melbourne, in particular, is a rich tapestry of culture and tolerance.
  • There is a real problem with some members of “Generation Y”, especially in certain suburbs. This may relate to a lack of proper parenting, drugs and alcohol. One should not assume they are “white Anglo-Saxon Aussies.” They do not go after Indians per se, in my estimation. Rather, of late, if they identify someone as a “vulnerable target” they have exercised unjustified and mindless violence. Ironically, one member of a gang was himself clearly from the sub-continent and involved in perpetrating recent train violence against an Indian. Idiocy knows no racial boundaries.
  • Australians care. When a young Anglo-Saxon father came to the aid of someone in distress in the dead of night he was stabbed and later died. Where are those perpetrators? They immediately fled to Thailand. It is easy to guess their origin. We don’t blame their country per se. There are rotten eggs everywhere. To blame a people or besmirch a city can be construed as reverse racism.
  • Some student agents in the sub-continent are irresponsible. They send students overseas when they are well aware that the students don’t have the intellectual capacity and/or the parents don’t have the financial capacity. They make unpardonable promises that students can work (almost full time) to pay both their living and tuition fees. These agents should be exposed and marginalised.

It is great that Indian students protested both last night and this morning, but I think that they should not have done so solely as Indian students. Let’s stop the mindless sensationalising. There is a problem, yes. I am equally confident that this is a transient issue that will pass, perhaps even quicker than swine flu. Let’s enhance cooperation, not work against it. I’d like it if more local students spend a semester in India, at least performing quality work integrated learning. Are there any companies out there who are listening? This will help to further bilateral cultural exchange and mutual understanding.

In summary, this issue is primarily one of delinquency. It is not about a particular race. Surely, we are well past the spat between Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds?

I can only speak for myself but I live in a wonderful, unique, multi-cultural, exciting and friendly melting pot. As a father of five children, two of whom have studied overseas, I am confident that any student who studies here will be in an environment that gushes tolerance and oozes love and respect. I will personally continue to “look after” any student that knocks on my door, be they Indian or otherwise. My campus has had, thankfully, close to zero incidents and we endeavour to keep it that way. This issue will pass if we stick together, forcefully and effectively, but without unnecessary rancour and aggressive finger pointing.

Gambhir and Laxman put India in a commandable position

Gautam Gambhir and VVS Laxman’s knock of double hundreds have out India in command in third test at Delhi. Now Australia can only at best think of drawing the game, thus losing all hopes of winning the four match series against India.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, Kumble could not have expected a better performance from the batsmen. Laxman summed it up perfectly by rubbing it in by saying that the Aussies had a defensive approach in this game. You cant really find Laxman at fault here. For how often have you seen Brett Lee steaming in with just one slip and a sweeper cover on the off side. Rarely in the past few years, have Australia played catch up in a series and gone into a test match with a defensive mind set. The writing is on the wall, the Australian domination over world cricket is about to get over and this is where teams of the caliber of India, South Africa and Sri Lanka should put pressure on the aussies so that they lose the coveted No. 1 ranking which they have held for so long.
Feroz shah kotla, Delhi has been a great hunting ground for the Indian team as they have won most of their test matches played here. And who can forget Kumble’s magical ten wicket haul against Pakistan, a feat that is almost impossible to replicate in the future by any cricketer. It couldn’t have been a better first innings score for India. Even after the early departure of Sehwag and Dravid, Tendulkar and Gambhir calmed the nerves. Tendulkar was in a class of his own as he reached a quick fifty, playing some audacious shots which only he can muster. On the other hand, Gautam Gambhir started off sedately only to hit the gas after the departure of Tendulkar. Laxman joined Gambhir close to the end of the first day’s play and it was little known that the two would form the biggest partnership at this ground against the Aussies. If Gambhir was aggressive, Laxman was the usual relaxed. The both complimented each other and gave India what it wanted a solid partnership. Laxman was at his wristy best, even trying to play the flick shots on the off side and Gambhir wasn’t held back from stepping down the pitch and taking the attack to the opposition. The partnership of 278 runs was only broken after Gambhir had scored his first double hundred in front of his home crowd. Though Ganguly and Dhoni fell in quick succession in order to get quick runs, Laxman didn’t disappoint as he completed his second double hundred against the aussies and the thirteenth hundred overall in test cricket.
The test match is now poised clearly in favour of the aussies. The Australian top order will have to bat out of their skins in order to save the test match from here or else they may be staring at losing the series in the third test itself. Whatever happens in the Kotla test, India cannot lose the series from here.

Why Indian students go abroad?

Oxford, Harvard, Cambridge or Yale? A dilemma of Atlantic proportions for the Indian students for these universities not only have the patina of history and heritage attached to them but also offer a wide array of opportunities in todays world.
There has been a growing trend of Indian students going abroad for education. In the past decade whether it is America, the United Kingdom or Australia, the number of Indian students going to study overseas has risen tremendously so much so that in 2007, maximum students going to US for further studies were Indians. This was the first time that India went past China. There has been such an increase in the number of students going abroad that even international carriers are cashing in by offering special fares and packages to students. The favoured destinations of the Indian students include the universities of America, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. More than fifty percent of the students opt for US for higher studies.
But to think of it why do students choose to go abroad. To begin with there are capacity constraints in the Indian universities. More than ninety percent of the students who appear for the entrance examinations to the IITs and the IIMs do not make it through and the colleges that are now being offered to them lack in quality of infrastructure. If the Indian universities were compared with the American ones, a startling fact would be revealed. To begin with there are just 4,400 AICTE approved universities in India whereas in a country there are more than 10,000 universities and this despite the fact that India is home to the highest number of young people in the world. This is another reason why india fals to attract barely any foreign students whereas more than five lakh students from different parts of the world flock to the American universities every year. The number of specialization courses as well as scholarships and fee waivers available abroad are also high.
The students going abroad have been great advertisements for India. India has exported the most sought after commodity in the world-Talent. Winston Churchill had once said, “Empires of the future will be empires of the minds”. Brand India may not have had all its glitter if it weren’t for the list of the thousands of Global Indian achievers. How the foreign universities help the students is by transforming young talented students into world class skilled professionals. The students who choose to go abroad have several benefits. There is an emphasis on practical learning as opposed to theoretical learning thus conceptual clarity is the key in any course abroad. The foreign universities have the best in technology and infrastructure to offer whereas the infrastructure in many of the Indian universities is woeful. The world is a globalised village and hence it is imperative that students develop a global perspective. This is made possible due to interaction between students from various backgrounds. The teachers in India may not be paid enough but in foreign universities they are committed to mentoring and guiding the students. Placements and career opportunities are also better abroad. Moreover students get to study in some of the best universities of the world. Thus going overseas for education is being looked upon at as not just a harbinger of limitless opportunities for the students but also as a potent catalyst in the strengthening of the Indian economy.

Ganguly: A glittering career comes to an end

Whatever may be the reasons for Sourav Ganguly’s retirement, it is time we all stood up in admiration of one of the greatest Indian cricketers and lets just hope that he goes out with a big bang as he had entered the world of cricket in 1996.
Amitabh Bachchan, Hrithik Roshan and Sourav Ganguly have something in common. No it isn’t any brand that they are endorsing. They have scripted the best comebacks that any one can remember in their respective fields. It is said that Character is judged at times of adversity. These three men have sprung a surprise whenever they have been written off by the critics. Sourav Ganguly- the most charismatic and successful captain that India has ever produced is said to retire. This will mark the end of a glorious career in cricket. Whether you loved him or hated him but you could never be indifferent to him.
What started off with a bang at Lords in London is said to go down against the most formidable team in the World. The aussies have always been wary of the Indians specially in their own backyard. And as Ganguly said in the press conference yesterday he would like to go off on a winning note. All eyes will be on the ‘Royal Bengal Tiger’ as he goes out for his last prowl against the Aussies. Every time he will effortlessly caress the ball through the off side, millions of people all around the country will jump in sheer delight.
Through out his career, Ganguly has been in the media glare. He got the ‘Bad boy’ image going but he gave the team an aggressive outlook when he took over as captain something that had not been seen too often in Indian cricket. He has had his string of ups and downs but the resilience, grit and determination has always stood out in his tough time. His partnership with Dravid in the match against Sri Lanka at Taunton in the 1999 world cup, his hundred against Australia at Brisbane last tour and his double hundred against Pakistan in the last series were some of his best performances. Toronto perhaps was his favourite venue, where he wom four man of the match awards in a series against Pakistan.
As a captain, Ganguly had great achievements. Won twenty one tests, out of which twelve were won abroad. His famous Natwest series win against England at Lords when he flung his T shirt off and yelled foul words changed the image of Indian cricket and also made Freddie Flintoff a bit more reticent in the future. His series win against Australia at home in which India scripted a great comeback and went on to win a test after following on. This series is regarded as the best series ever where the underdogs sprung a surprise on the champions and is still one of the greatest inspirational stories in the world of cricket. India’s maiden win in a series in Pakistan also came under the captaincy of Ganguly. The Indian team’s performance of reaching the finals of the 2003 world cup in South Africa could also be credited to the captaincy of Sourav Ganguly who also struck two hundreds in the series.
Ganguly was the poster boy of Indian cricket for a long time. Many feel he may not be as talented as Sachin or as technically correct as Dravid, but when it came to stroking through the off side he was the most gifted players ever. He did have his weak points like the rising short delivery, or fending outside the off stump, not one of the best fielders of the side and a poor runner between the wickets. But every one has some weak points including a great called Achilles. Ganguly has called it a day now, and lets not ruin the moment and contemplating as to why he has done it. There are theories of voluntarily retirement schemes, some sort of deal sprung up with the board and even threats of kidnapping his daughter. Lets give attention and credit where it is due. Here’s a cricketer who has devoted his life to the sport and is one of the most loved sportsmen in India. This aint his end yet, just the beginning of the end. We will still see him coming in black and gold and scaring the hell out of the other bowlers in the IPL’s seasons. It is time we stood up in admiration of this great cricketer and hope he has a fitting ending to a great career.

Indian media hail CB Series Victory.

Indian newspapers have hailed the country’s cricket team’s one-day series victory over Australia. India lost two of their first three games in the series, including one against Sri Lanka, who lost last April’s World Cup final to Australia.

Winners But the team battled back to pip Sri Lanka for a place in the best-of-three finals series, going on to beat Australia 2-0.

India last won an important limited overs series in Australia 23 years ago.

Triumph Against All Oz, headlined the Hindustan Times newspaper on Monday.

“The Men in Blue overcame insult and injury, hostility on and off the field from players, spectators and media, on the world’s toughest tour against the world’s best side,” the paper said.

“Australian captain Ricky Ponting admitted India outplayed them in the one-day finals. A more graceful captain would also have admitted that India had out-behaved Australia all summer.”

Controversy

A race row and umpiring controversy had earlier threatened to disrupt the cricket tour.

The controversial Sydney Test was blighted by contentious catches, a series of poor umpiring decisions and over-zealous appealing.

Hours after it finished, Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh was banned for three matches for an alleged racist remark against Andrew Symonds

Singh had denied the charge and the Indians threatened to abandon the tour.

The charge of racially abusing Symonds was later downgraded to abusive language by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

The ICC also accepted India’s demand that West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor be removed for the rest of the series after the umpiring fiasco in Sydney.

We Are The Champs, headlined The Times Of India .

“MS Dhoni (India captain) and his men have probably accomplished even more. They may have signalled an impending change in the world cricketing order, while wrecking the aura of Australian invincibility,” the paper said.

“India has long had the financial clout. But now, with cricketing muscle lending that support, the power equations in the game seem to be shifting.”

They bury the biggest ghost, headlined The Indian Express .

“For Indian cricket this is a red letter day. This young side has done what no other Indian team has done before – a series victory against Australia.”

Cricket website Cricinfo said: “India irritate Australia’s senior men in a way no other team can manage and the uneasy relationship adds to the home side’s confusion.”

Indian PM Manmohan Singh complimented the team on its victory.

“It is a fabulous victory. This is victory based on teamwork and strong determination,” he said.

The Indian cricket board has announced cash awards to the members of the winning team.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/south_asia/7278682.stm

Published: 2008/03/05 08:35:32 GMT

The Controversial Australian Summers!

‘AUSTRALIAN SUMMERS’ is coming to an end. This summer, we have witnessed a fierce competition between bat and ball. Indian Cricket team has challenged the supremacy of Australia and has been reasonably successful as well. The test series started with Australia on a winning streak that continued till Sydney Cricket Test match. Then India came back strongly and defeated Aussies in Western Australia Cricket Association (WACA) ground, which is considered to be the graveyard for teams from subcontinent.

This win shattered there dream making world record of consecutive wins’ in test matches. The test series ended and then began the last edition of CB series. The very young Indian side under Mahendra Singh Dhoni has done well so far and will be roaring to perform in the finals starting this Sunday. But this summer we have witnessed some of the most bitter and  ‘obnoxious’ controversies. I doubt whether this series will be remembered as one of the toughest challenge that Australia faced after long time or the  ‘bad blood’ that has crept between the two sides.

Symonds and HarbhajanIt all started in Sydney when Australia stabbed the ‘gentleman’s game’ and racism allegations from Australian team along with the dumb umpires in the match lead to series of controversies. BCCI and Indian team under the tough captain, Anil Kumble forced International Cricket Committee to remove honourable Steve Bucknor from Perth test match. Australian media too criticised their team and demanded sacking of Australian captain, Ricky Ponting.

Australian media reported that team selection in India is based on casteism citing some very stupid figures of caste break up in India and representation of the same caste group in the team. They went a step ahead of saying that Indian team players are the ‘worst behaved’ on field. They collected the figures, which said that in last 10 years, 43 Indian players have been found guilty by ICC. Little did they realise that it brought the ‘ racist’ face of ICC in front. ICC does not hesitate to take action against players of Asian origin but is also not willing to take action against so called ‘white’ players. The history is full of such bias decisions. Latest being the fine on Ishant Sharma while letting off Andrew Symonds. India maintained Sharma was provoked by Symonds, and that Australia had been harassing them throughout their tour. Matthew Hayden called Harbhajan an ‘obnoxious weed,’ but was not even reprimanded by ICC.

After the end of test series, Harbhajan was cleared by special judge citing there were no evidences to prove that Harbhajan said something racist to Symonds. This perhaps left Aussies bit disappointed. They criticised BCCI of flexing money power. The sledging took a new dimension when it went off field. Matthew Hayden called Harbhajan ‘obnoxious weed’ in an interview to Brisbane radio. While it was meant to be a light-hearted radio interview, Hayden’s lack of diplomacy acted like petrol on a bushfire.

So what are the reasons that we have seen so many controversies and particularly the sledging. There are different views regarding this but the views that many hold is, “What India has shown this summer is that it is not afraid to expose any so-called on-field secrets. Many touring teams have come and left with their tails between their legs. India certainly hasn’t, and, in some ways, Australia is not used to this.” They just cannot digest the fact that India is posing a threat to their crown and are perplexed by the fact that they have continually been made to look like the guilty party during verbal confrontations with the Indians.

Whatever one may say but this series has raised few questions. A sport is intend to bridge the cultural gap, promote friendship, understanding of customs and cultures. But this series has just created hatred. The people have become more nationalist leaving the ‘sport’ far behind. They are treating this series as never ending war. If we expect that by dividing the people or creating differences we can do any good to the reasons of playing international sport, then we must stop playing. ICC cannot remain a mute spectator and let things go off from the hands. They must design a blue print towards ‘zero tolerance’ on sledging. As Harsha Bhogle said, “Cricket is on the path to hatred and the ICC needs to pull it back now. No sledging, no personal abuse, no crude gesturing, no innuendo. We have lost that option and deservedly so.”

There have been times during this series when I considered unplugging the TV, turning off the radio, and disconnecting the Internet. My love for cricket has been overshadowed by series of controversies. The present generation of India does not follow Gandhian principles and believes in  ‘tit for tat’. If they cannot take it ‘back’ they must refrain from ‘throwing’ it towards opposition. They have always used sledging as part of mind games but were not ready for the same game being played on them. Both the teams must share the blame but I think that Australians must do some serious soul searching and behave on field. Cricket has lost its innocence somewhere this summer and the ‘credit’ goes to the sissy Australian cricket team.

Is Monkey a Racist Term?

In the ongoing India Australia series the Monkey seems to have received more attention than any of the players from either side or any member from the ‘elite’ panel of umpires. It is time we debate whether the term ‘Monkey’ be regarded racist at all. Continue reading Is Monkey a Racist Term?

ICC and not Indians is racist

RACISM HAS many definitions, the most common and widely accepted being the belief that human beings are divided into more than one race, with members of some races being intrinsically superior or inferior to members of other races. As racism carries references to race-based prejudice, violence, or oppression, the term has varying and often hotly contested definitions.

Harbhajan SinghHarbhajan Singh has been handed a three-match ban for a supposedly racist slur made against Andrew Symonds. Isn’t this a well-judged decision?

That’s what ICC seems to believe. They have shown these double standards time and again thereby making an Asian cricket playing nation, a racist one. Let us consider the Indian team, and its history is full of such double standards followed by ICC. The sport cannot go forward until those two blocs (Asian and Non-Asian) are able to work together, and that can only be done when ICC is mainly less of a white Commonwealth club. For the past 20 years it has, by all appearances, been a cartel run by Australians. The Asian countries’ belief, that despite supplying two-thirds of the money in the global game they are endlessly patronised by white administrators, is the cankerous root of the current crisis. It had to be confronted Symondssome time; it might as well be now. The smell of racism is felt in the cricket atmosphere circle and many past and present test cricketers and experts are throwing their comments open for discussion to the masses.

We have history full of such biased decisions:

  • SlaterRemember the Australia-India test match, which was being played in Mumbai. Michael Slater caught Dravid on a bounce and third umpire gave the decision in favour of Dravid. Slater lost his control and had a spat with umpire S Venkata Raghavan. He then went to Dravid and threw some bad words towards him. But this was unnoticed by the match referee and Slater was let off without any fine.
  • During the 2001 tour of South Africa, six Indian players were banned for varying “crimes” such as excessive appealing, ball tampering and ban was also imposed on Sourav Ganguly for not having been able to control the team. So if Virender Sehwag was suspended in South Africa for appealing for taking a catch that wasn’t there, then shouldn’t Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, Andrew Symonds and Michael Clarke be? Or are the rules different for different sides? In the same match South Africans were behaving like hooligans and were abusing the Indian players but no action was taken against them.
  • SachinIn 2003-04 tour of Australia, Glenn McGrath verbally abused Sachin Tendulkar at least half a dozen times but was not reprimanded by ICC referee then.
  • In the recently concluded Sri Lanka-Australia series there was furore over bad decisions.
  • McgrathIf most of the sledging is OK but some terms are deemed racist therefore some forms of sledging are not acceptable while others are—then let the ICC publish the rulebook of sledging—what sledging is OK and what is not with examples. (For instance, it is apparently OK for Glenn McGrath to ask a West Indies batsman what a certain part of Brian Lara’s anatomy feels like because it was a non-racial macho thing to say – basically sic personal abuse is OK in the gentleman’s game but not anything to do with race). Or should action be taken against both forms of abuse?
  • Darrell HairThe ball-tampering row last year involving Pakistan and Darrell Hair made racism in cricket a debatable topic. In the midst of the match, he accused the Pakistan team of ball tampering. Inzamam-ul-Haq, the then captain of the Pakistan team, got offended and decided not to take the field after the lunch break. That led to a showdown between Hair and Haq, which eventually resulted in Pakistan forfeiting the match. As it turned out, there was no evidence of ball tampering, yet Inzi was imposed a ban.
  • To say that there was umpiring bias against Asian teams is to state the obvious. Everyone including non-Asians has made this observation. The only debate is whether this bias continues even now?The decision of banning Harbhajan is very sad and leaves a sour taste in our mouths. The picture we get is that—if a white player gives witness for something they were not close to—it must be true. No matter if a non-white player was present there on the pitch and says nothing happened. If a white man says he said it, he must have. If a white player says that the catch was clean – he can’t be lying… No matter what the TV cameras show. If Ricky picked a catch from turf or Clarke picked a bump ball, as long as they say it was clean – they must be correct. The truth be damned! To me – that is racism!!!

    But unfortunately all these things happened because WE ARE RACISTS!! Then,

    Speed ICC must be banned for owning such a racist game.

  • In the Loving Memory of Gentleman’s Game that died in Sydney on January 6th, 2008

    MatchThe second Test at the SCG has been full of controversies, and many minutes of air time and centimetres of newspaper space have been devoted to them, especially the umpiring errors. Indians played remarkably well and especially captain Kumble stood ground and set an example. The test result is an agony. The Indians did not deserve to loose this test match but for the poor decisions. Finally, Bucknor and Benson smiled. They won it for Australia. Out of 12 wrong decisions, 10 were against India which literally means that an innings was wrapped up by Umpires. As Ian Chappell said on commentary on the 5th afternoon “Batsmen usually say to each other ‘you take care of this bowler……..’. [In] this match the Indians might have to say ‘you take care of Bucknor, I will take care of Benson’.” !Match
    But, it’s hard to digest the fact that the Australians have enjoyed this Godly treatment every now and then. It was interesting to read this snippet from a daily recently “During an informal chat, some months ago, Shivnarine Chanderpaul made an interesting point: if the umpires don’t rule all the 50-50 decisions, or even some of the 40-60 ones, in Australia’s favour, most of the Test teams can beat them. He might, of course, have been exaggerating the beating part a bit. But the fact remains the current Australian lot, whether while batting or bowling, invariably seem to enjoy the benefit of doubt more. It’s like a protective cover that comes to their rescue whenever they are in trouble, or when the opposition is on top”.
    The worst decisions of the game were,

        * On the first day, a Sourav Ganguly delivery appeared to have taken some wood of Ricky Ponting’s bat on its way to MS Dhoni down the leg side but was not given out.

    * More followed when a caught behind shout off Andrew Symonds went unheard, and was rounded off with another one – this time via the third umpire – who dismissed another stumping call. The burly all-rounder replied emphatically with his second Test hundred.

    * Wasim Jaffer was bowled on a no ball by Brett Lee.

    * Umpiring errors continued into the second day when umpire Steve Bucknor didn’t refer to the third umpire on a stumping call against Symonds as following replays showed his foot wasn’t grounded inside the crease.

    * Mike Hussey was not given out when he edged a ball to Dhoni of RP Singh.

    * On the fifth day, Rahul Dravid was undone by a decision from Bucknor, following a caught behind appeal by Andrew Symonds. Dravid, not one to reveal his emotions on the field, reacted angrily and replays confirmed why. The bat was way behind the pad but was adjudged to have edged the ball.

    * Sourav Ganguly edged the ball to slip fielder Michael Clarke who claimed a dubious catch, umpire Mark Benson thought it apt to ask captain Ricky Ponting who confirmed he did take it, even as Ganguly refused to leave the field. Replays confirmed Clarke had grounded the catch.

    The Umpires lost the confidence of the viewing public. Leave aside the Umpiring decisions, the spirit that Australian Players showed was also very timid and don’t have sportmanship in them. They can go to any level to win the match. I have played my cricket honestly and sincerely, and that is the approach of my team as well. I expect that from the Australians also,’ Kumble said in the post-match press conference.The behaviour of Australian side lead by captain Ricky Ponting was not of a champion side.

    * Ricky Ponting appealed for a catch of MS Dhoni at slip which he didn’t caught even cleanly. When questioned about the same in press conference later he lost his temper. Why?
    * Michael Clarke grassed the catch of Sourav Ganguly twice (he neither picked the catch cleanly and then touched the ground when he rolled)  yet he said that he has taken the catch cleanly.

    There were far more incidents on the field that will be questioned time and again.

    I have just got the news that Harbhajan Singh has been banned for 3 test matches for “racial slur.” First there is no audio or video eveidence. Somethings were said no doubt. At no point during all this did anyone see Symonds speak to Ricky Pointing and explain the situation.This came as the bigger tragedy as Mike Procter, the refree himself said that Umpires didn’t heard anything from Bhajji which can be considered racial. Then how come he has imposed ban of 3 matches on him? He has given decision on a testimony of few Australian players whose honesty is questionable while he does not believed in what Sachin Tendullkar said. I hate to see an indifferent treatment to players of different nationalities from ICC. Team India has been victimised and BCCI should now support the players at all cost. BCCI is considered to be power house in World Cricket and it should show its power now. Indian team have registered a complaint against Bradd Hogg of abusing an Indian Player. The relationship between the two teams have soured and now this series cannot be played in a congenial environment. Moreover, Indian Players are mentally drained and will be low on confidence after this test match. They will be feeling cheated by Officials. I feel that BCCI should consider abandoning the tour. BCCI cannot dodge away from the responsibility and should take stern measures. Our team needs support of each individual in this crisis and its happy to see that they are getting it too. What is being played in the middle is not a Cricket but something else. It is even worse than a gully Cricket.

    Australians have no right to bring disrepute to this game any further. Apart from dragging Harbhajan Singh into a racial row, the conduct of the Australians in the second cricket Test against India, which ended on Sunday, is a blot on their sportsmanship. They may have won the game with the generous help from the umpires but their behaviour should be an embarrassment for a team that is undoubtedly a champion side.

    In view of the farce in the second test match and ugly cricket played by the Australia, Indian board should pull back their team. Australia might have won but they could not beat the Team India. They have reached their Nadir. The Cricket is dead. May its soul rest in peace!!