At the London Olympics in 1948, something happened that even a year earlier would have seemed utterly outlandish, the extravagant daydream of an overly proud Mohun Bagan supporter. The national football team, barely a year after India’s day of independence, were to face off against perennial European powerhouse France in their first Olympic fixture.
And while the pitch may only have been lowly Ilford FC’s Lynn Road ground rather than the hallowed turf of Wembley or Highbury, this historic event took place in England, the home of football. India lost the match 1-2, but Sailen Manna – revered by some as India’s greatest ever footballer – and his teammates could look back on their achievement with pride.
Tiger: I didn’t mean it, mate, that guy pushed me.
Hando: What’d you run into me for? What are you doing here? *What* are you doing here?
[grabs Tiger by the shoulder]
Hando: I’m gonna tell you something. I want you to listen to me now, OK? This… is… not… your… country.
[proceeds to beat him up]
-‘Romper Stomper’ (1992)
According to recent reports, Australia is not the promised land of barbeques, sardonic wit and running with glee from poisonous things. It’s a place where foreigners, including Indians, get beaten up. With thousands of ex-pats leaving Mumbai, Bangalore, Trivandrum etc. behind each year to work or study in Oz, there has understandably been quite a vocal response in Australia andhere in India to the spate of attacks Indian residents endured in Sydney and Melbourne recently.