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Monday, June 14, 2021

‘Almost too real to be funny’: Satire on Australia’s India travel ban goes viral

For the first time in history, the government imposed a temporary ban on its citizens, if they have spent time in India up to 14 days before flying back.

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: May 8, 2021 12:23:48 pm
australia india travel ban, australia covid travel ban, australia india ban jail time, australia travel ban criticism, viral news, indian expressThe satire skit is going viral, with people saying the its resemblance to reality is uncanny. (Source: ABC 730/ Twitter)

Ever since the Australia government announced a temporary travel ban on its citizens returning from India, they have been drawing flak from many quarters. The move was dubbed as ‘racist’, with even the UN raising concerns over the ban. Now, a satirist’s video assessing the mood in the health department’s office has gone viral.

Mark Humphries, a satirist with ABC 730 along with Dan Ilac tried to present viewers with a ‘behind the scenes’ skit, what really might have been going on in government offices amid the sharp criticism.

The over 2:30 minute skit shows two leaders — most likely referring to PM Morrison and Greg Hunt, Australia’s Minister for Health — dubbing the ban “very reasonable”. However, not long after the order is sent, an office executive comes in to inform them that there has been some “problems with the travel ban”, to which the official responds, “It’s too lenient, isn’t it?”

As the executive keeps letting them know who all have come out to raise their voice against the ban, in a sarcastic take, the skit showed that while the officers are seen brushing away the comments by the UN Human Rights committee, but showed ‘serious concerned’ when sports personalities came out against the ban.

The skit also commented how the officials were okay with sending a “private jet” for commentators and players if they are stuck in India, while the same hasn’t been said for the common citizens. At one point, the official is even heard saying: “If we lose the cricketers, we lose the country”.

The satire seems to be a hit online.

For the first time in history, the government imposed a temporary ban on its citizens, if they have spent time in India up to 14 days before flying back. The government also threatened to prosecute them with a possibility of five years of jail term or a penalty of 66,000 Australian dollars — a move that has being getting severe backlash. Australia has banned travellers from India until May 15.

Morrison on Friday said the ban will not be extended beyond May 15 and repatriation flights will commence soon, claiming that “biosecurity order until May 15 has proved very effective”.

Amid the backlash, the deputy prime minister said on Wednesday: “No one’s going to be jailed, let’s be honest,” but that the government wanted to ensure Australians “follow the rules”, The Guardian reported.

He urged Australians in India to be patient and to wait for the travel ban review till the period ends. But the ban is now being challenged in the federal court. There are an estimated 9,000 Australians in India, 600 of whom are classed as vulnerable, BBC report said.

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