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India One More Eyewitness For 1984

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by Vikram singh, Jul 5, 2010.

  1. Vikram singh

    Vikram singh
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    SPNer Thinker

    Feb 25, 2005
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    Sometimes, in the middle of all the chaos, good things happen to good people.
    One of the ABC's longest-serving employees is flying out of India today on a historic journey.
    Joseph Madan has been the ABC's driver in India for 32 years.
    He has worked with dozens of ABC correspondents and camera crews, covering some of the most dramatic events in India's history over the past three decades.
    This morning Joseph and his wife will be getting on a plane for the first time in their lives, setting off for a reunion with some long lost ABC colleagues in Australia.

    After years of driving other people to the airport, today is his turn. Joseph will finally be fulfilling his dream of visiting Australia.
    "It has all come true. I don't know. It's a miracle. I still can't believe that this miracle for me. It's very hard to say. It's so wonderful to see," he said.
    A group of former foreign correspondents decided the visit was long overdue. Several owed their lives to Joseph's courage and quick thinking.
    Former correspondent Bob Wurth covered the brutal aftermath of the assassination of prime minister Indira Gandhi in 1984.
    Mr Wurth, ABC cameraman Willie Phua and Joseph were surrounded by the crowd as members of the Sikh minority were murdered.
    "Sikhs were being dragged out of their homes, men and boys, and they were being covered in oil, they were being set alight," Mr Wurth said.
    "Their legs were being broken so they couldn't run away. They were just being killed before our eyes."
    Several protesters tried to open the fuel tank of the ABC car and set it on fire.
    Joseph stepped in, on what he says was one of the darkest days he can remember.
    "It's very emotional times. People kill each other. They are all innocent. Unnecessary. It was very painful, those days," he said.
    Mr Wurth says Joseph deserves thanks and recognition for his courage and hard work.
    "He's a quiet, unassuming, intelligent fellow and his calmness probably helped to save the day. Yes, he was something of a hero," he said.
    So it is no surprise that donations flowed from former foreign correspondents to allow Joseph to visit Australia.
    The Australia-India Council and the ABC got on board too.
    When Joseph received the good news, he sobbed with joy.
    He and his wife have never been outside India, never been on a plane, and until a couple of months ago, did not even have passports.
    Joseph and his wife Celine will be special guests at the launch of Mr Wurth's biography of cameraman Willie Phua.
    They will be reunited with the families of correspondents, some of whom they have not seen for more than 25 years.
    "It is family. I really want to see them. It is a dream come true," Joseph said.
    One former colleague will be taking Joseph and Celine on the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb next week.
    After a lifetime in India, they will finally be looking out over a city they have heard about for 32 years.
    Joseph Madan says he does not want to miss a thing.
    "It's unforgettable things. I want to see everyone. Everyone of them. I don't want to miss anybody," he said.

    Unsung ABC hero heads Down Under - Yahoo!7
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  3. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    1947-2014 (Archived)
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    Jun 17, 2004
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    This is so wonderful. A wonderful story.
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