For an Australian of Indian origin, Jan. 26 is a double holiday, celebrated as important national occasions in both countries. The contrast could hardly have been more stark between events to mark the occasion and the resulting national conversation in the two countries this year.

Australians celebrate Jan. 26 as Australia Day to mark the settlement of the continent by Europeans. A year ago, to general bemusement, considerable bewilderment and some hostility, Prime Minister Tony Abbott without forewarning revived the custom of doling out knighthoods and damehoods. Most Australians believed the nation had moved well and truly beyond the trappings of empire in favor of our own rungs of recognition: Australian titles for Australian worthies.

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