Silent Whispers

Chasing Illusionary Butterflies!

Racism Row : Are Indians Really the Victims?

Posted by Mrityunjay on June 8, 2009

racismAfter 10 long days of procrastination, finally thought of nailing it down. Yes, I am talking about writing! It’s not that topics did not come to my mind but…but..Well, there is a great shameless but…

One news that kept staring at us was/is racist attacks on Indians in Australia. Is this is mere coincidence or plain luck that newspapers never feel any dearth of news? Check out the trends in last one month. IPL, Indian elections, new government formation, Share market rally and the latest Twenty20 world cup! Something or the other keep blessing newspapers and channels and we the poor souls are being burdened with information overload! I wish, someday I could just skip the morning paper but blame it on my most regular habit, I can’t really start my day without looking at few junk news!

Ok, about racist attacks on Indians, I saw an article by Jug Suraiya and I could not help myself getting inspired from it to scribble few lines..err..Paragraphs! Somewhere, we Indians keep finding ourselves in racist row. Remember, our very own Shilpa Shetty emerging as new anti-racism icon! Well, the moment she became a part of ‘Big Brother’, a sort of history was created. Few tabloids even compared her with deeds of Mahatma Gandhi who stood against the might of white Africans a century ago! I would rather not dwell on merits of that comparison. The point to be noted here is what we sow, we reap. We just can’t crib about being the victims all the time. Finding me unreasonable? Tell me, aren’t we racist? Yes, we are one huge breed of racist ourselves. We define racism on the basis of black and white. Black is considered as inferior whereas we always give white color that superior feeling. I have already talked about a certain dimension of this aspect in complexion article.

During my days at Delhi University and even today, I often saw locals treating African students in absolutely disgusting way. They called them ‘habshi’ that is equivalent to being called ‘nigger’ and that is as offensive as it comes! North India has always been besotted with white color. That is very much in tune with TV commercials advocating usage of fairness creams. Having said that, it reminds me that even John Abraham has started to advertise for a fairness cream!! (Dude, you look nice the way you are and if you are so concerned about it why don’t begin the charity with a gift to your girlfriend!)

So why this fascination? Because we were first invaded by superiority of white ‘Aryans’ and later on British? We are a different kind of racists because apart from color discrimination, we decide about the quality of the people based on their castes. Remember, when did you last try to sincerely ask a north-eastern student his name instead of calling him chinky? Or people from Bihar are called biharis and assumed to be ill-mannered, uneducated and malnourished. Bengalis are supposed to be ‘Phattu’ (coward) and south Indians always talk in ‘laa-ille/ ille-po’ sort of language. Gujjus always seek money and as Jug Suraiya pointed out they love ‘heavy SNAKES for tea’! Well, tell me if that is not racism then what ist? But yes, we live in a country that represents ‘unity in diversity!’ so much for equality! So much noise for the sake of being the victims in Australia! Probably, the truth is we are not meant to handle racism because it reminds us of our own ugly reality.

:- Image of Indian students protesting in Melbourne

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12 Responses to “Racism Row : Are Indians Really the Victims?”

  1. ABCD said

    Well you have stated the obvious. We, Indians, are humans and have our own cultural flaws as well. Does this justify the violent attacks in Australia directed against the Indian students? No. I live in a part of the United States that is quite ethnically and racially diverse. Each communit, I have noticed, has it’s inherent flaws and certain traits that might even be downright irritating. Interestingly enough each community has its own prejudices as well. Does this mean that I have a right to go out and beat the crap out of the people I do not like? Does this mean that the people who are themselves flawed should shut up and not complain about the violence that might be directed against them?? Not in a civilized country.

    • With all due respect, I did not intend to justify the attacks on Indians. I am very much sensible to such atrocities and I totaly condemn it. But my point was based on irony reflected in our own culture and behavior in our backyard. I appreciate your point. Having said that, all I wanted was to bring focus on our biased approach towards the color and caste system. We ourselves are not fair enough and before criticizing others we need to change our mindsets!
      Anyways, Thanks a lot for your response. Hope to see you again.


  2. advertisinginindia said

    See, I totally agree to what you have to say but on the other hand if we probe into why Aussies are behaving the way they are behaving? Indians have gone there in numbers, they have taken their jobs, especially the young teens would be feeling like Indians would have felt when there was British rule in India. I agree that Indian students are there only to study and get a good education and that the Australian students should not indulge in such activities…honestly, I view this as a sibling rivalry….young students of both the countries are fighting over a petty issue…

    • sibling rivalry? that was an interesting term. And yes, I quite agree with your points about job insecurity and psyche behind australian attacks. Good insight. Thanks for droping by dear. 🙂

  3. Asad Iqubal said

    Congrats! you have raised the valid questions.

    The world is shrinking and so our belief in the wonderful theory of ‘vasudev kutumbkam’ (The whole world is a family). The more we become civilized, the more we remain same. We Indians are no exceptions either. We are still divided on the lines of cast and creed, region and religion, color and ethnicity. The format of most of the matrimonial ads is a living proof of our racist behavior. Please have a look at one of the several similar ads:
    “Highly educated boy working in MNC, looking for a fair, tall, convent educated, Brahmin girl” . (No offense meant for ‘Brahmins’ as it was just an example. The same kind of ads are published by the people from other casts too)

    In my opinion, the attacks on Indian students are the results of the following factors:
    1. The arrogance that comes with the belief that, “My God/color/country/region/ethnicity is better than your God/color/country/region/ethnicity.
    2. The side effects of over-exposure to the highly over rated concept of globalization.
    3. Fear of losing their ‘own’ jobs to ‘us’ Indians in today’s highly volatile market.

    These incidents can not be prevented by the mere presence of powerful laws. We all will have to stand united against this evil, no matter in which part of the world we reside.

    • Well, first of all felt real good to see your visit. Nice to have old mates dropping by for not-so-poetical topics. 😉 I also appreciate the comment and your opinion about the whole topic. Yes, i agree with all the 3 valid points raised by you. Thanks for giving your time. Hope to see you frequently.
      Cheers. 🙂

  4. Looney Bins said

    My friend just told me that two Indian students were attacked in Canada just yesterday. Talk about globalization of anger directed against Indians. Sheesh!

  5. rose said

    i would like to congratulate you for pointing out
    “Finding me unreasonable? Tell me, aren’t we racist? Yes, we are one huge breed of racist ourselves. We define racism on the basis of black and white.”

    when the incidents in Australia created such a furor in India…
    all I could think of was… “What about you? What about your attitudes? You are in your own country? How do you treat people from your own country from other regions?”

    I am from the north-east, have spent 7 years in New Delhi…& the amount of harassment, the comments men pass, the ugly, lusty looks, the way they think…(you can tell just by looking at the way they look at you)….the mistreatment just because we look different….all these ‘incidents’ i faced…made me cheer (albeit silently)….its wrong but i was pleased…now you finally got what you deserve!…

    if the men behave the same way abroad as you do in India…i won’t even feel a bit of pity….cause the absolutely, without a doubt deserve what was coming to them.

    Remember, what goes around comes around…
    & it will be worse when it comes around!!!

  6. Nikhil said

    Racism is pure evil – Love all, hate none

  7. Srikant said

    Well,its totally condemnable what’s happening in Australia.But at the same time racism can’t be denied in India.Indians have failed to learn from teachings of Sri Krishna and Gita.Instead its the Westerners who seem to be following them and have gone far ahead.I mean in newspapers one can come across matrimonial ads which are presented in such a way,its shocking and racist,especially Jats & Punjabis.I mean the attitude of North Indians especially Jats,Punjabis towards the South Indians is really not good.They think they’re a kind of superior lot than others.Go to the remote villages and you can see racism is in full swing.I mean these things need to end if India has to become a developed nation.

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