“Go back to F#!*ing curryland!!”
“Get outta here towelhead!!”
These may be among the most decent of pejoratives hurled at Indians in their respective foray into foreign lands. The indignation at such treatment and the existence of similar prejudices in this day and age is certainly deplorable. However, this does beg the question: are we entitled to feel condescended? In a culture whose root is based on the concept of “Karma”, could it be that we are facing the brunt of the atrocities we have committed amongst ourselves.
A community who once swore by the caste system is not at all entitled to revolt against racial profiling in the workplace. “Those were different times”, is the standard reply the ‘learned’ scholars have prepared. Then let us present the viewpoint of a casual onlooker of today,
North Vs. South
An Indian is a North Indian or South Indian with characteristics that are stamped on the same pedigree and leaves no wiggle room. Such stereotyping is a subsidiary of racist mentality and extends to a degree that the basis of these distinctions are quite pathetic. For instance, I, a Keralite from the southern half of Kerala, holds the honour of being quite “cunning” among my contemporaries in the northern half of the same state.
For a country whose slogan is “Unity in Diversity”, the reservation system seems to give preference to one’s societal class standing decades back rather than the current financial situation. If that’s not racism, or more correctly ‘positive’ racism, then I don’t know what is. To make things worse current political leaders vying for power aggravates the issue by encouraging this system to sway the particular community’s vote bank in their favour thereby ensuring the propagation of a divisive mentality.
A country that proudly presents itself as secular with religions ranging from Hinduism and Buddhism to the Abrahamic religions is being made to see our fellow compatriots with suspicion and contempt for the wrongs performed by a misguided minority in their respective communities notwithstanding the facts that such acts were committed by members of their own sect at some point. The lynching of Mohd Akhlaque over his alleged consumption of beef is the epitome of intolerance: an act that is worthy of the deepest disgust.
Atithi(except Africans) Devo Bhava
The treatment of African expatriates is worse than what is being meted out in the west. They are immediately associated with drugs and trafficking while we ignore the fact that much of India was once and is still run by underworld dons and mafia kings. Moreover, these men and woman often find themselves scapegoats simply due to their ethnicity. The mob attacks on African students last year for alleged cannibalism and murder was a new low for the international student community in India and our actions leave our legacy on the same page as our western colonizers.
The Whiter, The Better
Indians’ obsession with fair skin as evidenced by the plethora of marriage advertisements seeking light skinned spouses for their children is highly disappointing and an indication of the inherent racist among us. Even our pop culture seems to have joined the fairness bandwagon as it is almost impossible to see a dusky lead in a Bollywood flick. A few exceptions include actors such as Nawazuddin Siddiqui who themselves were often sidelined due to their darker skin tones.
When it comes to our own flaws and failures, we tend to turn a blind eye, but when the calls of inequality and prejudice rings across the ocean, our swords light up social media platforms in acts of support. There is no doubt that everyone needs to be treated equally and racial abuse is unacceptable. We as Indians can only be entitled to such privilege once we stop this discriminatory mentality from overcrowding our very own systems.
Repair our own drawbacks before we try to fix those of others. Voices of change will not echo well from bigoted mouths.