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Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Racism: Black and White

Racism, contrary to popular belief is not just discriminating against the complexion of a person. It is discriminating against race, colour, cultural heritage, ethnicity, and nationality. So running away from the person just because he is a Muslim or she is an African is a beautiful example of racism.

Let’s stop fooling ourselves this very second into believing that India is not racist and all Indians are victims of racism abroad. Albeit the latter statement is partially true, the former isn’t.

Not all Indians are victims of racism and India is a very racist country. It is time to examine our own attitudes towards other people. Racism in India is a bit different from Racism elsewhere. Here, we love discriminating amongst our own ethnic group too. It exists in the valleys of stereotypes and pits of prejudices.

People of the north are good enough only for ‘Bhangaras’ (remember the Santa Banta jokes about them being dumb?). Northeastern people are ‘Chiknis’ (is the weather that sticky there?) Rajasthanis and Gujaratis aren’t supposed to know English; at all (love setting the rules though). Biharis are forever brother-zoned (bhaiyas) and creepy and Bengalis and South Indians are the intellectual ones (wasn’t aware that your ethnicity is directly proportional to your IQ points). And of course, how can I forget the stereotype that almost all of us have grown up with, the one which was fed to us like cereal on Sunday mornings, ‘All Muslims are terrorists!’ The classic example of how racist the most diverse country is.

Pic credit: fairandlovely.in
Not to mention, our national obsession with having fair skin. I would never understand why we want the fair skin. Is it to blend in with the white people abroad? Or is it because you think God prefers fair children more than the dark ones? If you think that, then I have some extremely bad news for you. Who cares if you a judge people by their personality when you can judge them by their complexion, Right?

Abroad isn’t full of white people and you don’t even have proof that God exists. Advertisements of fairness creams leave me stunned almost all the times I watch them. I know people who look at a baby and say, “That baby would be cuter if it were fair.” That newborn is fed with your discrimination rather than your blessings. That is as worse as it can get.

There have been people worshipping Donald Trump because of how he is against the Muslims. How about the racist incidents against Africans which are oh-not-so-famous: In February, a group of Tanzanian women was stripped and brutally assaulted on the streets of Bangalore. In March, Isaac, an African student living in Delhi was attacked by a mob and very recently, Masonda Ketada Olivier, a Congolese man was beaten to death in an argument over a rickshaw that turned bad. If only their mouths were as closed as their minds.

It is thus, safe to conclude that we Indians are extremely racist. We are racist to foreigners; we are racist to our own people and towards ourselves. We so desperately want to change people’s perception towards Indians but are not ready to change our own.

So next time you see a person who isn’t of your ‘race,’ hold back the comments you have. You don’t want to be a hypocrite and you most certainly don’t want to be a racist.


Written by Durva Bhatt
A bibliophile who is fuelled entirely by caffeine, sarcasm, fandoms and random thoughts.

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