Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The ugly head of Racism...

Racism is not a word one usually associates with India. We're caste-ist, get fanatical on religious divides and have a very clear class divide....none of which I am proud of. But race is not something we wonder about....or so I thought.

In college I met a diverse range of people. Some of them were from other countries and continents across the world - South America, Europe, Africa, Australia etc. Most of them were greeted by people in India as an object of awe. They were gawked at, touched to see if they were real and taken photographs of as if they were from Hollywood. That in itself can be quite taxing but the intentions were positive so no one really minded.

To my disbelief, one of them who belonged to South Africa and was dark skinned, was targetted by passer-bys every single day. She was looked down upon and sometimes, people would walk in the other direction when they saw her approaching. And this left me incredulous because these people who held such a strong dislike against Africans, were themselves not half as educated, well off or cultured as she was. And they probably did not know how advanced her country is. Unfortunately, she returned soon back to US (where she lived and was studying) with not so good an impression of India and its people.

I may add that this is in no way a generalisation of Indians but only narration of an incident. Racism is a feeling that only a section of our society nurtures.

Whenever we discuss the possibility of migrating to another country, by reflex I tend to oppose the idea as I would not want to be treated as a second grade citizen or be singled out basis where I come from. And then I realise that we're not a model society either, so why blame others.

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