Racism in India: Double Standards

So a month of atrocities on our fellow countrymen, our youth, Down Under. A foolish and cowardly act by the Australians racists. All sympathies to them and their families who have suffered, living in fear all the time. To be at the receiving end of a fight with no logic whatsoever in a foreign land tests the courage of even the mightiest. A sudden spate of such incidents, clearly racially motivated, has forced many to escape leaving their studies midway, after all life is more important than those hundreds of thousands of rupees which they have spent in getting there and of course the tiring selection procedure . The attacks, clearly visible have been spurred up by the recent success of India on the international platform and also of the Indian students there instilling a sense of insecurity among the natives.

Our Government has denounced those attacks in harshest words. Amitabh Bachchan is not going to accept his Doctorate from Queensland University. Bollywood’s up against shooting there. Waugh’s appealing to the countrymen. Media’s up in arms against Australia. The whole country is showing solidarity to those being attacked. Gosh!! We’re such dangerous victims, ain’t we? Even the Australian PM Rudd can feel the heat with the whole of Australian media denouncing him in harsh words. Meanwhile the racist attacks continue, but we hope that Australian government will take some strict action.

Diversity! What better place to witness it other than India. So a young Aussie kid who has just started to read newspapers would make of India as a place with Integrity in Diversity! Look into your backyard, which we never do, and you’ll be proud to find a sport where we can beat the Aussies any day with our hands down. North Indians and South Indians greet each other so warmly that an Aussie would be embarrassed of the hospitality he offers. Divides here are more prevalent and visible. We don’t even need the caste system to prove this. Including that will make us more invincible than Don Bradman’s team ever was. Come to north and instantly be labelled as a Maddu if you’re a Southy if you are a South Indian or a Chinki if a North-eastern. Go down south and you’re looked upon as a man with no brains if you’re from north. From UP or Bihar? You’re everyone’s bhaiya and if you’re travelling to Mumbai, rest assured, a warm reception awaits you there courtesy, MNS.

Not that the Aussie acts are justified, but if we are pointing a finger at them, do check out that four points back to us at the same time. ‘Sheer hypocrisy’ we cried when Aussie cricket team accused us of racist comments and going against ‘game spirit’. Isn’t the same happening here too? We’re just so good at playing victims. Hypocrisy is just not the word for us brother. We’re probably too much for that. We’re a country where everyone’s got a mindset ready in their self-proclaimed wise brains attached to your caste or your region. Southern people consider themselves to be having the most ‘grey area’ and northern ones to be people who just love to show off. Calling someone Maddu is okay but getting called a Paki is racially offensive and enough to raise a huge hue and cry. And the warmth which we show to north-eastern people especially girls who are subjected to scores of lewd comments and taunted for their Mongolian features.

India has been able to save itself from harmful strictures in International foray with a few legal minds distinguishing casteism from racism. But is it really? Isn’t it just another form of discrimination? But hats off to us for having been able to ward off discussions on this matter at the international level, after all we’re victims not racists!! In no way I’m justifying attacks on Indians that have taken place but if we’re so aware of the pains that these abuses cause then we must introspect our actions as well.

The double standards which we have been maintaining for decades can’t continue like this for long as international community has started to question it. Blogs are full of voices against this hypocrisy. And this hypocrisy has resulted in weakening of our case amongst the international masses. The solidarity will decrease in coming days as the voice against becomes strong. And this is going to make the Indian diaspora more vulnerable as India’s rise seems inevitable making others feel insecure and our track record of discrimination is as bad as it can get, providing them with a perfect excuse. We need to learn to introspect ourselves as well before pointing fingers at others.

Pawan Gupta

[Image courtesy: http://www.ndtv.com/news/images/story_page/Australiastudents_pti.jpg]