Indians are racist too

Indians are racist too

By SiliconIndia   |   Monday, 29 June 2009, 05:51 Hrs   |    9 Comments
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Indians are racist too
Bangalore: Since the attack on Indian students in Australia, there have been huge uproar from Indians and Australia has been accused of being a racist country. Is it really fair to accuse Australia for few attacks on Indian students when few Indians have not been treating many foreigners properly? Ask any African living in India and each will tell you at least one instance when they felt the brunt of racism.

Recently Outlook magazine's cover story analyzed in detail how Africans have been racially abused by Indians who have a mindset of giving preference to fair color. Africans are usually called with names like 'Kalia' or 'habshi'. Even advertisement industry, especially fairness cream company, portrays the picture that black color is ugly and fair is beautiful. For instance, a controversial ad for Fair & Lovely cream features an unhappy father because his daughter is dark and unsuccessful. The cream changes her complexion and lands her a glamorous job as an airhostess.

People from South India have got used of being called 'Madrasi' by North Indians. Even though there have been efforts taken by Tamil Film industry to change this perception of people they have not been that successful. Rajnikant, famous actor from south is dark but actress starring with him is always fair in color. Even Hindu mythology tries to teach us that one should not be biased due to color. Lord Krishna was nicknamed as shyam for his dark complexion. Shyam literally means dark. But people have even tried to change that. Comics and TV serials routinely depict evil (the demons) as dark and good (the gods) as fair. "Why is Krishna always portrayed in blue rather than in natural black? It just reinforces our prejudices," said Mumbai-based mythology expert Devdutt Pattanaik to Outlook.

Many sociologists believe that Indians might prefer white skin due to 150 years of Colonial rule by British. Due to this deep inside there might be feeling that ruler is always white. "It became a marker of people trying to be like the white (the one who dominated)," said sociologist Ashish Nandy to Outlook. If India has to improve its image as a global hotspot of business and tourism then this craze of fair skin has to be eliminated.

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Reader's comments(9)
1: they were scientists, every black man who says it is an insult to call him a -n..... but then goes ahead and idolizes any black artist who is allowed to use this word with impunity ( this never made sense to me- if a white man called you n... it's unacceptable- but if a black man calls another n... it's acceptable?)

I don't think you should read much into the Fair & Lovely ads- c'mon such license is given freely to companies. I remeber when my generation went to school- Ravalon toffees were portrayed as a bribeso that your sone studies instead of wasting his time playing.

Violence against those who dont look like you is prevalent everywhere ( anybody witness the Sikh riots of 1984, or let's hang our heads in shame at Staines murder in Orissa). The black man in India almost always is from Africa ( specially Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria). History has shown us that these guys are used as conduits for drugs and other kinds of smuggling ( Dont get me wrong- hell there a whole bunch of really nice guys who come to India for completing their education)/. People are generally hesitant to become friendly with them- only because in their mind there is an image of a druggie looking at you. Now- finally attempting to portray all Australians as bad- simply becasue some idiot did something wrong is not right. C'mon guys dont give into misogynistic feelings- Look where the Waugh twins have set up their charity
( India- not Australia, look at how Dennis Lillee helped so many cricketers at the academy)- a whole nations should not be condemned simply because a couple of swine did something wrong. All of us left home to go abroad to study- correct? what was the first thing we were told before we left for the college ( right after reading the small handout on how to use toilet paper meticulously prepared by the American Embassy)-STAY OUT OF TROUBLE- and always if possible TRAVEL IN GROUPS. You can expect the PM of Australia to sit and protect all Indians- if they can't stand the heat let the Indian Govt take them back and facilitate continuation of study in India. However I will never agree that a single behavioural model is indicative of the entire nation.
One last thought- Madrasi- is not an insult. Each region has it's own unique name - I remember Punjabis were called Phool Gobi and Bandha Gobi in Bengal. Biharis are referred to as bhaiyas Malayalees as Mallus, Muslims in Tamil Nadu as thulakans, Kannadigas as Akada Ukada Machaan fat people were Motoo people with reading glasses were referred to as chasmulli Brahmins in South as Thayir yoghurt- (which rhymes with Iyer)
Posted by:Purist - 29 Jun, 2009
2: Referring to persons as "kalia", or "shorty" is quite different from beating them up, to the point of killing them. The author, in an attempt to appear fair and balanced is confusing between the two.

"Sociologists" conclusions are dime a dozen. If and when a majority of the populace prefers a "dark complexion", advertising agencies, including the Fair & Lovely Cream will feature people trying to change their complexion to dark. Until then, there is nothing wrong in promoting a complexion people prefer. What would you want an ad agency or an airline to do? Feature unattractive people?

Moreover, the attacks on Indian students in australia can by no means be compared to personal preferences of people inside India.

BTW, the author should learn the difference between "few attacks", and "a few attacks". This mistake was made twice in the same sentence.
Posted by:Krishna - 29 Jun, 2009
3: Yes. I agree that we indians may be racist, but we do not behave inhumanly and are not barbaric with any persons with different colors.
You may tease but not hurt anyone phsyically.
Posted by:venkat krishnan - 29 Jun, 2009
Yeah, right. We Indians don't behave inhumanly or barbaric with anyone because of color but caste and religion. We slaughter people because they are from different caste. And recently we have also started beating the hell out of migrants. For eg: Recent UP & Maharashtra riots.

Indian Replied to: venkat krishnan - 29 Jun, 2009
5: Its the sheer truth.
Posted by:Visakh - 29 Jun, 2009
6: It is easier to blame other countries for racism but difficult to curb it in your own country. Strict actions should be taken.
Posted by:Sapna - 28 Jun, 2009
var Replied to: Sapna - 29 Jun, 2009
It is most unfortunate that by nature we have these unique abilities to distinguish our differences, be it visible or otherwise. We can call them preferences, however from outside world view they are no less racist.
Mukesh Replied to: var - 29 Jun, 2009
Everything from declaring "Hindi as Only National Language of India", "those who dont speak Hindi are not Indians" (you see these sticker posted on trains), "OBC caste vs. non-OBC", "Caste system" are acts of RACISM. Some of Indian version of Racism act quite violent - caste clashes. India is needless to say the Worlds Racist Capital.
India is Most Racist Replied to: Mukesh - 29 Jun, 2009