For the many thoughts that come and go unannounced and the ones which refuse to budge out of my head…

My aunt came storming across the room. She was fuming, after reading the paper. “How could he? Stupid racist New Zealander!” She said. I asked her what had happened, when she told me about the whole New Zealand journalist, Paul Henry and the controversy with Shiela Dixit.

In a flash I myself felt a bout of antagonism towards the man in question. Of course, what he said wasn’t really acceptable. And for most of us, wasn’t acceptable at all. It was offensive, no doubt.

But after a while I couldn’t help but think about it. I tried thinking about instances back home, here and there, and practically all over, and all I got from that spur of the moment contemplation, was, ‘Who are we to say anything about it? Aren’t we equally (or even) more racist ourselves?’

We’re a blatantly racist nation. We live on racism. Most of our jokes are made on either, Sardars, Biharis, Jats, or Nepalis, hence, racist. Our old hence supposedly wise aunties, judge everything from their future employee to future daughter-in-laws on the basis of colour.

Our racism is not just limited within our own country. If you’ve seen the movie ‘Fashion’, the moment where she does realise that she’s ruining her life is when she wakes up to notice that she’d been sleeping with a black man. Now tell me if that wasn’t racist?

One of our favourite comedians, Russell Peters (of Indian origin), lives on his oh-so-racist jokes. And the best part is all of us laugh at his funny imitation of the Chinese accent and jokes about Jews and Arabs.

And haven’t we all laughed at those numerous ‘blonde jokes’ and the Nepali who will be doomed to be a watchman forever.

One of my relatives once told me how ‘unsafe’ it was to live in this particular colony in Delhi because there were so many ‘Negroes‘ living there and hence it was not a safe place because they are supposedly ‘dangerous’ people.

The point I’m trying to make here is that we (Indians especially) are innately racist. And thus we have no right to condemn anything which we can remotely call racist.

Of course, these are racist generalisations we all make. Whereas, what Mr. Paul Henry said was outright offensive, but bad-mouthing him for passing a racist comment may have been somewhat hypocritical on our part.

Hopefully we’ll stop being racist someday. But I guess that’s just too much to ask for. But the least we can do is stop being so intolerant towards racist comments when we ourselves are an outright racist nation.


Comments on: "We’re a Racist Nation which Hates Racism" (18)

  1. I do agree with you. That scene in Fashion puts it very subtly but states a fact loud and clear.
    We are all innately racist. And we’re quick to judge anyone belonging to any particular background by all the pre-conceived notions we have about them.
    On the one hand, where racist violence is absolutely unacceptable, racist comments are something we should curb ourselves first, and only then can we afford to oppose the same by others.

    • Thanks. I couldn’t have put it better myself.
      And you’re absolutely right. Racist violence a fanaticism is intolerable.
      But when it comes to racist comments, it would be hypocritical if one continues to tolerate racist comments about others (and makes them too), but suddenly get’s hostile about comments made about oneself.

  2. sardar ji jokes are not even funny !

    • also – fashion was a stupid movie !

      p.s. i would love to have sex with a negro man , applying racism here but its a general notion that they have the largest dicks :))))

      • Hehe.. 😀
        Only you could’ve come up with that, Devika. 😛
        I’m sure it’s true, they HAVE been sufficiently endowed.. 😛
        So I guess it should be worth a try, I’ll give you the address of the ‘unsafe’ colony.. 😛

        Hugs.. 🙂

  3. Very well thought of and presented. It’s a very different point of view. I appreciate it!

    Recently, I got a sms saying why we should stop passing on Santa Banta Jokes. It’s becoz britishers used to joke about the army men comprising of surds using such names, and now even after independece, we use such derogatory language for our fellow countrymen, never questioning, how it started. Is it not racial discrimination?

    great post arushi!


    • Thank you so much! 🙂
      And I completely agree with you too.
      We’re so racist ourselves, that we have no right to pass judgements at racist comments made by others.

  4. Again something extremley thoughtful from you Arushi! I believe racism has been so inherent that it has become a part of growing up in India. If we closley observe the random conversations that we have with people – there is a always an undercurrent of racism. Like, my new neighbor asking me my full name – to see where she can place me in the whole of India (and apparently judging me by that?). Or people telling me very openly that I did not ‘manage’ to get my mother’s fair color! Or people telling pregnant women to drink milk and saffron so that the baby is fair!!

    • Thank you Poornima Di, I’m glad you agree.
      And I have seen this whole surname and colour thing which is so very prevalent in our country today.
      I know of a household where the grandmother is still hostile towards her adopted granddaughter just because of her dusky complexion, which is just REALLY sad.

      And till the time we ourselves don’t become a racially secure nation we have absolutely no right to say anything against against anything racist being said against us.

      Blatant hypocrisy I say! 😉
      Hugs.. 🙂

  5. In other words, we are hippo…*wait for it*..crates! xD Hypocrites 🙂 lol loved the post!

    • Thanks V! 🙂
      And I so agree.. We’re hypocrites to the point of being hippopotamus’s.. 😛
      Whatever that meant..
      you get the point… 😛
      love and hugs, V.. 🙂

  6. Couldn’t find bigger hypocrites than us (Indians). Sometimes I think of us, as a society, as the saas in one of the numerous saas-bahu trash soaps that air on our telly 😀

    • Sooooo TRUE!
      God, We’re too hypocritical for our own good.
      And as for the saas part.. I couldn’t have out it better.. 😛
      I’m glad you agree.. 😉

  7. My view about this is somewhat different. Its really pretty hard for a guy to put this in words properly but here it goes:

    We’re humans and as long as that primate mentality in our genes, it ain’t gonna change. We consciously/sub-consciously look for something to highlight and “nickname” any object- including living beings. Prime example giving cliche names to dogs.

    Rather than trying to dissolve racism, why not accept it? But look at it through positive perspective. For example- Sardars!! Good people!! Really know their food really REALLY well!! Chicken tikka with chutney and pav. Damn!!!

    If you see it this way, racism is not that bad. Think about it, have a cake- its on me 😀

    • No.. no.. I’m not criticizing racism at all. I’m pretty racist myself, (me, being half a Punjabi, I can’t stand loud, pompous Punjabis even one bit). And I also somehow innately feel that Bengalis and South Indians are the nicest possible people..

      I’m not opposing racism, all I’m saying is, if you are being innately racist yourself, don’t criticize others for doing so against you.
      Learn to laugh at yourself first and then only practice laughing at others..

      I myself come from a cultural mish-mash, dominantly Punjabi and Nepali, and I love cracking jokes on Punjabis and Nepalis..
      I am openly racist, ethically racist.
      And in fact I don’t take a racist comment against me personally at all.

      Cheers.. 🙂

      • Same here. My parents are from South, born in Mumbai. People say I am look less of a muslim (yeah you know what I mean- beard, clothing- stuff like that) and more like a pav (local slang for Goa type folks who are living in Mumbai). We’re all one mashed in one big bowl. Now I even see Russians (not THOSE types, pretty good ones most are managers n stuff) living locally and boy- they know how to bargain with the local bhaji walla even in english.

        • That’s awesome.. 🙂
          Well I’m basically from just all over. Since my dad’s in the army.
          So whenever someone asks me, where I’m from, I say I’m Indian. 😉
          It’s amazing how many people scoff at that, as if I don’t exist of I don’t get classified into a subdivision. 😦

  8. You’re right. I think its about time atleast some of us start using that word. Might not solve the “problems” but maybe it would take atleast a generation’s effort to get that done- but hey. We’re Indians.

    BTW, I usually end up being with people (friends and the crazy people) who are/whose parents used to be in the army. Well then- the mysterious girl with the red hair. I like reading your blog (yeah…usually I am stuck with the tech stuff so yours is a refreshing change) so!! Cakes on me 😉 You’re bookmarked 😀

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