The Brush n Palette
‘How I met your mother‘ fans would definitely remember how barney has a brother, who’s black and he himself white with blonde hair and how he gets mocking replies on being asked how they really are brothers being so different in skin colors. Also in the classic american novel- ‘Godfather’ by Mario Puzo, the negros( the blacks) are repeatedly mentioned as distinct and filthy race.You would also have read, about a high school in US, recently, where there were two different prom nights, one for whites and the other for blacks. Or for that matter, the fact that few countries like Zimbabwe promote anti white laws and Idi Amin, famous african dictator from Uganda gave an ultimatum of 3 months for Asians to leave the country!
It seems such a prostrate topic, does RACISM! We all know what has happened in the past, perhaps more or less obscure, we also know what is right and what the greater good in this matter is. Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mandela have taught us more or less about it. Races which were not white were not considered particularly a breed of patricians.
Even more, the recent attacks on Indians in Australia, since the last 2 months have scratched the topic and we need a further contemplation on what’s right. When we see students attacked in the smallest continent, perhaps largest commonwealth nation and a world G10 nation such as Australia, there has something more to it than just irresponsible and hideous acts. For it, we must know that Australia has probably the highest Indians studying there (90,000 out of 160,000 in all studying abroad),leave apart the residents, most of them doing post grad studying and almost all engaged in a part time or full time jobs.
I believe we as humans were always and will always be racists! For that case, What is Racism? ~~ Racism, according to Oxford, “is a belief or ideology that all members of each racial group possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially to distinguish it as being either superior or inferior to another racial group or racial groups in terms of characteristics.” But then, its absolutely true! Throughout the geography of the world, we are different due to our physical differences, due to our thinking and upbringing, due to the simple theory of evolution! (REF: Racism- Wikipedia ). Well we do come across many terms, such as Ethnical cleansing, Reverse Racism, Polygenism, the socialist approach, social engg, etc. But the very fact that we must know that racism is prevalent, Racial discrimination is practised, also the fact that caste based, language based differences and seperate reservations are prevalent in many countries, including ours.
Where the electronic media persists that these attacks are completely an act of Oz residents there based on color, i came across this article in a guj fornightly-‘Chitralekha‘ and also recently in ‘abhiyan‘ which also pulls the indian students into the picture. It’s also a fact that many an Indian students there do not respect the people, the place and the laws; its also a fact that Indians because they are probably more hard working and cheaper labour, are snatching away Aussie jobs and services, its also definitely a fact that the residents there are discontent on the flexible immigration laws and many a scholarship programs for Asians.
Coming to India, we sincerely take pride in being called orthodox, obstinate and boastful and think they resonate to the terms- traditionally rich, strong-minded and Happy. If we do broaden the definition and understand it including Caste and language then we are in fact one of the most racists people present. The term reverse racism for this has to be understood well. We give out premium packages for the SC, ST, OBC, some other special tribe. We have shed blood on topics as this; We thrive to take political and financial advantages of the fact of the reservations; We are among the few nations to compromise on the quality of the education at the grassroots level and then produce Doctors and Engineers just because they belong to a specific caste, even though he could barely survive those varsity days. We are yet a step ahead of the Australians where its illegal to be racist, but here we cut, twist and dress up the laws to suite the quotas. We as a result face big divide, a big blot of grey matter as they say that separates prosperity with underprivileged society.
According to the media in Australia, we are a third world country whose only short comings and misery are reported in the news there, where only rapes and killings of foreign tourists take place and where drug trafficking and terrorism are major issues. In Australia, whereas these acts are sporadic and if at all they can be looked, they do resonate with the situation recently with that of Maharashtra and Bihar. Australia has a history of mixed culture where there are all sorts of freedoms for the public from drinking to gambling, teenages get access to drinks as soon they come of age and its pretty common. Instead they are one of the least peace loving people. But then its there culture there, being aetheists, agnostics; the clothing; lifestyle,etc.
As for the Indians, we are one of the smartest races and along with it we also endow the richest culture of this world, which gives us two prerogatives: To believe in ourselves to dominate and show respect to cultures and societies other than us(Humility). But it definitely doesn’t give us previlege to discount or mock other cultures or systems. Its not uncommon for students there gone with sole motive to make money and finally gain citizenship to forget many a courtesies and rights.
Sublime white light comprises of all the colors in a balance. Neither violet with the highest frequency, nor red with highest wavelength are better, for they are complimentary. In just the same way, Whites from America-Europe, blacks from Africa and America, Browns from Asia or yellows from south Asia, we all are but weights of what can be an equilibrium or a pandemonium.
Accepting the fact that Racism isn’t false and Racial discrimination is untrue is the best way to thrive according to the nature. In the same way, reservations based on caste or color aren’t solutions but seeds of further mistrust and inequity.
So perhaps what can be a solution would be to stop treating this topic as an epidemic and not overhype it. Perhaps the students that side, they need to respect the rules and society there, but at the same time not be afraid to justify one’s self esteem and not be cowards just to protect his/her chances to remain in the ‘ land OZ ‘. My grandfather says, “People respect and not necessarily like those who respect themselves and their names. ” Lets understand this for your sake, you sell your ideas and time to others to prosper but when you sell your self respect, your respect for motherland then you do fall low in others eyes if not yours.
As US President Obama very famously said in Cairo to the muslims – “One speech on the stage can’t change centuries of mistrust“, in the same way one thought, one article can’t be enough to motivate people to be rational in understanding Racism.
(References : Wikipedia, The Hindu, The Times of India, Hindustan times, Chitralekha. )