I SAY NO TO RACISM…..

This entire shahrukh khan being detained episode has suddenly taken a new turn – racism. Its suddenly cause we asians that they treat us this way. And of course we Indians cannot tolerate that….How dare you be racist..but look inside us..are we Indians not the most racist community? And unlike them we are proud to be so and flaunt it…

Every other day I meet parents who object to their children marrying someone who does not follow their religion, or is not of their caste, creed, etc. For them their lineage is above all and everyone else who tries to sabotage it is wrong…So isnt that racism? When I get up and say my religion is better than yours, my caste, my creeed, etc, etc…Then why complain about the Whites being racist. Hell we make a much better case of racism than they ever could. I remember the movie “Guess Who’s coming to Dinner” where Joanna (the heroine) does not want to believe her parents are racist . I still remember the last dialogue of Spencer Tracy (the father) where he tells his daughter “Anybody couId make a hell of a good case against your getting married. The arguments are so obvious that nobody has to make them. But you’re two wonderfuI peopIe…who happened to fall in love…and happen to have a pigmentation probIem.And l think that now…no matter what kind of a case some bastard couId make..against your getting married…there wouId be only one thing worse.And that wouId be if knowing what you two are, knowing what you two have, and knowing what you two feel you didn’t get married”. I wonder even today how many parents can tell their kids this. That is a 1967 movie and in 1967 america made a movie which said hey we are racist but we hide it. Its 2009 today and India still says we are racist and we flaunt it. AND WE DO NOTHING…

Riots are also a sign of racism when one group gets up and tells another group, hey I will kill you cause I am better than you in terms of religion, etc. I remember a very close friend of mine once told me why riots happen (This was during the Godhra epsiode). He said its mob fury and gave me an example. What happened if a muslim guy killed him ? Now he being a dear friend of mine, Wouldnt i be so angry that I would feel all muslims are wrong and go kill another muslims. That is what causes riots. Now that got me thinking that he was absolutely right. Except what would happen if some Hindu in some riot God forbid had even remotely harmed Shireen (a very close friend of mine) or her family or Immy chacha and his family(immy chacha is dad’s schoolmate and more than family for me), would I blame all Hindus and go kill them? Going by that logic, then the first person who needs to be killed would be me as technically speaking I am a Hindu. Or is then the basic premise is that I being a Hindu cannot have a very very very good friend who is a muslim? So we again come down to the basic fact that we so racist that we don’t even want to make friends who are not of our religious beliefs and we say whites are racist????? Wow !!
(I want to make a point that my friend was just putting forth an argument and he did not anyway justify it and isnt racist at all). And again we Indians are so proud to be racist.

And what about when people get killed cause they dont follow your political or social ideology. Isnt that racism? Every other day people get killed for not following an ideology and we let out political leaders flaunt them. And yet we blame whites as being racist.

Now I know a lot of you will say well we cannot change others. Hence what can we do. But is there really nothing we can do? Like Gandhiji said, “We need to be the change we wish to see in the world”. I dont want to be a part of the world where people discrimate each other cause every discrimanation is racism. I know there is not much we can do, but that does not mean there is nothing we can do. I remember I took a stand 4 years back that I don’t interview or hire anyone who writes their religion or caste in their resume. For me it was simple if that was your identity, I don’t want to hire you cause I want people to rise above that. Cause such beliefs give rise to racism. This is something we have been following for a long time irrespective of how good the candidate is. In my company we truly believe in being equality. We celebrate every festival and we only let people’s religion come out to enjoy food. Part of our induction states that in the 9 hours people are in the office they will not discrimate against anyone cause of their colour, race, religion, sexual preference, etc. Our ethos says “While at least in the company premises treat everyone AS JUST ANOTHER HUMAN BEING AND THAT IS MORE THAN ENOUGH”. Maybe this is nothing and will bring in no change to the world but at least in those 9 hours I am saying “Hey stop being racist while you with me” with the hope that the rest of the 13 hours too would make everyone feel the same way.

I say no to racism in any form…Do you?

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Comments

  • Kriti  On February 9, 2011 at 1:01 am

    Cannot agree more with you Priya! My comment will create another article if I were to respond to yours the way I want to – but you are doing a damn good job – killing racism in your own way… I will follow your footsteps when I have to hire someone in the future. Great thought!!!

    • priyashmita  On February 9, 2011 at 1:03 am

      Thanks Kriti…guess time we do kill it

  • Nina  On February 9, 2011 at 4:01 am

    Dear Priyashmita,

    What a wonderful, strong and important piece! I relished reading each sentence and found in you a voice I could never put forth myself. Just as the horrible and sickening N word cannot ever be said, even as a Rap joke, by a white person, so this kind of argument I could never ever in my wildest dreams make. But that does not mean that I have not guiltily thought about it. In my career of writing and caringly reporting about Indian culture, cinema and the wonderful people who make it all happen, I’ve also seen more racism than I wish to mention. Kudos to you for having the guts to say it out loud and yes, we all NEED to be the change we want to see in this world! BRAVA!

    • priyashmita  On February 9, 2011 at 9:58 am

      Thanks Nina. Coming from a writer of your caliber it means a lot

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