Sunday, April 30, 2017

Something is very wrong

Last month, India faced a diplomatic storm with African missions in New Delhi charging the government over inaction over racist crimes in Noida and other parts of the country (mainly around Delhi). During that fiasco, the Indian government as well as many elected representatives tried their best to show that Indians simply cannot be racist - for example, because 'they' live with 'black' South Indians! If this actual gaffe from an MP wasn't enough, let me, a full-fledged India who's had a chance to be on the other side (in America), say it.

India has a racism problem - a very deep problem. Dark skin is seen as a bad thing, mongoloid features are seen as a bad thing. I don't just mean 'bad' in the superficial sense of beauty - a dark-skinned person is (wrongly) seen as being less intelligent, less hardworking, and quite simply, a loser. This is so deeply ingrained that nobody actually realizes it - it's just a 'fact' that we grow up with.

The latest trend are these body-shaming posts on Facebook, such as the one pictured here. And this is not one-off: the picture is always of (a) a woman (b) a black woman and (c) a very fat or very skinny black woman. And these posts get thousands of likes and comments! It's distressing and shameful to see the kind of people who react with anything other than disgust at such pots - and these are not some psychos, but normal people who you could meet everyday. This racism is just so normal that there isn't even a discussion on it - just a stunned denial when it is pointed out.

India needs to talk about this - and a new generation is. But it is happening very slowly, and not at all among older people.

No comments: