The cry of racism
It is obvious for anyone belonging to the stated nationalities and race to feel offended by such words. Often the reactions are in the form of a blame game, who did what in the past, who has been more racist than the other and so on.
Britain ruled over India ( which included present day Pakistan ) for about 200 years and treated their lesser mortal subjects like slaves. The famous poem by Rudyard Kipling titled “The White Man’s Burden” justified European imperialism, he implied that the noble intention behind imperialism was upliftment of the coloured people.
… Take up the White Man’s burden, The savage wars of peace—
Fill full the mouth of Famine And bid the sickness cease;
And when your goal is nearest The end for others sought,
Watch sloth and heathen Folly Bring all your hopes to nought.
There are many examples in the colonial past of India which represent the tragic irony involved in these words.
The Black people, surprisingly, are not even worthy enough to have a nationality. They all are painted with the same brush as it is easier for the painter to imagine the universal physical attributes they possess. Even the nation which was the fore runner of fundamental rights of human beings has been unsuccessful in making its people believe that humanity is beyond colour or physical attributes.
The truth is, we all possess racist and inhumane attributes. As it is said, people who live in glass house should not throw stones at others or they will break their own.
I believe the white man has always been intellectually gifted to understand these things. As far as the snippet in the beginning of the article is concerned, the country in question had lived in isolation for very long, hardly has any diversity( and actively try to remove it like the Tibetans), so it is not entirely their fault. Nor is it my job to lecture others when we ourselves are yet to discover what is humanity. Therefore, I would like to talk about my own country.
By the racist themselves
We Indians discriminate against other Indians who belong to different region, religion, caste, class, gender, and ethnicity. Therefore, before getting angry about such stereotypes, we first need to reform our sense of morality.
After ‘unburdening the White Man’ 69 years ago, India has achieved a lot in her short span of independent history despite the huge diversity the country possesses. But, the country is grappling with many social, economic and political challenges. We have attained political independence, but yet are slaves to social and economic exploitation. The shackles are getting heavier, the chains longer, and the slaves more restless.
But before anything else, we need to shed our hypocrisy, there is no point in feeling bad about such racist remarks if we ourselves do the same in our personal sphere. We discriminate against people from north east for their mongoloid features. Many of us are still blinded by the white man’s aura and discriminate against people who are darker than us, we still like to live in feudalism and believe in the caste system, we kill the girl child before she is born, make her life hell if she manages to survive and grow up, we disdain the poor, we get swayed by religious rhetoric and harbour ill feelings for other religions, castes, races, even people from other states. Hate, rather than love, prevails. Misery, rather than happiness, is the outcome.
‘We the People’, have crafted this nation and promised all sorts of equality and justice in the constitution. Social reform in India has mostly been led rather than pushed from the bottom. And herein lies the tragedy. The current politicians have become one of us, our representatives, rather than the leaders we so desperately need. They follow the same dark and devious path of identity politics, rather than being the leaders who lead us by virtuous example.
We need leaders that lead by example. We need people who think like humans rather than follow the herd. We need change.
I need to be proud of being an Indian. It is not another identity such as caste, religion, but a belief. A belief that we together have traversed a similar path in history, and the future is common to all of us. It is one, large, dysfunctional family. We need to make it functional again.