Recently a former Indian parliamentarian sparked a racial controversy during one of his interview to Al Jazeera. The interviewer asked about the recent attack on Nigerian national by the Indian citizens in Greater Noida. Interviewer’s question was that aren’t the Indians racist and discriminates the people on the basis of their color?
In response to the question , former lawmaker said that if we are racist then how is it possible that North Indians live in harmony with the South Indians for centuries? This remark, that North is white and South is black, caused furor in the mainstream media and especially in Southern India. Demonstrations were held, his effigies were burnt, and he was welcomed with the black flag at many places in Southern Peninsula. When things started to become worse, he apologized for his remarks and finally thing seems to be settled.
But what did not settle is my curiosity. The curiosity about the question, are Indians racist ? Do we really prefer white over black? Do we believe in superiority of white vis-a-vis black?
I reflected on these questions but rather than getting a solution, I grappled with more questions. I think answers to these questions will lead to conclusion.
- Why are there many advertisements in media especially of beauty creams and soaps, claiming that they will turn one fairer ? Why is there a hurry to become white?
- Why in matrimonial or even in general proceedings we always mention about the complexion of bride or even of grooms? Why the fairer gets preference?
- Why all the news anchors in media, especially women, are of fair complexion? Can’t those who are less fair can read news more effectively?
- Why the actresses of Bollywood, or for that matter even from the South Indian film industry, are always fair? Those who are not so fair, can’t they perform the drama with same or even better elegance?
When you ponder on these questions and reach to a conclusion, let me tell you a very funny and interesting incident which took place 10-15 days back. It was a dark night and I was returning from a temple which is a kilometer away from my home. The time was approximately 9 PM. I was walking alone towards my home. Suddenly I saw Mannu, an old friend of mine. He was riding bike, and when he crossed me I shouted by his name. He was in good speed, yet on hearing his name he pulled the brake, and with the sound of friction between the tyre and road, the bike stopped. I rushed towards him. He saw me and became delighted as I was too, to meet with him after a long time.
After initial Hi! Hello!…. He said that “when you shouted and forced me to stop the bike, a thought came in my mind that the guy, who stopped me, has to be my relative or a very close friend”. I asked smilingly “why you felt in that way?”
His response was epic “He said, my friend, during the dark lunar phase when I almost become one with darkness it is very difficult to recognize me and that too when I was riding bike with some speed, yet you separated me from gloomy surrounding with perfection” I can’t prevent myself laughing loudly. He was also smiling. Isn’t it the best jokes are the one which we crack on our self?
I was happy that he was not apologetic of his complexion, rather he was confident. To fight the world who tries to bring apartheid system back again, those who are at receiving end has to believe in them. Their believe is their strength…..
Game of Chess is only meaningful when both the sides, black and white, gets equal privileges.