So do you remember your crush? Well you might also remember his or her complexion, don’t you? Remember the first sight, is it a smile or the fairest them all? What reason do you have if your skin get into contact with a street sweeper or the people who collect your garbage and clean your shit or your spit or your bottle or food remains which you throw on street, makes you ‘unclean’ or impure? What do you know about purity? When sometimes if it happened due to some unusual accidents, when we touch a street sweeper, the next thing we do is to make it obligatory upon us that we will surely take bath at home? We make it compulsory on that very specific time. Why? Because they are not as clean as you think you are! Because they bleed red and you are from lineage of Alexander ‘the great’ the pagan or the great warrior of Marathas or the Pathans, Brahmin and so on, so you might be bleeding white. You are all awesome, all cool, all great because your skin is fair, this makes people beautiful; doesn’t it makes much prettier than any other colour, isn’t? Also makes you photogenic, doesn’t it? Maybe it also makes you feeling that born white makes a person good in moral, in ethics, “because see how fair he or she is?” or phrase like “Aww, see this little fluffy child, how fair like a white milk?” This might also make you think that how handsome you look when you use those bullshitting skin fairness creams? Sad.
Aryans came to India in 1600 BC. They were advance in farming and culture. They also had fair skin tones. In order to exercise control, they start caste system (the cast system in India). At the core of the system, they emphasized the fair skin color and birth rates. This class system is the mother of all racism that is rampant in India.
As a citizen of India we must be ashamed over the brutal and barbaric attack on five African students in Greater Noida. Bear in mind it was not an ordinary attack. No reasoning could justify beating like this for a human being whatsoever. It was an attack on Indian sensibilities and moral sense. This rabid intolerance, the dark and murky side that remains concealed under the shadow of dreamy and flowery ideas of secularism and peace.
Whenever Indians are attacked in the US or any other part of the world, we cry loudly, but I’m astonished that there is no collective uproar when the same thing happened in our nation.
Obviously it’s not the first case of its kind that Africans have been assaulted and beaten. This disease has very old roots. They have been beaten, attacked and abused. They have been called “habshi” or “kala bandar”(black monkey), and offended with other derogatory words. Videos which are made public through various people show an African student being beaten up at a Mall in Greater Noida and none of ‘brave’ bystanders stepped in to stop the assault.
We are stuck with racist minds who suspect all Africans being on the wrong side of the law. There may be some, but don’t judge all of them by the colour of their skin.
An article which was published on a website in the end of the last year, titled, ‘Top 5 racist countries’
, India has topped the list beating countries like Pakistan, Russia, Israel and United States of America. Johnny Punish the author of the column writes,
“A land of so much diversity is also the most racist country in the world. Indians are the most racist people in the world and even today, a child born in the Indian family is taught to worship anyone with white skin and look down upon anyone with dark skin. And thus was born the Indian racism against Africans and other dark skinned people. A fair skinned foreigner gets treated like a god and a dark skinned one is treated very badly. Among Indians they too, there are conflicts between castes and people from different regions like the problem between Marathi Manoos and Biharis. And yet, Indians won’t accept this fact and boast about the culture and diversity and acceptance. It is high time we open our eyes to what the situation truly is and take the saying “Athithi Devo Bhava” (Guest is God) in a positive manner.”
Even the Indians also do not spare in India. Those from the northeast face constant harassment, be it Delhi or Bangalore. Every now and then, you will hear phrases like Kallu and Mallu and Bihari, what for? Shameful. This venomous disease is deeply rooted in our society, relating beauty with whiteness.
The average Indian attitude certainly displays white bias. It’s very easy to observe in across the several Indian communities. India has a disturbing obsession with fair skin. The most disturbing is that people in India, of South Indian origin (Tamil, Telugu, Kannada), who have been traditionally mocked by the North Indians for been dark skinned, are the ones spearheading this discrimination campaign. I would say they are the most racist among the Indian Community.
We also have the national obsession for the whiter skin. Obsession with white is also a big business. It is being called “Snow White syndrome” in India, this is a market where corporates sales of fairness creams are far outstripping those of Coca Cola and Tea.
A report which came in the year 2010 in Sunday Times, BBC, says, ‘India has the world’s second most lucrative marriage industry that has grown to a whopping $40bn a year spend on weddings, dowries, jewelry etc. Indian whitening cream market is expanding at an average of approximately 18% annually. The country’s largest research agency, SBS Nilsson, estimates that this figure will rise to about 25% this year – and the market is worth an estimated $ 432m, the highest level.
With the Indian middle class expected to increase 10-fold to 583 million by 2025, things seem to be improving. But there have been questions from medical experts about the effect of these creams on the skin.
Another report in the daily Economic Times says sales of skin-whitening products were also high in states like Jharkhand and Chattisgarh. “The market in India is huge, really huge,” says a Proctor and Gamble spokesman. Experts say that demand has boomed because of the tendency to discriminate against a person’s skin colour, a practice which is still wide across rural India.
Ask yourself, Why? I hope people could understand the logic or reasons from the above examples. However, there are laws against discriminations; The Indian Constitution guarantees equality as ‘Fundamental Rights’ in Article 15. Article 15 prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, or any of them.
But we actually do not have any specific law against race crimes. In 2015 a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath was said,
“a committee had called for a separate law on race crimes but the government has decided to make amendments in the existing law. Inserting new sections of 153C and 509A in Indian Penal Code (IPC), which will be introduced in Parliament after inter-ministerial consultation”.
Bezbaruah Committee, an 11-member committee headed by retired IAS officer M P Bezbaruah submitted its report on the discrimination against racial attacks on members the North East community, the Centre continues to remain silent on its key findings. The committee was set up following the shocking attack and murder of 19-year-old Nido Tania at a South Delhi market in January 2014. He died because of his blonde dyed hairs and because he was from North East India. Nido was beaten with iron rods and sticks after a fight with a shopkeeper and other men in South Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar market. So, the Committee’s mandate was to listen to the issues raised by people from Northeast India and living in other areas of the country, especially metro cities. The committee was also asked to suggest measures which could be implemented by the government of India. The Committee filed its report with Ministry of Home Affairs on July 11, 2014.
In 2015, NDTV reported that Minister of State for Home, Kiren Rijiju said, “The new section is specific to racial comments and gestures and all we are doing is ensuring what has been already provided in the Constitution is made more elaborate,”. The new section makes those guilty of a “word, gesture or act intended to insult a member of a particular group or of any race,” punishable with a maximum of three-years jail sentence and a fine.
Three years and nothing has been proposed in parliament for amending the requests and recommendations of the said committee; Ministry of Home Affairs has no such plans.
We do discriminate people on the basis of religion, regions, languages, castes, creed. We are practising racism in just too many ways! We might not say it or admit it, but eventually this is what we do that describes us.