Saturday, May 30, 2009

Race matters?

In the past three weeks, there have been as many attacks on Indians in Australia. Everyone has condemned them and there have been protests all over the place. In fact, Amitabh Bachchan has asked for a vote on whether or not he should accept an honour conferred on him by an Australian University!

There are no two opinions that racial discrimination is terrible. We should all condemn it. But should we not look inward too? We are also perpetrators of discrimination. Take a look at our TV shows. Whenever we are trying to make a point about someone looking plain, or not so attractive, we portray them as dark. Does 'ugly' or 'unattractive' equal dark? There are many popular songs that imply the 'dark equals bad' ! "hum kale hain toh kya hua, dilwale hain" for one. Our matrimonial ads are a study in discrimination. The publications even segregate them by caste, community, region, religion language etc. We still ask people whether they are marathi, gujrati, bengali etc. What of the 'north indians, the madrassis' and so on? Will Mr. Bachchan give up all the honours for the way the northindians are being treated? or for the sake of Scarlett Keeling?

While it is wonderful to come together and protest as one against Australia, let us just come together as one in our own country. As the old maxim goes, 'When you point a finger, there are three pointing your way'.

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