Friday, September 3, 2010


It is natural to develop prejudices. It is noble to rise above them. 

(Inspiration: 19 years of receiving and witnessing loose comments)

Ever wondered who exactly came up with the phrase ‘black beauty’? Think about it. 

Maybe it was a black man tired of the discrimination coming his way cause of his skin color. Trying to build up a superiority complex for himself and his clan?
Or maybe a huge hearted white, sun bathing with sun tan lotion rubbed all over. Visualizing a beautiful tan on him?

In a country as diverse as ours, communities survive on ‘stereotypes’ created by the other. It’s a way of classifying and ordering an otherwise anarchic world. In this wealth of comforting pre-judgments, the vein of South - Indians in particular is golden. Replete with the generalizing all four southern states poles apart from each other as ‘ Madarasi’s’, followed by an accent everyone imagines bringing about a perfect imitation.

When we meet someone or merely see someone (in case of our dear countrymen), out of spontaneity immediately jump to a conclusion. The person in question is typical South Indian or Punjabi, Gujurati, Bengali, Bihari etc (in case of amateurs) or Baniya, Sindhi, Iyer etc (in case of experts). Once a collective school of thought is put together, there is just one motto ‘LET THE JOKES BEGIN’.
But my question, ‘Who exactly draws the basic guidelines of typical?’
Is it our over exaggerated experience and intellect or the perception that has managed to flow down several generations? No matter what the era we live in, the perception refuses to evolve. 

Let us highlight on a particular community. 

If you are a shameless believer in the utility of STEREO – TYPES, you would agree that South – Indians are black, weird accented and the sole consumers of coconut products in country. Some of you at this point might be nodding in approval. This simply adds a grin to my face and leaves me stunned. Stunned at the pride we Indians take in being merely two – tones lighter than the other.

Well we are huge hearted people; we haven’t simply used the understated crude irony to cut the oily sheen of sincerity. But we have managed to spread the pangs of racism and prejudice against people from the North Eastern India and Bihar. Chinkies, Non – Marathi’s, Madarasi’s, Bihari’s, Bong’s etc. To create categories and sub-categorists is the order of the day.

We have always learnt one principal in life – The one in majority is the bully. Including people down south. They are masters in out casting anyone from the North, labeling them as PARDESI’S.

It is a give and take game, but till when??? Whichever way you look at it, this is only tip the iceberg of the culture of racism. But in reality it is deep, rooted in India and in our educated minds in particular.
So the next time before you pull off a comment with refferance to somebody’s cultural background even if it is in good spirit, remember you are being party to segementing our “Incrediably Racially Prejudiced INDIA”.

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