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20 January 2007

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Roberto Alvarez-Galloso

I consider Shilpa one of the best Bollywood Actresses. The way she was treated at BB reinforces the fact that I prefer Anu's Blog and BBC to mindless stupidity in Reality TV. Those who promoted Big Brother [including Jade] should be punished with a Pie In The Face.
I'm also using my blog to tell the truth about Reality TV especially after the death of a contestant during a water drinking contest in KDND "The Morning Race" [A Reality Radio TV Show in California].
I'm also adding your blog as one of my favorite blogs. Cheers from Miami Florida Roberto

Aliefya

Hey Tarquin
Agree with you there....racism in India is wide and rampant....was born in Bombay and lived there all my life...5 years ago when i decided to move out of my parents home and rent a flat on my own, I went around hunting for a flat...well, in addition to uncovering several ugly layers of the steaming metropolis I call home, I also discovered that despite its glitz and glamor, the underbelly of the city was putrid far beyond my wildest imagination. I was repeatedly refused apartments I liked because I was Muslim...the city skyscrapers were suddenly divided by these invisible gates which allowed entry to only their "type"...after a while, I would straight off tell the brokers I was Muslim even before I told them what my budget was! Then they had the audacity to say that I would have to pay more because searching for a good house for Muslims in decent localities was very very difficult!!!
At times like these, I would go to the Haji Dargah and to the Mahim Church and to the Siddhivinayak Temple...just to see if any of the gods had any objection to the religion I was born into. Thankfully, they couldn't care less...they all offered me warmth and food...
But yes, we Indians are as prejudiced or as un-prejudiced as the next person I meet on the streets in London...last weekend I was coming back from Richmond and decided to take the National Rail instead of the tube...the compartment was packed...every available seat was taken and there were several people standing...I was the only 'colored' person in the compartment...the seat next to me was empty...and it remained empty till the train reached Waterloo and everyone got off...
Hope to catch up with you and Anu when you guys get back...
:)

MumbaiGirl

I'm linking to this if you don't mind.

ayesha

a couple of other blogs i read have been discussing this very thing... the sort of worldwide preference for "fair" skin. i've been thinking about it since i just finished rereading lord of the rings, and sensed again how clearly a character's looks defined their, well, character - tall, grey eyed, fair skinned, are like the race of numenor because they have some elven blood, and of course the elves are fairer than any, while the "swarthy", "squint eyed" southerners are just naturally bad.
although my mother has always told me my left eye squints a little (i managed to marry a fair-skinned punjabi anyway), it's more my swarthiness that would prevent me from enjoying a respite in rivendell as much as i would like to. but, it's sad that this racist preference is SO ingrained even within non-white cultures. the first thing my father-in-law asked after i delivered my son last year - in the hospital, while i'm still being stitched up - was "is he fair"? (turns out he's somewhere between my husband and i ) :)
i think the most poignant part of your post was the very last quote... and the point about the surreality of reality TV. it just makes me feel icky to think about it!
i've linked to your blog, too, hope you don't mind...

Karthik

Funny, I was talking about the same thing yesterday.

https://uberdesi.com/blog/?p=194

witnwisdumb

Great post. I agree with you when you say there are several racist Indians, I have come across countless myself. But I'm a bit doubtful whether some of the things you describe would qualify as 'racist'. Not renting a house to a person based on religion has more to do with religious bigotry than racism, I think.

But the sad thing about racism is that it's not exclusive to any particular culture or nationality. Having lived for many years in Africa, I have personally witnessed Africans being racist towards people of Asian origin. And I've also observed Asians - Indians, Chinese, Malays, Filipinos - being racist towards Africans, Caucasians, and even each other.

Discrimination and segregation is a deeply ingrained human tendency. In a class where all the students share the same racial origin, discrimination still exists - based on gender, physical stature, mental or behavioural traits. And the fact that it is behaviour exhibited by children, spontaneously, goes to show that it's an inherent characteristic of human behaviour.

Sudeep

Its true, many Indians are racists.. thankfully, we havent had much chance to inflict it upon others yet.

otoh, not all references to skin colour in India can be automatically presumed to be about race ! Indians come in all colours, and the preference for fair skin among other Indians is not about race at all, its merely a cutural preference [like say, a preference for large breasted women in USA or a preference for fat women in Sudan(?)]. In my family, my dad has the darkest skin, I am next and my mom has the lightest skin with my sis somwhere in between. I have been teased about my skin colour among other things like say height in the extended family but its definitely not racism. Even in racist, bigoted India, Skin colour is just one thing among many others that decide how attractive one is, unlike other places where ones' race decides completely where in society one stands.

In short, skin colour may get you a hot date or help you in a job where looking attractive and presentable is a job requirement, but *will not* affect your chances of success in your engineering/medical/accounting/.. career, will not affect how popular you are with your friends, will not affect where you sit in the bus, where you live, what table you can eat at in a restaurant etc. I should know, I have been a kala Indian for the past 30 years :-)

Do you still think that fair and lovely sells in India because its racist ? Its just a canard man.. :-D

Nkem

It's a shame that a Nigerian is treated in this way in India. Then again, I do remember visiting India as a seven-year-old, and saying "mummy, I thought they'd be more civilised" when confronted with hordes of beggars outside the airport in what was then Bombay. I was too young to understand that an exotic land like India would be beset by the very same problems as Nigeria. Racism is universal, and bleaching creams are very popular in sub-saharan Africa, a place where dark skin is inevitable and where one would have been assumed it to be celebrated. Martin Jacques's Global Hierarchy of Race is the best analysis of global racism I've read: https://www.guardian.co.uk/race/story/0,11374,1046113,00.html

I have only experienced outright racism once, some boys in a car shouted "nigger" at me in cosmopolitan Birmingham. But it's the more insidious types which are always difficult to pin down as racism, and by its nature more upsetting. How do you explain that you were easily the best performer at an audition, yet you were only offered the cow's hind legs in panto? How do you explain that someone always ignores you, yet is incredibly pleasant with everyone else who is white?

The CBB thing was easily racism intertwined with class. The subtext was simple: you're only an Indian, how dare you rise above your station. The classism is as British as Lancashire botpot, and the racism is as universal as global warming.

I'm glad you guys are enjoying India, and also glad to have discovered your blog.

an india

ya. there are some idiot US ppl too. I am in US and have faced the same problem, people shouting at me as Paki, though am an indian. but i think they are blind. I simply call cops and complain. I tell them the license num and police arrests them. These americans dont know that we have the gift of brain. and thats the reason these people just live in a country like america & ruin & insult their country by abusing the visitors like us.thye dont have anything to contribute for their country just eating up the resources.I hate ppl u do such activities. If god sent me to a part of the world which is called india, that doesnot mean i dont have right to live in america. as a human i have all the right to live in any part of the world and i will make sure that nobody can do any harm to me.

Jacob

Im Afro-American and I was dating an Indian young lady and her brothers with the exact same skin complection often made comments regarding my being "Black". Although her brothers dressed in Hip-hop clothing, listened to Rap, and on most levels seemed to identify with Afro-American Culture. Also they knew I treated her like a queen. I tried to make it work until I could not long deal with the negative racial perspective of her family.

Sentry

I potentially have an opportunity to work in India, Bangalore to be exact. But, as an African-American, who has Indian co-workers here in the U.S., I'm hesitant to go. While we are polite at work, I've sat next to some on the train who make racist remarks about blacks and who constantly brag about how Asians will rule the world. So to consider spending a large amount of time in India is something that even if it negatively affects my career, I will probably not do. It is sad in fact that even those who were subjugated by others in their history, perpetrate the same behavour as soon as the opportunity presents itself.

Sentry

I potentially have an opportunity to work in India, Bangalore to be exact. But, as an African-American, who has Indian co-workers here in the U.S., I'm hesitant to go. While we are polite at work, I've sat next to some on the train who make racist remarks about blacks and who constantly brag about how Asians will rule the world. So to consider spending a large amount of time in India is something that even if it negatively affects my career, I will probably not do. It is sad in fact that even those who were subjugated by others in their history, perpetrate the same behavour as soon as the opportunity presents itself.

Sentry

I potentially have an opportunity to work in India, Bangalore to be exact. But, as an African-American, who has Indian co-workers here in the U.S., I'm hesitant to go. While we are polite at work, I've sat next to some on the train who make racist remarks about blacks and who constantly brag about how Asians will rule the world. So to consider spending a large amount of time in India is something that even if it negatively affects my career, I will probably not do. It is sad in fact that even those who were subjugated by others in their history, perpetrate the same behavour as soon as the opportunity presents itself.

hihi

the racist people r from northern part of inida, all of them r racist, whether hindu, muslim or else. it on their brain...., i been to work there in mumbai n gurgaon, n i face all this shit there...., one person said that the people that desttroyed india is northern people....i dont know why at first??? but no i know. their cheaters, tricky, and racist..., lets be real, all the shit problem bout terrorism, fighting, religion matter are mostly happen between this norhern people, where as when i go to southern part, the people are more friendly, warmn welcome....tht why a lot of tourist like togo south compare to north. lets be real. hell, but recently i heard its getting better nowadays. although it still hard to tell..

Account Deleted

I laugh when people complain of racism abroad, that too Punjabi, Haryanvi guys who think that they are racially the next best thing to a German. But the fact is that the best they could be nearer (racially) to is a Pakistani or Afghani, not much further.

These Punjabi and Haryanvi guys considering themselves to be at the top of racial pecking order in India therefore tend to behave in very snotty, irresponsible, uncultured manner. They get away in India but once abroad e.g. Australia, they meet their superiors, because of their upbringing till then they still try to act as in India.

Soon they find that they meet their masters in racism and their mannerisms are rewarded with the same impunity which they are so accustomed of giving to others in India. But I guess what goes around comes around.

Account Deleted

One thing that makes India unique in discrimi-nation is the fact that most of the mainland India which is predominantly Pseudo-Hindu has been corrupted in discrimination for millenniums. It would not be wrong to say that we are the Leaders in discrimination.
The caste system was designed to oppress and enslave weaker sections of the society so what do you expect from such a country, it’s in the blood.
I have faced three types of discriminations in India, i think one more than could be anywhere. 1) Caste discrimination (oldest and unique), 2) Racial discrimination, 3) Economic discrimination.

blahness

I am Indian. I realise that Indian people are racist but can we say that the country is racist? I don think so. but u have to keep in mind that foreigners come to India n talk trash about the place n treat Indians like scum. I'm sorry but it's true.

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