April 10, 2010

The underlying racism..

 Note: This post relates to significantly Asian, specifically Indian opinions and views. I donot presume to understand the workings of the "western" minds, especially in these matters. Also, try not to take me too seriously.

Many people know they are racist.. yet others don't see it at all until something springs up on them and they have to express an opinion. And those who are racist realize that it's probably "wrong" and try to justify themselves by citing political/cultural/national differences, which is what creates the racist view in the first place. And racism has come a long way from just categorizing the discrimination between "races" to now outlining the differences in caste, religion, colour, nationality and what not between different people, everything now being referenced under the umbrella term of "racism". And why am I harping about this now? The whole Sania Mirza - Shoaib Malik wedding story which has everyone who is anyone rattling off opinions. What? You didn't know of this impending wedding? Time to get out of the cave you've been living in and get real with all the news here. Yeah, so like I was saying everyone has views - from discussing the fact that she'd be his second wife to of course the main deal, he's Pakistani. Of course I am sure it's vice versa when taken from the viewpoint of the people of Pakistan (she's Indian). And the blatant irony of this deal is that no one would be the least bit concerned, flabbergasted, shocked, disturbed or vaguely interested beyond the basic gossip columns if either of the two had been of any other nationality. The deep-rooted history between the two countries is what makes the news that much more interesting to most of the two countries. Will they now advocate peace? Will one apply for citizenship of the other's country? Will this abate some of the tension between the countries? Will either of them play their sport under a new nationality? These are only some of the zillion politcial questions being asked in lieu of a matrimonial union. And while I have discussed this matter with many of my friends, their view is surprisingly consistent. And without giving away too much, I can say a lot of them have been shocked with their own racist views on the matter.

But leaving behind that elementary piece of news to be best dissected by tabloids as we await candid shots of their wedding that'll take place next week, I think the news provides the perfect foil to look into the inherent racism in in each one of us. From the fact that the older generations still view people from other (read lower) castes differently from their own. And the merit? You're born into it. Sort of like discriminating a cat from a tiger... same family, a whole different story. While most of the discriminations in socio-economic situations have faded over the past years, allowing people across castes and religions to make uninhibited progress in careers and what not, it remains ominously distinct, especially in the matrimonial domain... which is one of the main reasons the Shoaib-Sania union is creating waves. Seeing as it involves two different nationalities, not to mention, the two different nationalities, leaving people reasonably perplexed.

Ok skipping right over to another blatantly obvious racist comment situation - you see a couple, an attractive dark man with a beautiful blonde girl. What's the immediate reaction?  If you didn't think "What does she see in him?" congratulate yourself on being the minority liberal in a majority unintentionally racist study group. What's your true reaction to this question and others? I look forward to your comments.


Sachin said...

I don't see it typically as a racist view, coz the fact that he's a Pakistani doesn't have just a racist color to it. It's not just another country. The recent history of events are enough for a sensible Hindustani to act with self-respect and decide what (s)he should want. I am sure she could have found much more deserving candidates here. Alas...

Jaya said...

Sachin-> Exactly the sentiment I hoped to invoke.. While certain citizens of the country have inflicted inexcusable damage on our country, we are quick to taint everyone from there with the same brush. It invokes a lot of sentiments of course and like I described in my post, nowadays "racist" isn't strictly about race either.

Thanks for voicing your opinion n keep visiting!

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