Saturday, January 21, 2006

What is racism and is it prevalent in India? We can say racism is a system that discriminates people based on their so called ‘race’. Some say that dominant groups in the society are racist, coz it is that group which has the influence and means to oppress others. Racism is a plague in today’s world, a lot of nations which were racist have reformed themselves, and leading example would be Australia with ‘all whites policy’ till 1972, today it is multi cultural and multi ethnic. These developed nations were and some are still racist but at least they have not discriminated their own people. In India we would not hear this term explicitly, but its definition is very well practiced all al over. In India racism is spelt casteism. I will come back to this shortly. Other than that there has always been ethnic tension between the Tamil people and Hindi majority. I grew up in Delhi and till my 10 I was there. Though I have been there for so long and I have been one amongst them, I have never been able to appreciate their thoughts for south Indians. Note: Not everyone is like that. Still some north Indians think that below madya Pradesh everything is called madras and they call everyone ‘madrasi’. Hey guys you cant be so ignorant. I remember when I came to Chennai from Delhi for good after my 10th; my chemistry staff asked me “do you people in madras have worthy colleges?” now that’s ridiculous and not expected from a educated person like her. I never bore the brunt of my co –students coz no one could differentiate me from others by my Hindi accent as it was as good as a delhite, but some new comers from south were always made fun of. Which means that even students had a bad conception of people from south? What is the reason behind this? Is it the complexion that gives them that superiority complex?? You guys would have noticed that in many Hindi movies and in many Hindi serials, an actor portraying south Indian role would speak worst possible English. You can’t mock all the while. Even the auto drivers here speak good English. Wake up guys I think we guys are not that bad and may be we are better than you. It’s high time you realize that. For some reason I have had a strong feeling that even the central govt. has not been fair to these four states, the best example would be the kaveri issue. Why no stern action has been taken? On the other hand the international river treaty between India and Pakistan was enforced immediately. Indian tourism is on the ‘athithi devo bhava’ drive and Chennai is not included in the list of heritage cities! That’s not fair. This kind of pervasive attitude has a decisive hold on individual’s behavior and relationships. This is changing and will take long to completely change. People are realizing now that these four states can’t be taken for granted. The silver lining is that we stood united for good on a 15th august. The feeling of being one should be there for everyone. Its high time south is taken seriously. The next evil is casteism, a theory that some are born superior and some are born inferior. This theory ensures power to the dominant group through oppression of the inferior, this is prevalent throughout India. Untouchability is still prevalent in some villages in India, and these things make casteism even more dehumanising than racism. Would people believe that these sects have separate burial grounds??? Indian government swears by an egalitarian constitution that prohibits any form of discrimination, the fact remains that it is prevalent everywhere. This is deep rooted and will take a long to get out of the society. This is a poison that we have lived with for more than 1000 years. We have just started to uproot it. P.S. Not all the people are like the way I mentioned.

16 comments:

tasneem said...

hi senthil..well first id like to ask for forgiveness for invading ur blog,even without knowing you..but i found ur article on racisim quiet interesting..but there are few demarcations that has to be made between the two termonolodies" racisim ' and " casteisim"..now this is completely how i see it..racisim is colour based..its the natural avtaar that we look upon and make it superior or deteriorate it..and casteism is man made...i completely agree that as we indians are progressing and moving towarrds the new era of the 20th century, these age long concepts shuld be over looked..but this is our culture and this is all we have to stick to if we want to survive in the world of globalization..this on the other hand does not mean that we should stick to the old traditions..but lets modify it and let it live and grow within us..so why not..lets have separate burial grounds, and let me as a muslim be a monour and a cosuler to a hindu friend and visit his mosque or his burial ground...we indians are what we are today because of these small traditions that were taught to us wen we were young..we will look at a beggar boy or a chamar and feel an urge of helping him ..unlike those who cant stand the colour of its own neighbour..while we still travel in the crowded trains with people from various jaties and cast and tribes...our thoughts our ideas make us far more advance then those who try to prove themselves to be...

i really dont know..if iv got my point across to u..but it was the first thought that came to my mind , and i have penned it down...further discussion is welcomed..

"Citi"zen said...

Hey thats a good blog :-).Chennai and Tamil Nadu has been most discriminated as there are no national level parties here (congress or BJP).But they can't hide a truth forever,Chenai is on its way to become a great city..(Its already one I meant better !!!)

senthil natarajan said...

@tasneem- thanks for visiting my blog! your idea of diversity is good and we are proud to have that! just that the discrimination should not be there. i guess even racism is man made..
@citizen- thanks for droppin by... hopr ppl realize soon

Anonymous said...

nice post, i agree that there are some people who have the sarcastic thoughts of south indians, but things are chaing today. For the records i am from UP
-sri

Ponnarasi Kothandaraman said...

Hi Senthil,
Very true about the hindi movies. They really degrade! Many times I have felt being insulted very badly when I watch a movie with my friends especially North Indian friends. Completely agreed with your post.

Have a nice day,
Ponnarasi Kothandaraman.

Prabu Karthik said...

came here from karthik's(NK) blog.
very good post man.

Sadly, these stereotypes exist everywhere.

anyone from sowcarpet is just a 'sait' to us isn't it?

we want to categorise some group and give a global color, property, attribute and be done with it for ever. we dont want to go thru the hassles of revisitng those everytime we see a person from that group.

'oversimplification' mentality.

it takes exposure to other culture to debunk those long held false beliefs.

NaiKutti said...

nice post senthil... and am sure the other way is true as well like southies portraying bad abt. northies or showing lack of ignorace...

but i agree with PK's comments... more exposure would debunk these myths...

its all about the case of grouping people and this comes in diff. forms and thats why we have this diversified world with lot of hatred amongst people or rather groups... groups based on race, religion, sex(!!), IQ level, money and resources, caste, traditional beliefs, etc.,

Shan said...

Well done dude.. the points are indeed very valid. I actually think casteism is worse than racism in the sense, racism exists among people from different races which in turn 'almost' means different countries whereas casteism is capable of splitting a country into half. And thats where India gets hurt most.

The point where I wanted something sharp to stick up your *** was when you said 'Wake up guys I think we guys are not that bad and may be we are better than you. It’s high time you realize that". When you say we are not bad.. I agree .. But better than you.. maybe or may be not.. but that is oneupmanship which is the exact source of the problem. Why do we want to know who is better when we all belong to the same country.. Quite provoking!

Overall.. quite thought provoking. Never knew u had this dimension on top of all your vetti aspects

senthil natarajan said...

@sri- thanks for droppin by.

@ponna- so even u have felt that treatment was no good.

@pk-very true and i completely agree with you! and hey thanks for droppin by.

SamY said...

1st hand remember, when someone is just too gud the only way to put them down is by caricature, u 4got to mention the endearment of TamBram ... south-indians rock in every sphere, some just can't stand that

but y is that u expect north indians to accredit us in the first place, why dyu need their lauding

fundamentally north indians are too very non-conservative compared to the southerners, even when they mock with the words 'curd rice' ppl I only give a conceited smile

as for castism - govt needs unrest to stay in power, law-enforcers require outlaws to undergird their very existence, if no crime happened then the enforcers would make law so impractical that there would be defaulters

senthil natarajan said...

@karthik - agreed that other way around is also true, but just that it is in a smaller scale maybe. Someone starts the game and it just continues. The point is even educated people are ignorant and that should continue.

@kitten-
1.Thanks for leaving your comment.
2. It is not meant to provoke anyone!
3. one cant keep accepting the heat always. This mockery is done just for the heck of it.
4. Not the question of who is better ? rather, do we deserve that treatment???
that may be my ego or whatever...

Rambler registries said...

well, i agree with u on most issues but dont u think the tamil nadu people are fanatic abut tamil and they dont let u learn hindi as such? what do u have to say abut that? i mean i remember seeing stones being thrown on central govt. office name plates, banks etc., now thas bad too. i completely agree tat the way they portray a south indian speakin hindi or english is ridiculous. we dont talk like that. right now we r being recognized coz well the world is recognizing us. cmon ppl the president is from the south, and he gives such great speeches! have u listened to jayalalitha speak? she is jus too good with words. but well even in a developed country like the united states, racism still exists. its like a resident evil.so dont say that developed countries are outta this, its still prevalent here too, the only difference being that here they are not lettin that hamper the growth of the nation. we shud try to work on that aspect. wat say? and tasneem do i know you?

Sai said...

That was a real good provoking post
--Sai

Deepa said...

nice post Senthil. Very nice.

senthil natarajan said...

@samy - 'political unrest' is the reason behind, very true!!!
@sai- thanks da.
@deepa- thanks for droppin in

senthil natarajan said...

@priya - the other way is also true, but i guess we werent the ones who started this... anyway this is a big debatable topic..