20th January 2017 is the day Donald Trump became president of the United States. There were at least five status updates in my Facebook news feed condemning his election as the president of United States.
Of the things criticized about him, racism tops the list. Donald Trump may be a racist. He has made it clear on several occasions, how people from other countries are not welcome in ‘his’ country and that of course includes us Indians. But does that give us the right to become big fat hypocrites?
Because although we might have caught Donald Trump’s intolerant and bigotry statements, we have missed the racist incidents happening back home. Just recently, I came across several articles of racial violence by Indians against ‘Africans’. I read painful articles about how people having this particular skin color and physical attributes were mistreated and discriminated against. But it did not even receive half the attention of Indians (extra stress here) as did the election of Donald Trump in the United States (again extra stress here) did. And we expect equal treatment when we go to foreign countries. What about practice what you preach?
This was our brilliant attitude towards our atithi. But what else can be expected from us when we ill-treat our own people on the basis of religion, caste, colour, state and what not.
We discriminate among each other based on religion in shameful and inhumane ways. It is not common for a Hindu to not eat food at a Muslim’s house and vice versa. We have resorted to violence and riots killing hundreds and thousands of people on the basis of our prejudices. And we point racism fingers at others. How hypocritical can we be?
We have made sure that people who come to ‘our’ states from ‘other’ states know how unwelcome they are. Creating language barriers, favoring ‘locals’ for job opportunities, using derogatory terms for ‘outsiders’ and resorting to violence against ‘outsiders’ are some of the few things we do. You are acrimonious towards people from ‘other’ states and expect the US to welcome you with open arms. Pretty ironic, isn’t it?
When we are talking about racism, how can we forget discrimination and humiliation brought upon the dalits. The word ‘untouchables’ used to define this section of the society itself is an abhorrent demonstration of the cruelty inflicted upon them. Do we really have the right to condemn Donald Trump?
As if above reasons were not enough for being racist, we have found another reason-skin color. India is a fair skin obsessed country with everyone striving to become at least two shades lighter than they are. This is still acceptable. But discriminatory behavior based on skin color is not.
We desire a fair skinned partner (with significant number of marriage proposals being rejected because the girl or guy was dark skinned), use derogatory terms for dark skinned people and associate dark skin with being physically unattractive. How can we point fingers towards the whites of the west when all we want is to become white.
Whether we are or are not pointing racism fingers at others, we need to look within ourselves, shed our prejudices and biases and spare people who are not like us of the humiliation, ill treatment and suffering.