A Bollywood actress caught saying
so-and-so is amazing as a director. He can make even a black African look pretty”.
A Bollywood actor saying:
(I knew) it was time to leave Shanghai and Hong Kong after six weeks of stunt training and go home when his eyes started “turning into little slits like the Chinese”.
As the BBC critic of Indian origin remarks, these are not unsurprising remarks. As most Indians know, we make these remarks all the time and either don’t realize these are offensive, or just don’t care. Why, we have names for such obscenities. We call our north-eastern country-men(and women), or just any person with mongoloid features “chinky”. We call any white-skinned person “firangi”. Any person of African origin is still called a “negro”, decades after this term has been replaced by “africans” or “african americans” in politer societies.
The fact is that we Indians have more ways to divide and discriminate humans than any society in the world, but few Indians would admit to this. We discriminate by race,skin color,caste, religion, regionality(”madrasis”) … if there are any other ways to divide people that I can’t remember now, we probably do that too.
However, nobody in India has the guts to address this problem. We let people openly advertise for “fair”, “brahmin” etc. brides and grooms in matrimonial listings in newspapers and online sites. There is still no government push for banning all temples from restricting who can enter by caste. There is no push to accommodate our north-eastern brothers and sisters into mainstream society. In fact, most of India would rather revel in “Gandhigiri” but blissfully ignore that Iron Sharmila , who has redefined Gandhian methods of struggle, even exists.