The Color Bias in India
India is supposed to be the land of Buddha and Gandhi. A land where nonviolence is a creed and many swear by it. However practically Indian society is violent and towering above everything is a race and color bias. This is something that cannot be denied and is a common thread right from Punjab to Bangalore. Indians in fact, detest African Black Negroes. This finds expression in the word " Hapbshi"; which means someone akin to a barbarian or animal.
This color bar is deep rooted and has existed for centuries. An example is that an Indian couple will accept a white man or girl as a partner for their children, but will not accept under any circumstances a black girl or man as a part of the family. This deep-rooted prejudice against the black Negro, in real terms, flows from the scriptures which in their stories and tales in all languages extoll the virtues of a fair skin. Even among Indians , particularly in the deep South of India, black girls find it difficult to get a husband and despite many South Indians being dark in complexion, not a single heroine in the film and AD world is having a black complexion. It is as if being black is a crime.
This deep-rooted bias against black color is extended to Negroes who come in great numbers to study in India. Historically India has strong connections with Africa and thousands of Indian are settled there and running their businesses and shops. But despite this strong connection, there are reports that even Gandhi was a racist who disliked blacks. It is known that when both Indians and BlackNegroes were imprisoned together in South Africa, Gandhi wrote a wrote a letter to General Smuts, asking the Indian be given a different jail accommodation as they had a higher intellect. He is also reported to have referred to the intellect of a Negro, by making a disparaging remark when he stated: " Can you teach the gospel to a Cow?"
The bias against Negroes is thus deep rooted. One had expected that this would have been toned down after independence, but it did not happen. On the contrary, incidents of racial abuse have multiplied. About a week back a Negro from Congo named Oliver was attacked and killed on a trivial issue of hiring a rickshaw. On 26 July in a village in Mehrauli, 6 negroes were attacked by locals. Luckily the injuries were light, but the lurking undercurrent of violence against blacks is omnipresent. A few weeks back Negroes both boys and girls were assaulted in Bangalore and the government was a silent spectator. The policy was guilty of inaction and later a few policemen were suspended.
This deep bias against the Negro is fraught with terrible repercussions. It has already started with the black nations boycotting the Africa day celebrations in Delhi after the killing of Oliver. The ministry has tried to downplay the incident, but India has got a bad name.
Matters are however not that simple. There are hundreds of thousands of Indian settled in the Black African nations. They have lived there for decades and now with these attacks, they are a vulnerable lot. After the killing of Oliver, Indian businessmen were attacked in Kinshasha , the capital of Congo. They had to down shutters and escape to safety. People attacking Negroes in India fail to realize how much they are putting the lives of their compatriots in Africa at risk.
The attacks on Africans must stop. There is a need for summary trials and quick punishment. The government has promised a fast-track trial in the Oliver case, but this should not be confined to only one case and all cases of assault need an expeditious conclusion. Otherwise, the antiquated system of justice left behind by the British will be a noose around the Indians neck. The Indian people will be putting Indians settled abroad at great risk. I hope this realization trickles down to the common man. There is also a need to understand the psyche of the Negro and use of derogatory words and innuendos need to be stopped. Black or white , it's just a matter of color. The Negro was the slave in America, but now one of them became President. Indians, who are themselves dark skinned can ill afford to discriminate against more dark skinned people. It could be a laughing matter, if murder and violence are not involved.
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