Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The political convenience of racism

Now if you are of Asian or African origin and have travelled to the 'civilised' western world, this might seem a familiar tale. Sometimes, it's an airport security officer who is feeling you up a little more intimately than even a public demonstration of love would permit. Or it's the workplace, where the colour of the currency you receive is determined by the colour of your skin.

So like it or not, racism is alive, and kicking. And these days, making quite an impact on Shilpa Shetty's cute posteriors.

But this isn't the first time racist behaviour has been beamed live into living rooms. The cricket field is another place where the white man seems to be able to get away with almost anything. The Aussies and South Africans have it down to a fine art. And if England were playing any better than they are at the moment, they'd be a pretty surly bunch as well.

Funnily no one has ever raised questions about these discolorations on the cricket field. Andre Nel has never been discussed in Parliament. Hardly an eyelid is being moved over Herschelle Gibbs' remarks about the Pakistanis. So why then has Shilpa Shetty become the topic of discussion in the corridors of power. She hasn't called out for help. Yet the poliicians are out in hordes making statements and promising action. Is there an election around the corner?

1 comment:

Ramakrishnan said...

It's interesting - and captures the lopsidedness of human thought - that when we talk of racism, we talk of discrimination practised by the white man against the non-white. We take righteous umbrage at the slightest semblance of racist behavior. But aren't we Indians colossally racist? We always have a jibe ready and our eyes glaze over with distrust when we come across people from Africa or the omnipresent Nepali, which is what we seem to believe is anybody with oriental looks. I don't think the Nagas or the Manipuris take too kindly to 'losing' their identity.

End-piece: take a look at any matrimonials section in the newspapers. Everybody wants FAIR and Handsome/Beautiful :)