Letter to Tarun Vijay: Thank You for Bearing With Black Indians!
Tarun Vijay’s racist comments shouldn’t surprise us as inherent biases based on colour are still prevalent in India.
Dear Mr Tarun Vijay,
Thank you very much for bearing with black people. Thank you for not only bearing with black south Indian people, but also black north Indians like me.
Yes, we do exist. You said that we, Indians, are not racist as we live with ‘black’ Tamilians, Keralites, etc.
Thank you for reminding us that we belong to different races. I am also thankful to you as you introduced me to a new India which our Prime Minister talks about. A New India where race of an Indian also matters.
There is an interesting point in your statement which calls for real introspection. Did you mean that the difference in skin colour denote different race? I personally don’t give a damn about the idea of “race”, but just want to know whether difference between my skin colour, which is black, and my twin’s skin colour, who is a little fair, makes the two of us as belonging to two different races. That sounds funny to me.
A bit of research about racism suggests that race is not just about discrimination on the basis of colour, but rather, it is a broad term. I am not trying to teach you anything as I know you are an educated person. And believe me, I have been a fan of yours during my school days when you were the editor of the Panchjanya, so as a former fan, I expected a better preparation from your side when you represented our country on a global channel like Al Jazeera.
Discrimination on the Basis of Skin Colour
Being a North Indian, and being black at the same time, I want to tell you that I have personally faced discrimination in my life because of my skin colour, and these incidents didn’t happen in Europe.
Rather, I faced discrimination in the heart of Hindi Patti, Uttar Pradesh, a place where a majority of the people are brown. These experiences are not new for me.
One can find innumerable incidents in the life of a black skinned person where he has to face discrimination in a country of brown/black people. Here, I don’t want to say that all my fellow Indians are racist, but majority of us are.
We have become the biggest market for beauty products, and being fair skinned is one of the essential conditions for a girl to get married.
You will find a number of commercial advertisements guaranteeing fairness, including our swadeshi Baba Ramdev’s products as well. Does a society like ours that clamours for fair skin claim not to be racist?
Welcome to Intolerant India!
Lastly, a nation does not attain greater heights when its nationals refuse to accept their shortcomings, rather it leads to narrow-minded nationalism. True patriots accept the challenges and uproot them. Today, it is a harsh reality that most of the Indians discriminate on the basis of colour.
You may not like the word, but the country is becoming more and more “intolerant” as these days we get offended by what someone wears, what he eats, what he looks like, colour, and most importantly, religion. If you are really serious about India’s prestige, do something to re-build an environment of tolerance and assimilation rather than telling fellow Indians that you are doing a favour by bearing with them.
By the way, I thank you again, for bearing with all fellow black Indians, but will be more thankful if you inculcate this kind of “tolerance” in those people too, who get offended with Africans, sometimes with Muslims, and always with fellow black Indians.
A Black North Indian.
(The writer is a student of Public Administration at Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar Central University, Lucknow. He can be reached @ABHISHEKNAMAN5 . This is a personal blog and the views expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for the same.)
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