Friday, May 23, 2008

The Indian Race

With the Punjab XI cheerleaders allegedly called niggers, an issue has come up which is not only uncomfortable, but one that infrequently surfaces. We Indians are the first to jump in whenever there are racial issues concerned, but my experience shows that we are the biggest racial minds wherever/whenever. I am not even referring to the obvious Harijan, Dalit or such deliberate bracketings. Everyone with an iota of sense can appreciate how segments of the populace, through a simple nomenclature, have been re-turned into what they always were! Perhaps a bit more. Untouchables are very much a fact of India still; those who sit in Ivory Towers (less than 5% of the masses) may have misconceptions, but we the 95% know it well. We the 100% practice it anyway – the exceptions are exceptional and constitute some 0.03% which statistically does not count anyway. So whether you read a novel called The Untouchables or The God of Small Things or see movies like Sadgati or Bhavni Bhabai does not really matter. You are in the racial thick of things.

Our response to black skin is curious. When thinking of an American how many of us would visualize someone with “coloured” skin? How many of us fantasize about black women? I am talking about normal (value-added term of course) non-SM or such erratic (again value loaded) erotic workings of the mind. The glamorous term ‘Foreigner’ connotes white skin. Of the many failed foreign actresses flooding Bollywood – can you imagine one with a slightly darker skin? Would the noble savage of Lagaan have such chemistry with the white lady if she was not white? Would we be so glad when she was refused? That, of course, is because it smelt of sweet revenge – the anger/attraction at lack of melanin!

When I was in England I came across many Indians. (As a matter of fact in London every third person only is British!) Actually I was forced to come across many Indians. I was not overtly willing because I get to come across Indians all the time in India, so I wanted to come across more of English people who are not that frequent here at home for obvious reasons. The only Englishman I know from Kolkata and am very fond of – the poet Joe Winter – has left. He lives in London now. The only India I was fond of in Norwich has also left, he is in Australia now! Anyway, these Indians, living in England for the last 20 odd years (or should I say living off England?) all bask in the glory of India. Though they would not life a finger to do anything constructive – forget the generous NRI investor, they invest for profits, not patriotism – yet they would endlessly discuss India. Of course, you can say the same about Indians in India do the same thing. I guess so. But at least they do not hold British Passports, they do not earn money in £s, they do not pay tax to the Brit government! Forgive me for this is digression. What was so striking about them was their racialism – they hate everything but themselves. “The Brits are degenerate. The Pakis are a menace. The blacks are less than human. The Muslims are despicable. The other Indians without money are of no consequence.” These are the ideas that most of these people carry (again statistics would show the 99.07 : 0.03 ratio).

Coming back to the cheerleaders, is it so surprising that these two were insulted? I was surprised to see them in the first place. Happily, of course (I must add hastily). I am among those who drool over Beyonce or Gabriel Union or Jennifer Freeman. Again I must hastily add that I drool because they probably want me to do so – why else should they do what they do! Having said all of this, considering our mindset, when the comparison is between cheerleaders of the Bangalore team and these girls, albeit unfairly, who will win?


Anonymous said...

never mind busty and lusty - u r THIRTY THREE?????!!!

Sucharita Sarkar said...

Melanin (in women) and pantin(g)(after women) are inversely proportional in case of Indian men, never mind their own melanin-percentage! And this is the melancholy fact, which no fair-and-lovely fiction can erase. Which is why bandaged men (over their eyes, and, preferably, mouths) are an attractive proposition, but that would bring us back to S & M, wouldn't it?

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