“We are racist against our own race”
George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American, was killed in broad daylight by a policeman in Minneapolis which enraged millions across the world. People took up to the streets, social media was flooded with hashtag BlackLivesMatter, opening up old wounds of 2013. Yet another crime was borne out of hate for people of colour.
India was one of the countries with largest social media support for Floyd, and this is not the first time that India has spoken against an issue of racism in the West. But where do we stand ground when it happens in our own nation? Then, there are no public marches, no hashtags, no call-outs.
Instances of racist attack on African students in universities are not unheard of. Even in Bollywood and cricket there have been various occurrences of racist events, may it be Esha Gupta mocking football star Alex Iwobi and calling him a gorilla, or Indian players taking a jibe at West Indies captain Darren Sammy calling him ‘kalu’. Even amidst coronavirus pandemic, when the whole world is scared and uncertain of the quality of life ahead, Indians are hurling racist abuses against the North Eastern people. One cannot just rally behind causes of black people in one part of the world, and keep mum when it happens right in our neighbourhood.
Obsession for ‘white’ skin tone and discrimination against our own brown skin is deeply embedded in our society. Racism has never been a serious issue in India. It is high time that we change our mind-set, and as Gandhi ji once said,” be the change you want to see in the World”, we need to start working at an individual level to eradicate this discriminatory practice.