Thursday, October 18, 2007

Racism for Dummies

Al Khwarizmi (Persian - Math - 9th Century - Algorithm) once said that Indians should stop being frogs in the well, go explore the world and learn from others and shun this 'we are a great civilization, we know everything' attitude. If only dumb editors like Shekhar Gupta of the Indian Express had done that, they would have known what the world calls as 'racism'.

How on earth are the Monkey chants and antics directed at Australian Cricketer Andrew Symonds, not a case of racism but instead bad crowd behavior? The mere mention of the word racism seems to remind Indians of the imaginary donkey rides across the Khyber pass or even the Negroid journeys from Africa.

The world considers any discrimination based on physical appearance, ethnicity, religion or whatever as racism. In a country which worships a racist Aryan king Rama as God and where every other guy uses the caste, its derivatives or Varna (Sharma, Varma, Gupta etc) as the last name, Monkey chants are bad crowd behavior?!

If this is bad crowd behavior, then I wonder what the following things are: bottle throwing, booing, burning paper, breaking seats, chair throwing, walking in front of the sight screen, supporting opposition teams for the sake of Kashmir, Khalistan, Ganguly etc, Aaloo chanting and watching youtube videos of Prasad and Sreesanth's antics. huh?

Worse, some people even claim that we worship Hanuman, a monkey and hence these Monkey chants are acceptable behavior in India! Do these idiots even realize that Hanuman and his so-called vanar sena are the most extreme form of racism there can be? A tribe, most probably from Kishkinta in Karnataka, who helped Rama, has been reduced to being called 'vanars' and you guys shamelessly call Hanuman worship as Monkey worship?

Guys, don't have any illusions. We, Indians are born racists. We have always been obsessed with color and physical appearance. We have always called each other Mleechas, Shudras, Raakshs, Madrasis, Kongas, Pondis, Aravadu, Gults, Biharis based on appearance and diction. We color our gods (blue?!) and even our books (Shukla - white and Krishna - black). When we don't like someone we give them imaginary grotesque features (Asuras, Raakshs).

Wait, why am I wasting your time? You guys have better things to do like, protesting against 'racist' abuse of Shilpa Shetty, calling the Indian Idol from Siliguri, a Gorkha and hence a Nepali illegal, stopping a 300 Metre hole in a 30 Kilometre 'Monkey built' bridge and burning ten head grotesque Raakshs like Raavan at Ramlila. (10 heads = pathu thalai in tamil. thalai = head and also direction. i.e. Raavan's kingdom extended in all 10 directions, 8 + sky + underworld!) Have fun!

18 comments:

GuNs said...

Hey Balaji,

I wish you went back to writing sensible stuff. I really think this post made no sense at all. Maybe I am just dumb but you can't randomly accuse people of being racist because they worship Hindu Gods and such. Please stop using the term "Racist King Rama", you are entitled to an opinion but this one is just to harsh and merely a whim without proof.

Getting onto the track for the Symmonds issue, I am disappointed people in the crowd did what they did. I would personally like to slap such people across their faces and let Andrew Symmonds have a go at them one-on-one.

That should though not divert attention from the fact that Symmonds has been quite an abusive fellow himself. Steve Waugh and Mark Waugh made sledging popular and now it has turned quite ugly. People like Symmonds are the biggest offenders. I am surprised why the ICC hasn't banned him or docked his fees for any of the aggressive behaviour he showed on field. Are they trying to say that all the abuse-hurling, name calling and threatening that he does on field is perfectly acceptable? If it is then even the match referee should be banned for a period of time for failing to do his job.

I would like to see the same measure used for the Indians too. I absolutely adore Ganguly and the way he conducted himself on field. The way he kicked some sense into Stuart Broad's head recently was perfect example. I am sure he just told Stuart Broad to "quit jumping around and concentrate on his bowling because he was bowling to two men who had scored almost 50,000 international runs between them". You don't really need a Harbhajan using four-letter words and shouting in people's faces. You would rather have a Kumble who fires a yorker at you and scowls from across the pitch and keeps coming at you until that one split second where your concentration wavers and he's got you.

-PeAcE
--WiTh
---GuNs

Balaji said...

hmm...

On Rama,

I guess I should write a post explaining why I think Rama was racist. I have spelt it out in an argument elsewhere already...

On Symonds,

1. Symonds issues a provocative statement about Indians celebrating too much. This might have been a team strategy or just that he was amused at how Indians behaved like morons celebrating the 20-20 victory. 1 crore for one more six than Yuvraj himself conceded in England, I ask you. In other news, 30% of India lives in less than 1 dollar a day.

2. The series starts in a bad taste. Lots of exchanges between players. Lets even assume that Australians especially the likes of Micheal Clarke are more guilty.

3. Sreesanth does unbelievably disgusting antics against Hayden and Symonds. Indians rejoice at his antics!

4. Indians start complaining about sledging. Harbhajan waves his bat, Dhoni runs to the umpire, Tendulkar picks up a fight with Symonds when seconds earlier Dhoni had ignored the apparent sledging from Symonds.

5. Sreesanth takes bad behavior to the most despicable end even as a 12th man carrying drinks!

6. Symonds is 'Monkey chanted' by the crowd. At the end of the day he reports this to his captain. They obviously make a fuss but say they won't be complaining to the authorities.

This is the Vadodara crowd we are talking about. That morning Yuvraj lost concentration because of people moving before the sight screen and got out. The same day Yusuf Pathan and his burqa clad wife are the cynosure of the camera for well over an hour. The 'authorities' display 'anti-racism' messages on the screen. The day ends with the crowd throwing bottles on the ground. That night Australian media talks of 'racist abuse' of Symonds.

7. Apparently crowd trouble continues in Nagpur.

8. Mumbai which famously booed Sachin not so long ago, proves Darwins theory, making a monkey out of itself in the stands. Earlier that day Ratnakar 'Moron' Shetty urges people to behave properly!

And Symonds is to be blamed for all this. Bindaas!

GuNs said...

I agree with everything on the Symmonds bit that you've written. IF you read my earlier comment again, I am NOT connecting these things to Symmonds' behaviour. I am not saying he is responsible for all this.

All I am saying is that if Sreesanth is fined, so should Symmonds. He is not the only one but is definitely one of the reasons for the bad behaviour on the pitch. He is a bully and when you have one too many in a team, any opposition is bound to get pissed and react differently.

Oh and do you seriously think "Sachin picked a fight with Symmonds"? I would bet MY dollar on the other way round from what I've seen of both.

-PeAcE
--WiTh
---GuNs

Balaji said...

hmm... I don't know. I can't see any reason why Symonds should be fined.

On Sachin, from what I could see he was really struggling that day and almost every fielder was having fun ridiculing him. So when Symonds said something, Dhoni immediately turned away but Sachin walked towards Symonds and had a go at him. I don't think it did any good to his concentration.

Anonymous said...

Guns...

Forget about reasoning with this atheist, egomaniac Moron. Especialy on religious disrespect that he shows, and also on writing of sensible matter. You can only reason with a sensible guy. By the way, besides North, South is also the most racist part of India. You can find a lot more racist Morans like this one there, than you would in racist North. Evidence of the fact is when you ask any person who lives in the Southern part of India that where do he comes from, he will never say India. His answer will be "South India".

I read this joke somewhere... What are the degrees of egoism in Tamil Nadu?

I, Iyer, Iyengar.

Arun said...

I agree with u to some extent.

We have clearly discriminated openly creating a caste system, like reserving seats for SC/ST as if they are not-good-enough-hence-ur-discount,not having non-brahmins as priests,calling a whole grp of ppl as "backward","most backward" etc.

Without calling instances such the case discussed in comments above, the first thing is to elimate the system which causes racism openly and legally.
I feel castism is the most racial discrimination in India. I still cant believe we have castes and the unfair things that come with it.

Language or regional racism is difficult to overcome, which is present everywhere in world(which doesnt justify itself but Im saying its not unique to India). But these things are in ppl's attitude and not in any societal system.

Btw, why do u have to obsessively bring religion and Gods onto any topic?
I suggest u look into the definiton of racism.Quoting frm wikipedia

"the term "racial discrimination" shall mean any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, color, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life."

Balaji said...

Arun,

I disagree with most of what you have said!! But yes, having Brahmins alone as priests is disgusting..

1. Reservation is a response to the caste discrimination. It hasn't caused the differences now. Even if it did, the damages are insignificant compared to the enormous benefits reservation is providing to the weaker sections of the society. I'm all for reservation sans creamy layer.

2. Caste itself is not racism!! But all these castes ganging up to declare few as untouchables or outcastes is racism. The varna system is clearly racism.

3. In those times, caste represented profession. But yes, it beats me why people identify themselves with some caste in this day and age.

4. There is no such thing as regional and language racism. Lets not trivialize the issue.

5. Why do I have to bring in religion? Well, current affairs is my forte, isn't it? Hanuman was brought in by the Vadodara Police commissioner. Rama was brought into the discussion by the VHP lunatics in the Ram setu issue recently. Attack them when they are hot, what say?

Arun said...

1)Racism is "preference or discrimination based on birth origin"(here reservation is based on caste).I agree it brings up the so called weaker sections of society, but I dont like the fact they it clearly assumes SC/ST as weaker. The definiton of "weaker" should not be based on caste is wat Im saying.
Atleast in US, they call it minorities and not backward or tribes(equi to negro).

2,3)I think it is. Dont you think, dividing ppl based on thier jobs discrimination? - i.e calling a whole grp of ppl lower caste bcos they do menial jobs. Once there is this division, ppl at "lower" caste is always going to look with frustration and hatred towards other classes, for being branded them so as if they were not good enough.

4)What I meant by language and regional racism is discrimination towards ppl of different cultures. For eg, ppl prefer other ppl who belong to the same cultures and make fun or try to offend ppl of other cultures. This is not unique to India. For racism to not be there, there shud NO division at any level of the society incl countries which may bring other concerns.

5)Religion is just a layer higher over the caste division. Anything that does against wat they "think" thier religion says is going to offend them.

CrippLeD SaM said...

// Om Namo Hanumantaay Namah: //

What's the talking about Racism? If you're not a racist, who then are you? Or: Who are you, when you want to be a Racist?
Better be a Religionist.

If you love Shri Hanuman Ji, You can download Hanuman Chalisa, Hnauman Mantra Jaap Mala and more Mp3-Bhajans at:

http://hanumanji.wordpress.com

YouRs SinCereLy M!sTer CrippLeD SaM

Balaji said...

and I thought I was protesting against the mistreatment of Hanuman by the racist Aryans...duh?!!

Anonymous said...

"Caste itself is not racism!! "

Only a MORON like you can say this. Castes were created by racist people only.

"There is no such thing as regional and language racism." Another MORONIC statement.

Balaji said...

I wasn't defending castes, which should be obvious from the post and the couple of other statements in the same comment.

"But all these castes ganging up to declare few as untouchables or outcastes is racism. The varna system is clearly racism."

"In those times, caste represented profession. But yes, it beats me why people identify themselves with some caste in this day and age."

I was only offering an historical perspective. Caste when it started only meant profession. I don't think there would have been higher or lower castes.
These difference could have started as farcically as the "software engineers" vs "history teacher" kind of prejudices. But Varna system was racism since its inception.

I don't know what people mean by language and regional regionalism. I have already discussed derogatory remarks like Madrasis, Biharis etc in the post. I claimed that such prejudices arise out of physical appearance and diction.

Arun said...

balaji,
its not only calling certain castes as outcasts that makes castism racial, but the very fact of dividing ppl based on profession itself makes it.

even if there was no intended division into upper and lower castes, it becomes obvious when you divide ppl into a group who serves God(percieved to be holy) and another group which lives in the jungle and dont have money so does menial jobs like cleaning the streets etc(percieved to be uncivilised).

by lang/regional racism,its meant cultural racism. for purposes of the subject of the post,this shud be discmissed bcos its present over the world. that ofcourse doesnt mean its ok, but blaming Indians alone for that is not correct.

Again ,this cultural racism is more of a personal attitude and specfic which is difficult to eliminate(possible to some extent with lot of ppl "moving" around,migrating and become become intelligent enuf), but castism is part of the stupid society(ever wonder its still developing and not a developed society, its all in roots of society and its resistance to change) which is possible to eliminate.

Balaji said...

Arun,

You know that in Tamil country, there is no such caste which has unique access to gods. From Shiva to Muniyandi, each caste had its own god. In Tamil history (and I'm sure elsewhere in the pre-Aryan India too) every caste also had political power at some point. You name a caste and I can give you a Tamil king from that caste. Except the so-called outcastes ofcourse.

The problems arose only when some people were declared as outcastes and untouchables. The present day SC/ST/MBC's all belong to this category.

In other words: If only three varnas had existed or if only castes had existed, the situation would not have been that bad. Its only the existence of the fourth varna, outcastes and untouchables that made the system worse.

To explain further, Brahmin castes like Iyer, Iyengar etc are the result of the varna system. But the 'real' castes like Gurukkal, Bhattachari, Purohit, Shasrty etc are because of profession.

If all this doesn't make sense: Varna system is division of resources/access to resources. Caste system is division of labor.

I consider Varna system as inherently racist because Shudras were at a disadvantage from its inception. Brahmins had access to Gods, Kshtriyas to Power, Vaishyas to wealth. But Shudras had only labor to offer. Even in the utopian argument that Shudras had access to food etc, its obvious that Shudras could be bullied by the other three varnas using the holy trinity of fear (of God), submission (to power) and lust (for wealth).

GuNs said...

This argument seems to be going everywhere now. Anyway, does it really matter?

Why can't people read the Ramayana and take the good lessons from it? Why do you have to be so negative and compulsively point out flaws in it? Why can't you dismiss it as a fantasy if you like to but respect the fact that it teaches some very important lessons? Why can't you let people who believe in the various beliefs of Hinduism but are not a party to the caste distinction be absolved of any crimes?

I can proudly say I have never disrespected a man of lower caste nor have I ever bothered to inquire what caste a person belongs to. I would also say the same about economic castes (if you may call them that). I speak with as much respect to a sweeper in my office as I would with my manager. When I stay in hotels, I refuse to let little bellboys take my luggage but I tip them anyway. I refuse to recognise any difference between people of different castes or religions. I try to live my life by some moral rules which I cannot break. I am a Hindu and am proud of it. I think Rama was a brilliant character and I do not care whether he ever existed or not. All I know is that his character had many good qualities which I can learn from. Take an analogy of Saurav Ganguly - I dont care whether he was arrogant or not - he was the best Indian captain ever and he taught his team to fight. I will consider his good qualities because that is what we want - people learning the good things.

Oh and last time I checked, there wasn't anything like a "Tamil country" anywhere on the globe. I hope there never is. You would only have Punjabi, Sindhi, Gujrati, Bhojpuri and such countries strewn everywhere.

-PeAcE
--WiTh
---GuNs

Balaji said...

you have a point. why should I be focused on the negative aspects of Rama?

well, the most obvious cost of such blind faith on Rama has been the Ramar Sethu controversy. If you are so bent on taking only the good things, why are these fanatics so bent on screwing the livelihood of poor fisherman and laborers who might benefit from the Sethu Canal project? (I have no problems if that project is opposed on environmental and economical grounds).

Besides, recognizing the racist content in Ramayana may help also recognize the injustice done to Shudras, India's other indigenous tribes and women.

Anyway, worshiping dubious Gods like Rama will make Hinduism vulnerable to attacks from Science and Abrahmic religions.

You might be a proud Hindu, but I don't think you are a smart Hindu. Smart Hindus, I think, will read Hindu Philosophy and would treat puranas as just that, stories.

Tamil Country? Tamil Nadu, Nadu = Country, Nation. Anyway I don't think there is anything xenophobic in calling ancient Tamil people/history/land as Tamil Country.

Anonymous said...

LTTE should be thanking Balaji for the light shown by him on the Country subject. Now they will recreate their ancient COUNTRY(Nadu), in INDIA, (not in SRI LANKA).

Om said...

Guys,

I'm surprised to see that the blog posts of this author is clearly explained in the following URL:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullshit