Sunday, February 11, 2007

My brush with Jade Goody...

Thursday was just another day for me. I started from the office to the bus stop from where I usually take route 66 bus. It was already dark and as soon as I boarded the bus I sank on my favorite last seat of the bus and immersed myself in the music filled in my ears by my mp3 player. 15 minutes later the bus stopped at one of its numerous stops along the route and a bunch of 5 boys aged not more than 14 got down from the bus. Nothing unusual! As the bus was about to leave from the stop, one of those boys came to the back of the bus and knocked the window to grab my attention. And what he did? I got the middle finger! Before I could react, the bus was on its way. This is just one of the milder incident with an Indian but my first brush with so called ‘racism’.

Not the gesture but the thing that baffled me was the age of the boy. I am sure, given a chance, he could not have pointed out where India is on the world map and surely he would not have any idea whether Asia is a continent or a Russian actress. But he somehow concluded that we (read Indians or Asians) are there on his land and are responsible for depriving some of the things that could have been his or his elder brother’s or for that matter his father’s!

The organization in which I am working here employ around 1000 Indians, all from different IT majors from India and at a place where total no. of employees is not more than 3000, it’s a big number. Since the time I have landed here, there have been two drives when the English contractors were laid off and were replaced by Indians. They are loosing their jobs with alarming regularity. Same is happening in other organizations too and in large numbers. This is the other side of the coin which we tend to miss while assessing their behavior towards us. In my view, their frustration is not entirely unjustified.

The buses here are crowed with Indians. Almost every day, they get packed at the first stop itself from where most of us board it. That leaves no option for the English guys to stand all along the route.

Think of the same scenario in Mumbai or Delhi. Foreigners all around you. Snatching your jobs overnight leaving you or your father jobless (Hunting for a new job at the age of 40 is not a feel which everybody look forward to). DTC or best buses full of them with you barely finding a place to stand. So, hows the thought?

I remember the time when I was a kid, a large no. of students from Africa (mainly Nigeria) flocked Gwalior (my home town). They were there to do some degree courses. And I remember each one from our colony used to see all of them with great suspicion.

So we should not be surprised when we are being watched by the same spects now in this alien land. More than the racism, I guess this is the sense of insecurity they have developed against us. A feeling that the hard working, weekend slogging breed of Indians will slowly throw them out of their jobs and would slowly stand with them on the podium of economic growth.


  1. Arre yaar we Indians hv our own brand of racialism. It's called 'casteism'. And then within the country also we hv those stereotypes. So its not new. And it will go on. One against the other. Jisne show jitna tha, woh toh jeet hi moves on...

  2. Excellent thought...agree with you 100%..its more of insecurity..& then we Indians are not far behind with casteism...

  3. Guess it takes more than a little maturity to think from the other party's angle...

    but all said and done, is it fair to vent out your anger on anybody just like that - when he hasn't done you any harm... how does that differentiate them from the workers of a certain party here who vandalised shops selling valentine day merchandise?

  4. agree with u to some extent. The flip side is indeed scary and painful..however much the reasons be 'justified' or not it isnt correct to hold feelings of hatred or not liking a particular regions people on these grounds. I know its easier said than done but then racism be it Asia or any other region is not justified at all!

  5. hehehehe.... arre yaar we indians are the worst racists in this world... we abuse everyone... kallu, chinka, gora... and if it is a fellow indian then we will label them as maddu, bengali, mallu, punjabi.. and once over that then the caste will come in picture....
    and most comic part is that these firangis have reason for their racial discrimination, our discriminations are purely ingrained ones (and without too much of logic).