February 7, 2014

On Behalf of My African and North Eastern Brothers and Sisters in India...

This editorial of mine is on behalf of my African and North Eastern brothers and sisters in India to every shameful racist in India, and to every parent and teacher who unknowingly are creating future racists at their homes and schools… to all those who practice racism in any form towards not just Africans and North Easterners, but towards any human being… to all those who promote products that fuel racism and those who endorse such products and to all those uneducated leaders who do so less to change it all.

I feel ashamed that in this land of peace and tolerance, the land of Tagore – who found solace in the North East and wrote some of his most beautiful pieces there (including Shesher Kabita, Raktakarabi and Shillonger Chithi), and whose landmark poem Africa is perhaps the world’s most touching as well as one of the most revolutionary poems on racism – there are people who still practice racism, are unashamed about it and give pathetic excuses to justify their acts. The racist incidents in New Delhi, specially of the recent past, only make me believe that those who still practice racism in this day and age are not worth being called Indians, or humans for that matter. They live in this country but are blots on this land’s culture and heritage. They may have popular support or might even be quite religious, but they are purely uneducated and uncivilized, irrespective of whatever degrees they hold and however cultured they pretend to be.

However, I also feel it’s a problem with our whole education system. When you have an education system that doesn’t focus on making good human beings but focuses on forcing students to get higher marks, this is the society we create. When, as a nation, we do not tell our children to read more and better books, but get private tutors to suck up all their free time to force them to mug up chemistry formulas for a few marks more, this is what our children grow up and do. When we have top stars in this country goading you to get fairer skin, and parents – like utter illiterates – not teaching their children that human beings must be respected on the basis of the content of their character and readings that they do, and not on the colour of their skin or the superficial marks on their marksheets, this is what we have. We teach our children to follow the Great American Dream, but we forget to teach them and sensitize them to the Great American Sin. Racism!

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