Grandma\’s Tales

January 19, 2007

Racism? I can understand this!

Filed under: Society — Rajesh @ 6:36 pm

Dear friend,
I cannot tell you how grateful I am that you chose my blog to tell us about how people from the north-eastern states are viewed in our country. Thank you so much, Haumuanlun Samte.
I have heard about what you describe, but I have not seen it happen in Chennai where I live. Many people from the north-east live and work here and we girls always make it a point to go to hairdressing saloons run by/that employ them. We think of them as the best in the business.
But I can understand your feelings. When the Shilpa Shetty story broke out, the first thing I said was: “The way Tamils and Bengalis speak has always been part of Bollywood “comedy”! Did you watch Padosan?” As a young bride when I went live in north India in the 60s, I was the butt of constant jokes in the defence colonies I lived. You know why? Because I was poor and couldn’t afford fashionable clothes!
It’s a human condition, my friend. As I said in a previous blog, we all need to grow up. And sadly, somewhere, our education lets us down terribly.
I now work with people with disabilities. Watch movies with disabled characters and see how they are treated. A person with a stammer provides comic relief, as do people with mental disabilities. A man without his right hand has to be a villian. Carefully listen to the dialogues aimed at them. Watch the portrayal of a mental health facility.
I once asked a group of actors why they would allow all this on screen. Their response: “Why do you take this so seriously? It’s all just fun.”
If you are different, you have no business to be around. Yes, my friend. I do understand how you feel.
Now, please read his comment. It’s an eye-opener.
Haumuanlun Samte | samtelun@yahoo.co.in | vaphualization.blogspot.com |
you are from the north-eastern states of the country.
you walk down a congested delhi street. a passerby stares at you for one long moment. then he grins. and you know quite well that it’s not in mirth. he continues to stare at you in contempt.
you hail a cab. it’s real tough bargaining over the price. the driver stares at you, deceptiveness written clear in his face.
then to the bazaar, shopping complex, movies, everywhere – that same look on their faces.
you know the reason why they keep staring at you. you can perceive them well. and you know quite well that you ain’t an alien. you are an indian. and a human being too.
you are riding on a blueline bus. the conductor yells out loud, “hey, chinky, bahadur…”
do you shout back at him: “BIHARIS!” or do you just let it pass, again, as you had been doing over the years?
but you know, you are pained, deep down your heart. your blood begins to boil.
damn, how the hell are you gonna have the strength to overcome these??
in fact, indians are more aggressive than britishers. people from the north-eastern states are being seen as foreigners, or aliens, or nepalis. mainstream indians just don’t accept them as their brothers and sisters, living in one country. multi-culturism, multi-ethnicity and unity-in-diversity don’t seem to go down well with them.
it’s now time to put a complete “full stop” here, first at home. only then, let’s talk about europe.
Amen.

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8 Comments »

  1. […] Geeta Padmanabhan posts a comment by Haumuanlun Samte on her blog in fact, indians are more aggressive than britishers. people from the north-eastern states are being seen as foreigners, or aliens, or nepalis. mainstream indians just don’t accept them as their brothers and sisters, living in one country. multi-culturism, multi-ethnicity and unity-in-diversity don’t seem to go down well with them. it’s now time to put a complete “full stop” here, first at home. only then, let’s talk about europe. […]

    Pingback by Racism? I can understand it. at Blogbharti — January 20, 2007 @ 10:30 pm | Reply

  2. Thanks Blogbharti.

    Comment by Geeta Padmanabhan — January 21, 2007 @ 10:19 am | Reply

  3. Thanks for the shout, Geeta!

    Comment by Haumuanlun Samte — January 24, 2007 @ 11:25 am | Reply

  4. Oh, you are very welcome, Haumuanlun. May be you should do a post on travelling in the north-east. And add some pictures. I am a big travel buff. Want to do it on my blog?

    Comment by Geeta Padmanabhan — January 24, 2007 @ 9:20 pm | Reply

  5. You can call me “Lun.” Our names are little bit odd for you guys, lol! Yeah, I will. Did you check my blog, http://vaphualization.blogspot.com ? I’ve written some stuffs there.

    Comment by Haumuanlun Samte — January 26, 2007 @ 9:43 am | Reply

  6. Your names are odd? What about ours? Roll these off your tongue! Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar, Sivasanthaanakrishnan, and in Tamil – Periyakaruppanayakan, Muthuvelakumarapandiyan, Vellaiyappa Thambi.Check out the names of the villages and towns in Tamil Nadu. You’ll chip a few teeth 🙂
    Kushwant Singh, who became Padma Vibhushan Kushwant Singh today once wrote that we should do something about our names, try and make them simpler.
    Sure, will go through your blog. But would still like you to write exclusively for me – “Travels in the north-east”, want to think about it?

    Comment by Geeta Padmanabhan — January 26, 2007 @ 9:17 pm | Reply

  7. Travels in the North-east? Okay, I will do that. But you’ve got to wait. It was November last yeat that I went there. I didn’t keep any account of record… Will be back in the summer.

    Comment by Haumuanlun Samte — January 29, 2007 @ 9:02 am | Reply

  8. Will look forward to it, Lun.

    Comment by Geeta Padmanabhan — January 29, 2007 @ 9:23 pm | Reply


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