Barack Obama and The Indian Hypocrisy

July 4, 2008


Hey fellas,

I know it’s been a long time and I’m developing a reputation for not keeping up my promises… Well, I’ve been busy and all with work, extra-curricular activities 😉 😉 and the likes… But well, the world hasn’t stopped rotating just because I haven’t written a single byte on my page (I’d love to have such powers, maybe the night and its endless possibilities could be extended 😉 😉 )… But don’t fret, dear one, coz I’ve got Megabytes full of action and adventure lined up for ya…

So finally Barack Obama wins the battle against the White Lady and it’s now for the battle against the big White Republican John McCain. And Indians all over are strangely rejoicing. Maybe it’s because Obama carries a miniature Hanuman with him as his lucky charm. Or maybe they are tired of George ‘Dubya’ Bush and all Republicans in general. But maybe, just maybe, I’ve got the right answer – it is because Barack Obama is black.

Now don’t get all hot and bothered that I am racist and try to flag this blog for racism and insensitivity to the feelings of the community. I’m not racial, nor do I want to demean Mr. Obama’s credentials. I’m trying to understand the Indian reaction to this global event. It’d really hurt me if someone took my comments in the wrong way. So read the whole thing, dear friend, and then decide…

We, as Indians, are inherently racists. Nothing else would explain the billion castes, the trillion sub-castes and the zillion other rules and regulations that encircle our lives, and in the end, in some cases, become our lives. India lives under the shadow of castes, religions, sub-castes, tribes, etc. No picture of true India is complete without a portrayal of the diaspora of tis inhabitants on the basis of their caste or religion. Elections are fought on the basis of caste politics, weddings take place keeping the caste in mind, honor killings happen when a boy/girl of an upper caste decides to elope/love/talk to a member of the opposite sex from a lower caste. Let’s accept it – we are racists.

And hence, I’m slightly perplexed as well as amused. We champion the cause of the oppressed, the one who has been racially discriminated, and yet, when it comes to us, we go back to our own old selves, the hypocrites. We are ready to support an Obama, a champion of the mixed race, yet wouldn’t allow our daughters to marry someone they love, just because he is from a lower/different caste. And if you think it is just relevant to rural India, the face of urban India is changing, think again. Urban India votes for its leaders, not for economic reasons, not for good governance, but based on caste, creed and custom. We elect our leaders based on whether they hail from our home-towns, do they belong to our caste, are they of the same larger family tree that joins caste, tribe and the other small leaves. We kill our daughters ans ons if they marry someone else who belongs to a different caste or religion. And I wouldn’t like to give a statistic on deaths after marriage, abuse at home due to difference in castes. And well, urban India is the largest consumer of fairness cream in the whole world. We are a race that isn’t happy with its color, yet are ready to support someone because they’ve broken the shackles of oppression based on color. Such purity of thought, such great selflessness.

America has come to terms with its history. Hence, an Obama can contest the elections, not on a racial premise, but on the principles of governance, economy, and progress. In India, a lower-caste citizen can contest an election, but solely harping on the premise of his caste and how he has been oppressed. We are ready to see the so-called change in Big Brother, but are not ready to face it ourselves.

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One Response to “Barack Obama and The Indian Hypocrisy”

  1. Tushar Chavan Says:

    The more we talk abt these things is we realise how less we know
    Generations to generations it has followed the same path
    Best Thing : Many initiatives are taken to change the drawbacks
    Worst Thing : None of them are followed and left behind to continue the same old pattern


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