Racism simply means a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. The word racism can never be border lined within a particular country but they are concealed within the minds of each and every one.
While speaking about racism we might think only about the ‘whites’ and ‘blacks’ who are living far apart from us. This is not true. Racism exists within each of us. Either we deliberately ignore them or we try to cover-up ourselves by blaming others. This is not our fault, but we are constantly exposed to the idea that ‘white-skin’ is much more ‘superior’ than the ‘black-skin’.
As protest erupt in America, over the injustice and murder of George Floyd, we are forced to look closer to our surrounding. We should admit the fact that there are certain stereotypes that are constructed in our society results in certain types of injustice. We are certainly obsessed with fair skin. We could see Indians trending #black lives matter but in this same country we find continuous attack on Blacks.
In India we have witnessed Casteism rather than Racism. Caste or race, doesn’t matter if we consider our fellow beings as a human. The likeness towards light skin can be observed in films where we represent a dark-skinned person is always presented as a negative character.
We have heard a lot about ‘knowledge is power’. It’s time for us to rethink, did we acquire real knowledge or are we still deceived by the preoccupied notions. Knowledge should be a light to show us the path, the path of truth, purity and equality. You can be an educated person but it requires a lot of effort to be a human being.
First thing to avoid racism is understanding the source of racism. Avoid the idea of judgemental attitude from your mind. Skin is just a part of our body that does not have anything to deal with your character. History has several cold-blooded brutal stories about racism which should not be repeated in the future. The vulgar stain of racism should not be filled into the minds of youth. Since the racial outbreak erupted in America doesn’t mean that we are free from the brutal hands of racism.
The origin of the burning issue can be traced back in the history of India, which is known by casteism. The keywords describing racism are ‘inferior’, ‘superior’, ‘blacks’ and ‘whites’. Until we face the bitter truth of racism it will always remain unimportant for us. Many Indians are being brutally murdered or harassed in the name of their caste or colour. But their voices are less heard and no celebrity outbreaks arised for their sound.
We are living in a world which is still not yet free from the clutches of judging others of their race. We fail to realise that all these are merely a constructed reality. It has been a long-time since we have heard the black sufferings. It is high to stop this. We can never be a dominant or inferior one to others.
Individuality should be the most considered factor. No one should be treated as ‘other’ in their own country. India being a democratic country gives opportunity for everyone to live with equal rights, the preamble of our constitution states this. But yet, how well this written equality is practised is the question. From the daily news arising from different corners of the nation we cannot assure that we are successful in preserving the genuinity of every individual.
We cannot say that colonialism sowed the seeds of racism in the minds of Indians. Even before the arrival of British, our land was divided on the basis of caste. This was easy for the colonial powers to root the land was filled with the dirty division of caste; they never showed negligence towards racism. Even after these many years of attaining independence we still follow the unappealing idea of racism. The commercial industry and the media have a great role in inculcating racism to the next generation.
To erase the stains from our lineage is not an easy task. It takes a lot of effort and hard work. We could call it a ‘mental deficiency’ which can never be cured immediately. Never ignore it as an idea which does not affect you.
Everyone across the world seeks for a better future without realising the fact that the future lies in the present. Without changing the taboos of today we can never change tomorrow. Racism is not always vulnerable before us. It is hidden in our thoughts, words and certain deeds. No one is free from the negativity of racism. One way or the other it is inbuilt within us as we grow up.
We remained blind throughout these years, or we just pretended so. This is a wakeup call for all to act, to raise voice for the voiceless. Many of them face the true face of racism in their own country or within their homes. Our society is too obsessed with the skin tone of a person that they believe fair-skin will help you to be ‘successful’.
Consciously or unconsciously we are placing fair-skin as the top. We fail to recognise the diversity existing in our country. By praising and embracing whiteness we are losing our diversity. The unique diversity that attracted many nations is at the verge of losing its uniqueness.
As the development occurred in the technology, the spread of white superiority too increased. The physical appearance of an individual plays an important role in today’s world. Qualification and skills plays a secondary role in certain jobs, this is the attitude that we have to change.
No ideology emerges from vacuum. It will have sure political and social agendas for the implementation. Racism was such an ideology that created a sense of inferiority on the basis of colour, that the whites used to exploit the blacks. Continuous ill-treatment and help from religion were the paths selected by the whites for dominating the blacks.
India has a long existing religious belief and numerous gods for their worship.
While tracing back to the history and religious texts we could see that many gods and goddesses were black. The white-superiority of recent times tends to make the colour correction even for the idols of gods. We can never change the legacy of our birth just by imitating others. We can be the duplicate of any other culture but can never be the original version of your own culture.
Open your eyes and see the world around you. Embrace the beauty of everything in its own way. Our world is beautiful, we breath the same air, we see the same things but we treat differently. We human beings are creatures with high thinking capacity yet we are the only creatures who treat fellow beings as different.
“Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains”. The opening sentence of Rousseau’s ‘The social contract, Man may indeed be born free, but in the 21st century, the chains may be even harder to see. The society places all sorts of rules on them that limit their freedom. Childhood is the only time when they feel their freedom. Entering the societal world, they realise that they are restricted within the chains. The loss of freedom compels him to long for an earlier youth.
Man being a social animal wants freedom for his full development. But this is denied by the thorny chains of racism. We try to be a non-racial nation but the age old idea of casteism takes a new form as racism that will stay within us. Even in the twenty first century human beings can never argue that they are free from racism. Man is born free and he should be given the right to enjoy his freedom; only then this world can become a model of peace which is the ultimate goal of mankind.
We tend to see everything but fail to observe. While enraged about the racism in others, ask a question to yourself, am I one among them. Find it and change yourself then try to change the world. You can never change others without changing yourself. As Gandhiji has quoted “Be the change, you want to see in the world.”