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Everyone lives in a glasshouse

india Updated: Jan 12, 2008 23:35 IST
Papa CJ
Papa CJ
None
Everyone lives in a glasshouse

Racism’s usual travel companion is hypocrisy. This struck me when the Indian doctor caught in the terrorism scandal, Mohammed Haneef, had his Australian visa revoked because he was “related to criminals”. I thought to myself, “Gee, where do you think Australia came from?”

Hypocrisy is a demon Indians are far too comfortable with. It’s one set of rules for ourselves and another set for others. I recently did a show in India to a mixed-age crowd where a young man came up and said I “shouldn’t” have done some jokes. He said he wasn’t offended, but the elders in the room were. Actually, the older generation loved it. So hello mister young person, if you want the right to speak for yourself then let’s give our elders the same right. Who gives you the right to be offended on behalf of them?

Oh India, do we want to become a politically correct blandness and be offended because people tell us to? Can we laugh at anything at all? Should the peacock be beige?

Let’s do three things. Let’s be broadminded and question not the words we hear but the intention behind them. Let’s not be afraid to be who we are. And let’s put an end to hypocrisy.

The last time someone called me a monkey, I was eight years old. In those days it was ‘donkey’, then ‘monkey’, and then nowhere to go. So regardless of whether Harbhajan called Symonds a monkey, Symonds should just call him a donkey and get it done with. What is racist about the term monkey? Does Symonds feel it relates to his family? Let’s stop this monkey business and play some cricket, shall we?

(In Papa CJ’s stand-up comedy acts performed worldwide, westerners often are the butt of jokes. He’s the first Indian on NBC’s Last Comic Standing and can be reached at papacj.com)