If an Indian calls someone "monkey", is it racist? Read what surfers have to say... | india | Hindustan Times
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If an Indian calls someone "monkey", is it racist? Read what surfers have to say...

india Updated: Jan 09, 2008 18:38 IST

Hindustan Times
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Chupke Chupke from Anantpur says
Calling a person donkey, monkey etc may be tolerated within India. However, calling someone "monkey", whether with a racist intent or not, is certainly inviting trouble overseas. Bollywood should be more careful in permitting the use of "Kutthey Kameeney", "Gadhe ke Auladh", "Ullu ke Patte" etc in Hindi movies.

Vibhor Jonathan from Anantpur says
Names of several animals are used in the Indian context but they are not 'racist'. They rather describe certain behaviours. For example, 'donkey' (foolish), 'owl' (slow-witted), 'pig' (filthy), 'monkey' (naughty), 'dog' (mean), 'cow' (gullible). It's time the Australians become familiar with the Indian Lingo!

S Ganguly from United States of America (sganguly@hotmail.com) says
I never consider monkey a racist remark. But Australians have given a big publicity to the new nickname of Andrew Symonds.

Rupesh Shah from Bikaner says
Come on. Monkey is not racism.

Robert Moore from Australia says
Yes it is racist. It is a well established racist term in European football and elsewhere. It has history already in India/Australia cricket contests, having been offensively directed at Andrew Symonds. It is known to be a racist term, and if it used it is racism.

Colin Caudell from Australia (ccaudell@henzells.com.au) says
The article in the Australian was right. This is more about politics and flexing muscles than cricket. What has gone around before comes around. Maybe you should read the stories of the past first before picking up the ball and throwing it. http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23025954-601,00.html Refer Peter Lalor 9/1/08. Calling a black person a monkey can easily be considered racist.You must look behind the word and understand the context in which it was said.

Bushan Bhat from Canada says
Calling a 'monkey' is not a racist remark in the Indian perception. It may even be an affectionate way of addressing someone clever and naughty. Infact calling an Indian a bastard is much more offending.

Asif Hossain from United States of America (shripm@aol.com) says
Absolutely not. This is a common word used in South Asian countries like India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Friends use it against each other, parents use it for naughty children. Sometimes even schoolteachers use it incase of naughty students.

Vipin Sharma from Canada (Vsharma47@rogers.com) says
It can definitely not be catagorised as racist. People here in Canada sometimes call each other nuts, chicken or turkey. Symonds, take a chill pill buddy.

Joginder Chadha from Delhi says
It is not a racist remark.

Seema Sharma from United Kingdom (seema_sharma@hotmail.com) says
No, monkey, donkey are words of common use in India.

Sumit Gupta from United Kingdom (sumitgupta_mit@yahoo.com) says
Whether a comment is offensive or not is only determined by the fact that towards whom is it directed.

Simran Singh from Thiruvananthapuram (badasspunjabi2005@yahoo.com) says
No not at all. When the universe calls the Australians kangaroos they do not feel offended then I do not understand why are they feeling offended with the word monkey.

Hemanth Kumar from Bangalore (hemanthmn@yahoo.com) says
No, it is not a racist word at all.

Ritu Aggarwal from Australia (ritu.au@gmail.com) says
No it is not. Monkey is our god, the Lord Hanuman. So it is not a bad word for us at all. No one should feel offended.

Sunil P from New Zealand (skpp@hotmail.com) says
Not at all.. but if a monkey is called Symonds, that's racism.

Rajesh Mathur from Canada (mathur3@hotmail.com) says
I don't think so. It's synonym Vaanar is used respectfully for Hindu God Hanuman. Is that "racist"?

Ramji Abinashi from United Kingdom says
Monkey chants are generally recognised across the world as anti black people. We should learn to respect this understanding. The Indian reaction to this incident is just amazing - it almost looks like "Do what we want, or else...."

Sachin Khanijow from Delhi says
Depending on the tone .. but yes it is racist.

Vally Deb from United States of America (valmontdebonair@gmail.com) says
No matter what, if it is a comment meant to degrade a person it is racist.

Srinivasa T from Bangalore says
No

Krish Raghavan from Chennai (swatikrish@gmail.com) says
This is not sportsmanship. When Andrew Symonds was offended by this term during their visit to India last year, why provoke him again by calling him a monkey? If that word is not uttered, then Harbhajan should'nt be punished otherwise a ban is appropriate.

Sachin Khanijow from Delhi says
Depending on the tone .. but yes it is racist.

Vally Deb from United States of America (valmontdebonair@gmail.com) says
No matter what, if it is a comment meant to degrade a person it is racist.

Srinivasa T from Bangalore says
No

Krish Raghavan from Chennai (swatikrish@gmail.com) says
This is not sportsmanship. When Andrew Symonds was offended by this term during their visit to India last year, why provoke him again by calling him a monkey? If that word is not uttered, then Harbhajan should'nt be punished otherwise a ban is appropriate.

Zohaib Khan from Pakistan (zohaibkhan01@hotmail.com) says
Not really. Atleast not in our part of the world.

Narine Singh from Canada (narines@hotmail.com) says
The next time you call your little comedian son, "You cute little monkey", you could get a blast from Symonds, Bucknor and Ponting. So be careful about what you say.

Atul Shah from Anantpur (atul103@yahoo.com) says
No it is not. We all call our kids monkey at times.

Ram Gopal from Anantpur (ramgopalverman@gopal.varma.com) says
Yes

Samir Bhargava from Kota (samir_eck@yahoo.com) says
Monkeys were our ancestors. So such a comment cannot be called a racist comment. Donkey, however, could be.

Sumeet Sikka from United States of America (sikkasumeet@hotmail.com) says
It is racist no matter how you look at it.

Anil Kumar from United States of America says
No, it can't be racist. I believe the phrase 'quit monkeying around' is common in most languages and cultures. I would be surprised if it is not used in Australia.

Sarosh Hamid from United States of America (saroshhamid@rediffmail.com) says
It is worse than any other racist remark.

Prof Krishan Dev Sharma from Delhi (kdsharma@yahoo.com) says
'Monkey' is certainly not a racial remark.

Akshay Marathe from Mumbai (akshaymarathe@gmail.com) says
If an Indian calls someone racist, its not at all racist. I think any such conversation should remain between the two people and words shouldn't affect the dignity of a good player like Symonds.

Jake Slattery from Australia says
I don't know if "monkey" is ever used as a racist insult in India, having never been there. I have one Indian friend who has lived here six years ago - I have not yet talked to him about the issue. My uncle used to call me a monkey when I was a child and acting silly. I have a friend whose nickname is monkey. I have never heard the term monkey applied to an Aboriginal in a derogatory fashion. It is not a racist term in Australia.

Ramesh M.P. from Delhi (mpramesh03@yahoo.com) says
As far as my knowledge goes, the word monkey is never used in an abusive sense. It is sometimes used as a mild scolding word for naughty children who goes too playful and very naughty. The word dog and pig is used in a derogatory sense and certainly not the word monkey.

OzzieIndian Kangaroo from Barddhaman (rraomk@yahoo.com.au) says
Australian team has gone overboard with their complaint. They are usually the worst offenders and in the Sydney Test, they were no different. The best way to address the Australian team's behaviour is to hit them where it hurts most. All Indians should boycott all their matches. Also boycott the products they promote. Make Brett Lee's ranting and raving 'song' an absolute flop. If any Australian team member joins IPL etc, boycott all their matches. That will teach them a big lesson!

Lachman Budd from China (budd@netvigator.com) says
It is alleged he said "MONKEY", but Harbajan denies saying it. So Andrew Symonds is a liar as i believe Harbajan Singh did not say it and proof is Sachin who was present when this happened!

Sonia Arora from Denmark (sonia.arora2007@gmail.com) says
No calling someone monkey is not racism. People use this term to tease each other and it should not be taken as an offensive remark. These terminologies are very common in India.

Dr.P.P.Singh Chadha from Delhi (ppschadha48@yahoo.co.in) says
We worship Hanuman or Bajrangbali as our God. And as depicted in Ramayan, Hanuman was a monkey by tribe. As such in India, the word monkey is a virtue, not a vice.

Kapil Bhatia from Delhi says
Calling someone a "MONKEY" is not a racist remark. Racist remarks are those, which are targeted on a particular race or caste. While calling someone a "MONKEY" might be due to one's monkey-like behavior or monkey-like looks. After all the entire human race was formerly "MONKEY". Our ancestors were “MONKEY” too!

Amrendra Kumar from Delhi (amrendrak_inh@yahoo.com) says
The term cannot be considered as racist as our ancestors were monkeys. It is a term used to denote someone who is naughty or playful. In fact we worship the monkey as "Hanuman" - a god in Hindu mythology.

Colin Caudell from Australia (ccaudell@henzells.com.au) says
I know you do not have censorship in India and believe in free speech. Then why did the Indian captain say at a press conference he asked the Australian Captain not to report the incident as he would sort it out internally. Also if the term is not racist, why did the Indian police arrest spectators in 2007 for the very same comment.

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