The racist is pervasive. And I am one too | india | Hindustan Times
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The racist is pervasive. And I am one too

india Updated: Jun 28, 2009 01:22 IST

Hindustan Times
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Before I jump to any conclusion, I wish to understand racism in its entirety. Racism is broadly defined as discrimination or prejudice based on race. Whereas race is defined as people who are believed to belong to the same genetic stock.

So if I narrowly define racism, as in the skin color, I might perhaps find incidents in the city few and far between. But if I take the complete picture, I am numbed in disbelief.

It's not a revelation and the average city traveller would have been a victim. I wish to speak about myself, both as a victim and a victimizer. Whenever I see a poor person or a beggar, I immediately take my eyes off from him/her, mistrusting him/her immediately, thinking he/she must be out to cheat.

I have also been very arrogant and rude with taxi drivers, taking them to be of lower status. I have also verbally abused autorickshaw drivers. While ordering food in restaurants, I have made a subtle racist attack on the waiter either by calling him by some occupational name or whistling to get his attention. In my pursuit of active racism, I have blundered by dividing the city into South Mumbai, with the so-called elite, and suburbs where they say the not-so-elite live.

Perhaps, we do not see the kind of attack as in Australia, but we do see subtle verbal fights on streets, bordering on racism. Slowly and gradually, Mumbai is slipping into the grip of racism tide and the racist is pervasive, myself included.