It all happened today, my team leader [Chinese] returned from pune after overseeing a project. When i asked him how did he find pune, he folded his hands and shook his head sideways saying in a heavily accented Hindi “ Behut Achha Hai”.
I had this ambivalent emotion running through me.Was he mocking me and my country? Or has he really loved his time at pune? Many a times we come across a situation when we meet a person on train or flight. If you’re new found friend turns out to be worth talking up to, an eventual question arises between the two “Where are you from”?
And if we had been remotely close to that place which the other person says that they hail from, we say things like “Yeah i have been to Chennai, nice beach, big dosa’s , women with flowers on their head etc… It strikes a chord doesn’t it?
If the other person turns out to be a sport, we would go ahead to statements like “Ah that place has choc- a-bloc traffic, the police are horrible and politicians are noisy bastards with their placards and advertisements etc…” Even in this case one manages to strike a sense of companionship with the other despite the acrid criticism and this conversation acts as an ice-breaker.
But when we hear the same or read about anything disgraceful about our country, region [i choose to ignore religion, as it’s a different ball game altogether] we unite. In the enthusiasm to stand up and get counted, we fail to hear “our” voices. Our opinions are overshadowed by insecurity and we blend in with the mass idea.
We start to crib vehemently and write posts and to demonstrate our feeling. We support Facebook pages like “We need 100,000 people to like this page to oppose this cause” etc…I hear people saying that one has to defend one’s pride, and if we chose not to we are a disgrace to our creed/ country.
What about guys like me, who have an opinion for everything? Who feel that one should not be allowed to subterfuge one’s patriotism to play dice to some marketing gimmick or a politician’s way to leverage his ulterior motives. Are we the black sheep’s? Why are we accused of being non-patriotic snubs? Its funny to see that many a time the original culprit is let go scot free and the person who ignores to comment or react on this is ostracized.
My personal belief is that “All humans are racists by nature” and racism cannot be abolished. However tolerance can be nurtured. If one traces the aboriginal traces of mankind. They were Africans, later they migrated to various parts of the world [Excuse my ignorance, if i am amiss]. Due to the climate, food and other factor’s ones color changed. The gene’s kicked in and we had various races of people all around. Everyone wanted some kind of protection, identity and hence formed groups/races were found on various factors such as beliefs, color, profession etc…Race was discovered to preserve one’s identity and conflicts began when they became insecure about their existence or wanted to demonstrate their superiority.
The ground for hatred based on races is very brittle; it’s our manifestations and vivid interpretations which bring out the worst in us.
Racists are those who feel other races are inferior or evil compared to theirs. There can be only two kinds of people who are not racists, one who mock all and others who treat everyone as the same without any disparity. The latter is hard to find and harder to follow.
I feel i fall in the first category; i find it really amusing to see various people up in arms for the slightest of slander. My choice to express it aloud depends on the repercussions that i might have to face.
This reminds me of a quote from Madagascar when a zebra says to other
Brother, you are different from others. They are black skinned with white stripes and you are white skinned with black stripes.
Sums up the case with us humans, we are a funny lot. Laugh on it and go easy on the violence part.