The most recent attack on a Nigerian in a Greater Noida Mall has stirred the potential racist mindsets of people in India. After an Indian student passed away in Noida, a few Nigerians were physically attacked and were blamed for the boy’s death, it has rung an alarming sign about Indians taking the law into their own hands and of a possible ‘hate crime’.
Oxford dictionary defines racism as ‘prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior’. Why would someone consider his/her own race to be superior to others? It is when we consider the physical characteristics of the one race to be inferior to that of another.
People of one country are different from those of another country with regards to their physical characteristics i.e. race, amongst other things. The man-made norms about good physical appearance have created such mindsets. Fair skin is preferred, which means brown and black skin is considered to be inferior.
India is considered to be the most racist country in the world according to Veterans Today and The Micronesia Forum. According to Daily Mail UK, India stands close to second after Jordan. Examples of this can be seen in the difference of behavior Indians show while treating a fair-skinned foreigner than a dark or black skinned one. Indians should broaden their mindset and realise that skin colour, be it white to black, does not amount to any significant difference.
Indians themselves are targeted by racism in other countries as well. There have been incidences in Australia, The United States and Europe where violent hate crimes as well as verbal brawls have been reported time and again. In 2007, Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty who was a participant in the reality game show, Big Brother was a target of repeated racial comments because of her Indian origin.
Russia is strongly racist towards people who they feel are not truly Russians. They are also racist towards Africans, Chinese, Caucasians, and Asians. The practice has also led to crimes being caused and the Russian government along with UN has intervened to stop such events. However, such incidents continue to take place both in remote areas as well as in big cities.
The United States of America which has a population from around the world also sees racism cases against Asians, South Americans, Africans and Native Americans in different states such as Arizona, Missouri, and Mississippi. The hate crimes are ever rising and are predicted to raise more after Trump’s presidency. Recently, an Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotia was gunned down by a 51-year-old man in Olathe after the shooter hurled racist comments at Srinivas calling him a ‘terrorist’ and asking to leave the country. Srinivas was open fired at and his fellow colleague Alok Madasani was critically injured. Even though Americans are more advanced and have a wider perspective about things, such sad incidences are still being reported.
One of the biggest racism practiced is against black skinned people in almost all parts of the world. They have come a long way after fighting slavery and have attained a well-deserved life with rights and respect. Unfortunately, there still are incidents where discrimination is expressed in form of words and actions. An organisation ‘#BlackLivesMatter’ has been started to build connections between black people, fight against racism and to bring in necessary social engagement in this matter. Let’s also not forget that one of the most loved former President of the United States is Barack Obama, who is an African American.
The ill practise of racism is not country specific. It can be witnessed anywhere in the world. We cannot generalise that an entire nation is racist. Neither every Indian is racist towards an African nor is every American racist towards an Indian. The problem lies with the mindset of some people. We must realise that skin colour and physical characteristics of people don’t matter in determining anything about them. The outer appearance of a person is not under his/ her control, it is merely biological. We must look beyond such thinking. In many occasions, people practice racism and are also being subjected to it themselves. There are enough issues to be dealt with in the world, why add racism too? Racism is nothing but discrimination against a fellow human.
We should realise that it is important to respect everyone regardless of their race to maintain peace. Every human is equal. Let’s look beyond such frame of mind and broaden our perspective. There is more to a human being than just his skin.
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