“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela
The crimes pertaining to racism are increasing so rapidly that I feel ashamed to call myself a citizen of the world! Be it America, Europe, Australia or even India, this prejudice has become the sad but inescapable truth. At school, we had these moral values classes where we learnt about how the residents of Africa were treated in Europe or America because of the colour of their skin. Yes, I agree that they have been victimized more than anyone else but with changing times, instead of coming out of that narrow-minded attitude, people have begun to do it among their very own countries!
It’s high time we wake change. In India, racial prejudice is prevalent to an extent that would shock any educated human being. If this is to change, we must begin by first and unreservedly accepting this fact. We don’t like those who are darker than us whilst we ourselves hanker for a fairer complexion.
To be honest, colour consciousness also permeates the way North Indians treat the South Indians. We dismiss Africans as habshis; we contemptuously categorize South Indians as madrasis. Colour leads us to deride their food, customs, language and behaviour.
I can’t think of many countries where Fair and Lovely creams do such a roaring business. Certainly there can’t be many countries where the equivalents of Shahrukh Khan or John Abraham proudly advertise them. Yet our celebrities have no compunction about doing this.
Alongside caste, our marriage advertisements stipulate colour. We only see how dark or fair a person is but why don’t we perceive the person beneath the colour?
All of this is not just embarrassing, it’s shameful. Yet, we are blissfully unaware or at least, unconcerned by the moral issues it raises. Willful ignorance is our bliss!
Consider two other situations and you’ll realize how deeply compromised our moral attitude actually is. Watch us beside fair-skinned Europeans and Americans and we seem to delight in their company. When they visit, they are honoured guests. When invited to their homes, we are over eager to impress. The other telling situation occurs when we go abroad. If mistreated we often, if not readily, suspect racism even when that’s patently not the case. Usually its the first explanation that comes to mind.
As potential victims, we are very conscious of it, as perpetrators we’re disinclined to accept it of ourselves. Monsters we may not be but angels we definitely are not.
The worst part is that many of us are unaware of this hateful prejudice, several unconcerned, quite a few unwilling to change and most – yes most – unashamed when made aware of this horrible truth.
We must understand that we were all created by the same God and nobody was given any choice over the colour of the skin we are born with or the country we are born in!
Prejudice is indeed a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible. Hence, we must all stand against such racial and social prejudice and contribute in making the world a better place to live for all its citizens! After all, it’s the character that matters!
Here’s the link to another apt article on racial discrimination with examples of persons who have beaten the normal benchmarks of beauty and have been accepted as role models – http://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/black-is-also-beautiful/ Do have a look!