Dont ask me what prompted me to write this one. Could be the fact that I watched the winner of this year's Oscar for best movie. Could be that it brought back some suppressed memories.
The movie got me thinking. We are Black. We are White. We are yellow. We are brown. We are so many colors, which should have been turned a blind eye to. Open fact that under all these colors we have the same color - the red of blood!
There is an interesting passage in the Merchant of Venice by the famous villain. If you read this, you don't really know whether it is justified to call him a villain. His name is Shylock and for as long as he can remember, he wants to avenge himself on his do-gooder rival, Antonio. Shylock belongs to the low-caste money lenders, & thus is discrimated against often. Ultimately when he does get his chance to extract revenge, he taunts Antonio.
"You have defied me much. For what? For the crime of being different? Are we not men? Do we not feel thirsty? Do we not feel hunger? When you hurt us, do we not feel pain? And when you kill us, do we not die?"
These words have an amazing power behind them. It truly shows that racism is not propagated by the 'bad' alone. The 'good', willingly or unwillingly, practice it too. This story was written by Shakespeare eons ago, but it holds true to this day.
There's another piece, and this one too is sure to grab your attention.
"When I was born I was black
When I was sick I was black
When I was happy I was black
When I was angry I was black
When I die, I will still be black.
When you were born you were blue
When you were sick you were yellow
When you were happy you were pink
When you were angry you were red
When you die, you will be white.
And you have the gall to call ME coloured! " - Anonymous
What is it that drives one to this insanity? I have been target to this insanity, so I speak from experience, so to speak. Being a Chinese living in India, I have been taunted & crucified relentlessly in the early years of my life. Boarding life was tough, since parents were not around and I could do nought to face up to the jeers of hundreds! Those days are far behind me now. Im a much stronger person, & anyone who dares show malicious intent, suffers. But over all the years, inspite of being a target, Ive never understood this madness.
Whites discriminate against blacks, browns. Browns against yellows and so on. When will all this end? We talk of globalism & diversity of life. Is this what we are trying to hide behind fantastic statistics? Once a batchmate of mine had a quarrel with me, and to get an upper hand, he tried the racist card. He accused me of not caring for the country, because I was not even Indian. This coming from him who had come from Nepal to study in India. My forefathers have lived in this country & I can proudly say that Im more Indian than most who pretend allegiance. But the madness continues.
Still wondering why I wrote this piece? Watch "Crash". It gets your blood boiling. But that is not enough. Fight against it. If you cant do much on the larger scale, atleast you can take a small step & be humane by treating anyone & everyone with respect, irrespective of the color of skin. Do this, will you?