I am not sure if I more humiliated or more angry at this moment, but I am definitely hurt. Nothing too heartbreaking yet not something that can be ignored.
Many a times, I have heard people complaining that they have been targets of racism in a foreign country. And each time I heard stories like these, I was nothing but confused, because I have been in the United States of America from the last 4 years and I don't have a single moment of regret. Never ever in the university that I attended, the places I worked at, or the current office that I am now - I have seen even a fraction of bias because I am a foreigner. Infact the experience has been just too good, totally un-blotched.
However, today at my gym, someone made me realize that racism does exists and it does not have to exist at the corporate or executive level, but even in the most mundane activities, one can be targeted. I see this lady everyday at the gym and in my usual manner (irrespective of whether I know a person or not, I without fail give a smile and sometimes to the extent of leaving the opposite person amused) Anyways, this lady (L) – a complete stranger and I, have been co-incidentally hitting the gym at the same time since the last 6 months and invariably everyday she doesn't not fail to knowingly ignore me. I don't mind if my smile is not returned and also that she would show no sign of recognition everyday is also excusable. I always gave her the benefit of doubt (as taught to me by my friend).But today, when I entered the gym, L was on one of the steppers and the TV was on. She had her iPod on and was gazing into the infinity obviously not watching the TV. I signaled to her asking her if I could change the channel - she took-off her ear-phones and looked at me and pretended to not understand. So I again politely asked her, if I could change the channel and then... she gave me one of the most derisive looks ever and very insolently replied - "No... I am watching it". Even if she wasn't watching it and refused to me, it would have been ok. But after sometime, a fellow-country man walked up to her and signaled at the TV. Apparently she had no problem with that anymore and very willingly handed the remote to him. Now what should I call it?
I am obviously hurt because I have never been rude to her and I can’t think of anything that I have could have ever done to set her off against me. May be I am getting a little extra sensitive here, but now that I think of her coldness towards me, I can put two and two together.
What is happening in Australia is something I totally condemn. If you are unable to give equal respect and acceptance to someone not from your country, then do not give the permission to enter in the first place. In my opinion one of the overbearing cause for these racist attacks, is the social, economic and intellectual affluence of the Indian students abroad, which brings out the inferiority complex in such violent manners.
On the same lines, the curse of racism is not only experienced by foreigners...but how different is India from within when it comes to open acceptance of people from different races? Is everyone getting everything that the democracy claims to be?
Inspite of being One-Democratic-Secular country – pedestrian jobs, college seats, higher posts are all blemished with the bias towards race.
What has happened to the so-called communal tolerance?
Is the concept of “One-World" just a fashion statement?
Is the sense of morality and equality completely non-existent?
The differences made on the basis of color, language, race, nationality, caste, sub-castes are prevalent in some form and some place almost everywhere. Instead of doing anything about it – the media makes the most buck out of this bang and we are silent observers, passive victims or mere loud noise-makers.
Neither of this helps. I am uncertain as to what to do about this, but I am sure to find out.