Saturday, January 08, 2005

Racism is a two-edged sword

One dude in New York sent this email, about how some radio show host in Philadelphia, USA called a call centre in India and verbally abused and threatened the poor lady that took his call. He was absolutely enraged, among the thousands of other 'non-resident Indians'. The RJ seems to be a negro (a no-no word according to him, because it is derogatory). What was interesting was his attitude towards them (in addition to others') did a round-about-turn. He had sent me a link to the mp3 file, and asked me to listen to it. In IM, he told something about 'a shitty thing from nigaa assholes' and 'they would get fucked for sure if they did something like this in NY'. His roommate says 'niggas should be DELETED from human race'. This roommate guy apparently has a long history of being an aryan supremacist.

One girl in her blog says 'Brotherly luv, not for brown folks', referring to Philadelphia being known as the 'city of brotherly love'. Some comments in her and several others' blogs were like the roommate's. Evidently, someone commits a mistake, their whole race/clan/whatever is to be deleted from the face of the earth! While there was much outrage and tons of email (not regular letters, which have some value) to the station managers and/or owners, because the RJ impersonated a white man and said to her 'he will strangle the eff out of her, the rat-eater'. I read somewhere, when a Jewish industrialist was accused of racism when he supported the extermination of the Palesteinians, he is supposed to have said that he can't be called racist because he lost his parents in the holocaust! The holocaust where not only Jews were rubbed off, but even German homosexuals, Polish, French, Russians, Britons, the stateless Gypsies, and the list goes on. Interestingly, the Russian soldiers who survived these concentration and prisoner camps were executed or exiled to Siberia by Stalin on charges on collaborating with the Nazis. La vita e bella, absolutely!

In (an) unrelated incident(s) halfway across the world, something worse than calling someone a rat-eater and making a threatening phone call, racism is being exhibited in our own perfect country in the world, the shining India. In the recent tsunami, many people were affected, mostly in my home state, Tamil Nadu. Tons and tons of aid is literally pouring into the country. People affected were of two kinds - the dalits and the non-dalits (is calling them harijans politically correct?) Excerpts from London Telegraph newspaper.

Thousands of low caste Indian "untouchables" are being denied food, water and shelter by higher castes in camps for tsunami survivors.
Around 5,000 Dalits from the worst hit area south of Madras have been kept from aid agency water tanks and pushed to the back of long food queues.

Furthermore, they are accused of 'polluting the water source', being denied access to the water, biscuits and food sent by the UN.

At one camp outside Nagapattinam, the Dalits were accused of polluting drinking water supplied by the United Nations and were told at another that biscuits being handed out were not for them.
When the Dalits asked for food packages and clothes, they were pushed away and forced to sleep on a nearby road because upper caste women said they did not "feel safe" with them around.
"There are no toilets here and the upper castes even prevent us from using the area which serves others as an open toilet," said V Vanith, a Dalit teenager.

The dalits say that only Muslims helped them by setting up free kitchens and providing shelter. Huh? Aren't these the same Muslims who owe allegiance to Pakistan, as the rabid Sangh Parivar says?

Well, well, well, is this how the aid I, my family and relatives sent being spent? Maybe this is why the Government refuses foreign aid whenever some disaster happens - these things should not come into light! The sorrow I felt for these people has disappeared now, just as the feeling the New York dude had for the 'African-Americans' changed to animosity towards the 'nigaas'.

It seems the NY dude's Jamaican and Guyanese clients (People of Indian Origin) complained to him that the dual-citizenship offered to successful NRIs are not being extended to them. It is offered to only those who emigrated from India after 1950, not those forcefully transplanted before that. They strongly feel love towards India, their motherland, as much as they love Jamaica or Guyana. I read somewhere that Israel offers unconditional citizenship to all Jews all over the world. What else can we expect? The state forgets its own people and territory affected by the Tsunami, and people want to remove a word from the national anthem because they 'feel' it is an anachronism. So much brouhaha over 'forced conversions' and laws had to enacted by the right wing party in power last term 'to stop these'. Do they include provisions against tribals forcefully 'returned to Hinduism'?

Friday, January 07, 2005

Classes, Snakes, Carry on!

Three things in the last 2 days:

1) Classes started again after a 5 day weekend. As the NRI visiting prof says, a boot camp for three days ending tomorrow

2) Encounter with a snake, sort of. While returning to the mess, the hillbillies were suddenly bunched up in the middle of the steps connecting the hill top to the hostels. Aargh, a snake! They were quietly following the snake slithering downstairs. At one side was the snake and me at the other side! I calmly walked past when there was a cry behind me, the snake tried to grab my pants, as someone told later, mostly probably exaggerated.

3) Carry on England was screened ^_^. I first saw this movie in the fourth or fifth standard on DD one saturday night. The second Carry on movie I saw after the tamest carry on movie - Carry on Doctor ^_^.

This time it felt different. Oh yeah, the handful of hillbillies were snickering at the slapstick parts, and some parts were wasted on the crowd. (Anyone for Ready, Willing and Able? or ) For the two brief topless scenes, some were shocked, like they have never seen one before! Come to think about it, it did not sound as funny as the other movies, but was just OK. I hope to get the while collection some day.

Some other events like forming a group for this class too and proposing some project (I had nothing to do with the proposal) and getting the work slashed in half because it was way too big to be done for this course. The prof today got pissed off at the absenteeism in the class today, with over 70 students registering for this course and less than 2/5ths turning up, no wonder. She then took attendance herself, looking at the photos pasted on the seating chart and verifying the face with the voice.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

1st Class of the Year

After spending a week in quasi-vacations and a new year party tinged with a hint of guilt, it is hard to get back to the class room. But, a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. It is one of those dreaded finance classes, which I have carefully avoided all year. This comes coupled with the entrepreneurship class, so I don't have much choice but to attend it. Also, bunking the 3rd of 3 sessions.

So dear reader, I wish you a tsunami-free, earthquake-free, flood-free, landslide-free, fire-free, etc-etc-free happy new year, bonne annee, Felice anno nuovo, nai varsh ki shub kamnayen, puthandu nalvalthukkal, Puthuvatsara Aashamsakal.