This question has a simple answer, YES. And this answer needs no further explanation because this practice is evidently widespread in the mindsets of the very grassroots of people. But it is a matter of awareness that many (or in fact most) western countries are too, still drowned in the inhuman practice of racism.
With the rise of ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests came many new agendas and revolts against this cruel ideology of people that differentiate and make people suffer just because of their skin color, and the race they belong to. India, too, somewhat was an active participant in this outcry. But even after a year and half of these massive and worldwide protests and rallies, are people immune to leave this cruelty behind? Something to think about, indeed.
Though, the problem is very much common throughout the planet and has the same intensity of ferocity, racism varies in its practice and ideologies between different geographies. The way people with dark skin are treated in India (or most Asian countries, for that matter) is a bit different from the way people with dark skin are treated in Western countries.
So, lets put heed to that.
Severity based on skin color in India
For years, Indian women/men and especially their skin complexion were idolized (and still is) by foreigners. The idea of beauty was never being ‘white.’ Pre-colonialism Indians put an effort to recognize and embrace each other’s differences (here, skin color). Though many extreme subjugations did exist, when talking about oppression due to mere skin color, it was not a tale in ancient India.
But after the British invasion, the idea of being ‘white’ became more of a preponderance subject. This concept did not only take its stance in India but in most of the countries where the ‘whites’ made their abode. People of India and Africa had rather darker skin due to the climatic charge in these certain countries and Europeans formulated an idea that being ‘white’ was being ‘pure’ and ‘beautiful.’ Even when they said goodbye to our nation, this very thought stayed back, sadly.
With time, being lighter-skinned became a matter of beauty rather than supremacy. This change of mentality erupted because Indian’s are not bulging towards the ‘race’ differences like those in western countries. Here, differences between skin color are NOT racism, it’s just a (stupid) ideology that being whiter or fairer is prettier.
Racism in India
Racism is cruelty based on RACE. And yes, racism does exist in India. Even today, men and women from northeastern states are terribly ridiculed for the ‘way they look’ and from the place they come from. People who come from the south are made fun of too.
Racism in Western Countries
Racism in western countries somewhat or probably in the slightest way, exists in the opposite cycle as of how it exists in India. Here’s how-
The idea of Whites being superior had its place in countries where blacks were forced as slaves, (the idea was much like in India) but with time, this idea started to be brutely based on how people with darker skin are not liable and, well, not-deserving race. The whole concept is way complex and deeper than this.
But after all the protests, wars, and abolishment of slavery, many things settled in a better place, at least legally. The idea of blacks being harmful and a menace to society did not settle down easily. Even today, blacks are wronged, even fatally (that we witnessed with George Floyd) in many western countries.
Just to make you understand the essential difference between subjugation in India and western countries, I am throwing this example (this might or might not be the actual scenario) – racism in western countries somewhat matches the inhumane treatment on the basis of caste in India. The blacks can be equivalent to Dalits, here. Dalits are treated as the undeserving community of the society, much like Blacks there. Both the practices are immensely wrong and ferocious and there is no comparison here on intensity.
Despite some apparent differences, the idea of being somewhere ‘lesser’ than any other particular community is an atrocious concept.
No matter where you live, what you eat, what you believe in, what you look like, whoever you are, it is vital to respect each and every one.
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