India's Closeted Racism

Reconstructing the world requires the first step of acknowledging that something is either right or wrong. The same goes for racism. However, in a country like India, people reject racism and exist with the belief that India is not a prejudiced nation. But the truth is, India is one of the most racist countries in the world. Unfortunately, in India, several are uninformed of what is behind the prevalence of racism and that it encompasses everything from sexism to casteism. Everything under the umbrella of disrespecting, demeaning, and looking down upon groups or individuals because of factors such as ethnicity, gender, color, place of origin, and religion is racism. Since the existence of the Black Lives Matter movement, there are countless conversations of society finally seeing racism as a problem and are indeed ready for a transformation. However, in India, the idea of acknowledging something amiss is left out just after considering its face value, and this shows through the spiraling crime rates against ethnic minorities. From beating African citizens in a mall to calling them cannibals, it is all a part of India's closeted institutional racism, and despite knowing all these factors, the government calls for an inquiry and draws the line there. Ironic isn’t it? How as a nation, we show solidarity to people in other countries but fail to keep a check on our own. India's closeted racism is supported through societies unswerving obsession with the idea of fairness. Women are conditioned to wear makeup and use fairness creams to make them "look beautiful". This is so extremely internalized in their minds and occurs because of the male-dominated patriarchal society we live. Grooms in matrimonial ads desire fair-skinned brides who are thin and not fat; making women feel obligated to be accepted by a man. Misogynist comments of a male-centric culture have led the way to prejudice which again can not be recognized given the moulding done by the general public. This nation further fails to recognize the institutionalized racism faced by people belonging to different countries, who’s struggles, pain, and sufferings go ignored. Authorities suppress them and do not register their complaints, instead make a mockery out of them. India can only address issues like these if the entire nation agrees and acknowledges police brutality. Instead of questioning higher authority and bringing better discourse in society, people turn a blind eye to any occurrences that come their way. Additionally, when talking about racism one needs to include the meme culture and how it encourages racism. A simple example of how meme culture promotes racism is the constant mocking of girls wearing makeup in comparison to their no-makeup face. Here, if their idea is to promote natural beauty, why is their no-makeup face laughed upon. What is forgotten here is the fact that individuals are giving into the idea of casual racism. It is safe to say that racism in India requires tackling on two fronts, namely institutional racism and casual racism. Here, tackling one comes from the other. Moreover, people need to look at things from a very personal perspective. Every individual at some point in their lives has given in to racism. It may be by the way they treat their house helps, or how they make fun of street vendors with friends for the sake of looking cool. It is high time individuals question themselves on being wrong and begins acknowledging the fact that they are indeed part of a highly racist society.

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