Tag Archives: Madraasi

A Little Xenophobia

The very first thing that Indian students are warned about when we come to India is, “Kallu log se bachke rehna”. It literally means be careful of black people. What is it about being “black” that makes people so afraid? I have had the opportunity to interact with lots of people from diverse backgrounds and I have found them all to be pleasant and welcoming.

Indians are inherently racist and xenophobic. We find ways to split ourselves into ever smaller pockets of people. Any dark man becomes “Kallu”. Anyone from south India becomes “Madraasi”. Anyone with oriental features is “Chinki”. These are our own countrymen but more importantly, they are fellow human beings. Everyone just wants to do things that make their life easier. Then why do we share these xenophobic thoughts?

When we have all descended from common ancestors, it’s about time we acknowledge that fact. Others who merely look different or come from different cultural backgrounds are not inferior or superior to us in any way. They are individuals just like us with their hopes, dreams, fears and desires. Let’s just leave the subtle xenophobia aside and try to get along with one another. In times like these, the world could use more of that.

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