Saturday, February 6, 2016

Herd mentality, mob culture

This week, India at large once again displayed why it will continue to remain a racist nation. The affinity for fairer skin is a well-known disorder in our society but what happened in Bangalore is a harsh reminder on where exactly we stand. According to reports, a local woman got killed in a car accident. The driver was a Sudanese man and was promptly arrested. A Tanzanian woman who had nothing to do with the accident later arrived at the crime scene only to get mobbed, stripped, paraded naked on the streets. According to reports (i keep emphasizing reports here because we don't have live-tweets from the incident), she managed to get into a bus but the public inside pushed the hapless woman out into the mouth of the chasing crowd. 

Following which, Tanzania's High Commissioner to India said the country is a bit racist. He was being diplomatic there. India is profoundly racist and the problem is bigger than it has to be because we are ignorant of the very problem. We don't think twice before using a label for a particular community or tribe. We are so ignorant that anybody with Asian features is Chinese/Chinky for us even if they hail from our own country. The Bangalore incident also proved how racism is irrespective of where you come from—north or south. Of course, the north Indians love to mock the southerners for their dark complexion, completing overlooking the fact that fairer skin has nothing to do with the geography. But the way, locals behaved with that Tanzanian woman tells you that the problem is deeper. Humanity is lacking, to be emo. 

At the end of the day, a woman was violated beyond imagination. Everything else is basically a byproduct of one's own regional, political and racism bias. But the world is not as simple as it should be. We should look at the problem and diagnose it before it's too late. The inherent problem here is racism but then, there are human complexities attached to emotions. And that's where the catch lies. We don't get to reach those complexities because the view is clouded by Indian politicians who are doing what they do best whenever a tragedy strikes: either issue idiotic statements or vulture to gain ground on the opposition. From the social media front, it was entertaining to witness how people lowered themselves to the point that they totally skipped the issue of racism and started city-shaming to bag points over Bangalore. 

In an ideal situation, cars wouldn't have existed. Sounds weird, right? It's not quarter as weird as the arguments that rolled out this week post the mob incident. And we are supposed to be living in 2016. 

PS: A football match between Lazio and Napoli was abandoned at the 68th minute this week as Lazio supporters were chanting racist slurs at a black Napoli player. Lazio's manager was palpably fuming as his team lost the match but what sounded worse was his stand on the issue. “It was chanting from the minority” was his patsy. You see, that's where the problem lies. Because of your shortsightedness, you overlook the bigger picture. I mean, the bigger problem. 

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