28 November, 2020

Our Floyds, Our Flaws: 73 Years Since Independence, India Still Not Free From Racism

In this Independence Day special issue, Outlook turns its gaze on the virus of racism that we as a nation have failed to conquer. George Floyd is not just an American phenomenon. We too have a similar share of crying shame that shackles us from being truly free.

Our Floyds, Our Flaws: 73 Years Since Independence, India Still Not Free From Racism

Any discrimination is dem­e­aning, if not deadly, and I got a taste of it when I was stopped rudely at the ent­rance of a glitzy mall during my time in West Asia. My colour and demeanour weren’t welcoming. My Western colleague, who was acc­ompanying me, had no such problem. Though the country I lived in then off­ered riches, I had to endure the humiliation that was an upshot of the widely practised policy of single Asian males not being all­owed in public places, particularly on holidays. It was not written anywhere, but the differential treatment often surfaced. Apart from my Indianness, my birth religion put me at a disadvantage in a region that still does not allow a Hindu temple. And when an editorial dispute arose at the workplace over a certain news article on Kashmir, I lost the debate even before it began. My views were dismissed because I am an Indian—and a Hindu.

We are one—human beings—but our bia­ses divide us, exposing fault lines based on race, caste, creed, and everything else that make up our identity. So...



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