India-US Diplomatic Row and Racial Bias





Suddenly there is a standoff between India and America. India feels that the treatment meted to her diplomat is uncalled for.

As I read the papers, I asked my self one question; would America have treated a white diplomat the same way? Was it the fact that she is of brown skin that made the officials treat her worse than a criminal? Handcuffing her?

I doubt we have any choice over the color of the skin we are born with–the caste or religion we are born into or the country we are born in. And this choice was also not given to the people we ridicule or those we treat with contempt.

There is a lovely little verse by Elizabeth Hart. It goes like this:

She spoke of heaven

And angelic host

She spoke of God

Who she loved the most

She spoke of the Lords teachings

Of man’s brotherhood,

Yet when she had to sit beside a Negro once –

She stood!

Just like many of us, isn’t it? We speak of God’s love till it comes to loving another brother or sister, whom God also created.

There is a legend of a traveler coming at twilight to a camping place. As he looked off into the distance he saw a strange object.

Through the gathering dusk it seemed to take the shape of a terrible monster, and he resolved to go closer to see, if possible what it was. Drawing nearer, he saw that it was a man!

Much of his fear then vanished and he ventured closer and found that not only was the object a man like himself but that it was his own brother!

Yes, my dear readers, what a monster prejudice is.

The great Voltaire called “prejudice as the reasoning of the stupid”. Aha, Mr Jones, maybe that’s what was meant when you called yourself ‘stupid!’

In a world where we of many diverse faiths and different colors live side by side, let us look beyond this so-called monster, and find a brother instead.

Let us stop being stupid!

If you do not like me because I am ignorant, I can be sent to school and educated.

If you do not like me because I am dirty, I can be taught to wash and be clean.

If you do not like me because of my unsocial habits, I can be taught how to live in society.

But if you do not like me because of the color of my skin or the beard I wear, I can only refer you to the God who made me!

Yes, America, are you listening?

Clarion India - News, Views and Insights about Indian Muslims, Dalits, Minorities, Women and Other Marginalised and Dispossessed Communities.


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