I’ve never been to Leicester. It’s believed to be one of the oldest cities in England, going back to the Roman and Iron Ages, but I didn’t hear much about it until a few weeks ago, when some good-natured people were scolded by some of my fellow countrymen. were inspired to raise slogans. Little violence on its streets. Some apparently sectarian statements were made innocently in public, and managed to anger a lot of people. I don’t know if there was a trigger for this behavior, but it was probably just his way of spending an evening. It could have been a cricket match, or something equally earth-shattering related to the balls.
The English media was horrified that people might attack each other without any rational reason. His reaction surprised me, considering how much time the British have spent on our shores. How could they have lived here for a few hundred years and not noticed the endemic intolerance to the Indian experience? How could they not have noticed that we struggle with basic things like tolerance, empathy or understanding? How could they not look into what happened in 1947 because we had some minor problems that whose god was right?
I saw some of the comments made online by English journalists who were exhorting the Indian community to poison their multicultural neighbourhood, and I was surprised because it showed how much they still knew about our country and its history. know little. Anyone who has spent time with an Indian knows that we do not bring peace and joy to any part of the world. We bring in cheap labor, as do many repressed software engineers, and some management graduates desperate to make it to the West. Really that’s all.
The clue that foreigners don’t get lies in our first questions from any other Indian we meet abroad. We ask for his full name because the surname is a huge clue. Nicknames inform us about religious beliefs and to which caste they belong, based on which we can quickly adjust our behavior to friendship or enmity. Discrimination is an integral part of our identity, and deep insecurities are embedded in every aspect of our dealings abroad. I was sad because the British journalists did not know this. It was clear that he had not spent much time with many Indians in his part of the world.
Every country has some things they are proud of; Some kind of esports that could be physical or something emotional which is hard to define. I like to think that Indians bring a healthy dose of bigotry and racism to every corner of the world. This may sound like a bad thing, but only if you don’t understand that we have so little in common with us. It’s not like we can talk to the world about infrastructure, or healthcare, or gender equality, or poverty alleviation. We have failed on all those fronts for decades, so why not embrace our bigotry and proudly tell each country its representatives that this is the stuff we’ve always wanted to carry with us? Why not celebrate it for change?
One way to accomplish this is to do more to publicize our colorful history of communal riots, setting aside clear examples of Partition and the years immediately before or after it. For example, we can talk a lot about the 1964 Kolkata riots or the 1983 Nellie massacre in Assam. Then there were several riots in our most peaceful, alcohol-free state of Gujarat between 1969 and 1989, or the 1987 Hashimpura massacre in Uttar Pradesh. We can also discuss the two months of violence in Bhagalpur in 1989 and our own Bombay riots in 1992. Fortunately, enough people abroad know about the 2002 riots, perhaps because those killings gifted us with so many new political leaders, some of whom are still embracing other leaders on the world stage. Recently, 53 people died in the 2020 Delhi riots, which should also be worthy of some publicity.
This portrayal of Indians as insecure, blood-thirsty goons will upset cynics, but we have to accept who we are. We keep slipping on many, many world rankings on everything from human development and freedom of the press to the importance of our passports, but it should not be said that we will leave out the only issue that really matters: our religion vs. .
When she doesn’t boast about all things Mumbai, Lindsay Pereira can almost be cute. He @lindsaypereira . tweeted on
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