India: Racism In Retrospect

Instant Gyaan comments: “when Indians talk about racism, they are being the biggest hypocrites in the universe. What right do we have to complain about racial discrimination when we practice it more efficiently than anyone else.”


  • vijay

    Thank you for your post. I agree with you. The racism and classism of Indians is so intertwined with who we are and untill we recoginze it as a culture will we not overcome it. Coming out of denial and feeling the pain of our heritage is the first step in this critical cultural dialectic. Do you have any resources that addresses this issue? The more the language for this that develops the better positioned our culture will be for change.

  • P_G

    I respectfully disagree about Indians being “racist”…. “racism” is a politically correct terminology used to describe slavery…. “casteism” as practised during British raj and to an extent in present India, while truly disgusting is not the same as “racism”. Everytime you hear “Racism” in the western context, think of the origins – slavery: Actually paying for and owning and inheriting other human beings, going to a civil war and the supreme court ruling that they are private property (Dred Scott v. Sandford). Lynch mobs and KKK. All conveniently packaged and presented as “Racism”…… infact if anything We Indians did not pay for and own anyone, on top of that we were shipped to rubber plantations in Sri Lanka and to South Africa to do the gora sahib’s bidding.

    While Indians have a fascination for fair skin…which is akin to white people loving a tanned skin… it can in no way be characterized as “racist”….. a lot of people just regurgitate western concepts and misinterpret India.

  • Andy

    I concur with Instant Gyan.

    P_G, are you saying that the US constitues the whole of the so called western world? We Indians are masters in covertly or overtly practising discrimination against our own people. Do you think that is because of ‘western influence’?

  • vijay

    The word “racism” is a term like the term “god” that has taken on a life of it’s own with a multiplicity of connotative definitions. I see no need to debate semantics. The strict denotative definition is what it is (we can all look it up) and also words are more then that so I absolutely respect you with your interpretation and meaning. The point here is that the lack of honest reflection of the inhumane treatment internally in India and then the judgment on others is an endemic problem culturally in India and for many Indians living abroad. Until we as a culture have the courage to see our historical inheritance of this evil we will not overcome it. We need to come out of denial and like the addict take the pain to become a better culture. Those who are not part of the solution are part of the ongoing problem

  • P_G

    “Racism” has been practised in europe, africa, australia …heck even in south america by spainiards and portuguese …. they do constitute majority of the western world you know ….

    Again casteism should be dealt with strongly, no doubt about at all it is highly discriminatory ….. but that should’nt mean we Indians should be equating it to slavery …. both are social ills and both have to dealt with simultaneously…..

    When those “few” Indians speak out against racism it is nothing short of idiocy on our part to assume they are bigots…. just because our shirt is torn doesn’t mean that we cannot point out someone’s open fly….. and this self-flagellation by Indians should stop…. there is nothing wrong in outing our concerns, foreign or domestic, vocally.

  • Indian

    P_G your language seems to imply that casteism is simply a benign social evil. It is not – it is just as bad as apartheid (even worse because it has been around longer). Before you criticize others, clean your own house.

    • P_G

      No it is not … but neither is racism and both issues cannot be mixed up….. both need to be tackled and yes we are large enough country to deal with our issues both domestic and foreign.

      “Before you criticize others, clean your own house”

      going by that logic US should not complain about the 9/11 terrorist attacks, in fact such attacks are par for the course, since lots of Americans have been kill by their own countrymen year after year.

  • anti racist - chennai

    Racism in india is visible. why because if you take percentage of poor people in india are black, no white people not more are poor. white people dominate black people. but they are shifted to india from other country like iran and iraq. so black people can think and do some technical thing to avoid racism. technical means we should be rich people.


    Jain people are worst racist people.
    they domiante other caste people and make them poor.

  • Bramhesh

    Is there a forum around New Delhi to discuss and organize/educate around the issue of racism? I would like to get involved. I agree mainstream India is very racist (and sexist etc.). Need to work to try and \civilize\ mainstream Hindu India.

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