Sunday, April 09, 2006

World: Racial Discrimination

A recent conversation with a few friends along with this blog post about a desi feeling being discriminated against, stirred in my mind another reference to Boston Legal. Feels odd, cos before that only references I have ever made were from friends and funny ones and I did not expect a drama like BL to stir anything. Maybe it is better than the official light drama tag it has.

The BL episode I was reminded of was regarding a child dying of playing a video game too much. The gaming company is being accused of making the game addictive and the child could not stop playing it. Conveniently, the defendent lawyer had a brush with female who was addicted to drugs and in his closing made the point of equating that addiction with addiction to playing video games being ridiculous. This does not sound that good a serial, but that has more to do with with my poor sense of dramatisation rather than the episode.

The parallel I drew was these people, my friends and writer of the post, do they even know what real discrimination is when they talk and write about one, same way the lawyer made point of opposing lawyer not knowing what real addiction is. To begin with, most of the argments seem to be about girls. Well, what else can the youth be fascinated about. The sense of alienation they bring to themselves by saying they are being discriminated against is forcing them to be apart from the society they are currently living. Am I to believe, the girls not approaching them is same as being part of apartheid South Africa or centuries of European rule of the world or Slavery in the Americas?

Another thing I am reminded of is HSBC's excellent ad campaign, where one of the tag-line is "In a foreign country, you are the foreigner.". How many of us remember that when we are outside the country? Why do we expect anyone other race to look favorably on us or for that matter on any other race? The onus is on the foreigner to pick a part of the culture and assimilate more. It is easy to form ghettos rather than make an effort because of inherent laziness. If we find that people have a certain perception of us, whose responsibility is to change it if it is seemed to be incorrect. Or worse, you already know there is some truth in those perceptions.

The first impression of anyone is of a stereotype. I remember there used to lot of Africans who came to , and maybe still, study in University in Chandigarh. I was around 10+, and remember being afraid of them, though I never ever had any bad incident where they were involved. I remember people telling me stories about being careful from them cos they take drugs and other myriad reasons, but no one ever told something bad they had seen themselves.

If you stay as Indian, or African or German anywhere you will be treated as that, and if you join the society you will treated as yourself, the individual. That is what the guy who blogged about discrimination in Germany, should remind himself of difference between his local friends and his baker.