Friday, June 05, 2009

Race of Nations

I think we are reaching that time when nations cant take anymore of each other. Or rather certain nations cant take anymore of certain other nations. I am talking about this in the context of the recent attacks on Indians in Australia and the coming out the closet story of a young professional being attacked in london.  

I dont blame the those countries for any of it. Nor do i blame the Indians. There will always be some loon who has the crazy idea of whacking an indian. That doesnt mean the whole country is looking to start race attacks. Just like there will be a lecherous goon in the alleyways of delhi looking to rape the first firang he can set his eyes on. That doesnt make india a nation of rapers, does it? 

You want to call it race. Fine. But isnt any clash between nations just a fight of race. I guess this is the whole genesis of the concept of nations - race. Nations are nothing but races of people. So the next time you make a comment that generalizes an attribute across an entire nation, stop patting yourself in the back for not being a racist. When you call Australia a racist country, arent you being racist yourself? I am sure you are not referring to the scores of blacks and immigrants living across australia when you make that statement. Rather, your mind is most probably painted with the image of a beer guzzling, bulky white australian.So you are referring to a particular race of australians.  

Well, to set the record straight. I am a racist. You are too if you think, many pakistanis are scum and many australians are spoilt white snobs who cant bear the sight of a dimunitive dark sub-continental.

But we are transgressing. The point of my post was to point out other aspects that seem to be triggering a, what looks like, wave of hate crimes against Indians - London, US, Australia. It is racial attack, probably, in the sense that it was targeted at an Indian (a sub-continental probably) but it could well be an attack triggered by what the nation represents or what the nation stands for. 

You see, in many ways India is an aggressor.

I agree that we dont fly our jets over other countries dropping bombs like the United States. In fact, in terms of posturing our armed forces we are one of the weakest nations.We rarely use it as a point of leverage nor do we even issue threats to nations. We are a nation that follows the 'live and let live' policy sometimes (in the past) even going out of our way to help out weaker states. 

But we are intellectual aggressors. We invade jobs. We plunder opportunities. We take over more and more of the business of making wealth across various nations. 

We are cultural aggressors.The glamour and the glitz of indian culture pervades across societies and takes over. From the spicy curries to bollywood and music, it is seeping into all parts of foreign societies. The united states did it very effectively in their organized quest to become the greatest nation in this world. They marketed their culture and let it pervade into all other nations. Its a subtler form of conquest.An inside out approach. In the case of india one would think that it is less due to any concious marketing by the country(our government is too inept for that) but more due to the scores of ambassadors for this nation spread across the globe.

While there is no question that the first instance of intellectual aggresion would no doubt tend to leave a few pissed off firangs in its wake the second case of cultural aggression, one could argue, might actually bond people together - bring them closer. True, to most extent. But then there are always people closed to other cultures and other walks of life who wouldnt see it that way. Any infusion of foreign culture would be perceived as an act of taking over, dilution of the true american, english or australian way of life. (There are countless such saffron clad groups in india to whom any semblance of western culture is dilution of the true 'Indian'ness). These people would react with hatred - a natural response to a perceived aggresive act.

To sum it up the history of the world is always about nations trying to one-up each other in whatever way possible and the concept of a world where all nations work in peace for the betterment of the entire world is utopian. And, in this quest when a nation seems to begin to dominate certain aspects there is bound to be hatred and violence. You cannot become a powerful nation without being hated for it. Thats the fact of life. Perhaps, India is on the edge of that line. We may not be an economic superpower. We may not be an industrial superpower. But we are at the cusp of becoming an intellectual and cultural superpower if not one already. 

And it scares people.

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