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  Opinion   Edit  10 Apr 2017  Mindset that must change

Mindset that must change

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Apr 10, 2017, 12:22 am IST
Updated : Apr 10, 2017, 12:22 am IST

This is a clear case of foot-in-mouth disease, to which BJP members have been somewhat more susceptible.

BJP MP Tarun Vijay (Photo: PTI)
 BJP MP Tarun Vijay (Photo: PTI)

The racist comments by former BJP MP Tarun Vijay, a former editor of Panchajanya, the RSS’ Hindi weekly, were ironically to deny that there was racism in India. Why did he want to deny the undeniable, in a land where the pigmentation of people’s skin varies through several shades of alabaster white to ebony black, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari? In trying to explain away the attack on Africans in Greater Nodia, Mr Vijay lumped together all those living south of the Vindhyas — in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra/Telangana and Kerala: “We have black people all around us”. Mr Vijay was not just showing ignorance, but also reopening a North-South divide that has been India’s bane for long. Wading further into a sensitive subject, Mr Vijay said Indians worship “black” deities like Krishna. This is a clear case of foot-in-mouth disease, to which BJP members have been somewhat more susceptible.

No one can help the colour of skin he/she is born with, even if some tan under India’s unforgiving sun while others experiment with skin-lightening creams that are being sold much to the chagrin of those who view the race issue with a fair mind and detest fooling people who have been led to believe white is superior. Racial biases exist in all societies, and there is more of it in India than we would like to accept. By talking about it, another politician has only betrayed his mindset, while exposing the reality that it exists. More important is to take steps to rectify the situation. Corrective education must begin in our schools.

Tags: tarun vijay, nigerian attack, panchajanya