The Incorrigibles - Here They Go Again

No sooner had I got over my sordid musings about racists and racism by venting them out in this space (“The Color of Equality”, 14th August), I am confronted with more of the same. The news of Shah Rukh Khan being detained and questioned on suspicion of being a terrorist by the Newark police for two hours flashed disturbingly across TV channels in India. I am no great fan of SRK’s acting abilities nor have I been influenced in any degree by his charismatic sway over the masses. Yet, I found the news disquieting. It is just that the egregiousness of intent on the part of the American security staff is so starkly visible in the episode. The bristles from the impudent behavior of the staff of United Airlines’ flight to Newark towards our former president, Dr. Abdul Kalam are still fresh in the mind of every proud Indian when this new tale of White American arrogance made the headlines. Both the instances of effrontery were cleverly camouflaged under the pretext of “national security guidelines”, which gives the American security agencies the Carte Blanche to infringe upon the privacy, self-esteem and modesty of any individual on the planet. Strangely, however, no white man has ever had to undergo the humiliation of questioning and detention under the same security guidelines. The dignity and privacy of white people are considered sacrosanct and as such, cannot be defiled. Case in point is the guy (Mr Walker) caught in action fighting for the Taliban against the American forces during the post 9/11 war in Afghanistan. Even as thousands of Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters captured during the war were sent to Guantanamo Bay and other such inhuman confinements, Walker was sent home to his parents for “reform and rehabilitation”. The American security agencies did not have the heart to put Mr Walker through the same barbaric torture processes that are the order of the day for all non-white prisoners. The same “flexibility” in the security guidelines were not deemed necessary to be exercised in the case of well known Indian personalities such as Dr. Abdul Kalam and SRK. This is the newest form of racism, subtle and effective, that Americans, and many other white nations, have been taking recourse to, of late, to give vent to some of their pent up feelings against Asians, and Indians in particular.

The solution to such attitude lies in adopting one ourselves. If we can’t win them, we join them. Talking of security requirements, what is stopping the Indian government from putting Americans visiting India through similar security checks in the interest of national security? Are Americans considered above board so far as involvement in terrorist activities are concerned? Are terrorism and barbarity the sole preserves of non-white races? Is not the CIA responsible for much turmoil in many a foreign land? India has a culture laden with politeness, kindness, compassion and many such virtues that sometimes tend to weaken our resolve to act with professional toughness, especially when dealing with white westerners, who always seem to get away with wielding an aura of exclusivity that prevents us from even looking at them suspiciously, leave alone asking insinuating questions of them. Maybe time has come for Indians to change their attitude with the times. After all, India’s national security is no less important to us than America’s is to Americans. If that’s the game they are going to play, we must be good at it too.


RYAN VACHAS#9895389045 said... [Reply]



Design in CSS by TemplateWorld and sponsored by SmashingMagazine
Blogger Template created by Deluxe Templates