An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Racism, Stereotyping and the Ostriches!

This is what this blogger Krish says about Racism and how it is only an obsession of a “primitive” society – whoever heard of Europe’s or Australia’s racism.. or that in the US?!  The truth is that as Gaurav says – its a natural instinct.. which those who are more balanced and less judgmental can overcome and call the bluff of this negative “streak” that comes from throes of Power.

Since I am still in the mood of continuing my debate with Libertarians, I thought I will give a point by point analysis/response to Gaurav’s recent post on caste. This is not a holy war between Libertarians and Liberals. I am continuing our Indian tradition on a topic dear to my heart and, probably, Gaurav’s heart too. I just hope that Gaurav doesn’t take this as a personal attack on him and consider it in the spirit of a debate. It is my opinion that he is much more open to debate and criticism than many other Indian Libertarians.

Gaurav says “Racism/xenophobia is in my opinion a natural reaction of human beings. Distrust or dislike of people from a “tribe” other than yours is a feeling that will naturally arise. The natural expression of this is a tendency to be with your own flock, and be indifferent or distrustful about the “other”.

Racism was a natural reaction of a primitive society. In any civilized society, this is not the case. In fact, in a civilized society, it is only the animals which has the natural tendency to “flock” together with their own species and distrustful about the “other”. Does Gaurav think that the society is not civilized or we are all still in the animal mode?

Here is an email I had written on another group.. where I discussed how the “Stereo-typing” of people which is essentially the most potent tool in the hands of Racists begins and how it can be countered?

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My argument:

In my view, two elements comprise of the “stereotyping effect”: 

Empirical evidence to start with and “Halo effect” to solidify!  And to break away process too takes the same route.!

I believe that once a stereotype has been established for any community/society; it is completely counterproductive for the “stereo-typed” party (eg; Blacks in US) to completely concentrate on the “stereotyp-or” party (Whites in US).  Why so? Because, it never solves the basic problem and the first step towards the “stereo-typing freedom” is never initiated and second, the stereotyp-or’s stance invariably gets hardens!  Since the reversal of “stereotyping guilt” is always accompanied with sops to the “stereotyped” (lazy and ill-considered reaction to a serious problem), it creates a legacy of appeasement on one hand and a feeling of injustice on the other.  This step creates an acrimony that is very difficult to contain. 

The effort to deliberately “reduce” the “Halo effect” needs to be initiated by the Majority community – Whites or Hindus.. and the “empirical evidence” step needs to be taken by the Minority, Blacks and Muslims by bringing the community together to create a “movement” towards growth and improvements!

  Only and only then can peace and harmony be achieved!  Gandhi did incalculable harm to India by agreeing to Ambedkar’s and Jinnah’s arm twisting tactics to create debilitating reservations on the one hand, and a feeling that Muslims were appeased throughout on the other.  Both of these feelings have now multiplied to enormous proportions due to combination of empirical evidence and Halo effect process.  Before we tackle this problem lets jot down honestly what the problems are that we face. 

 The best thing is that we HAVE a “Best Practice”, if you will, to find answers from… the reaction and efforts of the Sikh community after 1947 and after 1984.. if we care to learn from that.

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