Soapbox Issues

Only in India?

I’ve been to the Indian embassy out here about 3 times so far. The most recent was today. And I couldn’t help but notice one thing: I felt more discriminated against within the embassy (which is full of Indians and the odd Australian, American, Englishman….) than when I am out and about in Sydney.

I must point out – it was not overt discrimination.

So, what is it that made me feel this way?

Well, the people working at the embassy — at least the ones that come face-to-face with the applicants — are all north Indians. And I noticed the change in their tones when they spoke to other Indians who talked to them in Hindi as against me (who hasn’t spoken in Hindi since I’ve been here) and some others who spoke to them in English. I swear I’m not imagining this — the lady at the counter would speak sweetly when talking in Hindi and her tone would change to this harsh tone and she was very short with me and some others speaking English. Of course, it was different again with the non-Indians —- she was very nice to them.

I couldn’t help but wonder — why???

Why this discrimination?

Aren’t we all Indians (by blood — because I’ll be first to admit I don’t feel like one!)? Aren’t we Indian first and only then south Indian or north Indian or east Indian or west Indian? Just because I’m south Indian and don’t speak Hindi as perfectly as the north Indians doesn’t mean I need to be treated differently. Particularly because we are in an English-speaking country at present for God’s sakes!!!

I guess what pisses me off more is that Indians complain about racism from white people. Well, I have so far not felt discriminated against by a single Aussie including white people. I have even been to the likes of Newcastle where I stand out big time due to the colour of my skin — and even out there, I did not feel eyes on me in a discriminatory fashion. I do not have Anglo sales-persons talk to me rudely. In fact, it has been the opposite.

Why is this, I wonder?

These are Indians, in another country, and yet, they treat other Indians who they reckon are different, in a discriminatory fashion.

I wish I knew.

What I do know is this makes me want to live here in Australia all the more.

Until next time,


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  • Orhan Kahn
    25 November 2008 at 8:47 am

    I know exactly how this feels. Being Turkish and not being able to speak the lanuage bloody sucks when you’re around Turkish speaking Turks.

  • Smita
    25 November 2008 at 4:54 pm

    🙁 I guess these are the small small things which make us the way we are…backward in mindset…

  • Braja
    26 November 2008 at 8:00 am

    It’s envy: I don’t get that from Indians in India, and I live here! We’ve swapped lives, you and me… I’m in India and I’m an Aussie, you’re Indian and you’re living in Oz 🙂 But it’s always like that with Indians outside of India. I find it very strong in the British Indians also…this kind of uppity, snobby, arrogant, envy that sinks into their bones and makes them awful…here it is not present at all…or i should say, rarely…

    Nice blog, just found it again today and won’t lose you this time…

  • Roshan
    26 November 2008 at 3:21 pm

    You sure that the lady wasn’t able to speak English properly?

    No, infact this kind of racism is very evident in Indian cities and outside India. And it brings me back to the very true statement that ‘whites’ can never be as racist as us Indian can be. And that Indians love every other race but hate each other!

  • Psych Babbler
    27 November 2008 at 4:54 am

    @ Braja: Thanks for visiting. Yeah, I thought the same when I visited your blog — we’ve swapped!

    @ Roshan: She knew English alright — she spoke to an Aussie lady and an American guy very sweetly. But agree with you on the ‘racism’ factor.