“Mumbai is racist, Stop Slamming Oz” by N Raghuraman

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I read this article in a newspaper and just had to reblog it:

Mumbai’s racism can be characterised as ‘cash-bigotry.’ That strain of bigotry manifests itself at the workplace, inside commuter trains, at hotels and restaurants.

Mumbai is one of the most racist places on the world map.

When American author and humorist Mark Twain said, “Clothes make the man and naked people have little or no influence on society,” he wasn’t merely being humorous. The stark realism underlying the statement is as unmistakable as its universality.

Twain’s nakedness is a metaphor for a race bereft of monetary supremacy, as opposed to one in clothes which commands societal acceptance. To that end, Mumbai, I say, is one of the most racist places on the world map.

White supremacists absurdly believe that only they live within the pale of superiority, if you can see what I mean. For others, colour of the skin does not matter; for example, in India, you can be fair-complexioned, but still remain forever doomed by the caste identity. In Mumbai, neither complexion nor caste matters: lakhs of people are reviled, humiliated, and � even worse � pushed into the category of the ‘uninvited’ if they do not have enough money.

Mumbai’s racism can be characterised as ‘cash-bigotry.’ That strain of bigotry manifests itself at the workplace, inside commuter trains, at hotels and restaurants, in malls and in housing societies. Now, remember the hoo-ha about the 26/11 coverage?

Scores of well-meaning people got terribly exercised because most the TV grandees preferred the five-star wreckage to train station ruins. In fact, one TV notable admitted that her class might have been swayed more by the travails of those who could afford the kind of shoes she normally wore. Well, she did not quite put it that way, but you got the drift.

Salman Rushdie was shaken by the compensatory hand-wringing caused by the realisation that the CST victims were all but ignored in the early part of the terror trauma. He said that it was ludicrous to even think that rich people’s blood was cheaper than that of the poor.

Well, he would have communicated the idea in different words; sang-froid in clipped tones sounds so wealthy! Anyway, Mumbai does not need the catastrophe of a terror strike to recede into cash-bigotry. It took a massive drive against drunken driving to curb the thought among rich brats that money was the fuel that made their lurching cars unstoppable and untouchable.

It surprises few Mumbaikars that a former gangster, Abu Salem, has apparently been made immune from torture not by diplomatic fiats issued by Portugal, but by the piles of ‘khokas’ offered as insurance against rough treatment.

And while you are in the malls, do you notice that those who hustle the more expensive brands are invariably more polite than those who dispense easy-on-the-budget goods? You could claim that expensive brands train their staff well? Is that so? I beg to differ.

Some of you may remember that I had once observed in this column that security guards at a suburban five-star were more likely to screen the baggage of ‘non-suited’ Indians than touch the laptop of a white guy in a T-shirt? Indians who dressed as though they were trawling through snow, were let in without any checks.

Mumbai, in other words, has an invisible class. In order to belong to it, you need to buy
a car which is much bigger than you need; you need to spend much more than you ought to; and yes, you need to flash the cash as often as you can to show you are superior.

The Declaration of Equality – Teamebonyte – 1

Equalitee

“Do not call for black, white or green power. Call for brain power.” –Barbara Jordan (an American politician and a leader of the Civil Rights movement. She was the first African American elected to the Texas Senate).

Till today most of our peers and acquaintances feel its far-fetched to have taken “Equality” as our main driving force, at some point it does feel like we cant make an impact as vast as we expected, we cant touch as many lives as we hoped to, but it starts somewhere, the ills of stereotype and classification based on color or religion still plagues us till today, its not gone away and it doesn’t seem like it will soon. But, since we approached it through apparel (since fashion trends cut across dividing lines) that appeals to the age group we intend to enlighten, its a much wiser approach to a problem that seems to stem from parenting and influences.

A vivid reminder is the murder of drummer Lee Rigby, in broad daylight in the busy Woolwich area of London. The 2 men that committed the murder felt it was justified “under their own version of the Islamic religion” to kill. One said “We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone. Your people will never be safe. The only reason we have done this is because Muslims are dying by British soldiers every day.” , But there are British soldiers as well losing their lives in efforts to restore peace in these areas, and still reinforcements get called in and casualties keep piling up. Who avenges these murders then?.

“An eye for an eye” he said after he had committed the murder, In acknowledgement that he had avenged on behalf of the Muslim religion but Khaled M. Abou El Fadl (the Omar and Azmeralda Alfi Distinguished Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law ) asserts that “There is not a single verse in the Quran that calls for an unmitigated, unqualified, or unreserved obligation to fight the unbelievers.” According to Esposito and Mogahed, the Quran balances permission to fight the enemy with a strong mandate for making peace: “If your enemy inclines toward peace, then you too should seek peace and put your trust in God” (Quran 8:61).

Further, Muslims are commanded not to be aggressive: “Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for God loveth not transgressors” (2:190) In addition, when the enemy inclines toward peace, Muslims are commanded to cease hostilities: “But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace” (8:61). The guiding principle of Islam with respect to non-Muslims is one of tolerance and mutual respect, plain and simple: “God does not forbid you from dealing kindly and justly with those who do not fight you for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes: for God loveth those who are just.” (60:8)

“We must call for brain power” to understand that at the days end we really are just a grain of sand on a seashore, a live lost is a live lost, Christian, Muslim or Hindu, to someone, that’s a brother/sister/son/dad/husband or wife they’ll never meet again. “We must call for brain power” to understand that at the days end we really are all … equal.

KTS-TV freestyle

Equalitee

We grew up listening to hip hop, its in almost every street and every home, so is freestlyling. It is art and thought combined into lyrics, From Manchester, England – Devaughn Trey drops hard lyrics on this cipher, and he does it in his custom fit Ebonyte tee. Hope you guys enjoy and replay it as much as we did.
Representing Equality Allday.