About Me

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Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
Like a crack on wall, my thoughts grow bidirectionally and wander not-too-beautifully. An attempt to see through the other side of this wall - until it breaks...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Race against Racism

The Trigger: The treatment of Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty, a contestant on the Channel 4 reality show 'Celebrity Big Brother', has attracted more than 38,000 complaints, caused a minor diplomatic incident and prompted the show's sponsor Carphone Warehouse to pull out.

The Reason: This blog comes not at all from the fact that I am an Indian or geting emotional about an Indian been bullied in the UK. The reason remains still unchanged for me. After perhaps many days, the flame within (the Inner me) wants to speak again.

The Acts: Last thursday (18th January 2007) was a real bad weather day for all of us here, in the Amsterdam. The entire northern Europe was under the cyclone 'Kyrill' (so named by the Germans). We were given a half day off from work, and the next thing I decided to do was to watch the local news on TV to get the latest updates on weather. To my very surprise, the News were all flodded with 2 hot discussions. One, the Europe weather, and second, the so called and much hyped Racism and its latest victim, Miss Shilpa Shetty (a female actor from Bollywood).

I was not intrested in the weather anymore, and the search began to know more on Shilpa Shetty. Surfed the TV for almost an hour, to get updates from possibly all News broadcasters. Channel 4, Celebrity Big Brother, Carphone, Jude Goody, Jackiey, Danielle Lloyd, Jo O'Meara were few names heard first time. This turned on my curiosity to the highest note. I was now too curious to get into the deeper side of story. As I am in Amterdam, geting to view the show on TV was not possible, hurray to the Broadband Internet connection and www.youtube.com . I had a list of some 300+ videos in there with the topic I'd search for. And I saw almost all of them.

The Thoughts: I really do not want to comment on what was right or wrong. Niether do I want to support the world (or atleast a part of it) voting for Shilpa, nor do I want to defend Jade Goody. I have no clue if all this was just to get public attention and get higher ratings or was an eye-opener to an existing social stigma. No idea or interest at all. The only question 'flame' has is, what is and how do we define Racism. I look to Racism as a parallel phenomenon to other oppressive belief-systems like: sexism, ageism, anti-semitism, homophobia, classicism, etc... . We all participate on the giving-end as well as the receiving-end of "systematic mistreatment," if only as children. A more neutral way to talk about these issues is "target-group" for oppressed and "non-target-group" for oppressor.
And this is what the 'flame' thinks......
Human beings are members of the same species. The term "racism" is useful as a shorthand way of categorizing the systematic mistreatment experienced by people of color and Third world people in many parts of the world. But this term should not mislead us into supposing that human beings belong to biologically different species. In this sense, we all belong to one race, the human race. The systematic nature of the mistreatment experienced by people of color is a result of institutionalized inequalities in the social structure. Racism is one consequence of a self-perpetuating imbalance in economic, political and social power. This imbalance consistently favors members of some ethnic and cultural groups at the expense of other groups. The consequences of this imbalance pervades all aspects of the social system and affect all facets of people's lives. The systematic mistreatment of any group of people isolates and divides human beings from each other. This process is a hurt to all people. The division and isolation produced by racism is a hurt to people from all ethnic groups. The awareness that there is this division is itself a painful awareness. Racism is not a genetic disease. No human being is born with racist attitudes and beliefs. Physical and cultural differences between human beings are not the cause of racism; these differences are used as the excuse to justify racism. (Analogy with sexism: anatomical differences between human males and females are not the cause of sexism; these differences are used as the excuse to justify the mistreatment of female human beings.)
Thanks to the Channel 4 and thanks to many out there. The Big Brother row, and the internationally debated Racism, motivated the flame to speak yet again. The whole issue has left me with lot of questions, answers to which is what my flame needs. The race against racism can never be won by media and sponsors, its a war against self judgement for other.


abhishek said...

Thats a reality show........Tears sell more than smile thats how this world........its a sadist world and we all are a part of it.......dont we feel good when one of our collegue fails to make upto the mark ..........Would it help if u always end up losing and your best friend always wins the race......you will feel bitter .........Yes thats what we are SADIST................Racism is also one of the byproduct or a term developed to fulfill our desire to hit back on others..........A coloured person when criticises a white person he/she never fails to mention his/her colour of skin and same is the case with other way round..........Its been publicized by media and a constant division is happening among the people of the world..............

May there be peace

~~ flame boy aint ~~ said...

howdy.... abhishek!! thanx for da comment ya! but i do not certainly agree fully duh! nobody teaches us to believe in racism or be sadist, it ya personal choice. the better and more u digest without showing it off to others, the stronger person u are!! i wont feel bitter or bad if my best friend wins the race. he wins coz he did work for that, i do not expect to win without working for it, and if i work, i'll win. simple isnt it!!

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