The Mind should be like an Umbrella; it works best when Open!
We live in a world full of opinions, rituals, prejudices, conventions, rules, laws and Governments. Ever since one is born, you are told what is right and what is wrong. A girl should wear skirts and a boy, shorts! In this age, I have had to face my father discouraging my 10 year old daughter from wearing shorts. My father is but an old fashioned and conservative but a well-meaning Grandfather. This is still manageable compared to the prejudices of the educated class.
I have discussed my hairstyle and the reactions it used to evoke in the past. Even today, I face people who find it "Inappropriate for a Doctor" to sport long hair! But the issue here is not about hair, but rather about "Fair"!
We all know how we Indians adore the color fair. Look at matrimonial columns and we see demand for "Wheatish" complexion of girls. Girls too flaunt their "Gori" status. I have seen countless aunties crowing about the darkish girls. We have movies and TV serials which show South Indians as dark and funny. Usually we see Mr. Aiyer as an extremely dark and a funny buffoon. The inequality between people is rampant in this country. The attacks on UP - Bihar people in Mumbai are still too fresh to be forgotten so easily!
And now we are talking about "Racist Attacks" on Indians in Australia. How can we expect Australia to protect Indians if we ourselves can't protect them in "OUR OWN' backyard? As long as our fixation for the "White" skin is there, we will face discrimination! In all fairness, there is nothing fair about our clamor for Fair and Lovely!
On a recent visit to Munnar, I saw a board that read the entry fees for Indians as fifteen rupees and for foreigners as two hundred rupees. No isn't is a sham and a shame? On the one hand we say "Athithi Devo Bhava" and then we fleece them like this. It is more embarrassing because this is done by our Government!
We also see attacks on foreigners at tourist places. Rape, looting and cheating have been reported so often. How come we don't react to these issues? And if we react at all, why are the reactions so muted? Unless we put our house in order, we can't expect others to behave properly. We all have read so much about the "Ugly Aussie". But what about the "Ugly Indian"?
I think it is time for us Indians to open our minds. Stop complaining, start behaving and learn to be nice. Nice to South Indians, North Indians, Biharis, Madrasis, Tamils, Kannadigas, Bengalis, Gujarathis, Marwaris, Sardarjis and INDIANS. When we are nice to Indians we will learn to be nice to Australians, foreigners and Human Beings!