oppn parties Giriraj Singh Makes a Racist Remark

News Snippets

  • Mediators tell the protestors in Shaheen Bagh that the Supreme Court will listen to them more keenly if they remove the roadblock and move to an alternate site
  • No headway by mediators in the Shaheen Bagh imbroglio. Protestors say adjoining roads are running fine.
  • After China objects to Home Minister Amit Shah's Arunachal visit, India says China has no business to comment on the issue as the state is an integral part of India
  • The OBC "creamy layer" to be changed by including salary as part of the income that will decide the threshold. This will lead to many more getting left out
  • RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat says the word "nationalism" should not be used now as it has acquired negative connotations
  • UP Sunni Central Wakf Board accepts the 5-acre plot given by the government to rebuild the Babri masjid as per the terms of the Supreme Court order
  • Two dalits thrashed and abused in Rajasthan's Nagaur. Police arrest 7 persons
  • Supreme Court rejects curative petition in the Uphaar cinema fire case in Delhi and says there will be no further jail terms for the owners, the Ansal brothers
  • Government data placed in Parliament shows a sharp decline in job creation under its flagship employment generation schemes
  • The government is working to amend the Aadhar Act to make it possible for the Aadhar to be linked with the Voter's ID. Election Commission will simultaneously be empowered to link the two
  • Tapas Pal, former TMC MP, dies of cardiac arrest in Mumbai. He was questioned for his alleged involvement in the Rose Valley scam and gained notoriety for his rape remark in 2014.
  • Bypoll to panchayats in J&K, scheduled for March in eight phases, postponed due to security concerns.
  • Supreme Court says that overhead power transmission lines going through the Desert National Park in Jaisalmer in Rajasthan must go underground to save the Great Indian Bustard and the Lesser Florican
  • Pakistan not placed in FAFT blacklist but kept on the grey list with warning
  • The government is expected to announce duty cuts and other measures to combat business disruption due to coronavirus outbreak in China
Former principal secretary to PM Modi, Nripendra Mishra, appointed to head the temple committee of the Ram Janambhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust
oppn parties
Giriraj Singh Makes a Racist Remark

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2015-09-22 17:10:08

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
BJP MP and minister Giriraj Singh has asked whether the Congress would have accepted Rajiv Gandhi’s wife as its president if she was a Nigerian. It has immediately stirred a huge controversy, with the Nigerian High Commissioner in India asking Singh to apologize to the people of Nigeria and the government warning him to refrain from embarrassing it.

Singh is not famous for being particularly intelligent. He has shot off his mouth previously too, when during the 2014 election campaign, he asked Narendra Modi’s critics to go to Pakistan. He had then forgotten that Hindu’s outnumbered Muslims in Modi’s critics and why would they go to Pakistan. He has now forgotten that by alluding to Nigerian women when he meant black women, he has hurt the sensibilities of the people of a friendly nation. Loose cannons like Giriraj need to be mothballed as they go against the inclusive growth agenda Modi has lined up for India.

But the larger question that arises is: are Indians racist? Do they fawn over and consider white skinned people superior? Why do companies selling skin lightening products do roaring business in India? Why are we obsessed with being light skinned or fair?

There is no doubt that ‘goras’ are looked up upon as much as ‘kaalas’ are looked down upon in India. Has it got to do something with the caste system, where it was believed that the colour of the skin progressed from dark to fair with shurdras having the darkest and Brahmins the fairest skin tone? Is it because shudras were considered untouchables that all dark skinned people are looked down upon?

Actress Nandita Das had written a scathing critique on our obsession with fair skinned actors. She had pinned it down to insecurities among men and women. Read Nandita’s full blog here. But the fact remains: Indians are obsessed with fair skinned people and hence wish to be fair themselves too.

Many years ago, I saw a Hindi play Court Martial, performed by Usha Ganguly’s troupe Rangakarmee, where two fair skinned Punjabi officers belittle a dark skinned jawan’s excellent timing in a road race, beating many a Punjabi officer, by saying that his mother must have slept with a Punjabi. It is no secret that fair skinned people from the northern parts of India often display a superiority complex vis-a-vis people of the rest of the country. Within the boundaries of other states too, fair skinned people think they were made to rule the others. Is this kind of thinking a vestige of the caste system or is it something else?

Is Giriraj Singh alone in making racist remarks or do more educated Indians think along these lines?