Okay, so this one was just basically a bomb waiting to go off: I have been wondering recently about various (sort of and former) friends who live where they do because its safely "white." They tell me that they think their preferred neighbourhood has good schools, where their kids "learn the national ethos", but frankly when I look at the Ofsted figures, these are the schools that do poorly for one key factor: diversity (read slowly: "good" Home county schools are "great because they are predominantly white").
And then it makes me question why we were ever "friends" at all? Was I their token "race" justification or proof against racism?
Its a bit worrying when you start wondering how racist your friends and lovers really are; and if they have been using you as their token for proving their non-racist credentials: Kills all respect and affection, I promise you!
But the reason the proverbial cup runneth over tonight of all nights (is that WAAAY too many references pulled together in way too few words or its just me being too bookish?), is getting to the Times page and seeing the ultimate F&CKing cliche! Sigh! Really? Are we f*cking done?
How often do you see me - the brown Indian woman, and no apologies for the language - declaring that there is something SERIOUSLY wrong with white people because they think that Haiti's earthquake happened because Haitians made a pact with the devil? When do I expand that one statement to the general populace? But I guess that measured thinking is the requirement only of the "other" and the marginalised!
And when do we - as in the brown people - start using a single dumb statement as a point of explaining how stupid, prejudiced, backward, illiterate, prejudiced, white people were?
See my point? Generalisations are dumb! And prejudiced! And based on a lack of understanding.
So when I see a headline talking of: "Millions Rush to Cleanse in Filthy Ganges" I want to scream! I want to point out to these little white/middle-class (and yes, believe me, few people who are not either/or get employed or consulted at the Times) insular shits that they need to get over themselves!
That poor brown people like me who think nothing of bathing in a "filthy river" think that "their" reverence for the queen and the royal family is just as if not more idiotic! Hell, bathing in that filthy river gets me benefits post-mortem but you lot bow to a some human who is supposed to be greater than all others in the land WHY? So WHY do modern, post-Enlightenment, educated, humans bow and courtesy to these "royals"? Frankly, I will bathe in that filthy river a million times before bowing/courtesying before a pathetic human who has no worth beyond their birth! And PLEASE tell me HOW the Brits can justify that reverence for the monarchy as any more rational and logical than the Hindu partaking of the Mahakumbh (and we are not even getting to religion here!)
One good reason I have always thought for never giving birth to a child on UK soil is that the top post in this country is hereditary! I mean WHAT sort of a loser accepts that as part of human development? And as a life-long republican, I can't see the point of ever raising a child with that sort of absurd limitation. But of course, as the apparently enlightened Brit journo will tell you: certain kinds of "royalty" are okay: funny how the British press is quite happy to talk of their own and other European royalty in laudatory terms but of course anything nonwhite is "oppressive," "backward", etc, etc.
So yeah, I am sick of this one!
I am SICK of getting the bloody colonial British take on India (and much of the world) over and over again. And worse still: you know the Brit press's favourite "uncle Tom yes-life-is-so-great-out-here-coz-we-have-no-clue" British Asian take? Get OVER it: most second and third generation British-Asians (immigrants in general) are people who have no clue about India or the general subcontinent! They don['t speak the language, don't know the traditions or history or literature. Their parents were often illiterate when they got to Britian/USA and hardly in position to talk of their "culture." The first city they often saw was not Delhi or Lahore or Dhaka but London or Manchester. Its like having a random American be an "authority" on Britain simply because somewhere two or three generations ago, their parentage was Welsh or Scottish or English (funny just how much fun the Brits make of the Americans looking for their heritage but then have no qualms turning the lens the other way).
Point being, this is not just about cultures as in east or west but also urban vs rural. I find a 3rd generation British-Asian from the midlands is more backward/conservative than a first generation Indian villager who went from a home without electricity to working for NASA in six years (thats IIT graduates for you!). But that is the point for a different post.
It is the embedded, intrinsic colonial conceit that pisses me off. And I am not quite sure what it would take for the people who peddle it constantly to realise that the empire is over. And frankly such retrogressive headlines don't do any good: the balance of power is shifting. Grow up and deal with it!!!!!
PS: Not particularly erudite, I have to say, but this has been written at the spur of the moment and I am furious (not unusual). I try to not blog when I am angry, but today, I make an exception.