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    Preceptions

    Wonder if other people have experinced this..

    ------------
    Ashamed of India

    by

    Amar Dev

    Author's note: This is something that was forwarded to me and I don't know the name of the person concerned.


    This is an experience of NRI on his visit to India in our 50th year of independence:

    This is a compilation of some of the experiences I had, when I went on an official visit to India. I am a senior project
    manager in a chemical construction company (in USA) and I was going to India to oversee the start up of a plant being
    designed and built by my company. I also happen to be a American-settled-Indian. A junior technician, Steve, who is an
    Anglo-saxon American was also sent with me to India to aid the Indian technicians with the plant start up. I talked with
    the travel department into buying Air India tickets.

    Being a senior executive, I was entitled to first class seats, while the technician traveled economy. So, I show up at the
    Air India terminal and got into the first class counter. The attendant there is an Indian lady, who refuses to acknowledge
    me and keeps on doing some work on her computer terminal. When I interrupt her, she replies very roughly "This is the
    first class counter, can't you see? Go to the end of the line at the next counter!" The next counter was economy class.
    "Will you please check my ticket at least?" I replied. "Sardarji aapko English nahin samajh aati? This is not an information
    counter, go to the end of the line!"

    Well of course, I got my first lesson. No matter how successful you may be, your desi bhai and bhens always think of
    you as Mr. Cheap!

    We landed at New Delhi early in the morning. I waited for my junior technician to get of the plane, so that we can go
    together through customs. This was his first visit overseas. I thought India being my home country, I shall be able to help
    him. Little did I realize that it was I who needed help. As soon as we approached the counter, the burly haryanvi jat at
    the counter saw me with turban and the white guy behind me, and said "sardarji aap jara side mein khare ho jao" and he
    said to Steve " Please sir come forward". "Oh no! you can process him first, we are together any way" replied Steve.
    Ignoring what he said the jat said "Sir you come forward, I do not want to hold you for him, you are a guest here and
    people of his kind we have to check more, you know all that terrorism." That made me mad. I protested, but to no avail.
    The jat threatened me that if I try to stop him from doing his job, he will have me arrested. Something in me told me to
    restrain myself. I told Steve to go ahead and I will follow him. To make the story short, I did not make a good impression
    on Steve as soon as we landed. The jat took his own time to clear me, with a look on his face, which told me his thoughts
    were that this guy may be living in America, but I am the king here. Well we went to the luggage area, got our suit cases
    and proceeded to walk through the green line. I was wrong again. Steve could go through green line not me. And guess
    who stopped me this time. It was a sikh customs officer. I think he wanted to make sure that I should not go back told
    Steve respectfully to go ahead and said to me- "Sardarji red line wich jao". Again Steve tried to rescue me "But I am
    with him, we are together." "Sir believe me you do not know these guys. It does not happen in your country but here they
    try to smugg le every thing" and he winked at Steve. "I bet he convinced you in the plane that he can get you best place
    to stay and best women in New Delhi" announced the customs officer. I was mad again, but still to no avail. I told Steve
    to wait for me outside. The red line guy went through every thing I had, humiliated me and made me pay Rs 500 as duty.
    He detained me for 50 minutes, not realizing that I make $60 an hour, which will translates into Rs.2100 for 50 minutes
    he detained me. I was thankful that Steve was not there to see all this humiliation.

    The humiliation didn't end here, the company driver who came to pick us up preferred to carry Steve's bags and opened
    the door for Steve. While I was waiting for him to put my bags in the trunk he said "Sardarji ,waheguru ne do hath
    bakshe ne warto." At the Ashoka Hotel, the counter had all the welcome for Steve, the bell boy carried Steve's bags
    first. All this time Steve was protesting, telling them to take care of me first as I was his boss, but all of them just refused
    to believe that a brown guy can be a white guy's boss. Perhaps even fifty years of independence have not been able to
    flush out all that slave blood.

    The second hand treatment even continued the next day when we went to the Indian company head quarters. The
    chief-engineer there referred to call Steve sir and shake hands with him first. But here I could control the situation.
    When I instructed Steve to go to plant and start checking into equipment, the chief engineer realized he has to deal with
    me and not Steve. Of course he apologized.

    The worst humiliation occurred when I took Steve to a state emporium in downtown for shopping. Here I was supposed
    to guide him and help him select the right gifts for his family and friends. But the sales lady at the emporium completely
    ignored me and showered all her attention on Steve. When I tried to intervene, she scolded me in English, "Mister, why
    don't you wait till I can take care of this gentleman who is going to spend dollars, not like you who is looking for the
    cheapest sari for your wife you can buy." Even Steve did not like it and said to lady "Miss, what is wrong with all you
    people in this country. You treat your own people so bad. This gentleman is my boss, makes twice the money I make
    and is perhaps going to spend twice the amount I am going to spend". You should have seen the look on the sales girl's
    face. Steve made me walk out of the store. I guess even he could not take it any more. He told me "Your color makes
    things difficult for you in America but you are discriminated against much m ore here in your own country. And I was
    thinking you were joking, when you told me this back home."

    #2
    Oh boy, didn't that pinch me where it hurts most. I read Amar's story half way thru and looked back at the top of the article by going page up just to make sure that it does not have my name as writer...sounded too personal. It shows the mentality of our babu and business people who are virtually still gulaams of white skin.

    I guess it happens to the people(people who look different than majority) living in India all the time but since they have not seen any better, it does not bother them. They don't see the misconduct or discrimination. I grew up in that environment, gone to a school, college, univerisy and worked for few months and never thought about how much difference does the turban on my head make. I did not realize it then. In fact did not knew what discrimination is although faced it on many occasions. That was the way of life. Here everyone talks about it and about idivisual's rights at work place and public places and now one realizes the difference. I have lived in India and USA, both places with turban and without turban and I feel pretty confident in saying that I faced more discrimination and humiliation wearing turban in India than in USA. Any humiliation faced here in USA was from indivisuals on the streets and it was their personal behaviour but humiliation faced in India was mostly from Govt. employees and businessmen.

    I think it is our people's gulaam zehaniat which even works here in USA. Although I don't wear turban anymore, I have many friends and family members who do. I have noticed that if you as a person of Desi origin go to an american business(stores, hospital,school) you attract fewer strange looks and suspicious wishpers than in a Desi store run by a desi. Haven't you seen a desi store owner's eyes following you when you walk from aisle to aisle in his store. No offer for help as a customer even though you are going to buy groceries worth $200. But as soon as a gora walks in to the store, even by mistake, all the good customer service attitude kicks in. I guess shame on us. Someone made a comment on some other thread that we, the people of the subcontinent are worst when it comes to racism and discrimination. I think he is right.

    CM - "trying to reform his attitudes" http://www.pak.org/gupshup/frown.gif

    Comment


      #3

      oh boy..dont know what to say.

      Comment


        #4
        hmcq bhai:

        Did you get this off from "chowk" site? The story is heartening.

        Comment


          #5
          What a horrible story.

          But so true.

          Comment


            #6
            yes the article is form chowka nd though i normally dont liek to post articles from there cause i assume everyoen will get to read it anyway, this time it was just too close to the truth to let it lie around waiting for people to read it

            i am hoping that i did not break any copyright laws

            Comment


              #7
              Hmcq Bhai:

              Lemme report you to the chowk people and find out if you broke any rules.

              Pls. lemme know if they come after you.

              Comment

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