Have you ever been to Europe? Visited any of those countries in that part of the globe? Do you ever plan to? You know what is one of the first things you will do when you plan that trip? Let me tell you – you’ll pick up one of those books with titles like “Everyday French Phrases for The Monsieur in You” or “Don’t be a Fremde – Know your German.” Then you’ll annoy the crap out of your friends, and call them Senor and Senorita just cos Spain, bitchezzzz!
But what happens when you get placed in an IT company in say, Bangalore. After you’re done gushing about that pay package that can buy you your ticket to Europe, your next statement is going to be (and tell me I am lying), “Oh but SOUTH! Such Telugu, much Madraasi.”
Seriously, what now?
Not only that, you come in armed on a high horse that leads you to believe you are better than the rest of them. It just makes me wonder, that there are just so many languages in this country but no one, not a single person thinks any language apart from their own is good enough for anything. Not good enough to say “Show Off.” Why then do you make that titanic effort when you go abroad? Those languages are completely alien and require more time and patience to learn. Yet you do it. Are you worried about offending them by not speaking their language? But when you do it to your own countrymen, you think it’s fine? Isn’t there a flaw in the logic?
The whole country is mixing, more so than before. The borders that divide us are on maps, why are they extending to our minds? Why the double standard when it comes to what a “hot” language is versus what a “weird” language is. What you call weird is someone’s mother tongue. It’s different from yours, but it’s not “weird.” They have words for love and family just like yours does, and you know what else they have a word for? Resentment.
Resentment breeds resentment, discontent breeds discontent. Racism breeds racism. Recently, someone reported an incident where an auto driver in Maharashtra asked a lady to get down because she did not speak Marathi. That attitude does not fix anything, it only makes matters worse, because whatever his reasons, he came out looking like a villain in this scene. But where do you think lies the root of that attitude? To him, it is still his mother tongue, and he may have heard outsiders (not the lady in question necessarily) boasting about how “they never bothered to learn the language” or he may have heard them crack jokes about how they can’t distinguish between that and other languages. To him, it is a personal insult. Sure, he will keep it bottled up for sometime. And sure, the lady did not deserve to be kicked out. But if you had guests in your house, and they repeatedly talked about how good their house and furniture is while yours is just meh in comparison, you’re gonna be polite only for so long. Then you lash out at whichever guests dare to come, from wherever. Tricky business, guests tarnishing the good name of your hospitality, isn’t it? One bad apple spoils the name of the whole bunch, eh?
You can’t stop the country or the world from growing smaller, from erasing their boundaries. In fact, it is necessary that the people move about and mix – you cannot live in a box. But when you live in a place, you either adapt or leave – hurling abuse is not cool. Just. Not. Cool. You cannot give a stink eye to their restaurants any more than you would want anyone to give a stink eye to your music. You may not be able to learn the language, but a little effort isn’t gonna bite your ass. What if Assam was in Europe? Wouldn’t you learn Assamese? Hell, you’ll serenade your girlfriend with Assamese songs till she goes, “*deep breaths* Talk regional to me!”!
No one is born a racist. Racism is taught. It is not difficult to not teach racism, just keep away the toxicity. Why would anyone want to teach negativity to their kids? Why do Indians take pride in bashing someone because they belong to a different part of the country? Parents taught you the people from the neighbourhood a few blocks down are not worth talking to? Cool. Reject the damn job offer! Or come over and see if you can take your mind out of that iron box it’s trapped in. Whatever. Just quit whining, hello, it isn’t difficult! And above all – respect.