In a stark example of recklessness and ‘stooping to any level for cheap publicity’, former BJP MP Tarun Vijay’s racist comments against his own countrymen invites intense flak. “If we were racist, why would… all the entire South — you know, Kerala, Tamil, Andhra, Karnataka — why do we live with them? We have blacks… black people around us,” . This was the statement by head of Indo-African Parliamentary Friendship group, Tarun Vijay during a discussion with Al Jazeera Television in response to the recent attacks on African Students in Noida. He added, “To say that Indians can be racist is the most vicious thing because we worship a black god. Krishna is black. And we have been seeing the black descendants of African ancestors living amicably in Maharashtra and Gujarat. Such attacks are attacks by mindless, criminalized people,” he said. His comments caused huge uproar in political and social media circles alike. He later issued an apology.
Even if we ignore the ignorance of Tarun Vijay that he conveniently forgot to include Telangana in his list of ‘South Indian’ states, what cannot be ignored is his racial slur against a specific group of people, in this case the South Indians. There are several flaws in his statements.
Flaw #1: The statement that there is no racism in India because we are used to living with South Indians is a testimony to the fact that he is a big racist himself. This statement of his assumes South Indians as an inferior race to rest of the Indians. What is he trying to prove with this statement?
Flaw #2: In an effort to justify or alleviate the concerns of African nations on racism, Mr.Vijay seems to have instigated an intra-racial statement himself, thereby doing a poor job of defending the main purpose itself.
Flaw #3: There were no commendable measures announced by him in response to these racial incidents on Africans.
But we should all be thankful to His Excellency Tarun Vijay for his magnanimity in accepting ‘black’ South Indians to be part of a larger Indian society.