for the ignorant white person who comes to india
(aka: why i'm wary of white criticism, aka: how you give other white people a bad name):
you come here on work. you work with your brown colleagues and genuinely have a very nice time. you think quite a few of them are very intelligent and very professional. but you see nothing wrong with doing this:
you've all gone to a coffee shop together. you have to wait for your order longer than you like. so you start whining after the first 5 minutes, and your script is :
yeah. that so totally india. didn't you know it's how all indians are? slowness and inefficiency are hardcoded into our DNA. you say you don't mean us by that? i see. we look like what to you? fried sausage? we're part of inndia too.
you perceptively ride down the obvious manifestations of colony mentality we still have and express withering contempt for the people here who suffer from it. then you dont wonder for one minute why people put up with your constant bitching about the country, climate, water, food, government, place, work and other subjects in the universe without questioning how you get away with assuming the prerogative to be ill-mannered, loud-mouthed, proudly and insistently insensitive and ignorant and always complaining.
people put up with that because you're white. because brown people have heard this crap for a long time from white people. the next time it bothers you so much that the place around you is immersed in colony culture.... remember to also be profoundly grateful that it is, because otherwise, people may even pull you up or take you apart when you deserve it.
you're opening up to your brown colleague about the huge row you had with your boss and how he was acting like a sexist and judgemental shit over your social life. said brown colleague explains that we are still a patriarchal society (i'm beginning to lose belief that there is any society left on the planet that isn't). said b.c. explains that the guy is an arse that way, but you may find him professionally fair to you however personally unfair. you yammer on and say man... this would never happen in *WonderfulWhiteCountry*. you don't get judged for this shit. it is all so lousy only in india.
cough. yeah. in there's no sexism, no patriarchy in *WonderfulWhiteCountry*. and to top it, it's "indianness" not "patriarchy" that just bit you in the ass. your brown colleague happens to be a brown feminist. she happens to also identify herself with that indianness and that culture. you just wiped her clean out of the picture. because in your books, patriarchy isn't something that is also there and that seeped into brown culture, no.
indianness = patriarchy. it's so lovely to have your existence erased.
you're wailing about the way you just saw people at work behave with their superiors. you label that so inndian and of course, that that isn't the way things work in *WonderfulWhiteCountry*. guess what, if you bothered opening your eyes, you may notice that there are quite of your colleagues who don't behave that way. that your own team, is remarkably bureaucracy-free. that your brown boss happens to be a singularly neat character who doesnt expect, want or demand that fawning of you or other brown colleagues.
scenarios ad nauseam:
you crib about corruption here, and how everything only gets done if you pay a bribe...and then you ask all your brown friends if they will write your thesis for you - and you're willing to pay well.
you call your "friend" home, and all the way to your house, you keep insisting that you're not rich. you're just a poor white student. before she has even stepped into your house, you hurry into explanations of why the rent you're paying isn't half as high as it would normally be, and how poor you are. what were you expecting? to get mugged by the envious, coloured savage?
all these gems of from someone who can be quite nice otherwise. it's really sad to see someone casually smack a culture, a whole people down without a second thought. wake up. there's simply no excuse for ignorant racism.
and it's not the burden of the coloured person to have to educate white people out of their racism.
the third world isn't your toilet.