Posts Tagged With: India
African student brutally attacked in Punjab, India – 3 months in coma: Superintendent of Police’s son arrested
An Indian TV advertisement for a skin-whitening shower gel has sparked controversy for suggesting that a fairer vagina is more attractive to men.
The ad for Clean & Dry Intimate Wash, shows a young Indian woman seemingly being ignored by her boyfriend. An animation shows a woman in the shower using the product, which produces a “brightening” effect around her genital area. Cut to the same girl now romping playfully with a much-more-interested boyfriend.
Described as ‘unique’, the product is apparently designed to keep the skin ‘fresh and protected from infection all day’ with the added bonus that it will ‘brighten darkened skin in that area…making it many shades fairer.’ – according to Mail Online.
The ad sparked a backlash online. The Wall Street Journal published a scathing opinion piece by Rupa Subramanya, who labelled the concept of genital whitening “the ultimate insult.”
Deepanjana Pal added in Mumbai Boss “My vagina isn’t happy about what’s been happening recently in Indian media.”
Blogger Sharell added: “No doubt this latest product will heighten women’s insecurities about their color.”
Skin whitening creams are big business in India, where the country’s caste social system associates darker skin with members of lower strata of society.
TV ads for skin lightening creams have been running for many years, presenting an image that having lighter skin will help users get ahead in the world of work, and make them more attractive to the opposite sex.
An Indian women’s rights activist told NPR that women are so concerned about pigmentation that during pregnancy they will eat saffron and powdered gold in the belief that this will make their babies lighter.
Skin whitening products however, have long been associated with health risks. Prolonged use of some products can thin the skin, in extreme cases leaving it so sensitive that a light touch can bruise it.
Skin lightening can also have uneven results, with some areas of the skin becoming lighter than the others.
Sudhana Singh claims she was subjected to a campaign of unlawful race discrination, bullying and harassment
A “playground mafia” of racist parents were involved in a campaign to oust an Indian headmistress from a primary school, an employment tribunal was told.
One man was heard to say “bloody Indian woman should not be in charge of our children” while children were reported gossiping that their parents “hated blacks.”
Details of the racist remarks, made at the school which caters for children from five to 11 years, were given to the tribunal by headteacher Sudhana Singh who is suing the governers and Reading Borough Council for race discrimination.
Traumatised Mrs Singh, a teacher with 20 years experience, claimed that she experienced “deeply rooted racist views” when she took over as headteacher of Moorlands Primary School in Reading, Berks.
One supporter of the unpopular head was branded a “Paki lover,” the tribunal heard.
Mrs Singh is suing the local authority and the Governors of Moorlands Primary School after she claims she was subjected to a campaign of unlawful race discrination, bullying and harassment.
“I believe that the campaign to remove me from my post was, in substantial part, related to my ethnic origins,” she said in her statement read by the tribunal in Reading.
“The degree of resistance and hostility I was met with was much greater than would otherwise have been the case but for my racial origins,” she said.
“In respect of these problems both respondents failed to provide appropriate level of support but essentially adopted an approach which was detrimental to me and was less favourable compared with the way a headteacher from a different had and would have been treated.”
Mrs Singh started her career in South Africa in 1989 and emigrated to the UK in 2001 when she started teaching in Slough, Berks., where she rose to the position of deputy head.
In September 2009 she took up the post of headteacher at Moorlands Primary School in Tilehurst but continued to live in Slough.
Mrs Singh to0ld the panel she was shocked when a “malicious in nature” anonymous letter attacking her and written by “concerned teachers” was handed to the school governors in February last year.
She said she encountered aggression from a group of parents who were described by the previous head as the “Playground mafia.”
She claimed that governors were not supportive and many were part of the campaign to oust her.
The “deeply entrenched racist views of the parents” were highlighted during a discussion a member of staff had with a group of pupils, the panel heard.
One child said that “his Dad hates blacks”. This view was seconded by another child.
When the pupils were asked about famous black personalities like Michael Jackson they were alleged to have said to the staff member: “If you like them (black people) then he was walking out of the classroom.” The student then did this.
Feeling she would receive no support from the governors she contacted Reading Borough Council about “deep seated ” and “endemic” racism at the school and a complaint was lodged.
She claims the council did not conduct a proper investigation into her concerns.
Within the school, which has in excess of 400 students, Mrs Singh began a campaign of “renewed vigor to tackle the problem of racism.”
Parents and some governors then started a petition to remove her from her position as headteacher and she claims that she was given no support.
“I considered that such disruptive and devisive action should have been stopped in its tracks by the respondent but I was left to understand that I had no authority to prevent this kind of action even on school premises,” she said.
Mrs Singh said that she was left feeling traumatised and unsafe after a meeting with verbally abusive parents to discuss a proposed residental trip.
As a result she was violently ill after returning home.
During this time a parent was overheard on the phone saying: “Bloody Indian woman should not be in charge of our children,” she told the panel.
Another reported a child saying: Mrs Singh has to leave because she is Indian.” The child was said to have heard this at school.
A parent who supported the headteacher was branded a “Paki lover” was warned “if you don’t shut up, we will shut you up.”
“The events that I have talked about, that began from the onset of my headship at Moorlands, led to high levels of stress, anxiety and deep unhappiness,” Mrs Singh said in her witness statement.
“While I continually sought help from the local authority and tried to engage with the governing body, all my efforts were met with a lack of duty of care from both Respondents and intense resistance from the 1st respondent (the governors).
“I began to feel so unsafe when I went to school that I sought the help of the police.
“After the petition was delivered, the hostility I encountered when I went into the playground and after school, was palpable to me.
“Parents were in tight circle waiting for me to come into the playground.
“When I spoke of feeling afraid and under threat, I was told by the second respondent (the local authority) that I should go to the police.”
The council launched an independent inquiry after receiving the petition.
The report, which followed the investigation, criticised Mrs Singh claiming that there was a “climate of fear” at the school.
She said the investigation completely failed to challenge the weight and credibility of the evidence.
Mrs Singh added that she was later ordered to take gardening leave in July 2010, and claimed she was made to feel that if she did not agree she would be suspended.
She suffered a miscarriage shortly after being sent on gardening leave .
She returned to school at the start of the new school year. However she claimed that when she returned the onslaught of bullying, harassment and racial discrimination from both the Governing Body and Reading Borough Council started again.
She was bombarded with complaints from parents, with some being sent to her work email address very late at night.
She was signed off sick by her GP in October 2010 and was later diagnosed with depression in a severe form and symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder.
She said in her statement: “I considered committing suicide on at least two occasions but received help from health professionals and my sister.
“Despite my determined and tenacious efforts to build relationships with the Governing Board, my constant request for help from the local authority, my passion to serve the children of Moorlands and my courage in facing up to the parents, my efforts were met with harassment, bullying and victimisation.”
While on sick leave she claimed she was constantly contacted by both the Governing Body and the Local Authority with a view to ending her contract.
“I have completely lost my confidence as a headteacher and feel unable to ever work again in the school,” said Mrs Singh.
“I have always enjoyed excellent mental health my entire life and the events at Moorlands Primary School have changed my life completely.”
The hearing is expected to last 15 days.
- noose found outside Varina High School in VA (innerstandingisness.wordpress.com)
Denying racism is racism.
This is a slogan that is fast gaining currency in the western countries and intrinsic in this slogan is the message that to tackle racism, it should first be acknowledged first.
“There is no racism in India” stand was made in the context of the deaths of Loitam Richard and Dana Sangma but we need to look beyond this to really understand where the Government of India stands on the issue of racism which is more apparent than apparent itself.
Racial profiling is a term coined by the media not by merely clutching at some straws being blown around by a gust of wind but from observing the instances at the ground reality.
The chinky syndrome runs deep. Nowhere is this more apparent than the reported assurance given by Union Human Resources Development Minister Kapil Sibal to a group of delegates that the University Grants Commission would be sounded if any institution turns a blind eye when anyone from the North East region is referred to as a Chinky.
This is where the contradiction between what the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister and Kapil Sibal said becomes palpable.
From the statements of the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister, it is apparent that Delhi is not ready to acknowledge an issue and as long as this state of self denial persists, racism or racial profiling of certain groups of people coming from a region, like the North East, will continue.
From the statements of Dr Singh and Mr P Chidambaram, it is clear that real politiks, read the need to convey the message to the international fora that India is a country free from racial discrimination has taken precedence over the ground reality.
In fact so ingrained is the racist culture that it is not uncommon to see some students from the North East region identifying themselves as Chinkies. Can anyone imagine a black American identifying himself as a N*gg*r ?
Technically the Prime Minister may be right in stating that there is no ‘institutionalised racism in India’ for that would place it at par with South Africa before it did away with the globally unacceptable Apartheid policy.
A distinction needs to be made between institutionalised racism and racism per se but the question of deeper import is whether Delhi and its mandarins are ready to accept the ground reality or not.
As we have noted here, to tackle the issue of racism, to which people from the North East are subjected to once they cross the ‘Chicken Neck,’ it should first be acknowledged.
It was not for nothing that a Manipuri scientist working at the Forensic Science Laboratory at Delhi had to file a defamation suit against some of his colleagues on the ground that he was subjected to racial abuse with terms such as ‘Chinkys’ and ‘Ching Chong’.
What Delhi, particularly the Prime Minister and the Home Minister should realise is the point that the charge of racism has been raised not to defame the country but to work out a solution.
And this is why we say it is unfortunate and at the same time infuriating to see the political leaders so non-chalantly brushing aside the question of the people from the North East being subjected to racial abuse.
It was not so long ago that a good number of people from the North East were asked to produce their passports as proof of identity when the Chinese Premier visited the country for the BRICS summit.
We wonder whether this would fall in the category of the cops doing their job meticulously or were blinded by certain prejudices that all people who appear physically different are not citizens of the land.
Even if we take away the term racial, the stereotyping or the parameters of profiling certain section of the people is something that stands out prominently. It is this reality that the Prime Minister and the Home Minister should have acknowledged.
Racism exists in India. Delhi should admit this and to deal this, the first step should be to acknowledge that racism is very much here in this supposedly secular country where there is to be no discrimination on the basis of religion, caste or race.
- Why I, An Asian Man, Fight Anti-Black Racism (innerstandingisness.wordpress.com)
- The white queen: racism’s prime beneficiary (innerstandingisness.wordpress.com)
- safe areas known as “inclusivity zones” established in town centres, bars, restaurants for non-white England football fans visiting Ukraine (innerstandingisness.wordpress.com)