Outsiders in their own land?

“Hey, China!”

My guest and I looked up to find that the Captain had summoned Max, the waiter who had served us. We continued our meal.

After we finished the main course, Max came to take our orders for dessert. I asked Max why the Captain had addressed him as China. “All the people here call me China because I’m from Manipur,” he replied.

“Don’t they know Manipur is in India?” I asked. “They know, but they still call me China,” he replied sadly.

“Why don’t you complain to the Manager?” I asked. “I don’t want to lose my job. Some months back, another waiter had complained about this. The Manager told him that it’s his personal matter. But the others got to know that he had complained about them. They harassed him so badly that he had to leave his job. That’s why I’m not complaining to the Manager.

“This job is very convenient for me. I study in the Catering College. I work here from 7 pm to midnight on week days and from 10 am to midnight on weekends and holidays. The salary pays for my room rent, food and all other expenses. I want to reduce the financial burden on my parents, so I tolerate their insult even though I feel very bad about it.”

To cheer him up, I asked, “Isn’t Mary Kom also from Manipur?” His face brightened. “Yes, she’s from Manipur. When she won her Bronze Medal in the Olympics, all these guys cheered and clapped for her. For them, she is Indian, but I’m a foreigner!”

Under normal circumstances, I would have complained about such a matter, but I decided not to. I felt miserable about it, but that’s how Max wanted it.

As we were leaving, the Captain was deferentially leading a group of foreigners to their table!

Atithi Devo Bhavah! A guest, foreign or Indian, is treated as God. Why do we make some of our own compatriots feel unwanted in their own country?

Can we not make every Indian feel that he/she is an equal citizen of our country? Yes We Can!

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27 thoughts on “Outsiders in their own land?

    • A person struggling to make both ends meet cannot afford to spend the immense amount of time, effort and money that is needed to bring offenders to justice.
      He would also be afraid that the police personnel might be racist.

  1. Who said we are Indians? We are everything but Indians. We are Chinkis, Madrasis, Punjs, Mallus, Gujjus, etc. But not Indians. And that’s exactly the root cause of the state of affairs of our country. The day we’ll become Indians, I’m sure things will change for good.

  2. Reblogged this on Dew Drops and commented:
    Who said we are Indians? We are everything, but Indians. We are Chinkis, Madrasis, Punjus, Mallus, Gujjus, etc. But not Indians. And that’s exactly the root cause of the state of affairs of our country. The day we’ll become Indians, I’m sure things will change for good.

  3. We don’t need any outside enemies, they are here. These people will hand over Manipur in a platter to the Chinese who are already stepping inside our territory from all sides.

    Good to know you.

    • I agree we are our own worst enemies. To remove the ills in our society, we need to change and make others around us change.

      I don’t agree with “These people will hand over Manipur ….” Things are not that bad.

      Thanks for visiting and commenting. Au revoir!

  4. And we make such a loud noise on racism in other nations.

    The other day in class (eighth standard to be precise) we were reading a beautiful story (?) called “Jamaican Fragment”, about how the attitudes in our mind/ the collective gene pool (??? ) makes up our bias and prejudice based on the superiority or inferiority of a certain colour/race. The children were pleasantly surprised by the ending of the story – and the deeper issues then discussed had the very same questions you ask. Why do we differentiate on the so called – well – differences we have. The responses were quite encouraging – at least the examples they could identify where it was done, and their being provoked to think of getting out of this mentality.

    As you say – yes, we can. We must.

  5. This is the sad part where we treat our people from the states of Manipur, Assam or even Kashmir for that matter as outsiders. It’s been going on for decades and still, we don’t learn our lessons.

  6. Yes, I have seen this happen. And I have also experienced something like this when I went to Chidambaram to attend some classes in Annamalai University. There were several occasions during my 15 days stay there when it was much too clear that people were behaving in an insulting way, and not even realizing it. But then, there were some very nice and gracious people too, readily going out of their way to help us 🙂

  7. This was such a beautiful post, simple narrative carrying an extremely powerful message. The attitude of all of us stereotyping people from other states as Madrasis, Punjabis, Chinks, etc is so irritating, infuriating and extremely unnecessary, and this post brings out this message very effectively.

    • You have correctly said, “The attitude of all of us stereotyping people …”

      Let us all be honest enough to admit that we all do it. Most of us are thoughtful enough to refrain from saying anything explicit to the person concerned. But the stereotyping and/or discrimination comes out in the form of inadvertent words or acts, and can be really hurtful. For example, I’ve heard people say something like, “In India, we do it like this. How is it done in your place?”

  8. Its a harsh world .. racist remarks are worldwide popular .. mood spoilers!! But then .. racist remarks are given normally when people stay in their groups .. I have north eastern friends out here who are dearest of all friends from different parts of the country .. because they know when they are out of their state .. they need to be mingling around with everyone and not stay amid people known from their places only .. goes with all of us .. even I have learnt it that way ..
    having said that .. I do not encourage such idiots who find it’s casual to make such illiterate and senseless remarks … they should understand .. and remind themselves for the world we are Indians – the first identity!!

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