“Get out of my country” a man yelled at two Indian men in a Kansas bar in the US earlier this week and shot at them. One of them died.
According to reports, the American thought he had shot two middle-eastern men. His statement proving how his act was steeped in deep ignorance and prejudice. He had no fucking clue who he had attacked. He only assumed.
In India, the incident obviously made big news. An Indian died, all because he did not resemble a typical white male. It showed how the anti-immigrant sentiment is slowly reaching scary levels in America.
While there are people blaming Trump and his administration. There are other people who are offering solutions. Great.
But some of these people are offering tips to Hindu Indians on looking different from middle-eastern men and women, so that they do not become victims of hate crimes. Really? Is that the solution?
According to a man called Tapan Ghosh, who heads a Hindu organisation in West Bengal, it is. He thinks sporting a bindi or tilak will save Indians from such racial attacks. A bindi is a round sticker that Hindu Indian women usually put on their forehead. And a tilak is also a similar to a bindi, altough it is more elongated and not necessarily circular in shape. Men usually sport Tilak. Although, very few regular Indian men sport a tilak. You usually find Sadhus wearing them.
“I am not very interested in the ‘tika’ and all but today due to radical Muslims, the atmosphere is volatile. To save oneself from this, one must wear ‘tika’ and ‘bindi’. Although terrorism does not belongs to any particular religion, I want Hindus to be safe and secure,” Ghosh was quoted by news wire ANI.
Mr Ghosh says terror does not belong to a religion and yet he offers only safety advice for Hindus. And it seems that Mr Ghosh knew that the American shooter had mistaken the Indian men to be Muslim men from the middle-east. So the solution is very problematic.
A man who is so ignorant about the world around him, who cannot even differentiate a very typical looking Indian man from a middle-eastern man, would that man even know what a tika, tilak or a bindi is? The attacker was simply blind. Blind to diversity, reason and logical thinking.
All he saw was that there were two men sitting in bar, who did not match his colour, who did not sound like him. So he decided to get rid of them. I don’t think a tilak would have saved them from such blindingly ignorant hatred.