For such communities, multiculturalism and multiracial societies are not the boon they are for previously oppressed sections of the society. This paper shall focus on my experience with the northern part of the Indian subcontinent in general and New Delhi to be specific. The brand of racism that people from the southern and eastern parts of the country have to face as the result of their being darker in complexion than most of their northern counterparts is one that demonstrates that racism operates within societies as well.
Race discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably because he/she is of a certain race or because of personal characteristics associated with race (such as hair texture, skin color, or certain facial features) (Race/Color Discrimination). This kind of treatment may be unexpected for a person within his own country and leaves one unsure of the unity of the geographical and political boundaries that one lives in. The language that one converses in a place that is unfamiliar ought to be one that is the lingua franca and not the hegemonic language of the racial majority, which in this case is Hindi. On speaking the lingua franca, English, on a certain occasion, I was mocked at and ridiculed. This was owing to the general perceptions regarding people from the southern parts of the nation as they are considered to be unaware of Hindi. They are also considered to be less masculine than their North Indian counterparts and this is ironically associated with knowledge of the language of the coloniser, English. Knowledge of Hindi and the cruder dialects of it, is considered to be a sign of affluence by certain sections. This is so because it is considered to be a sign of a person who owns land and is not an immigrant in New Delhi. The love and respect for land is again a sign of nostalgia for an organic society that is fundamentally based on the produce that one is able to extract from the land. On being heckled with racist and homophobic terms, I felt extremely indignant. Accompanying this indignation was also the feeling of helplessness against the beliefs of an entire community. An oft-repeated slogan of the Indian state, ‘Unity in Diversity’ is thrown to the winds when something of this kind is encountered in normal life. The helplessness translated itself into a feeling of unimportance, something that was introduced by the heckling that I had to face at the hands of people who were once part of the upper economic strata of the society. The fact remained that they were a part of a class of people who were economically, on the decline. After a while had passed, these were the thoughts that started to crowd my mind. The feeling of anger and hatred had ebbed away by then and had given way to a process of introspection as to the cause of their behavior. Part of the introspection was also focused upon the thoughts that came into my mind as soon as the treatment was meted out to me. I felt that this was necessary since it would enable me to comprehend the dynamics of the relations between the two communities better. Masoud Kamali notes how feelings of racism and xenophobia are in more cases than one, the product of the changes in the economy and the distribution of wealth in a society. This would result in racist abuse against people who are part of communities that are economically and educationally emergent (Kamali, 1). This, to a certain extent, reveals