I’ve been to the Indian embassy out here about 3 times so far. The most recent was today. And I couldn’t help but notice one thing: I felt more discriminated against within the embassy (which is full of Indians and the odd Australian, American, Englishman….) than when I am out and about in Sydney.
I must point out — it was not overt discrimination.
So, what is it that made me feel this way?
Well, the people working at the embassy — at least the ones that come face-to-face with the applicants — are all north Indians. And I noticed the change in their tones when they spoke to other Indians who talked to them in Hindi as against me (who hasn’t spoken in Hindi since I’ve been here) and some others who spoke to them in English. I swear I’m not imagining this — the lady at the counter would speak sweetly when talking in Hindi and her tone would change to this harsh tone and she was very short with me and some others speaking English. Of course, it was different again with the non-Indians —- she was very nice to them.
I couldn’t help but wonder — why???
Why this discrimination?
Aren’t we all Indians (by blood — because I’ll be first to admit I don’t feel like one!)? Aren’t we Indian first and only then south Indian or north Indian or east Indian or west Indian? Just because I’m south Indian and don’t speak Hindi as perfectly as the north Indians doesn’t mean I need to be treated differently. Particularly because we are in an English-speaking country at present for God’s sakes!!!
I guess what pisses me off more is that Indians complain about racism from the ‘whites’. Well, I have so far not felt discriminated against by a single Aussie — ‘whites’ included. I have even been to the likes of Newcastle where I stand out big time due to the colour of my skin — and even out there, I did not feel eyes on me in a discriminatory fashion. I do not have Anglo sales-persons talk to me rudely. In fact, it has been the opposite.
Why is this, I wonder?
These are Indians, in another country, and yet, they treat other Indians who they reckon are different, in a discriminatory fashion.
I wish I knew.
What I do know is this makes me want to live here in Australia all the more.
Until next time,