Don't want to be White anymore.
My entire schooling was at a fine institution, The Bishop's School, Pune (established 1856). It provided us an education not only in academics, but in sports, character building and overall development. I love my school and for what it has given me and my schoolmates.
Our schooling provided us the great asset, the conviction of being privileged and entitled to be leaders, not so much by our efforts and capabilities but simply by virtue of the heritage of our school.
Our schooling was also a great liability.
The school originally designed and set up to educate children of British and upper class Indians was dominated by British culture, peppered with positive aspects and values of Anglican Christianity. A school like several others in India designed to mould boys into gentlemen, perfect for serving the British Empire and maintaining its legacy.
The school sparked within us a fanatical desire to be as White as possible. But we can't change our genes, nor the colour of our skin. The schools were however successful in churning out coconut like men and women, brown on the outside, white inside.
I am not unique, there are a large number in our country who wanted to be White.
We eat, dress, talk, learn and think like white folks. Not only that, I looked down upon the less fortunate of my countrymen and women. Akin to being bracketed at the highest level in a social caste system. After all the subjects in a society always ape what they consider as the dominant, economic, social, cultural, political, religious and literary power of the times. This has been until recently Europe, America, Canada and Australia.
Such arrogance it has inculcated in many of us that I felt it below my standard to even examine myself and my socio-religious-economic-cultural heritage. My preferred poets and artists, musicians and philosophers, authors and speakers, hero and achievers were all white, of which there were many no doubt great people.
We can admire another without forgetting ourselves, unfortunately in this most of us have failed.
I grew up complaining and finding fault with everything that was Indian and looked down upon India in general. This was the environment that a large part of India grew up. The British had left physically, but the slavery of our hearts and minds was still almost total. Whatever had escaped white domination, was usurped up by so called Mughal and Socialist glory.
Fortunately for us, our parents left us to our devices and we leant that we comprised a very small percentage of privileged people. Those of us who are fortunate integrated well with the public and became total Indians, and some of us remained fringe Indians.
All top positions in society and the bureaucracy have been dominated by people like ourselves, who live in a cocoon of our own weaving, almost completely disconnected from Bharat the real India.
It was only in 2014, that 'The Economist' a premier global magazine reported that "it is for the first time since independence, we could consider that Indians had finally voted in a genuine Indian national government."
It is better to be a flawed original of ourselves rather than be an excellent copy of others.
Who am I? Who are we?
I believe most of us do not ourselves know.
These are questions for which each individual and society have to discover the answers for themselves.
I send you salutations and greetings on this Republic Day of India.
Muhammad Ali talks about him growing up confused to why everything was so "white" ~ Muhammad Ali on (YouTube)
Cassius Clay becomes Muhammad Ali in March 1964 ~ Muhammad Ali on (YouTube)
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