Black or White

There are only few somethings besides sports, that I watch on German television ever since I came here in 2006 – Deutschland sucht den Superstar, Popstars, Schlag den Raab and the favourite being Germany’s Next Top Model by Heidi Klum. With the onset of the new year, excited that new season episodes will soon take-off.

Sara

Sara Nuru

Last years’ Germany’s Next Top Model by Heidi Klum show was very special and gave a surprise winner in Sara Nuru, a stunning 19 yr old model whose parents had migrated from Ethiopia. It was great to see how a black woman beat all her white co-contestants with ease and confidence and how she had emerged absolutely deserving and was befittingly encouraged by the judges and the viewers.

I don’t have to wonder whether a girl with dark complexion will ever make it to top or even find an entry in any in beauty contests that are held in India. In a country where female foeticide is still prevalent, if the complexion is dark can be a life-long curse, in certain parts especially North. Everyone wants a fairer counterpart. In the matrimonial sections of newspapers, there are even special columns ‘gori brides’. To accentuate, markets are full of fairness creams which promises fair complexion that too within 10 days. What do you call such observance? Racism. Period. We Indians cry racism at the slightest instance, but we treat our own fellow shaded complexion, abominably. I am not even getting into the caste system here and its conduct in Hindu religion, which still exists throughout the country.

In Europe, there are no fairness creams or bleaching agents. They love to get tan, sun-tan studios are in each and every city. People spend hours and money to get that desired dusky appearance. Has anyone ever heard of any Indian getting married to a black-American or an African? Sorry, I haven’t. Whereas, you see so many blacks with germans as couples with beautiful hybrid kids. Supermodel Heidi Klum herself married a black-American, the legendary singer Seal.

It’s great to see so many non-whites finding their place with due respects out here. The top league singer is an Indian- Xavier Naidoo. Bruce Darnell, my favourite celebrity, a choreographer is a black-American. Colin Fernandes, VJ, is an Indian. Nadja Abd El Farrag, ex-wife of Dieter Bohlen, is a Sudanese. Boris Becker’s ex-wife Barbara was an African-American.

There’s a lot one can learn from the west (especially germans) on how to respect human beings regardless of colour. For that, to begin with, you have to free your mind. Look beyond the surface. Then go deeper, reach the soul. Then unlearn yourself. Because – (Racial superiority is a mere pigment of the imagination. ~Author Unknown)

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A tweet gone awry

Twitter: That’s my latest fad exactly as was Facebook an year back. Though I am still loyal to the latter but I see myself going to former first. You get a sense of being served with the first hand news right from the horse’s mouth (Yes you read horse and not cow ;)). Of course, I still read online news but get most of the confirmations right here. Have most of the top journalists, bollywood biggies, tennis stars, and friends on my list. Looking forward to more and more meaningful people joining in as we all need authentic news.

What instigated me to write about Twitter is the latest infamous controversy of Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Minister of State for External Affairs, Govt of India, tweeting about austerity drive that had reached ridiculous heights. Let me briefly take you to where it began.

KG: @ShashiTharoor Are you flying cattle class to Ghana/Liberia? Hopefully you won’t use VIP lounge where coffee, tea are served free…

ST: @KanchanGupta absolutely, in cattle class out of solidarity with all our holy cows!

ST:  learned belatedly of fuss over my tweet replying to journo’s query whether i wld travel to Kerala in “cattle class”. His phrase which i rptd.)

KG: Were your words distorted? I don’t think so. You were quoted verbatim.

KG: And frankly I didn’t quite expect you to say, ‘His phrase which i rptd’. Pity you can’t stand up for what you say.

Well! that were some of the conversations that took place though ST replied only once. Now people expect to get explanations in 140 characters, firstly they expect response/replies and when they get one they try to extract hypothetical hidden meanings in it. My take on it is that journalists take liberties of the free press to morally assassinate anyone and everyone cos they know they won’t be held for it. Who is this KG? Some insignificant rattler in Pioneer which doesn’t even have as much number of  readership as many twitter followers ST has and growing.

Really liked the article by Chetan Bhagat on the same Timely tweet: Gimme performance, stop posturing. Brilliant one by Karan Thapar Oh, to be poor. Shobhaa De had another point of view Twitter less, work more, all will be forgiven. She probably isn’t on Twitter and obviously is not following him to know what all he is doing. As i said in my tweet too it’s like saying do not sms, do not grow, do not fall for technology, do not keep pace with the world. All but incidently ST is also a journalist with great sense of humour which landed him into this. Had he not been a politician, all these fellow journalists would have applauded at his great ability for impromptu wit.

Dear Indians, Our country needs intelligent, well educated, modern politicians like him. He at least has the guts to say it all loud of that he is doing. Let me enlighten you a bit that Mr. Governer Schwarzenegger who is also on Twitter even posts pics and videos of what he is doing. Does it mean that he is doodling around in his office? So does Prez. Obama. Well! Whom am I talking to.

So finally what will happen is Mr. Tharoor will get choked by the bureaucratic farce of sorts. I am afraid this episode might just force him to withdraw or definitely cut down on his interactions out here. We certainly hope not. Oh! Will this reflect on his blog too????

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