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White man’s burden, brahminism and racial superiority

White man’s burden, brahminism and racial superiority
Europe is regarded as the most literate, civilized, and developed continent in the universe. Sadly, this narrative is getting weaker, thanks to recent instances of inhuman behavior on the part of some Europeans, to say the least. Recently, the white supporters of Valencia racially abused the famous footballer, Vini Jr, by chanting monkey slogans against him. This is not the first time the footballer has faced racial discrimination on the pitch. Time and time again, Europe is showing hatred toward black players. Mario Balletoli, Samuel Eto, Drogba, and even Mollato players like Danie Alves have been the victims of racial discrimination in different European leagues. Why are the Europeans or the whites abusing black players? Is the ghost of racial superiority still haunting the whites?

Quite long ago, Rudyard Kipling wrote the poem titled ‘White Man’s Burden’. Kipling, through his poem, has glorified the magnanimity of white skin. The poet’s sole motive was to show the whole world that the whites were born to civilize the non-whites. The whites also assumed that people outside Europe were barbaric, savage, irrational, and uncivilized. They have even designed fake narratives about the color ‘black’ and Africa. From the colonial era to date, the same racist mindset is at work, on the football stadium and beyond.

Like White Man’s Burden, Brahmanism in South Asia has debased cultural practices that divide people into different castes and sub-castes. The castes determine the cultural and social values of people. For instance, people born into thread-wearing castes (high castes) get certain privileges, whereas the lower castes or the Sudras (Untouchables) have to face caste-based discrimination throughout their lives. People have even lost lives or faced torture over caste matters.  Few years ago in Nepal, some ‘high-caste’ people killed Navaraj BK along with his five friends in west Rukum for BK’s attempt to marry a ‘high-caste’ girl. This caste superiority of the Hindus has started its journeys abroad. In particular, the Hindus of Nepal and India are showing casteist colors in Europe, America, and Australia by following in the footsteps of their ancestors’ ‘ill-conceived’ Brahmanism, which states that only the thread-wearing (Thagadhari) caste is rational and pure whereas other castes, especially the Sudars, are ‘impure and irrational’. The Dalits based abroad are finding it hard to get into relationships, get rooms, land jobs and attend social gatherings, mainly due to a casteist system and Brahmanism prevailing in Nepali and Indian diasporas. In its 2016 survey report, Equality Lab, a US-based NGO, stated that at least one in four Dalits in the USA has faced verbal or physical assault, and two out of every three said they have faced discrimination at work. A case in point: In early 2020, Prem Pariyar was almost at a breaking point over targeted harassment, discrimination, and exclusion by the dominant caste group’s students at his alma mater, the California State University in East Bay, the United States (Al-jazeera). Increasing cases of caste-based discrimination abroad show that the so-called Hindu high castes are taking caste supremacy with them out of the Indian subcontinent. This is a matter of serious concern for Dalit communities and people working for Dalits rights. Aware of the tendencies of the ‘high castes, the Seattle City Council recently passed laws against discrimination, becoming the first US city to ban caste discrimination and the first in the world to pass such a law outside South Asia. Both the White Man's burden and Brahmanism stand for superiority of certain races. The international civil society should work to prohibit these kinds of racist and discriminatory thoughts as part of global efforts to end discrimination of all sorts.