Sociology - Changing colours of racism

May 19th, 2015
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These are the kind of slurs she hears every day in Delhi. Some days, a local goon would ask with a lascivious smile: “Rate kya hai?(What is the rate?)” When that happens, she simply looks away and hurries past. On reaching home at night, she thanks her lucky stars that she has got through another day with body and limb intact.

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Changing colours of racismChinky. Dhandewaali.(whore) Momo. These are the kind of slurs she hears every day in Delhi. Some days, a local goon would ask with a lascivious smile: Rate kya hai?(What is the rate?) When that happens, she simply looks away and hurries past. On reaching home at night, she thanks her lucky stars that she has got through another day with body and limb intact. Before going out the next morning, she mutters a prayer, apprehending what the city might have in store for her. Racial slurs, she has learnt to handle. When she first arrived there from her home in Manipur, they would reduce her to tears. But with time she has learnt to put up with them, as she has with the citys heat and chaos. She realises that the big, bad city is capable of throwing far more than hateful words at her.I contemplate her with a mixture of guilt and bemusement. She works as a barista in my neighbourhoodCosta. Until the past month, she was like any other barista, greeting me with a ready smile the moment I walked in through the door, making cheerful small talk while taking my order, stopping by my table to ask if my coffee and pastry were fine as I was partaking of them. Since the brutal murder of Nido Tania, however, the smile looks strained and the cheerfulness has all but disappeared. Today, as the newspaper reports yet another case of a Manipuri girl being groped in Delhi, she looks pensive and withdrawn. Its obvious that she can no longer summon even the se

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