After posting a photo of a single bar, some netizens found it so offensive they posted “It is very offensive to use your racial caste as a product of marketing.” They added on several social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. According to reports the first and last images were of single bars. The company also denied the charges, saying that they had published a photo of a single bar in a bid to promote diversity. They said they were trying to convey an image of different shades of Indian caste, which is also called Jati. At the heart of all this controversy is someone who works at a US law firm.
I have a few thoughts on this. I find it unfortunate that some people have seized on this as an example of their dislike of Indians and their beliefs against us. I am not opposed to diversity. I work in many cultures and have had the opportunity to befriend many people from many different backgrounds. Many cultures have diverse traditions. However at the same time there are some things - such as religion or traditions - that seem to be more important to many than others. Many of these things are not shared or even known to all (even if the media tries hard to get away with it) until a few generations ago.
I have recently seen a lot of posts in support of this debate that seem to paint as many black and brown faces in one group as possible while trying to paint as many white faces as possible. Just because a certain group is part of a certain class does not make them any less human. In the US, Americans of Indian descent face the same discrimination that you and I do. The people who defend this type of racism really just hate us for who we are. They are more than happy to be a part of a racist group but their hatred is not because of how we live our lives, so it is hypocritical to use this as a chance to call us all racist.
I am a white woman in India who recently arrived from the US and it was really awkward (for me) when people called me a ‘stereotype’ and ‘the typical white woman’ as I was the only one in the group . It was very uncomfortable and I felt like one of the minority within the minority to have felt that. Although a lot of people seem to think I am overreacting, I don’t get it. If everyone was a caricature, how would my situation be different? I think having an Indian name is a good thing in this country, because it makes it much easier for me to find work. I am also very proud of my Indian heritage and wish many other Indians this pride. Just because I do not identify as white or Indian does not mean that I want to be. I do not have white skin inside and cannot get any more white than my skin is. It doesn’t matter what we call ourselves, and regardless of a person’s beliefs or racial background, we are all human and deserve the chance to live our lives as individuals free from discrimination. It is really disappointing that people feel this is a reason to hate or discriminate against all Indians. This is something we all want. I do feel like a caricature in some quarters because I am a white woman in India, but we should be judged by how we deal with the differences.