Apologies for a third successive post on the same subject ... like I did before writing Close ranks, I'm looking, bemusedly again, at that picture. This time, because Sharad Pawar described the whole thing as a "misunderstanding" and a "language issue", and a Vadodara police officer described the whole thing as "an invocation to Lord Hanuman." (Quoted on front page of Hindustan Times, Oct 19).
I mean, when this blue shirt and this yellow shirt are imitating monkeys, what's the "misunderstanding", I'd like to know? What's the "language issue" here?
But most egregious by far is the mention of Lord Hanuman. If these two worthies were part of a crowd praying to Hanuman, let's say, and they did just what they are doing in that shot, what do you think will happen?
Will the rest of the crowd look at them with heightened respect for their "invocation to Lord Hanuman"? Or will the rest of the crowd lynch them?
October 19, 2007
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
Could you please explain how monkey chants can be considered as 'racist remarks'?
You have been talking about how one should answer with the game and not with words or actions, but do you think winning this series would have changed the way australians would 'welcome' us when we visit them later, just because they'd consider our tolerance as a virtue and respect it?
On a different note, i read that you are against giving this too much of importance, but again you beat yourself by writing about the same issue thrice and God knows how many more times.
No buttering from my side. For GOD sake stop whining about everything...
It amazes me that in a country where cricket watchers everywhere from a fairly provincial city to a metropolis can indulge in the most hurtful, racially charged behaviour to a player whose ethnic roots aren't even, at first glace, all that apparent, we're all pretty innocent of why, exactly, monkey chants are racist.
They ARE racist and have a very specific history of abuse and hurt targeting black sportsmen. Black footballers in Europe have suffered from monkey chants in stadia for decades now. UEFA and FIFA take instances of such behaviour in stadia so seriously these days that a team whose supporters are found to make these chants can have their grounds shut down, fans banned from grounds, and incur extremely heavy fines.
If they didn't know Andrew Symonds' ethnic background in Vadodara, they wouldn't have made the sounds.
And if they honestly *didn't* know and made them anyway, the response from the management and the media, who certainly know better, should have been different from the appalling insensitivity and downright rudeness they've shown in dealing with the matter.
I am not surprised but am puzzled why more of this did not happen before, for example during West Indies tours. I will know more about the Indian reactions here today. I am going to an Indian party today by a group which boycotted an Indian function last week due to caste reasons.
Thank you Roswitha. You put this better than I could.
In any case, as I said before, I'm uninterested in whether it constitutes racism -- if someone prefers to believe that it does not, no amount of persuasion from me is going to change that.
I am, however, interested in why people would deny this, or call it a "language issue", or an "invocation to Lord Hanuman". If it is really an inoffensive invocation to Hanuman, what stops these guys from stand among a crowd praying to Hanuman and making these chants and gestures? Why do they need to wait to get into a cricket stadium and see Symonds walking out (or in) to suddenly remember their reverence for Lord Hanuman?
do you think winning this series would have changed the way australians would 'welcome' us when we visit them later, just because they'd consider our tolerance as a virtue and respect it?
I have no idea, nor am I particularly interested. I would have liked India to win the series not because it might have had some bearing on how we'd be "welcomed" later, but because such a victory over a fine team would have been a splendid achievement.
Finally, i read that you are against giving this too much of importance.
Where did you read this, can you please tell me? (Not that I expect an answer.
I am not surprised but am puzzled why more of this did not happen before, for example during West Indies tours.
I don't know for sure, but one guess is that as in many other things, we imitate goings-on in the West. Monkey chants seem to have been around in European football for some time and chances are that it has been picked up by our local idiots - thanks to increased TV coverage - from there.
This is not to say that there was no racism during past West Indian tours; it was probably expressed more subtly. But any African or dark-skinned person who has been around for some time has felt it. There are probably many such accounts floating around the web; one by John Patrick Ogwando can be found here:
Post a Comment