In case you are wondering what the word means, the dictionary describes it as “a fear or hatred of foreigners, people from different cultures or strangers”.
Is it just me, or do you also feel that as much as the world is becoming a global village and all that, people are growing narrower in their mindsets?
What else do you think explains Brexit? Or Trump being elected? I mean, sure, there are plenty of other factors hovering around. But this is the simplest one-word explanation. Those two cataclysmic phenomenons happened because people gave in to their worst fears about immigrants in their land gorging on their resources. In spite of the world being your oyster, and all sorts of people travelling everywhere, open mindsets are still a dream. Atleast to a large extent.
Don’t even get me started on how we treat foreigners in India. And this, in the land of “Athithi devo bhava”. Guest is God, it seems. Don’t make me laugh. As if the number of women foreigners (irrespective of skin colour being harassed, molested or raped) wasn’t horrifying enough, there is also the horror many face while even trying to live as expats in our land. Ok, and what about our immigration policy to those less fortunate than us? Even worse!
Ok so don’t get me wrong. I am not saying let everybody in and let everyone do what they want. Of course we adhere to rules. But sometimes we need to look inward to confront our inner prejudices. Before we scream about Indians facing racism in other countries, it might be a great idea to pause and take a moment to address our own biases.
After all, change needs to start from within first.