It’s Hard Out There For An Indian Idol

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been keeping up with Indian Idol fairly religiously. (You can catch up on all the episodes here, if you’re so inclined.) I don’t even understand Hindi all that well, but I love the music, the contestants are entertaining to watch, and the show doesn’t take itself nearly as seriously as American Idol does. Needless to say, I’m hooked.

I’m already placing my bets on one contestant in particular — Meiyang Chang. Unlike the other contestants I’ve seen (even those on American Idol), I actually feel moved by his voice. He’s that impressive. Not to mention that he’s also articulate, he writes well, and he looks good in fitted t-shirts. He’s quickly attracted a steady following.

Yet despite his appeal, the show is fairly obsessed with reminding us brown people that Chang is (gasp!) not quite one of “us.” Although Chang was born and raised in India, the Indian Idol website promotes him as the “contestant from China.” The show’s co-host first introduced him by stating, “His surname is Chinese, but his heart is Indian.” Even more embarrassing is this condescending exchange between the judges and Chang during the duet round, in which Anu Malik tells him, “You’ve just proven that music knows no language.” Thanks, Indian Idol, I had no idea that Chinese people could actually sing.

I can only imagine the sort of outrage that would follow in our community had the producers of American Idol promoted Sanjaya as “The Indian,” “The Contestant from India,” or “The Brown Guy Who’s Really an American at Heart.” But I have to give credit to Chang, though — in spite of the ignorant comments, he only smiles and nods, never protesting or showing frustration. Poor guy. And I thought I had it rough growing up in southern California.

Here’s a clip from the theater rounds:

198 thoughts on “It’s Hard Out There For An Indian Idol

  1. OSN,

    Haha, thanks? I don’t have a public blog because I am: 1. Woefully out of date on the web design tip 2. Not creative enough to come up with new material regularly 3. Kind of worried that I rant a lot and so it would be uninteresting and polemical? 4. Not always reliable about being. That is, my commenting is inversely related to how slow work is or how much I’m procrastinating. Right now I’m commenting a lot because I’m on “vacation” from my next gig.

    BUT, if you want to catch a (hard) copy of the semi-annual journal I co-edit, let me know :) Our next issue comes out January ’08.

  2. Add typo-prone! I tend to type in blobs, which is how I think. That was supposed to be “4. Not always reliable..”

  3. thanks camille. you know i’ve wondered many times why you don’t have your own public blog…?

    I too have wondered why you don’t blob blog yourself! ;)

  4. This discussion reminds me of Aishwarya Rai on Oprah saying: “we have the world within India…we got the small eyes, the fair skin, the darker skin, the straight hair…”.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=n37wMO_hBX4 (7:42 minutes into the interview).

    I don’t know what to make of her comments, but it definitely made me cringe for a second.

    I’m reluctant to endorse the idea that the comments directed at Meiyang, and the way he was framed as an outsider, or a novelty, is some innocent, pre-PC rhetoric. Apparently, exclusionary rhetoric may have its different styles in different countries, but apologists everywhere seem to come up with the same defense – that pointing these things out is “PC”, and therefore a superimposition of canny artifice over naturally innocent, childlike, endearing, attitudes. (Annoying children!)

    It may not come with an historical and political baggage that is identical to that in the U.S, but it is nevertheless exclusionary and offensive. Racism is also not absent in India – I remember the African international students in my undergrad college in Pune being referred to as “kallus”, and going by the comments above, they were not the only ones to feel it.

    Having said that, I don’t know (by which I mean I really don’t have a sure opinion) if the example above is of the same order as the endless stereotyping in popular culture of Sardarjis, Gujaratis, South Indians (with little internal differentiation, of course), Bengalis, Biharis, Parsis, especially in Hindi cinema. How regional differences are notated in popular culture in India, and what kind of a popular schooling they provide in defining difference is worth thinking about. At any rate, the “unity in diversity” crap we’ve been fed growing up in India, in films division documentaries, school textbooks and the whole lot, has clearly revealed its inadequacy.

  5. Ouch, this thread is now in danger of becoming a dissing of :

    Pune and DBDs :-(

    Double whammy for me

  6. 104 curmudgeon, how did you arrive at your conclusion that the ‘unity in diversity’ stuff is crappy and inadequate? I for one think it’s something to be appreciated that India is such a diverse nation. And I also know that we’re not perfect, and there might be many instances which make you think that we didn’t really pay attention to the ‘unity in diversity’ stuff. It all boils down to the individual’s interpretation of the situation, and how he/she acts on it. I think Meiyang is a great reminder of the fact that there are lots of Indians out there who look a bit different from the rest of us, but are still as Indian as us.

  7. I for one think it’s something to be appreciated that India is such a diverse nation.

    There you have it, folks! Diversity is good. Also, puppies are adorable, Bismarck is the capital of North Dakota, and bears poo in the woods.

    If I understand you correctly, #104 [and I think I agree with most of what you've said], the issue is actually about the meaningless sops paid to India’s richly varied history and cultures. Albeit NRI, I grew up steeped in my parents’ Tamil culture, and it was a thorn in my side when I got to college and realized that the campus South Asian organizations were one big bhangrafest [not that there is anything wrong with bhangra, don't get on my johnson about that], with a break every year when garba rolled around. Aside from the lonely occasional kid who danced Manipuri at a Diwali show, or sang a Purandara Dasa song at another fest, there wasn’t any indication that these organizations were going to make a concerted effort to explore or recognize the diversity of cultural and religious practices in India. Instead, there were mostly just screenings after screenings of the latest Yash Chopras and whatnot. It was a big problem, and my university wasn’t the only one who had it. I don’t really know how it could be fixed. It wasn’t evil or malicious exclusion, but it turned me off from campus South Asian activities, and from people who talk about how we’re all Indians, and we all have to stick together in one big homogenous honeypot love-in. Blech.

  8. Not to divert the subject, but in praise of polyculturalism…

    if you live in the RDU area, check out Pao Lim Bistro in Durham, NC – it was started by a man named Craig, who grew up Hakka Chinese in Kolkata before immigrating to the US. Food is delish – pan-Asian!

    Not sure if there are more spots like this in other non-metro parts of the country.

  9. 107

    Now you got me confused. What is your point: a) that India is NOT diverse? Or b) That India is diverse but not always unified in diversity?Or c) That campus South Asian organizations in the US do not represent the diversity of Indian culture?

    (I will vehemently defend (a) , grudgingly accept (b) and am unqualified to comment on (c))

  10. Runa,

    I’m saying the following.

    A. India is diverse. Yes. It’s good that it is. This is such an obvious thing to say. It’s like saying bananas are yellow. It’s a uselessly obvious thing to say.

    B. I’ve often found that people who say we should all stick together because we’re Indian (you know, “unifying in diversity”) don’t really care that much about A.

    C. That’s how I found out B.

  11. Well, I think # 107 got what I was trying to get at. Maybe “crap” was a poor choice of words (re: # 104), but I would defend my assertion that the melting-pot rhetoric we are fed in India is inadequate in really encouraging a respect for cultural or regional differences. Note that I’m not saying it’s worthless or that it ought to be thrown out the door. I’m simply saying it’s inadequate. The various instances of racism, ethnocentrism, stereotyping that have been mentioned in the discussions above are themselves more than sufficient proof of that inadequacy. There’s really a problem of how to recognize and respect difference without drowning it in platitudes about how we are all the same and therefore ought to love each other. I rather prefer a rhetoric that says we are bound by our differences and therefore ought to learn to live with those differences.

  12. NA, I really don’t know what experiences you’ve had, but it seems a bit unfair to me for you to pooh-pooh India’s unity in diversity theme just because you didn’t like what you saw on the south asian campus scene. I say we should all stick together, and I do care about your point A :) And I would hazard a guess that not all university campuses are like the one you went to, because in mine, they would open the annual south asian show with a carnatic music recital. So does that make us the oddballs?? ;)

  13. p.s, I should also say that I’m glad India is as diverse as it is. I keep telling my non-desi friends, quite proudly, that it’s a country of staggering diversity. That’s good, but that wasn’t the object of my criticism.

  14. i have had a similar experience as NA, and i did find it rather off-putting at times. however, it was also a big eye-opener for me, because before i came to college, the only desi exposure i had was to tamil/telugu culture. so it’s not just campuses that can be single-mindded in terms of region – parents’ social circles have the same tendencies, and in some ways, more so. when i got to college, i realised how unaware my parents are of other desi cultures, and how innacurate their views of those cultures are. however, i do feel that post-college, even my college friends are less punjabi/hindi-centric than they were in college; herd mentality, i suppose. on the other hand, when i was working for a desi start-up after college, there was clear segregation between hindi and non-hindi speakers – one of my colleagues told me that she found it very taxing when non-hindi speakers were present. it’s a bit irritating, really, esp. with the implied assumption that desi = hindi-speaking.

  15. For good or bad, looks trump racist BS, and Meiyang is bee-yooti-full– he’s still at the awkward stage though. Watch him grow– on YouTube, I hope?

    Hope some of y’all will check this:

    Thanks again, Naina. I think intention matters more than language but crass naivete cam also be there.

  16. OSN, Sorry for the comment #85. I was kinda pissed off,I take it back. The point is no one(Indian origin folks in USA,Singapore, Chinese origin people in India) should face racist $hit. I am not a racist, and I try to speak out against racism whenever I can. Its just I felt that this thread had a lot of reflexive anti-Indian sentiment and I overreacted. Hopefully you will continue to speak out for us brown folk. Have a nice day.

  17. WTH is that #119? Have people really gone mad? Whats your reason to be so insecure?

  18. First off, affiliations: I am Indian, raised in India, moved to the US to study and to work.

    A friend of mine (Canadian-South Asian, living in the US) wrote a gorgeous piece about how being PC and not saying something is not to be confused with not thinking racist or sexist thoughts.

    Barring geographical, academic, and professional pockets where multiculturalism has grown stronger by facing its own inner devils, the PC culture in America is much more about appearances than substance. (That does not mean it is not valuable. I am still grappling with this – after all, the PC culture does protect me from verbal and physical projections of racism and sexism and whatever-other isms.) On the other hand the non-PC culture in India(generally speaking again; there are exceptions and Anu Malik is not exactly the best possible representative of Indian high culture) has often made me cringe but has also led to some direct engagement with the question of how to deal with someone who is different without pretending that we are not different.

    I used to work in a Delhi publishing house where I was the only Muslim in the editorial room. In the mornings on my way in to work, I would pick up a copy of The Hindu newspaper. Around 11, one of my colleagues, (she was a Sindhi Hindu) would shout out across the room, “Hey you Muslim, where’s The Hindu?” This (silly) joke which we all thought funny (like those classroom jokes that fall flat when you repeat them) was the beginning of our coffee/chai break and you probably know how sacred those are…

    The day after Narendra Modi’s goons burned the Muslim neighborhoods in Gujarat, instead of her usual yell across the room at 11, my colleague walked over to me and said, “Ummm…do you have the newspaper?”. We smiled wanly at each other. Later, I went to the bathroom and cried and cried. I know, it seems really melodramatic. But it was as if a line had been drawn. Look at the danger of acknowledging our differences, so let’s be PC, and pretend our identities don’t exist.

    I don’t know exactly where I am going with this – definitely not to blanket-defend the kind of name-calling and stereotyping that powerful majorities impose on minorities and then wish away as innocent fun, but to suggest that the pinprick of recognizing that we are different (and we can talk un-self consciously about our differences without a script of PC cliches) is different from the scarring violence of racism and othering.

  19. racism is commonplace in india.northies are called dhotis/bhaiyas and southies are all madrasis…folks from northeast are chinks and pakistanis are porkis…thats how bad it was in delhi when i was there.

    every year we had new year/diwali/… parties and fights would break out everyday.if it was naga party than tibetans would start the trouble and if it assam than some bodo would do the honour…all the chinks hated each other more than northies.some of the students were surrendered terrorists and could legally carry hand guns and so on.

    i dont know whether the chinky underground scene is still alive…if any of delhi folks wanna party go find a northeast one.

  20. @98 Then again this is not new, we (the Indian movie industry) have always copied stuff from the west. Man on fire, one the examples that stands out (if you have not seen it I highly recommend it) was remade as Ek Ajnabi in Hindi.

    While Ek Ajnabi was a frame by frame copy of Man on Fire, I was reminded of a 1995 movie called Angrakshak which had a lot of similarities to Man on Fire. Of course there could be a much more older Hollywood movie which would have been the “inspiration” for Angrakshak.

  21. Shahnaz (#119), touching and instructive story. Thanks for sharing that.

  22. People are much more openly racist and less PC in India than in the US, generally speaking. And despite the unity-in-diversity slogans we’ve all been brought up with, there’s a lot of teasing of anyone who is in any way an outsider, even in cosmopolitan surroundings. There are tons of jokes about different regional groups that contain lots of offensive stereotypes. Even friends will call each other “saala, Madrasi” or something like that. I’ve had desi classmates in the States that I knew from back home, actually, who’d get defensive about stereotyping from Americans, but then turn around and call Americans from minority ethnic groups “kallu” or “chapta.” And the Chinese kids in Calcutta and the kids from the north-east in Delhi get their share of being teased for the way they look (or, if they are women, comments like the ones at #120, and assumptions that they are “easy”). Yes, it exists. No use trying to deny it or insist that we’re any better than anyone else when it comes to racism, or that we’re somehow immune or exempt from responsibility of it just because we face it elsewhere ourselves.

    The YouTube clip seems to have been removed, but I’d really like to hear the contestant…

  23. OSN and Runa…I grew up in Pune and so your comments piqued my curiosity. Did you folks attend college there? and which areas did you live in?…if you don’t mind indulging my prying questions. Thanks :)

  24. Took some time off to read the whole thing …

    I must confess to being led to wonder is we are all making too much of nothing. Like someone brought out above, you take what you get in your stride and look on the flip side ( and give a grin in return – kind of like throws them off balance if you’ve expected it ). There a lot of things that should not happen, which do. There are some that can be legally restricted, probably leading to some kind of surface PCness. Dig a little deeper and, with experience, you find that people are people – the way they have always been. We have the weight of human history behind us. No? Since when did your nature ( or whatever you might describe it as ) alter because you talked about something? Stress it a little and see.

    :)

  25. but to suggest that the pinprick of recognizing that we are different (and we can talk un-self consciously about our differences without a script of PC cliches) is different from the scarring violence of racism and othering.

    I think this “difference recognition” you speak of is really applicable in terms of context and legacy. That is, it was in the context of some current event the difference was acknowledged. Furthermore, the current event is not entirely unconnected to a long standing historical strife between the two groups. Her aberrant ‘politeness’ was probably not to make you feel any more self-conscious than you probably already felt, but the irony is.. it made you feel even worse.

    Sort of like: When you treat a woman like sh*t, she actually likes you more.

  26. I’ve become a HUGE Indian Idol addict this yr thanks to my partner who used to watch it in Karachi last year. Btw, you can also download the entire episode in full screen from bwtorrents.com (you don’t have to be a member to download tv shows..just the movies)..anyway, Naina totally verbalized my feelings about Meiyang..in the last episode, his mom and grandma were also in the audience and they were really cute when they spoke about how good they thought he sang..i also found it annoying that they were playing “phir bhi dil hain hindustani” or some such song when they did a little blurb about him and showed him at home etc..it’s like he has to constantly prove that he’s indian..i was thinking if they would dare do that with someone of another religion..eg, oh you’re parsi but you sing hindi songs soo well..i think not!

    There is another contestant Richa Aneja who’s this 16 yr old girl who was paired up with Prashant from Darjeeling who might have Nepali ancestry and she was consistantly rude and mean to him and refused to practice with him saying stuff like “he doesn’t know anything” and maybe I was reading too much into it but it seemed to me like she perceived him to not be “indian” enough or know hindi as well as her and was snubbing him for that reason…

    This year they have a lot of nri candidates on Indian Idol since they held auditions in London and Dubai among other places..

  27. Mathematiker # 124

    Yes I attended college there … I’m a Model colony gal :-)

    I felt bad to hear Pune getting dissed coz I heart Pune and remember College days as fun times. Yes there was a segment of folk who would use racist terms( as there are everywhere) but by and large I found Pune to be pretty tolerant.Their were students from all over the world in this University town and I remember the hostel I was in had gals from Africa, the middle east and other places and I cannot remember any racism being directed towards them .

    I do feel bad that OSN had a bad time in Pune – so bad that it colors her perspective of all DBDs as racist

  28. Runa #128

    Thanks for the information. I too felt bad hearing about OSN’s experiences in Pune since I grew up there and love the place. I went to Fergusson College in the late 80′s and we had students from all over, just as you said. There were also students from North-East India…Nagaland etc. I do remember hearing that African students had a harder time renting houses, but in general the atmosphere seemed quite friendly…though that might be easy for me to say since I was part of the “majority” there.

  29. Shahnaz (# 119): Very eloquent and touching. I grew up in India as well and have lived in the States for the past 15 years. I’ve witnessed first hand very disturbing attitudes towards Muslims in particular post Babri, even within my own family. In my experience, the Indian entertainment industry be it movies or TV has never done a good job of representing the “other”. Witness the caricature of South Indians, Parsees etc. in Hindi movies. What i find amusing about this condescension is how vapid mainstream Hindi cinema is compared to many regional cinemas as anyone conversant with multiple languages can attest. TV seems to be only marginally better. I think there can be a balance between the un-pcness of India and the pc culture of the states that turns a blind eye and refuses to acknowledge the differences. However, I do believe that attitudes are changing for the better amongst the younger generation in Urban India atleast and here’s hoping that people will be more sensitive towards others different from themselves in word and deed.

  30. I go on alot of parikramas in India in huge groups of people from all around India and the world. Generally people from the same regions and language backgrounds cluster together on these pilgrimages. Sometimes the organizers of such events organize the busses and ashram rooms according to regions/languages also.

    One Rajasthani lady I was staying with in one room was complaining that her Bengali domestic helper does not pass time in casual conversation with her but whenever some Bengali comes through the hood, she hooks up with them faster than a U.P hog on stool. I was like, “yeah that’s natural, it’s a region/language thing. You will see that happening right here on this parikrama” (we were in Bengal). She was like, “we are all humans, it should not be that way, especially amongst ‘spiritual’ people”, yada, yada, yada.

    Birds of a feather flock together. That’s just the way it is.

  31. Sort of like: When you treat a woman like sh*t, she actually likes you more.

    I guess that’s why there’s so many break-ups and divorces these days — coz women like to be treated like shit.

    Yeah right!

  32. an interesting subject…India is, indeed, a very racist place to live…and to be an Indian who doesn’t look like you’re out of a Saas/Bahu soap or some disgusting Desi bridal magazine…perhaps it would be nice to sugar coat it and say that Indians are “bold” and haven’t yet learned the PC rhetoric to disguise latent bigotry…but then that’s just an excuse for bad manners, isn’t it? It never ceases to amaze me at how the average Indian seems to think that just because someone appears unusual and dares to walk in the sunlight…that they have become property of the public domain like some rare breed of monkey to be captured and oggled at…and like a monkey in a zoo you only end up laughing at it if it gets angry at you for annoying it…which ends up in a group emotion akin to “hahah…look at the funny outsider experiencing agitation. Let’s pelt it with a rock.” I’m not so certain this is very much more evolved than irritating Political correctness. The strangest thing I find in a place like Chandigarh is the existence of racism that has been inherited from England- jokes about “jews and niggers” when there is seldom if ever a jewish or african person in sight…it is bizarre to hear the term “negress” used in polite conversation…and sad to hear “chinks” described in such nasty terms in mainstream films. But this kid has obviously learned to put aside his irritation and get on with it- I mean, you can call me an amphibian it makes you happy…just give me my pay check. I mean, ultimately, if he wins, he can laugh all the way to the bank.

  33. an interesting subject…India is, indeed, a very racist place to live…and to be an Indian who doesn’t look like you’re out of a Saas/Bahu soap or some disgusting Desi bridal magazine

    Umm ….disagree …depends on which part of India.Are you basing this on Chandigarh alone? Is it fair to India to call if very racist because of your experiences in one place? Did you live there? Were you really pelted with stones?

  34. i accidently came across meiyanj on youtube and i was pretty impressed by his singing skills. i hope he wins it!!!!!

  35. Wow – I have NEVER heard jokes like that in Chandigarh! I have definitely heard a ton of derogatory comments about “kallus” (since there are a handful of African migrants who attend college in Chandigarh), and definitely less derogatory (but still offensive) stereotypes about “Chini.” That, of course, does not make your experiences untrue. I’m just sorry that that was the Chandigarh you interacted with.

  36. Meiyanj is very much Indian..so he should win Indian Idol. Someone even mentioned there are lot of chinese people in Bangalore running restaurants etc…question…If Indians can run Udupi hotel in Beijing or Paris or San Francisco then why not a chinese can’t start chinese restaurant in Bangalore ? Guys…wake up..wake up !!!! This is globalization era…If we (brown desi buggers) are still talking about skin color/race etc..we are making ourself fools infront of this world!!

  37. Hello again- no I’m not basing it just on Chandigarh experience- I am an Indian (of complex ethnic origins) and I have lived in various parts of India for my entire life. Perhaps that’s why reading this post brought out such strong reactions- because I suppose the experiences I still have in my own country are probably similar to the ones that NRI’s are experiencing in racist parts of America. Well no its not precisely the same thing- and obviously I love my country (the monkey was a metaphor no I was not pelted with rocks.)- my friends and family are mostly located here and there are quite a number of Indians who are not racist…but I’m just talking about most people I meet (strangers) and the mainstream media… I suppose the point is that Despite India being a place which I believe is more ethnically diverse than even America, the mainstream media (North India and Bombay) insists on imagining Indians as looking like one particular thing. Then if you are anything outside of that you become a caricature (sardhar=simpleton fool comic relief, Parsi=loony comic relief, dark skinned= beast like uncouth comic relief, nepali= uncivilized chinese tribal comic relief, NRI or western origin= no culture,(if female) -definitely a slut, probably imperialist racist, comic relief)….so the “other” Indians are played out to be not only “NOT REALLY” Indian but on top of that to be quite ridiculous altogether….just what the REAL Indian is…is a bit of a mystery….

  38. Racism exists EVERYWHERE!being from multicultural australia we experience it on a daily basis. Everyone just needs to get over it and accept its a part of life no matter which country u live!

  39. it’s part of life, yes, but why should anyone have to put up with it? We aren’t living in a post-racial era, it’s a fair point that racism is a universal phenomenon – so what? It doesn’t make it right. We are better than that.

  40. Of course, in an ideal world noone should be subject to racism. But in reality, what can one do??

    Dont get me wrong im not saying racism is right. Im chinese and was subject to many racist taunts throughout my childhood. What did i do??i just smiled and took it.

  41. A fair question would be how does China treat its citizens of Indian and/or Desi descent?

  42. Dave, we’ve been through this.

    Whatever which way the Chinese treat Indian descent people in their country, we don’t want India or anyplace that we live, to descend to the worst characteristics of other nations.

    Look in past comments – starting from the ’80s onward.

    As OSN, a Chinese-Indian, said in #87 – I know that indians are discriminated against in singapore and hong kong. but it’s an idiotic assertion to then imply that i have no right to speak out against discrimination against chinese people in india

    exactly.

  43. Someone even mentioned there are lot of chinese people in Bangalore running restaurants etc…question…If Indians can run Udupi hotel in Beijing or Paris or San Francisco then why not a chinese can’t start chinese restaurant in Bangalore ?

    Hey – you can even check them out in Punjab. One of my uncle’s best friends in Ludhiana, Punjab, we call him “Peter Uncle”, has been owning and runing this Chinese restaurant for a couple of decades now. Peter Uncle was raised, and has raised his family, in Ludhiana. They’re just as Punjabi as I am, probably more.

  44. I’m glad India is as diverse as it is. I keep telling my non-desi friends, quite proudly, that it’s a country of staggering diversity

    Another wild desi exaggeration. India is not even as diverse as the Middle-East, much less as diverse as North and South America. A tourist in India would be hard pressed to tell a tamilian apart from a bengali; or a brahmin apart from an “untouchable”; if they all stood naked before him, or dressed alike.

    there are white skinned punjabis and black-skinned tamils.

    By international standards white skinned punjabis are very rare. While black skinned tamils (or bengalis) are the norm.

    i’m bengali, and i have aunts that look chinese…….My mother easily passes too

    With the rise of China to a globally dominant powerhouse you can expect to see more such desis discovering their partial mongoloid ancestry :)

    Just as today many a desi proudly boasts that he has a family member who looks european/caucasian.

  45. from what i can tell east asians find average (as opposed to bollywood white) browns to be hairy, smelly and black (overall, disgusting)
    I remember once flying Thai airways and I was disgusted how horribly the Thai crew treated the South Asians on board. Really pissed me off…I’d never experienced such overt racism in a business setting
    yes i too see a lot of hatred coming from other asians towards indians (like the hong kong politician who drained his pool b/c he thought it was ‘dirty water’ after an indian politician or diplomat swam in it)

    Desis are definitely the most disrespected people on the planet. Its not just in east or south-east asia. You have to wonder if it is karmic payback, since desis themselves disrespect each other even more based on casteism, colorism, lingualism, regionalism etc.

  46. Desis are definitely the most disrespected people on the planet.

    did anybody hear about the recent expedia survey that rated indians as the second worst travelers (after the french)? of course, it is expedia, so i do not know how much of a ‘world’ view it is, but that seems to be a perceptio of desis.

  47. Desis are definitely the most disrespected people on the planet.

    Yeah, here’s an example of some of theat disrespect, with an accompying web tour. Not for the fabian at heart.

  48. the recent expedia survey that rated indians as the second worst travelers (after the french)?

    FOBs or ABCDs? Because the former smell, and the latter, well, they are supercilious. Like Le French.