After the revelation of furore sparking insights by Mr. Tarun Vijay regarding racism in India, while participating on a discussion in Al Jazeera regarding a string of recent attacks on African students in Greater Noida, in social media, we the people in South India held out quite a number of deliberations criticizing the Ex-BJP MP’s statements and shared contents (including memes) taking aim at him.
Whenever the slightest of an oppressive act arises to impose dominance by one over the other, it is the stiffest resistance by few that does a world of good to many. At the same time, are the many ever noticing the disparity in their conduct that exists in their regional society? Yes, I am very much talking about the imbalanced perceptions of most people pertaining to the skin tone of their fellow citizens. Here, you might ask me, “How could you say that most people possess views that are blatantly inconsistent?” To answer this, I would like to share two instances from two Tamil movies.
Let me start with the Kamal Haasan starrer and Shankar directed 1996 film, Indian which had its dialogues written by late writer Sujatha. In the movie, in a scene involving Goundamani, Senthil and a kid, we get to see Goundamani referring the kid named, Arvind Swamy as Aduppula Vendha Saamy citing the kid’s dark skin tone.
Next moment up in the queue is from the Shankar directed 2007 film, Sivaji. This movie again had its dialogues penned by Sujatha. By now, you would have guessed which moments I would touch. Yes, it is the sequence of events involving two dark-skinned characters, Angavai and Sangavai. These occasions are just samples from among the plentiful that slowly have been establishing a pseudo perception about a race within the race itself.
Here, ‘some’ might say, “Movie is a movie and joke in it is just a joke. With false interpretations, do not arrive at wrong conclusions”. As far as our society is concerned, real life and reel life have been very closely intertwined. Had a stiff resistance risen by our people against the depiction of color discrimination of people in Indian and Sivaji then, Mr. Tarun Vijay who has been for quite some time praising Tamil literature and expressing his pride towards Tamil culture would not have uttered such a racial remark in the interview. This revelation by him could well be equated to the idiom, ‘The cat has come out of the bag’. So, all a citizen needs to get advocated is to exhibit a stiff resistance to even a slightest of oppression imposed over him/her and to realize and revolt against the supremacy-minded views of one over the integral sect of the fellow citizens.
So, isn’t this the high time for ‘many’ to consider the dialogue, “Segappa irukravan poi solla maattaan daa”, that takes jibe at them, more seriously?