‘Go back!’ But it’s actually the shouter who is going backwards.

Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 8.56.22 am‘Get out of my country” ‘Go back!’ But it’s actually the shouter who is going backwards. Bachi Karkaria’s Humour column ‘Erratica’, in Times of India, March 9, 2017.

(Note: The author Bachi Karkaria writes her ‘Erratica’, a witty column every Thursday in TOI, to make people, chuckle and marvel, about puffed up or bloated celebrity egos, precisely to make them rethink and correct.  “Ridendo correigere”, correct by laughing at or poking fun of, is one of the principles of Journaism,  which is her forte.                  

This column, as is clear, is about  a whole lot of ‘White racists’ in US now who shout at all coloured people including Indians to get out of America.  Once upon a time the WASP (White-anglo-sakson-protestants) who first settled in the East cost and exterminated the native Red Indians had the monopoly. So it is actually these native Indians who can and should shout at  every body else including Trump and his cohorts who are all immigrants to get out. But now where are those original Indian natives who survived the genocide? They are now put in what is called “Indian Reservations.”

During my journalism study and search in US in the l960s I made it a point to visit at least one of these reservations with a friend of mine Fr.Thomas Joseph, a Sociologist,  doing  research in Chicago from Trichy: “San Domingo Pueblo” in New Mexico, where a population of around 2,550 people or more than 500  households were living in a secluded  and segregated atmosphere.  There are
around 300 federally recognized reservations in 33 states of US. People in San Domingo were extremely excited and happy to see us Indians and welcomed us as their kith and kin, due also to the colour of our skin. Of course they  had also some complaints against lack of proper facilities and living conditions.      

Bachi Karkaria  wrote: It is precisely these native Indians who can rightly and proudly tell the rest of Amerians – all immigrants or invaders to “Get out of my country”.  We in India  also rightly said “Get out of my country” to the British who were really foreign invaders,  when Gandhiji  led the “Quit India” movement. But  now we Indians also become  like the racists in US, when some people in various states like Maharastra tell people from other states to get out on their  state on the principle “Sons of the Soil” which is a total denial of the ‘Idea of India’ or patriotism.                  

Today Kerala, for example is overcrowded with Bengalies and Biharies doing, James kottoorwhat is called menial work in hotels, shops, construction sites and farms.  If most of Keralies have become white collar  workers and hate to do anything that sully their hands due to laziness how are they going to survive? This is what is going to happen to US if they continue shouting at all colored people: “Get out of my country.” James kottoor, editor)

The snarl of ‘Go Back To Your Country’ is unacceptable to anyone who is right-thinking with a lower-case ‘r’. It is also absurd. If it were to be applied across Trumperica, only Indians of the other kind would remain.

Poetic justice, but not quite what The Don had in mind when whittling down those H1B2B visas. Be that as it may, xenophobic White Americans don’t hold the patent on ethnic bigotry, claiming it to be their non-intellectual property right. As with plastic surgery, space travel and the zero-sum game, we Indians have beaten everyone else to the post.

Three decades after Quit India rallied the country, ‘Go Back, Go Back’ reverberated across Calcutta. It was the call of leftist trade unions to the left-behind Brits still heading sterling companies. Well, the goras went, but the ‘G B, G B’ cry remained, now giving the heebie-jeebies to all-brown bosses. At the hoary Statesman Ltd, striking press workers shouted ‘Go Back, Go Back’ to its managing director, CR Irani, prompting an equally hoary assistant editor to ask in bewilderment and correct syntax, ‘But to where should he go back? Iran?’

Bombay flourished with the capital which had fled there from a hostile Cal. But not long after, Belligerent Balasaheb shouted ‘Go Back, Go Back’ to ‘Madrasis’, Gujaratis and ‘bhaiyas’. Self-goal again because without their enterprise enriching the city, his ‘Marathi manoos’ would only be ‘sons of the soiled’.

The working classes seized Calcutta (and sent it into a seizure), but ‘intaallectual’ Bengalis always held manual work in disdain: ‘My family hasn’t lifted anything heavier than a pen for five generations.’ They have a deeper aversion to the mercantile Marwaris who, in fact, have saved the city from rigor mortis. For decades, the lofty bhadralok didn’t sully their ‘kaalchaared’ tongues with the ‘M’ word, spitting it out instead as ‘the business community’.

Another ‘M’ has become a dirtier word across India. With increasing virulence, our dyed-in-tiranga sons-of-the-zameen are being told to ‘Go Back’ to a country that was never theirs. The same scarily absurd bigotry which can consign cities, and nations, to a kabrastan.

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