Monday, Aug 08, 2022
Outlook.com
society: discrimination

White Nights

Latest proof of our love for a lighter pelt

White Nights
White Nights
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

A fortnight ago I.P. Patel, a guitarist with the band MenWhoPause, found himself reduced to being a second-class citizen in his own country—he was singled out and turned away from Urban Pind, a dance bar in Greater Kailash. The reason? Thursdays are expat nights where you can only be sure of being allowed in if you are a foreigner, or accompanied by one. Kashif Farooq, co-owner of the bar, explained condescendingly, "Foreigners know how to talk to or approach women. Indian men get drunk and start to misbehave."

But it's not just the male of the species that is discriminated against at these hep locales. A month before that, a young Naga girl was turned away from Urban Pind's expat night, despite the fact that she was accompanied by a German woman friend. "She doesn't have the right profile," was all the manager would say, exposing the ugly reality of racism that lies behind such decisions. Where foreigners, especially white foreigners, are welcomed, women from the Northeast are profiled—suspected of being sexually available and 'easy'. This incenses Enatoli Sema of the Naga Lawyers Guild, who dragged the owner to the National Commission on Scheduled Tribes, where he eventually issued an apology. Sema is scathing about expat nights, saying that the bar owners operate on the assumption that for an Indian man to have a white woman on his arm raises his social status. "Certainly, Kashif Farooq is known to circulate among his clientele with a white girl on each arm," she notes caustically.

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