Colonial Cobwebs and Racism

I’m one of almost 7,000 members of a free Yahoo group in Delhi called Yuninet (Young United Nations Internationals Network).  It’s a group generally made up of locals from Delhi and expats and it’s used for advice, travel tips, accommodation and for the sale of private household items – like a community notice board.  


Last week I happened upon a shocking email thread posted by some members that was plainly rude and racist against Indians.  Some white expats were annoyed that the group had been ‘infiltrated’ by Indians and needed to be ‘cleaned up’ or ‘else it will be too late’.  Stay on the meds, wackos!

Some of the white members requested that the moderators ask for photocopies of passports to verify nationality and so on.  I find it shocking that foreigners who are guests in India can be so rude about Indians and make sweeping generalisation about Indians being aggressive, Indian men trying to get friendly, Indians being cheats.  Name a country free of all those traits please…

Some foreigners really do have Old World superiority complexes when they come to India and it’s time they reflected upon the way they behave as it’s disgusting.   I have attended expat parties where there is clear segregation of Indians and non-Indians and the non-Indian group (usually French although not always) is very unwelcoming.

There is another ignorant networking group in Delhi that meet in the real world in addition to their online forum: Delhi Network where the membership requirement is that you must be a woman and hold a passport of any country apart from India.  I went to Delhi Network’s coffee morning in a Delhi five star hotel once and I won’t go again for a while.  I was received by a frosty old dinosaur who enquired as to my nationality as I am brown, surely I was at the wrong group!!  British passport shown, I was then kindly allowed to pay my fee (incidentally the dinosaur was born in India before independence but as she’s white she’s allowed in the club).   However, once again there was clear segregation and suspicious looks from the white members as the brown ones must surely have something to sell and perhaps we shouldn’t have been allowed in.  The only people that were friendly to me were the non-white members and I even knew some of the white group from the embassy party circuit!!

The British Embassy in Delhi apparently has the largest compound for diplomats complete with bars, restaurants and shops so Brits working in Delhi can work, rest and play without ever bumping into an Indian – charming.


One Comment to “Colonial Cobwebs and Racism”

  1. I receive Delhi Network email as I used to be a member, did you see that the only hindi they learned is colonial? ‘Does anyone know of a good ayah?’ They are really unfriendly.

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