Indian students get flak for being Indian

A lot of Sri Lankans proudly profess their hatred for India. Why? i ask. ‘Cause they’re arrogant’ comes back the answer. Pfft like Sri Lankans aren’t? Please. There has to be something else behind this mysterious hatred for our neighbors. Is it the bad English accent? The hot movie stars? The sledging in the cricket field? The economic success?

Wait hold on, you say, economic success? you scoff. Half the population is below the poverty line! you triumphantly espouse. Yes but a lot of them are now above it thanks to their economic policies, i say. India’s corporations are taking over the world. Educated Indians are enjoying better living standards. They are beginning to get some actual respect out there.

Their leadership is not something to envy. But at least their top rung have got their ducks in a row and seem to be leading the country in a direction. It doesnt matter here or now what direction, let it suffice that they have a direction, something that we seem to be lacking.

And Indian people, arrogant? I’m not sure about you but most Indians i have met have turned out to be quite nice. Sure they’re determined, somewhat materialistic and egoistic. But hello, we aren’t much different. We’re determined, mayhaps for the wrong reasons and terribly uptight about our identities. And besides, are the qualities to be hated?

Also isn’t blind hate what brought about the ethnic conflict in the first place? we hate without rhyme or reason, sense or sensibility, pride or prejudice (i had to throw that one in, sorry Jane) its like we’re shifting our angry eyes from the North to something further North. The big hulking neighbor we all fear, and so we all hate. Are we afraid of colonization? that claptrap the JVP sold us as propaganda to spark an ill thought out insurgency in the South?

Think of cricket. A lot of people want India to lose cause the simply ‘don’t like em’. They don’t know why or how. Their dislike is not a dislike that can be articulated. They just hate em. Well, haters gon hate. India is a strong team and if they win against us, I will still respect their win. This is a big moment for cricket in these parts of the world, and if Sanga and his boys pull through, all well and good i will whoop along with the rest of you. But if India wins then it’ll do a world of good to the confidence of a billion people. And that would be something i’d be happy to watch regardless.

  1. John said:

    Glad to know I’m not the only one who’s got this feeling. This whole #indiahate thing has always been a background noise (specially in business) but it has boiled over quite visibly with the world cup. I just nod and smile as perfect strangers in bars expound on their theories on why India sucks and bad things should happen to them. Or just have a look at the twitter stream when India’s playing.

  2. hisham said:

    hey man personally after working with Indians in my field, tht’s why I dont like them. they can give some very low blows man.. they undercut u, bitch on u and flat out lie to your face even.

    as for the cricket aspect I just dont like their team, the players are arrogant! apart from players like Sachin and Rahul Dravid who are classy players.. ok you could even count Dhoni in there but the rest? just PURE DOWN RIGHT ARROGANCE. hence the hatred formulated towards them.

  3. I don’t hate India. I didn’t know that Sri Lankans loathe India.
    It’s probably just the WorldCup; we’re Sri Lankans and we obviously want Sri Lanka to win. This whole dislike for India will probably blow over by Sunday 😐

    • Whacko said:

      tsk tsk so naive 😛

  4. PravNJ said:

    It has nothing to do with the world cup. Most Indians (at least up north) are extremely competitive to the point of seeming rude and arrogant. I have been to two prestigious universities in India and I had to spend a week on one campus and I came to realize that most “fair skinned” Indians with bollywood-esque good looks tended to look down on other “darker skinned” Indians. This was just the tip of the iceberg. The university students that I met were certainly much more rude than average Sri Lankan university students. Some of them very were cordial but most were rude. At the time I thought that this had something to do with class (most of the students being fair skinned and quite rich driving their SUVs to school etc etc) BUT I had the same kind of experience on the streets, bus drivers, tuk drivers vendors etc were very very rude.

    Now I have a HUGE problem with Sri Lankans (hate is strong word but it comes close) and it was inevitable that I ended up comparing what we have down here. Indians struck me as a tad more indisciplined and rude than Sri Lankans (at least on the streets – dont get me started on the driving!!). It probably has something to with the high level of patriotism and the belief that they are rising nation brimming with potential etc etc (apparently the Chinese are real annoying too). Rude? definitely Arrogant? at times yes. One more thing, Indians really need to chill. I mean seriously I got into so many arguments about cricket over there. I didn’t do any rebutting mind you I just let them run their mouths ’cause

    a) I dont give a damn about sports
    b) Its just the GAME! in the grand scheme of things cricket seems pretty insignificant to me

    Government officials tended to be worse (I spent some time in a police station, a government bank and with some customs officials – nothing illegal went on mind you 😛 )

    It IS wrong to characterize an entire nation based on bad experiences but thats how it is I’m afraid. I don’t have the liberty nor the luxury to take a road trip around India and “get to know their diverse culture etc etc” and in this sense first impressions do matter.

    I’m not a “patriot” or anything but we Sri Lankans really don’t have such a bad rep. Sure we all know people who are anal, spiteful and ugly on the inside but as far as our “image” goes it is generally a positive one! perhaps there is a reason for this? perhaps we treat foreigners a little better than we treat each other?

    Finally I don’t HATE Indians, I generally dislike them and avoid them if I can and I’m sure a lot of people who deal with Indians on a regular basis (people who work for Indian companies etc) would agree with me.

    One more thing India is a big and powerful country and when you come from such a background it would be pretty hard to NOT act like assholes. It would take a LOT of understanding on the part of the people I just mentioned to not be so rude and arrogant and most people don’t invest their time in that kind of thing so in a way we cant blame em really. Its just human nature and Indians have a hegemonic imperative and incentive to act like assholes 🙂

    As far as the cricket goes the “cricket culture” over there is in a terrible state (Sri Lanka used to be like this but we got our act together) remember the 96 semi-final and the sledging? the team is not very “likable” in the eyes of most people and the culture that goes along with their game probably has a lot to do with it.

  5. PravNJ said:

    @Chavie: the article nails it! nice find!

    “The Indian is deeply prejudiced against Africans and black players have always been targeted…”

    “It’s about nationalism, which in India is narrow and zero-sum. If they score even a little victory, a boundary, our tumescence droops…”

    Spot on 🙂

  6. Nim said:

    If you like India so much, why not leave Sri Lanka and live there? Sri Lanka won’t miss you! it would be one less thambi gona despoiling the streets.

  7. Nim: Quite the racist you are.

    Halik: While I agree with you, at the same time I would like to say that it’s only a handful of Indians that I honestly find “nice”. Similarly, it is also only a handful of Indians who don’t end up portraying a pretty picture of that country. Guess the majority doesn’t count here.

  8. Gaz said:

    I’m part Indian, and I prefer Sri Lankans to Indians. Can’t stand their attitude. Sure, there are nice Indians out there too, but an ego the size of the population is a huge turn off. And every-single-Indian is united where the ego aspect is concerned, as you say, despite “rhyme or reason, sense or sensibility, pride or prejudice.” And it doesn’t have anything to do with cricket either.

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