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  Opinion   Edit  08 May 2024  AA Edit | Pitroda lands Cong in soup

AA Edit | Pitroda lands Cong in soup

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : May 9, 2024, 12:00 am IST
Updated : May 9, 2024, 12:00 am IST

Pitroda faces backlash for divisive comments, draws criticism for reducing India's cultural richness to racial stereotypes

Mr Pitroda’s description of India’s diversity is without foundation. Indians are rather proud of their Indianness, regardless of what the colour of their skin is, and even a school student would know pigmentation is genetically typed by what climatic conditions their ancestors may have lived in and mingled with upon migrating. (File Image: DC)
 Mr Pitroda’s description of India’s diversity is without foundation. Indians are rather proud of their Indianness, regardless of what the colour of their skin is, and even a school student would know pigmentation is genetically typed by what climatic conditions their ancestors may have lived in and mingled with upon migrating. (File Image: DC)

Poll time is the open season when motormouths rattle off speeches the moment a microphone is sighted. Sam Pitroda, Overseas Congress chairman who is often described as a Congress leader’s mentor, is a specimen case who finds a lot to comment on and it is up to the audience to decide whether to laugh or cry at his verbal outpourings.

Even a standup comedian, bereft of ideas on how to invoke laughter, may have hesitated to use the lines that Mr Pitroda did to classify Indians with a distinctly racial overtone — “Where people in the East look like Chinese, people in the West look like Arabs, people in the North look like, maybe White, and people in South look like Africans.”

Mr Pitroda’s description of India’s diversity is without foundation. Indians are rather proud of their Indianness, regardless of what the colour of their skin is, and even a school student would know pigmentation is genetically typed by what climatic conditions their ancestors may have lived in and mingled with upon migrating.

The beauty of the rainbow lies in its multiple hues. The unity and diversity of the modern world is reflected in its multiculturalism, and India, with its spatial spread and multiple ethnicities has been as good an example of it as any. To reduce such a cultural melting pot of a nation to racist definitions as Mr Pitroda did should, therefore, invite scorn and ridicule.

It is not known how Mr Pitroda would define himself after a look in the mirror. But his maverick views belittling the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and his borrowed idea on inheritance tax had landed him in controversies earlier.

The pity is, such excesses of a loose tongue by a person in politics and, by extension, in public life only invites pointed criticism from political rivals while injecting greater divisiveness into an already vitiated poll atmosphere that fully reflects the polarised times we live in when partisan politics is breeding all kinds of negative thinking.

Tags: sam pitroda, indian politics, indian diversity