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Are Indians the most racist people in the world?

I have mentioned on this blog in the past that I find Indians to be among the most racist people in the world.

They look at the world first through the prism of skin colour. Then caste, then parentage (who was your father), then your geographical coordinates (the state you “come from”, the town or village, and so on ….

Merit comes a distant tenth (or even fiftieth).

Such a deeply parochial and bigoted view of the world was perhaps appropriate for a static agricultural economy which needed to reproduce all necessary goods over hundreds of generations without a hiccup. Intensive stereotyping was perhaps useful, then.

But today it has become an extremely incorrect way of looking at the world. We can be very easily deceived if we assess the worth of people based on their skin colour.

I was reminded of this issue today because someone mentioned to me earlier in the day that he finds his Indian friends to be the most racist of all. They are “proud”, for instance, of the fact that they are not Africans or Aborigines.

I’m willing to believe this, for I have heard many stories about how badly African students are treated in Delhi. These people are also derogatively called “Kallus” – a term I first heard from one of my fellow Indian PhD students in USA.

It is necessary that we ask ourselves the harsh question: ARE WE COLOUR-CONSCIOUS? If so, we need to work hard to eliminate this false consciousness.

I was editing the ‘race’ section of DOF a moment ago. I’m providing the current draft below for your comment (and, hopefully not necessary, englightenment).



Evolution is unrelenting. It doesn’t stop – even for a single generation. Millions of mutations occur in each generation, as the life force engages in active experiment to prepare itself for contingencies. The overwhelming majority of these mutations die. Millions of unsuitable human foetuses are aborted by nature every year; and thousands of defective ones that are born, quickly disappear. Only ‘good’ mutations, that give (or can give) the species a competitive edge, survive. This evolutionary process allowed our ancestors to roam the earth, adapting to all its environments with relative ease. Only the children best adapted to the environment cold survive. In this process a number of cosmetic differences emerged.

We all seem to have descended from dark skinned African forbears who were adapted to intense equatorial sunlight (to block out harmful wavelengths). As humans moved to the higher latitudes they found less sunlight, making it hard the dark-skinned to produce sufficient vitamin D. In the high latitudes, children with a mutation that helped them produce less melanin (lighter skin) had better odds of survival than their darker siblings. Over time, the so called ‘white race’ evolved, as a local environmental adaptation. Note that being a function of random chance, evolution doesn’t lead to exactly the same ‘solution’ or adaptation everywhere.[1]
Similarly, children with mutation for longer hair survived better in higher latitudes than those with Afro- (or short, curly) hair because long hair keeps the head warmer. Once these mutations had emerged, other factors such as their ‘popularity’ (sexual adaptation, which is often linked with fitness), would have come into play.
A range of ‘hidden’ adaptations which are not cosmetic but otherwise crucial to survival, also emerged. For instance, those Europeans who had a mutation which protected them from bubonic plague survived the Black Death. Those without the mutation, died. As a result of this, the progeny of the survivors (being most of the Europeans living today) are also resistant to the plague.
While such adaptations have led to many (minor) differences, overall, these differences account for less than 0.01 per cent of the variation in the human genome. We are identical in 99.99 per cent of our genes. Scientists tell us that ‘[i]t is impossible to look at people’s genetic code and deduce whether they are Black, Caucasian or Asian.’[2] Variation amongst individuals within a so-called ‘race’ is generally far greater than variation across so-called ‘races’. Thus, ‘modern human genetics … deliver[s] the salutary message that human populations share most of their genetic variation and that there is no scientific support for the concept that human populations are discrete, non-overlapping entities.’[3] The myth of ‘race’ had long ago been exploded (such as in Man’s Most Dangerous Myth: The Fallacy of Race writtenby anthropologist Ashley Montagu in 1942), most people continue to believe in this concept. Our use of such a term is a really bad habit. It falsely creates categories where there are none, and distorts the social and political discourse.
We are one big family and ought to learn to treat each other as such. Indeed, scientists are now beginning to ask the opposite question: Why are we so similar? William James Burroughs believes that ‘[g]iven the length of time humans have existed, there should be a wide range of genetic variation, yet DNA from people throughout the world is surprisingly similar.’[4] There are competing theories about why this is the case. One plausible explanation is that human population declined to just around 5 000 to 10 000 around eighty years ago, before clawing back from near extinction.[5] If true, then all of us have potentially evolved from a single tribe, or a handful of closely associated tribes in North Africa just about 75 000 years ago, which explains our extremely low diversity as a species.

Racism simply has no legs to stand on. But this mis-conception won’t go away so easily since most humans have very a poor understanding of biology. Only the spread of education will eliminate this myth about ‘race’.

[1] E.g. Johan Moan, of Institute of Physics at the University of Oslo, said in a research paper: “In England, from 5500-5200 years ago the food changed rapidly away from fish as an important food source. This led to a rapid development of … light skin.” The Australian, 31 August 2009. [,,26004285-26040,00.html. Also, Nina Jablonski’s work.]

[2] Henderson, Mark, ‘Gene tests prove that we are all the same under the skin’, Times Online, October 27, 2004,


[3] Lynn Jorde and Stephen Wooding of the University of Utah, cited in Henderson, Mark, ‘Gene tests prove that we are all the same under the skin’, Times Online, October 27, 2004.  []

[4] Burroughs, William James, Climate Change in Prehistory: The End of the Reign of Chaos, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005, p.138. Google books.
[5] Transcript of Cusack, Sinead, ‘Supervolcanoes’, BBC2 9:30pm Thursday 3rd February 2000.

ADDENDUM 2 August 2013

From Sharad Bailur: My friend Baloo Gupte was an India test cricketer. His older brother Subhash Gupte was considered a genius among spinners in cricket and rated much higher than Baloo or anyone else. Subhash decided to marry a black woman from Jamaica. His family would not accept him in India – not becasue he married outside his community – that was bad enough, but because he married a black woman. Subhash gave up cricket and settled down in Jamaica. That is how racist India is. To test our attitude to racism I once invited a black friend out on a picnic organised by Aamchi families in Lucknow. The only person who spoke to him other than me was my grandmother. Not one, NOT ONE of the others did. That’s racism among highly educated Indians. [Aamchi = Konkani speaking Saraaswat Brahmins]


Racism map of the world (click for larger image).

My Sister Is A PHD From Germany And Nobody Wants To Marry Her. The Reason For Her Rejection Will Make You Sick In The Stomach

“I hate the racism. Why is my team made up of 99% white girls? Why do Indians feel it’s ok to dress white girls up in skimpy outfits but they won’t let their fellow Indian women do it? It’s messed up.” [Source]

A nuanced article worth reading: Different Shades of White

ADDENDUM 10 April 2017


Sanjeev Sabhlok

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50 thoughts on “Are Indians the most racist people in the world?
  1. AAryan

    Yes, unfortunately we are.  We were raised with this notin of stereotyping certain colour of skin, eyes and appearance since child hood in school and society. Thus we gorw judgemental with a certain appearance and image.

  2. Sudeep Shetty


    Are Indians the most racist people in the world?”  My Answer would be Big NO … 

     By just giving one word (kallu) and giving some non material incident it not enough to justify.. as how much i read History about India i never get any piece of message which justifies that we are Racist .. if u think by calling Kallu , beliya ,Motu , lambe , Booriya (beliya means White in kannada ) that doesn’t mean its Racist , u just named Kallu in u r entire note that shows u r predetermination  thinking and want to justify it that we Indian are racist ,by mentioning kallu your article  shows in  half truth , by not mentioning what people call white, fat  tall and  Small  people it shows you are 
    thinking in one way ., we call it for fun or any other reason this is just human behavior . 

    Acc to me racist is those who killed people and make slave and sale people in the name of colors that’s what happen in Africa and America continent, we (Indian) never treated people like this. We never did anything like this in the name of color , I agreed in the name of caste some people did it , that even doesn’t mean that our Hinduism or our customs teach or support this , Krishna is Black ( actually very black ) Rama is Blue , Draupadi is Black , many gods are black , Krishna is yadav ( means he is shudra ) Vishwamitra is SC ST , Valmiki is SC ST ., but we do worship them and did give the respect what they deserve ,I don’t think any other religion do like this .. This is total misconception of your and request you to make it correct.

  3. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Sudeep

    I’m afraid I’m not giving just one example! That would be very shallow thinking on my part. I’ve written about this extensively in the past and a wide range of reasons exist to support this possibility.

    India’s caste system is arguably founded in race/colour consciousness. Except for a few exceptions, lighter your skin colour, higher your chance of marrying into a “higher” caste. Check the marriage columns of India.

    How many Indians are willing to marry an (educated) black Somali? How many have married (uneducated) Europeans (one of these is now the head of India’s largest political party).

    African students are treated very badly in India. There have been numerous articles on this subject.

    India is perhaps the only country where people make a special effort to make their skin fairer (“fair and lovely”) – although such a thing is a biological impossibility. (True, even Michael Jackson spent a fortune to change his skin colour.)

    Among all the people I know it is only Indians who stereotype and group others together as “goras” or such thing. This is VERY COMMON among Indians settled abroad. Instead of using names of individuals and discussing individuals, many (not all!) of them GROUP others together. [And the same applies to those darker than them.] Stereotyping is the FIRST sign of racism. There is little or no discussion of individuals. Their colour seems to matter a LOT!

    “Acc to me racist is those who killed people and make slave and sale people in the name of colors that’s what happen in Africa and America continent, we (Indian) never treated people like this”

    I’m not denying that racism grew strongly in the West a few hundred years ago. All that is true. However, racism has declined dramatically in the West in the past few decades, while it has remained very high in India. 50 years ago, the West would have been more racist than India. Today, India is perhaps more racist than the West.

    Re: the making “slaves” of people. Please go to Africa and ask the local population what they think of Indians. Most Indians treated the Africans with the SAME contempt as the Europeans did, so when these countries got the power, they booted the Indians out. And slavery: bonded labour was common till recently in India (based on caste, primarily), and dalits are still treated very badly in most parts of rural India. I don’t see Indians as particularly nice in their treatment of the weak.


  4. Sudeep Shetty

    Dear Sanjeev
    "India’s caste system is arguably founded in race/color consciousness. Except for a few exceptions, lighter your skin color, higher your chance of marrying into a “higher” caste. Check the marriage columns of India."
    I am Not Agree on this, Its really Stretch of imagination As Cast System in India is Actually Based on What they are Working ,Cast has been Build acc to What’s u r Profession and Degree has given acc to that , Brahmana , Kshatriya , vyshya , Shudra Out of this 4 Major cast ,people Divided on What the Service they are giving ,
    And it may also be possible  It  depend on when they joined the civilization , may be SC ST people Joined civilization  very late or even may be very Last , so it may take time to adjust with people who already settled in City, , as because of dominance of settled people as they left no choice than doing Smaller jobs , so that’s why they may be rated very cheap , But im very sure it may not be on RACE as Indian is Black normally if you come to south you will find Brahmin , shudra, vyshya are black

    How many Indians are willing to marry an (educated) black Somali? How many have married (uneducated) Europeans (one of these is now the head of India’s largest political party).

    If i ask you the same question will you ready, If i ask u or your son or daughter to marry a Black African lady /Man, or even European White lady/Man what will u be your answer, My answer would be No, now if you think this answer is entirely depend up on RACE i can’t help you on this, If i think, If your answer is Yes /No as its depending up on race then  I am the Big Fool ..

    African students are treated very badly in India. There have been numerous articles on this subject.
    Sorry never Really read any article on This , I think we need to go very deeper on this for knowing actual truth why its has happen , Please don’t assume and tell me that African student are very soft and Nice people as iam staying in delhi from one year i got several info about these Black African eating human  
    India is perhaps the only country where people make a special effort to make their skin fairer (“fair and lovely”) – although such a thing is a biological impossibility. (True, even Michael Jackson spent a fortune to change his skin colour.)

    This is just the human behavior, doesn’t u agree even Black African want to look Fair, This is nothing to do with Racism
     As I agree with you that may be some people did it  but you  cant conclude it as Indian … as I m Indian but Iam Not at all racist , as i know from childhood its wrong and it will be wrong for me always .

  5. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Sudeep

    Denying the truth about the caste system, daily evidenced in matrimonial advertisements, doesn’t reduce its racism. Yes, dowry is important AS WELL! But the underlying racism (colour consciousness) remains.

    Making wild claims about Africans (e.g.”Black African eating human”) IS racism – being stereotyping WITHOUT ANY EVIDENCE.

    And the give away line: “just the human behavior, doesn’t u agree even Black African want to look Fair”. Such behaviour IS racism – a reflection of colour consciousness, with a “fairer” colour seen as more desirable.

    And your ignorance about the well known mistreatment of African (and North-east Indian, even South Indian) students in places like Delhi doesn’t make it less real.

    And then, there is HUGE amount of other evidence about the GREAT DEFERENCE shown towards the “white” (e.g. in hotels, shops).

    Indian movie makers have imported HUNDREDS of utterly useless, untalented British “actresses” to prop up their movies, because these are popular. NOT ONE black African actress has been so imported.

    And so on.

    The facts are CLEAR. (Most) Indians DISCRIMINATE negatively against dark skin colour WITHOUT REFERENCE TO UNDERLYING TALENT.

    Sudeep, instead of denying the truth, pl. reflect on your own statements and you’ll find the truth.

  6. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    From Facebook:

    Mithun B. Dutta You are absolutely right.. caste culture.. fair skin bride.. dowry.. so many bifurcation to practice division…

    And political parties to represent one of the religious or caste sect reflects how strong it is over here…

  7. Sudeep Shetty

    Dear Sanjeev 
    Making wild claims about Africans (e.g.”Black African eating human”) IS racism – being stereotyping WITHOUT ANY EVIDENCE.

    Ok Its clear To me Whatever You write it has Evidence , For This Go to South ex Police Station and ask Whether They got Any police Complaint about Missing , and too didnt they found Legs and Hand in Fridge in  African House , I will give the Doctor Number Who has called Police Station as one African Took Indian Child For treatment as she had fever doubting about this he called Police and later it get revealed,

    reflection of colour consciousness

    If this means to a Racism then Yes Indians are racist 

    And your ignorance about the well known mistreatment of African (and North-east Indian, even South Indian) students in places like Delhi doesn’t make it less real.

    Ok If Indian Treating African wrongly its only because Racism and our Media is wrong because they dont connected with this on RACE , If Australians are mis behaving with Indians Its a Mistake of Indians only and our Media is Wrong as they connected it to RACE 

    Actually I am searching in Net from 3 days the piece of message and Picture i read Long days back How the aussies  Put the Picture of Our Gods and Godess in their  Toilet , Its More evident in 2004 or 2002 when Australia vs West indies When McGrath Sledged Sarvan as" You Black " 

    Any how For You Indians are racist And for Me they are Not , But Its True That they are color consciousness People 


  8. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Sudeep

    You’ve wandered off into Australia. That is a separate story – and HIGHLY distorted by the Indian media. But leave that alone for now.

    I’m glad you now at least agree that Indians are colour conscious. That, Sudeep, is the FIRST AND FOREMOST sign of racism, because being conscious is not just being aware, but DOING something about it. It affects people’s lives and career prospects. That IS racism. Indeed, I argue that (most) Indians are one of the most (if not the most) colour conscious people in the world.

    Now, the second point you raise re: cannibalism of Africans in India.

    That is a VERY SERIOUS charge. Can you (a) substantiate it IN FULL DETAIL, and (b) explain why this crime (if it is a ONE OFF CRIME) is being raised by you in this discussion. Assuming it is true, is that sufficient evidence to blacklist all Africans in India? If one India commits a crime are all Indians automatically criminals?


  9. ali

    I don't buy the fact that Africans are treated badly in Delhi  that to based on their skin color. They may be treated badly if they are based on their bad deeds, as most of them so called students in Delhi are engaged in drug business, smuggling, fraud and scam and even killings. They themselves are responsible for their bad reputation. Their may be some cases where they may be treated bad based on their skin color, but don't generalize it. we also called Goras to whites…which is disparaging term.

  10. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Ali

    Note I’m NOT talking about criminals from any group. But looks like the stereotyping of Africans is so strongly negative that people can’t but help think of them as criminal or cannibals. That’s PURE RACISM.


  11. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Ali, What’s the use pointing out the few criminals? Are you saying that ALL Africans are drug dealers? The very fact that you are picking on a few criminal instances to paint the entire community “black” is a typical sign of racism.

    At one time the British used this approach very well to smear all Indians.They picked a few liars and cheats among Indians and libeled the entire Indian community with such claims. THAT was racism. What you doing is also racism.

  12. ali

    No sir, in no way I am trying to paint whole african people in India as criminals, Being muslim, I understand what it is like to be stereotyped. But my point is that these bad acts of few african students in Delhi tarnish the reputation of all africans in delhi.

  13. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Thanks for the clarification, Ali. There will always be a few bad people in all societies. If the “reputation” of ALL Africans in Delhi is determined by the actions of a few, then surely there is serious problem of racism in Delhi.

    Among “blacks” have been people like Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela – why don’t we take these people’s actions and attribute to everyone? That’s because racists ALWAYS focus on the few who do bad things, neglecting the goodness among the “race” in question.

  14. Sudeep

    Hi Sanjeev 
    A I have Spent Some time on This, And it’s really Sad But It’s true that Indians are racist at present., But I have strong argument the comment made about our caste (Hindu culture and Tradition) as decided on color as there is no material evidence on this I think u included this in u r draft to make it more colorful
    As I have checked some books and links and asked some people actually our Tradition and culture never really focused on color and never entertained on this.
    as I got to know  Black color is something which had special place in  Indian culture , Which celebrated BLACK as Antidote to the Wrong ( Beast , Monsters) 

    For Ex: 
    1)     Mother use to put Black Teeka on child  cheek Acc to her  it will protect from Boori nazar ,
    2)      If you have a Black Cow then it means it will protect you from Miss Happening ( Like Death )
    3)     If you have Black cat, Dog, and Cock in your house it will protect you from Jaadu, Mantra, and Black Magic…. 

    If we look at   Mahabharata  the both Main Characters Krishna and Draupadi are Black , and  in Ramayana  The Hero Rama is Black as he killed Villain  Ravana ( Most Han sum ) , so it’s been quite  clear that  color is not reflects the Good or Bad ,
    But   If we check out the western cultures Story you will always Find Pretty Princess  and Han sum  Prince and the Monster Who is Black or looks very dirty , and  they always shows that those who come from black horse are villain ( for ex Phantom , Harry potter etc ) and hero comes in White Horse

    as even we look at the  many Keerthana and Doha and script  by many social Reformers like Purandara Das , kanaka Das , Basavanna , Raja ram Mohan Roy , Kabir Das , Tulsi Das , they always told about   Education  , Caste , Money , Good Manners , Arrogance and Sati  but never have any Piece of message about color . So it’s very Precise that color factor never had any impact on society and people, It just immaterial and non evident from your part, As Cast system which is there from more than five Thousands year back, how come u judged its on the merit of color . I would really want to know about the evidence, if you come down to Southern India, you will see many of the higher castes have darker skins. Here hierarchy of the castes were never fixed …as you see with Jains,Lingayats and other prominent castes in South , as I already told Cast system is based entirely on what service your giving to society , Better the Service greater the cast
    And lastly about color of the skin is a first criterion for marriage. As I would bet with any one on this that , as none of marriage bureau will agree that, they married couple  on only merit of colors, If color of the skin is a first criteria for marriage… why people mention their caste also then..Because you say people prefer to marry a person of higher caste. Ask any marriage bureau…they will say for most people one's own caste is first criteria and then color and other things. If most of the people wanted to marry a person of higher caste because of the color as you said…why then even lower castes wants to marry a person of their own caste? Any one will tell you in India…inter-caste marriages are resisted among almost all the castes.

    Before writing about India and Indians Tradition, culture, etc etc one should not forget the European influence on it, as European and Christian missionaries and Muslims  tried at their level best to detoritae it and very sadly for some extent they succsseeded too, and the try is still continuous, Its really bizarre that Indians still don’t know anything about India, and Indian Thinkers keep repeating the same what western Thinker Thoughts about India

  15. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Sudeep

    Caste and skin colour consciousness are not perfectly correlated but the correlation is very positive. I don’t really care what the scriptures/mythologies say (since 90 per cent of that is not followed today, anyway), but in the practical sense race and caste are very strongly correlated. That doesn’t mean there are no exceptions but this is the practical situation – that on average the brahmins have ‘lighter’ skin colour and Dalits that darkest.

    Therefore casteism and racism are naturally ingrained in the Indian mind. There is this duality of consciousness. Caste may precede.

    The key test is not what happens when someone marries within a caste, but outside it. Would a Brahmin who marries a black Somali woman be given the same acceptance as a Brahmin who marries a Caucasian (assume that both these women are precisely the same in all other attributes)? What is your view on this?


  16. ShivaD

    A very nice writeup, one that highlights a malaise which has eaten into the fabric of India. Even today in this “booming”, “shining” economy a Salman Khurshid tries to play with religious sentiments.
    The card game of “identity politics” has been played all along by politicians of all hues and affiliations. Be it the BJP, the Congress, DMK, AIADMK and several regional parties. Thereby shying away from core issues like economic and social justice and freedom. Protection of fundamental rights and natural liberties. Like it or not, the majority of India’s population have a thinly veiled sense of chauvinistic pride that these moronic politicians appeal to. This game of “identity” based one-upmanship can be seen in our country across regions:
    • Playing the ‘Victim card’ for Muslims, Christians and similar demographic groups.
    • Playing the ‘Historically Wronged majority card’ for Hindus.
    • Playing the ‘Wronged Community card’ citing incidents/issues for Hindus, Mulsims, Sikhs you name it.
    • Playing the ‘Son of the Soil card’ for Tribes of the North East, Adivasis, Maharashtrians etc.
    • Playing the ‘Caste Cards’ etc…….ad nauseum…..!

    The sad part is, the majority of the population is gullible and continually succumbs to these shenanigans. They are inclined to seek temporary solace among their so called ‘brethren from the same group’. Exhibiting a deep mistrust which stems from “ignorance” of the other groups combined with a false superiority/inferiority complex. The politicos know this and ‘play to the gallery’ as and when required. You won’t see this individual, who is a “law minister” (no less) speak in this manner in front of more ‘educated and aware’(for want of a better adjective) audiences for fear of losing credibility.
    Anyway, they have played their card in this card game, there’s no way of pulling it back. They are already in a tight spot, let’s wait for the majority mandate. For this card game to stop, the ‘target groups’ have to see through the game and reject their advances at face value. That day is not far off, its happening as we speak. Awareness levels are increasing, and its only a matter of time. Thats what I hope for.

  17. Chetan Dhillon

    Dear Sanjeev and sudeep
    \why are they calling us racist when whites or (gora) who have tryed to conquer the whole world i just dont understand. I am a sikh and we sikhs let anyone into our church and cant be mean to anyone but we sometimes sneak at the muslims because they always fight with us and we are getting in trouble for bombing because of them but we are not racist to anyone else

  18. Sanjeev Sabhlok


    First of all there are NO RACES. All humans are EXACTLY the same in genetic composition and capacity.

    Second, historically, the Europeans did started as traders, not as conquerers. It was Indians (including many of the Sikhs who supported British rule in India) who often involved them in their battles and ultimately handed over power to some of the them. There was usually no “conquest”. It was a gift (sometimes by traitors). At least this is what happened with Robert Clive.

    Third, this is now the 21st century, not the 17th or 18th century. Raking up history of long dead people to use in real life today is wrong.

    Fourth, the caste system – a version of racism – continues almost unchecked in India, even in Sikhism (I lived in Panjab for 4 years so am aware of the different “castes” of Sikhs), but Hinduism is the main culprit in this regard.


  19. Chetan Dhillon

    so sanjeev we are races too I know but no one can stop racism unless if all the continents are together. I dont know why we cant be together.

  20. Chetan Dhillon

    Why are we poor is it because of population and by the way i live in Canada but I still worry for it because it is like I was born there can u plz tell me how to help india

  21. Mohit Gupta

    Mr Sanjeev,

    I have to say that your desperation to call ourselves racist is not a surprise to me. Because its in trend and in fashion.

    But still I would like to raise some points here.

    1. Caste system is NOT racism.( Doesn’t mean I support caste system) not matter how hard you try to propogate it. Caste system is not based on skin color. I don’t know why are you giving false information or you are really so ignorant.

    2. Kalling someone Kallu may not always be racism. My cousin brother official name is ‘Kalu’ and we love him. And he loves it too. Is this racism.

    3. Please don’t confuse colorism and racism and preference of fair color. Because then you are violating human rights of those who want to be fair. Suppose I like blue jeans. Would you call me racist for this.? NO! Similarly why should you call me racist if I try to look fair, obviously without being rude to black people. I do have right to choose if my bride has to be fair or black or brown. You can’t impose your world view on others. Actually you can’t force me to like balck, fair, brown, yellow. That would always be my choice.

    4. NO ! Not only India but most of the Asian, Middle eastern countries have a liking for fair skin. And WHITE people have a liking for tanned skin. Why is that you raise of issue of ‘FAIR AND LOVELY” and not “Tanning Cream”? TELL ME..

    5. If you really want to know what RACISM is then read ‘THE HOLOCAST” and “SLAVERY IN AMERICA”..

    6. Is any one in your family or extended family is married to a black person in Africa.??? NO. Teh should I call you a racist ???

    Please don’t run down your own country on the false premises. It would ruin you too.

  22. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Rohit

    You say that “Caste system is NOT racism”. May I ask why you say so. Racism is merely stereotyping based on characteristics that are beyond the control of a particular person. Caste is entirely beyond the control of a person (in Hindu religion), and in almost all cases, it has strong correlation (not a 1 to 1) with skin colour. These are superficial, birth-related characteristics. The widespread prevalance of caste discrimination is clear evidence of racism. What is your definition of racism?


  23. Cain

    Indians are the most racist people i know. they are not only racist, majority of them are hypocrites, narcissistic,cowards, sexist, arrogant n so on… They have this crab mentality where they will bring you down just to get themselves to the top. They treat women as just sex objects. A woman wearing a skirt or a dress that they thought inappropriate is branded loose or a prostitute. Indian men will stare at any women passing on the road like they are ready to swallow them. They encourage their children and families to do wrongful things by supporting them even when they were wrong…how supportive is tat?? :). An increasingly intolerant nation and a people with little concern for the “other”. most of them are such liars and hardly speak the truth. And also, they just don’t seem to be able to take criticism of any form. instead of examining themselves and see the viewpoints of others they think they are always right. i wanna advice my indian brothers and sisters to judge yourself first before judging others.

    Honour killing, caste system, female infanticide, corruption, gender inequality and lots and lots of rape cases… hmmmm what more can i say?!!!! INCREDIBLE INDIA

  24. Sudeep


    Understanding Cast System of India is Very difficult and very Hard thing , and i can loudly tell No one never understand …
    How are we to destroy this caste system? ??????
    Several attempts have been made [but they all failed]…Ambedkar…finally [resorted to] Renouncing Hindu religion and embracing the atheistic Buddhism along with thousands of his ‘Mahar’ followers. Several social reformers too tried to attack the caste system but all of them failed including men like Basavanna, Narayana Guru, Vivekananda and Periyar…[and] Gandhi.

    How can all of the above Failed , People Like Buddha to Basavanna have failed in eradicating the caste system, then there must be something seriously wrong about their approach to the problem itself. Or, our understanding of the caste system


  25. Observer

    Hi Sanjeev, Sudeep, Mohit and others,

    I do generally agree with Sanjeev about the caste system being a racist classification. The type of work is how people are sorted in the caste system. However, it is the color of their skin that determines what type of work people actually get. There are racists in every society, but sometimes society conspicuously (or inconspicuously) tolerates and promotes racism. I am a black African and I grew up with Indian friends and in Indian schools. I have friends of all color who accept me the way I am. However, in my travels to India, the middle east and some western cities, it was evident how people treated you because of the color of your skin. Even here, where I work here in great America, most of my colleagues are Indians and they are not very welcoming towards black people. I felt most discriminated against by Arabs, but I just know that it’s the collective ignorance of society that drags everyone into this. I just move on and get along with people who judge me by looking beyond the color of my skin. My girlfriend is white, my colleagues are Chinese and Indians, most of my friends are Caucasian and latinos, and I have African friends and black americans too. I dislike racists of every color and the stereotypes they project. History constantly reminds us of numerous tragedies often spawned by conflicts of color. In this global village of the 21st century, i find it intriguing to find myself discussing an issue about contemporary racism, instead of collaborating with people of every hue in solving societies’ challenges.

    FYI, (specially Mohit) i am cognizant of the holocaust, early and modern african kingdoms, the great south american civilizations, Egyptian, Indian, Mongol, Chinese, Aborigines and Western History etc. So please do not preach me about

  26. Nishanth Narayanan

    I am from a lower caste, I was not able to get the girl i loved just because of my caste, I was born in to my caste and it was not my mistake.
    and i agree Indians are among the most racist people in the world just because of the prevalence of the caste system, thinking once religion or language is superior to others is also racism and still people follow these stupid things which shows that they are stupid and racial at the same time.
    How can someone pretend that they are superior to some one because of their skin color or caste or religion or language.
    There are only two kind of people the good and the bad and this can happen in any religion,language,color,
    people who think all Muslims are terrorist are also racist.
    North Indians thinking that they are superior to south Indians because they are fair shined is also racial.I have been to many countries and i had few bad experiences there but when my Indian brothers done same it hurts more might be i am radial too. :)

  27. adam


    You are only talking about the symptoms and not the causes of this problem. Why do Indians and (half or the world) prefer white skin?

    Here is the reason :

    Because most of the world was not so long ago was ruled by “white people,” and in India, before that by “relatively white looking” arabs/Turks/Moguls. Of course people (groups) who believe they can rule and exploit other people (groups) by force by definition think they are superior to them. They care about their group more than the other group!!!(actually the leader uses the group but the group members do not understand it -they are busy spending their life hating the other group) . However, they are generally shrewd enough to not openly admit that. They may say, “we love our neighbor,” which everyone with a little mind knows is a complete nonsense. How can someone claim to love his neighbor and then make them their salves? And I am not just talking about a company like east india, I am talking about the heads of great (free) nations humiliating other human beings only based on their skin color, and enslaving them…..

    All over the world, people of color, who are not the ruling class are demoralized/ controlled and told that they are inferior by the ruling classes. Before Independence India (60 years ago), educated people (some of them were in British administrative services, later became IAS, like you were supposedly in 80s) followed orders of their “white bosses.” Many times gave orders to kill their own people (closer to skin color) for their own selfish interests. When you see a dark skin color person only “serving a white skinned person” and then killing their own people, what do you think its impact will have on the mind of young child? Violence can be directed so that the source is hidden. Many Indians may think that British ruled them, but the reality is India elites followed orders of their bosses to humiliate their own people…. But they wanna advertise that they liberated masses from foreigners…..write books about it so that everyone gets convinced…….Making sure none of this is put in textbook….

    A person who do not respect himself can only follow orders from others to kill/kidkap someone in his neighborhood….People like those are at the root of all this……….They are sure that their bosses orders is more important then dignity of their fellow countryman……

    In the US media too, you see people of color portrayed trivially. How many Asian role model have you seen in Western media? They purposefully want to put ideas like: Black do not work as hard as white, they are only on government welfare, blacks are violent, Mexicans are lazy, Indians are only taxi drivers, Muslims are terrorists etc. etc. These ideas are put in the media so that when a young person from a group meet others who are not in their “group, ” they should be treated differently based on their group/use.

    Human groups (caste, Race, religion- religions can also work just like a race/caste) have mostly worked towards maintaining power structures and exploiting others.

    In the end, if a person loves his “group,” whatever it may be, more than fellow human beings of other groups, then you are just a hypocrite, and, hate is what motivates you). But people/groups are not ready to accept that. The truth is we (humans) have divided humanity so that some people control others for their own benefit and we are not ready see the problem as it is.

    People in the power do not want to see any problem because they are “addicted to power”. They are only interested in making sure people are always in groups fighting with each other. That makes “economic” scene to them. Also, this mind set gives a purpose to their life. The fact that the are “ruling/controlling” others make them happy, else they start to feel really miserable, very quickly. And they are working hard to make sure people who are not in power do not get any….by misinforming them, etc.

    Look at yourself, you are from a country which was controlled by an empire for centuries, the empire also happened to capture, 2/3 of the world at one point, exploited millions of black people as slaves and you are asking the question “are Indian the most racist?”…..

  28. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    I’m disappointed at this comment by “adam” but have published on the ground it reflects typical India.

    So Indians are racist because …

    And this kind of perverted justification (full of absurd and mostly false claims that I won’t even try to rebut) means that Indians can continue to be as racist as they like without any trace of shame or embarrassment.

    Nice. Say this to Africans who come to India or to darker Indians or to people from Assam who go to Delhi.

  29. Preethi

    Sanjeev you really shouldnt be saying Indians are racist to blacks or whites you’re bieng biased . That is discrimantion! I’m an Indian I dont hate blacks or whites! WE should live in peace! Not all Indians are like that! probably they dont like their mannerism or culture it doesnt mean they hate them! People have different opinions so we have to learn to respect their beliefs, religion, culture, mannerism!!

  30. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Thanks Preethi

    I’m glad there are some Indians who look beyond skin colour. I hope for the day when this will happen across India. Please see recent racist comments against “whites” by Narendra Modi. The reality is the Indian leaders, too, are racist.


  31. Preethi

    The reason some indians like them is because of the british people the way they used to treat us they were acting like maharajas!! There was a news a about a britsh man killing a innocent Indian man who was going to university! Try to balance your blog about that look at both perspectives! YOU’RE being biased!

  32. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Preethi

    My hope is to be proven wrong, to find that people from NE India and Africa get equal respect in India as Europeans, to find that second rate British ‘actresses’ are less preferred than first rate actresses from NE India and Africa, to find that caste system has disappeared, etc..


  33. Humble African

    Am an african and black and so very proud of it and YES MOST INDIANS ARE RACIST!! they are racist even when in our African soil. They treat black employees very bad, if I may, I would call it ‘modern-day slavery’. They talk rudely to african employees, shout at them like they are dogs, pay them so little and make them work endlessly. It pains my heart daily to see my fellow africans being treated like this by indians, who own majority of big businesses in my country. But since we need to eat, most persevere and work under the yoke of the indian employers, being treated like stray dogs. But God sees all, one day it shall all come to pass.

  34. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    I’m sure the things are not that bleak. There are surely some good Indians in Africa. And if you bring liberty to Africa (e.g. see BFN then all Africans can reach their potential. I believe they are as gifted and brilliant as any other people on earth.

    Africa suffers not because of Indians but because of its own people who are crushing liberty.


  35. Humble African

    Thank you Sanjeev, yes I indeed believe there are good Indians in existence without a doubt, I just wish they were the majority and not vice versa…

    And yes things aren’t bleak as such in Africa, as Africans are also doing very well in their own establishments and businesses, so there is a brighter future for Africa indeed.

    Thank you for your hearty comment Sanjeev, God bless you.

  36. Alan Kent

    I have been working as an IT Contractor for over 10 years and what I have noticed over the years is I never get roles if the person interviewing me is Indian. I am black and I only get contracts if the interviewer is either a White or Black person. 15 roles, 11 where White interviewers, 4 where black interviewers. I have had over ten interviews with Indian interviewers over the past few years and I have never got the role even though I know I did OK in the interview.

    If the interviewer has an Indian sounding name I know I have a better chance of winning the lottery then getting the role. I always go into interviews professionally and positively but I never get the role if an Indian person interviews me.

    You know where you stand with a white person they either love you or hate you, and you stand a chance of getting the contract. With Indian people it is very, very, very hard to tell. They will smile and laugh with you but they have already made up their mind even before you have sat down, you are not getting the role. You could go into an interview with an Indian interviewer and show them how to change water into liquid gold and they still would not give you the role. I believe it’s a cultural and religious thing, Indian people do not like Black people, or people with darker skin. What worries me is as there becomes more Indians in IT management roles, black people will find it even harder to get work within the IT industry even if they are the best person for the job.

  37. aayushi

    Racism is discrimination on the basis of your race. Africans, Europeans, they all are races. Casteism is discrimination on the basis of caste. They both are individual problems our country faces, but casteism is not racism. Of course, the huge fairness creams market does point out the rampant ‘colour consciousness’ in the country. Not sure if its racism, but it IS a big problem in its own right.

    Regarding Indians being the MOST racist, I think you need to look at your definitions again. You mentioned three problems, casteism, colour consciousness and treatment of Africans as a supporting logical premises of your proposition, two of which are not related to racism. They are two different problems.

    And the treatment of Africans could improve, but I still don’t think the problem is alarming enough to place India as the most racist country EVAR. Some form of racism is prevalant in every country, which doesn’t make it right, of course, but places India pretty low on the racist meter.

  38. india

    Course indians are racist, they cant even choose which race they fall in love with.  They keep there girlfriends/boyfriends hidden.  So who is actually racist… the family.  A white person is never good enough for indian culture.. THAT is racist.

  39. Anonymous

    Its not all like that. Its not all of Indians that are racist. Some are and some aren’t. You can say that about every country. Some people are just straight up rude and extremely hurtful.

  40. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    No one ever said that ALL Indians are racist. We are talking about degrees and variations.


  41. fisk

    indians are racists towards blacks by nature and realitically just as dark so what makes u indians think u are ifferent and better then blacks?

  42. Grumdiz

    YES!!! It’s so true, Almost all Indians are racist…. Look inside their Owen country, The north Indians hate the south indians, the south Indians hate the north, and worst of all, the whole of main landers hate and abuse the North-East Indians.

  43. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Too broad a generalisation but I’ve published your comment. Better education all around through good governance is the key.


  44. durgesh

    In corporate offices color of skin plays major role……visit a private bank and public sector banks u can see the difference.

  45. shwetha

    Hello Sanjeev,
    After reading the entire blog and comments.

    I would like to say that Indians are not only the most racists.
    Most of the western people are still more racists. I leave in europe.
    The reason it has come down here is just because of the strict law by government. Its not because people have changed here. Still deep in there minds they are racists. They still believe white is superior race.

    Most of the people who stay in metros have become little tolerant, but in country sides its not the same.They are some many incidents where people got into troubles just because of their color for no reason.

    Unless India gets stricter laws on race and caste discrimination it will not change. Stop reservation based on caste and gender. People will gradually forget all this crap in the world of globalization.

  46. Me

    First I want to say that saying someone is racist because they want to have lighter skin is ridiculous. People with dark skin want light skin and people with light skin want tans. Wanting light skin does not mean you are racist to dark skinned people and does not mean a love of white people. And offering service to white people holidaying in Indian above other people is also not loving white people – it is trying to get the most money out of a wealthy foreigner.

    Why does this make me mad? Because I am white and all I see in articles like this is that Indians dislike Africans etc and like whites. Indians hate whites too. They hate everyone who is not Indian. This is a generalization of course, but non racist Indians seem to be few and far between.
    They are amongst the most racist people in the world today. And most deny it and get all uppity because god forbid someone should point out a problem with India. I have many Indian friends, but the racism comes through even in the best of them.

    I am not racist, before you say so. I am married to an Indian – a wonderful man. This is how I know how racist they are and how frustrated I am that all you people think you are either not or are because you like “white”.
    Let me ask you, how many Indian parents are comfortable with the idea of their child marrying a white person?
    The treatment myself, and my husband, receive from his fellow countrymen is a disgrace, even his family are a disgrace. Here in Australia, more than once we have seen Indian parents literally herd their children away from us like we are a vicious virus to be avoided at all costs. God forbid an Indian child should be exposed to the indecency of a happy interracial couple! How dare a good Indian boy marry an evil slut gorian!

    And the worst thing about it, is I have to listen to his Indian friends talk about racism towards them, which frankly none of them have ever experienced. I can’t tell them about my experiences with Indians because I’m white and that would make me racist towards Indians – ironically enough. As my brother in law once said “It’s not racism if your talking about a white person”.

    Australia is a multicultural country and if you go to any function you will see all manner of cultures. Not so at functions organised by Indians. Even the young ones born here only seem to have friends that are other Indians. Every single person there will be Indian. It’s really pretty sick. Only my husband had the guts to call a stop to that ridiculous behaviour – although he feels lucky not to have been disowned by his family for doing so. He had to listen to them say the most horrible things about me and my family, when they had never met any of us, just because our skin is white.

    So please, sir, I applaud that you are trying to get Indian people to see their racist ways and change. But stop saying they love white people. They don’t. They love Indian people. Maybe they love Indian people with light skin more. But they love Indian people and everyone else is beneath them.

  47. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    This is a useful insight. Note that I NEVER said that Indians “love white people”. No! Leaving aside a few exceptions (and such exceptions are now becoming more common), they also have two other characteristics: a) caste and b) “anti-colonial” bigotry.

    They will fawn on the “white” but never marry (although the probability of their marrying a white person is higher their than marrying a black African) since that would mean going outside their “caste” and would expose them to the charge that they are marrying into a “colonial” oppressor’s “race”.

    All said and done, a very unfortunate situation. 

    The only remedy – perhaps – is greater liberty and prosperity. As the caste system then dissipates and people gain self-respect (yes, most Indians don’t have self-respect – which partly explains their behaviour), they will start looking at others as INDIVIDUALS not on the basis of the most superficial (and irrelevant) characteristic: skin colour.

    Btw, I’ll post your comment separately on my blog, given it is quite insightful.

  48. tickertapeguy

    The racism in India is extreme and diverse:
    This includes:

    -The caste system where 320 million Outcasts live a life that is horrible, including millions cleaning the human refuse of other Indians. The maltreatment of them by the upper casts.

    -The maltreatment of India’s 100 million tribal population which is far worse than what happened to the American native Indians or the Australian Aborigines.

    -India’s movie industry where Bollywood actors are “clones” of Hollywood including bleached skin, plastic surgery, false contact lenses, etc. No outcast has become a major actor. No dark skinned actor has made it to the top. Indian’s of African features are not included in India’s massive film industry. The stark contrast between the European looking actors and the darker skinned audience is uniquely Indian.

    -India’s marriage system. An Indian family would immolate their daughter if she weds an African but would give consent if that person is a European. A classic example is Sonia Gandhi (an Italian) who is the head of India’s Congress Party.

    -India’s magazines where the models of articles, that are meant for Indians, are from Northern Europe. These very fair Europeans model for products, articles and subject matters meant for Indians. Not even Mediterranean models are included. Certainly not any dark skinned Indians, Africans, or East Asians.

    -India’s Hindu myths where Hindu Gods are shown as white skinned but the demons are dark skinned

    The list is extensive. The book “India Shattering the Illusion. Birth of New Nations. Kashmir to Elam” by Columbus Falco covers in depth this subject and modern day India. It is the only book that openly and frankly addresses the real India. I have touched on some aspects that are fully covered in this book, including the historical, cultural and religious roots to racism in modern India.


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