By: Shreya Sudan,17 and Aadyaa Shukla Tiwari,17
Eurocentrism is a distorted ideology that presents western civilization as the pinnacle of human progress to the global south. At the core of Eurocentrism lies a binary way of thinking which constructs a white, progressive, modern, “civilized” European identity juxtaposed to an indigenous, developing, and traditional identity. The roots of eurocentrism are so deeply anchored into the Indian subcontinent that they are still prevalent. To this day, Indians are still adopting western culture and abandoning their own, 73 years after Independence.
The evidence of just how humungous the impact of eurocentrism in India is the current situation. It is apparent that while many are genuine a significant number of people in the global south have become ‘performative activists’ aka activism done to increase one’s social capital rather than because of one’s devotion to a cause. Many Indians have flooded their socials to show their support for the resurgence of black lives matter movement and removal of oppression but have maintained a stone-cold uneasy silence pertaining to the numerous incidents of oppression occurring in their very own country. The torchbearers of this behaviour are of course huge influencers like actors.
White supremacy is not a concept solely tangent to European countries and the USA. Systemic racism has even transcended into our own culture. The form of racism expressed in the practice of social and political institutions is known as systemic racism. The Indian Film Industry I.e., Bollywood and the music industry are allies to this flawed system. Our films reflect the state of our society. From songs such as Hum Kaalein Hai Toh Kya Hua Dilwale Hai to Gore Gore Mukhre Pe Kala Kala Chashma to Chittiyaan Kalaiyaan. Where the nation’s political party called the Aam Aadmi Party leads a mob to beat African women because of their colour, where the nation’s top-ranked star sells men’s fairness cream, where the idea of humour in something called All India Bakchod roast is to make fun of a person’s blackness, and where Meghna Mathur (Priyanka Chopra) in the national award-winning film Fashion ‘cleans’ herself after sleeping with a black man.
George Floyd was just one victim of systemic racism and white supremacy amongst countless other people of colour. It took protests in all 50 states of the United States to get him justice. It took the arrest of approximately 4000 people to get all officers involved arrested and increase Devin Chauvin’s charges from 3rd-degree murder to 2nd degree. But the fact that justice has finally been served is indubitable. One can only hope that one day this translates to the world’s biggest ‘democracy’ like countless other eurocentric ideas seamlessly have.