Slaves in the World Today

The snobbish class system we’ve encountered has been startling and frequent within Indian society I’ve noticed. Hotel managers or owners are constantly referring to their “Boys” doing this or that, and it felt like they were speaking of owning their workers. Time and time again I felt as though I was in the deep Southern States a hundred years ago. The poor are REALLY poor, and semi-content to be that way. There is an obvious aloofness or superiority with much of the portion of Indian society that we delt with. Educated tour guides would show open disdain to the poor or beggars that seemed to maraud us starkly caucasian tourists. Only one other situation stands out along similar lines outside of India, (the occasions were too numerous inside India to even discuss further). On our Laos tour, our tour guide was reasonably well educated (but a former Buddhist Monk Novice of twelve years!) and treated the hill tribe villagers we visited with seeming disdain. I was cautious about taking many pictures or walking off the beaten path, wanting to offer these people some semblance of privacy in their grass huts. He somewhat gruffly insisted that I take as many pictures of whatever I wanted, and go wherever I wanted. The exception of course being that I shouldn’t enter any huts. He did insist that I should take and pictures or video that I wanted through open doorways into their private lives. He would also portray slight arrogance as he calmly swept aside villagers in his way while walking, not even addressing them, just calmly carrying on his informative lecture and pushing them aside to walk through. It was a little weird and certainly disconcerting.

Back to Indians now for a moment. I got into a bit of a discussion upon arrival at the Dubai airport with an Indian couple in their sixties. As soon as the plane comes to a stop at the terminal people spring up and push up the isle as much as possible to get a better “spot” to get off the plane first. This means standing and waiting while crushed by a throng of others for at least ten minutes before the door at the front is even opened! I often don’t take kindly to such ridiculous line jumping, (as some of you might imagine). So, when I need to stand up and get our bags out of the overhead compartment, I simply look the person in the eye and kindly say excuse me. Not being used to direct shaming, they will invariably back up and reluctantly make room. When I hold the entire line up for an extra seven seconds to let my family out of the row, people further back seem to become incesnsed! This minimal description is ALL planes outside of North America so far by the way. Simply astounding the degradation of society elsewhere… (Not to say that North Americans are better in every way of course, I would never say such things about a continent that has produced a lying, thieving scumbag like Jean Cretin or an idiot puppet warmonger like George Bush.)

Now back to older Indian couple. Before waiting in the customs line at Dubai, I had changed our Indian currency for UAE money. They wouldn’t take several of the smaller bills however, and I was left with them. In the line, I turned to the couple beside me and offered them the money (it amounted to about $3 in several smaller bills). They were behind me previously on the plane I think, and still upset, and therefore couldn’t possibly entertain such a ridiculous thought as taking money from me. I was completely surprised by such behavior and then tried to give it to the woman who was closer to me and clearly in charge of the relationship. She tried to hand it back, and for fun I refused to hold out my hand to see how far she’d go to get rid of it. The money dropped on the floor and she lashed out at me that I should really have given it to the poor people in India! I insisted that we did indeed give abundantly to the poor throughout our trip around India. She was becoming more incensed with the money just sitting there on the floor as I continued by saying that perhaps the poor in India would do much better if the arrogant wealthier society took more care to look after them. Oooogh! I hit a nerve indeed. She suddenly took me back to an elementary school playground war of stupid words as she came out with this beauty, “at least our poor people are content in the ignorance and we need not waste any more effort on them!” My gawd, and she actually meant it too! This attitude had obviously rubbed off from several decades of British rule, but even in current day England I would sincerely doubt that such strong attitudes are still that pervasive in society. This I found absolutely depressing, similar to reading “Black Like Me” several years ago and the insurmountable obstacles he encountered with peoples attitudes.

PS: Yes, I do know I’m behind in my posts. I’m almost finished my Dubai one, but we’re already three days into Tanzania!

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