In the recent Man United vs Chelsea match (which happened to be a great thriller and for a change, Chelsea won 5-4), there was an incident when a Chelsea fan was imitating a monkey gesture against the Man United’s Wellbeck. That has been defined as racism and a controversy has been thrown upon with efforts on to identify that individual and subsequently ban him lifetime for all matches at Stamford.
When I read this a couple of days later, this immediately reminded me of the infamous ‘monkey’ incident surrounding Harbhajan Singh and Symonds in the Aus – India test series Down Under. And that triggered off on a basic question – who defines what is racism ?
If monkey seems to be racist, then I would have to say that all Indian parents have to be termed as racists as very often they call their own children monkeys ! My own parents are like role models for me – but still I cannot remember how many times I was called “mischievous monkey” by both my mom and dad. And yet calling someone monkey is termed as racism by the Western World.
On the other hand, if players and cricketers abuse each other questioning the opponents parentage, the same world defines as ‘competitive banter’ which should not be banned as that defines the ‘character’ of the game …. However, I can vouch as a person from the Eastern World that we will vouch the parental abuse is totally racist against the incident of someone calling me “monkey” (I will not feel offended much, I must say !!)
So whatever is felt as racist by a culture might not be that offensive by another culture and vice versa.
Hence back to the basic question – who gives the right to some people to define ‘monkey’ as racist and others not ?? In today’s world, we have to respect different cultures and hence some opinions by a know-it-all persons from a Western World can be totally ignored by many people. It is better to ban any abuse (friendly or unfriendly) instead of going for some selection done by a particular section of the world, as the other section of the world will give a ‘finger-up’ to that definition !!