In India, discrimination on the grounds of race, religion or gender is nothing new. We hear a lot of shocking stories everyday. Here’s another depressing incident which shows how deeply racist some people can be to others.
Doma Wang, owner of the Blue Poppy restaurant in Kolkata, along with her restaurant staff was allegedly harassed and racially abused by one of her customers when he was asked to make less noise.
On being requested to please make less noise as they were disturbing the other diners as well as the in house guests , they behaved very badly and called them ‘fucking Nepalis’. When I reached the venue the boy started calling us Nepali and telling me that he and his ancestors have been living in Kolkata and we were outsiders. He also said that it’s good these things are happening to your people in Delhi and other cities. He said we would never get gorkha land.
She took her concern to Facebook and wrote an enlightening post regarding the whole matter.
I NEVER considered myself an outsider , a non Bengali … After living in this city for thirty years . Kolkata has been home to me , married a Bengali , speak fluent Bengali , can make the perfect Chingri Mach malai curry , love my Ilish bhaja with tel and longka … Never in these thirty years have I ever considered my self different . .. An outsider. Wat happened today has made me feel terrible .. I never ever imagined I would feel like this in the city I call my home. This evening at around nine I got a call from my manager at The blue poppy , salt lake saying that some boys had come to the restaurant and were making a lot of noise. Some of them were drunk. On being requested to please make less noise as they were disturbing the other diners as well as the in house guests , they behaved very badly and called them “fucking Nepalis”. They also pushed my boys around after which my manager escorted them out. One of these boys were very drunk and probably under the influence of something else … He kept screaming from the gate and abusing them. When I reached the venue the boy started calling us Nepali and telling me that he and his ancestors have been living in Kolkata and we were outsiders. He also said that it’s good these things r happening to your people in delhi and other cities. He said we would never get gorkha land. I don’t know why this boy was so communal . It hurts me that even after spending thirty years in this city I am still considered an outsider. Blue poppy has been serving its patrons for over ten years .. Never had any conflict with any customers , in fact most customers become friends for life … Is the customer always right ? Even if u get drunk , misbehave and abuse ? Have filed a complaint in the police station. Sad today.. Cause my belief that I was a part of this city , which I call my home .. Has been shattered. This is the picture of the boy who made me feel that perhaps it is right that the people of the Darjeeling hills want a Gorkhaland. It’s people like this who give the good people of Kolkata a bad name.
Not only was her post shared by many but she got immense support from people for speaking up about racial discrimination. In an exclusive conversation with ScoopWhoop, she said –
I have been living in Kolkata for the past 30 years and have never faced such humiliation before. I never felt that I am not a part of Kolkata. I never felt that I am an outsider. Kolkata is my city. How can he tell me this is not my home? It’s sad to see people face this level of harassment and the name calling every second day. That is why I chose to speak up.
After the incident went viral, the guy who passed those racist comments was identified. His name is Nabarun Sengupta and he is a photographer by profession. While Sengupta issued an apology via another Facebook post, he also stated his version of the incident and said that ‘we were beaten up and cornered by 30 guys and thrown out of the cafe’.
Doma Wang, who seems to be unmoved by his apology, replied to him as soon she spotted his Facebook post. She added –
I hear a lot about racial discrimination each and every day. But I never really paid attention to it. Now that it has happened with me, I realise how hurtful this mistreatment can be.
What Doma Wang faced is embarrassing and it’s incidents like these which make me realise the importance of the lesson, unity in diversity. It’s sad that we tend to forget such essential lessons which were taught to us so piously in schools.