The General Concept of Racism and the Formation of Civilizations

Edward Said’s in his book, “Orientalism” propagated the idea of Orientalism to define the West’s condescending representations of the East, especially the Islamic world

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in which people from “the Orient” were portrayed as barbaric and less civilized than the Europeans. The West was always portrayed as the dominant and civilized culture as compared to the East or any other cultures in the world (Said 1978 ). Clearly, there is a clear division of ‘othering’ of people based on whether one belongs to the West or to the East. The foundation of this ‘Othering’ was laid on the basis of the concept of “us and them” or “ours and theirs”. The West distinctly defined the East as the ‘other’ who are barbaric, irrational, uncivilized and cause of all problems based on their pre-concieved notion and prejudiced assumptions.

Since then, the term “Othering” has spread in usage, and today it forms the basis of almost all overwhelming challenges and problems in the world. The problem of the twenty-first century is the problem of “othering.” Literally, every conflict, wars, territorial disputes, communal riots are wrapped around the differences of one group from another group. In this paper, I shall discuss Racism as a result of othering and Corona as a new onslaught of Racism against the Northeast Indians during the Pandemic.

Racism, a result of Othering:

Racism as defined by Carlos Hoyt Jr. is “a particular form of prejudice defined by preconceived erroneous beliefs about race and members of racial groups.” (Hoyt 2012) One can see that racism is nothing more than building assumptions and stereotypes about someone or a group people with the wrong knowledge formed in ones head.

More so, racism is not simply a prejudiced viewpoint but also the work of “a dominant group which systemically categorizes other groups to its own advantages and power” (Wellman 1993) The mechanism of othering one group by another based on prejudiced views and then using these formed stereotypes to their own advantage becomes the basis for ‘Racism’. ( Shouhayib 2015)

Clearly, Racism is a result of othering of a dominant group that tries to identity oneself to a superior group and belittle other groups to inferior status.

Racism against the Northeast:

Northeast Indians have been subjected to discrimination and racism in India for quite sometime now, specifically because of their Mongoloid features and distinct culture. Racial discrimination against Northeasterns is not a new phenomenon which we see happening only during this corona pandemic. From the horrifying death of Nido Tania, a 20 year old student who was killed by a group of thugs because of his hairstyle and look in 2014, to the mass exodus of Northeasterners from Bangalore in 2012 (Baruah 2014). The list of such racism cases which have resulted to deaths are numerous. One of these cases which is very personal to me was the death of my former High School Geography teacher who was beaten to death by a group of five thugs in south Delhi’s Kotla Mubarakpur on a early Monday Morning back in 2014 (Sharma 2014). The CCTV footage of the brutal attack is horrifying and merciless. Incidents like these are just some of the few cases that caught the attention of the media and came to public light.

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The general concept of racism and the formation of civilizations. (2022, Oct 05). Retrieved December 7, 2022 , from
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