Language is an important part of communication. It is the medium for two people to connect. While some people are comfortable using Indian slangs, some may find it rude and crass to be using such inappropriate language. But we should also know that language is always evolving, thus certain Indian slangs that we think is funny or appropriate may have a negative impact on the other person. It is not only hurtful to them but also gives a wrong impression of you. There is nothing wrong with using Indian slangs that soon trends as viral stories in informal groups, but it is important to use them responsibly in environments where it may be acceptable.
Thus, to avoid any further confusion, here are Indian slangs that are racist and you should avoid them at all costs:
Kalu, Kaliya, Kallu
Any word that is a variant of black, implying their dark skin complexion is totally not acceptable. Refrain from using it to describe someone, whether the person is an Indian or from another country. I was discussing the same with Shatakshee, and i personally affiliate to her when she said that even Cosmetic industry and esteemed brands are playing with emotional sentiments of people while by fueling those stupid distingusive beliefs. I can relate when a cream brand shows a women not getting married or is rejected on job because she is not fair. soon she starts applying marketer cream and gets applauded everywhere. — I mean what the hell.
Darkie or Blackie
It is important to dispose of the colonial fascination with fair skin. Thus, shaming someone based on their color wouldn’t help your case in being a nicer person- damm it’s not at all cool. If the appearance of this term on this list shocks you then let me tell you, a lot of Indians still use such terms. I have watched viral videos that are hot trends on Youtube, where the person ends up making fun of the other cool slangs on skin color or body type.
Habshi, Nigger, or Negro
Another classic example of racism. People use such words to sound ‘cool’ or may have just picked it up from the generations before them. But that does not mean that it is okay to be using such words. Habshi is Hindi for Negro. All these terms have been widely condemned all over the world.
Bandar, Monkey, Gorilla, or Chimpanzee
Even after the unfortunate ‘Monkeygate’ incident that clearly defined that it is unacceptable to use such tags, some people still use it and think it is funny.
Chinky, Chinese, or Nepali
India is a land of diversity and it is sad that Indians do not treat North-East Indians as Indians. They use Chinky to define people and we need to rise above this mindset and stop describing people just based on their features.
Chhakka or Hijra
Not racist in its truest sense, but bigoted nonetheless. We are living in the 21st century. We now understand patriarchy, we understand LGBTQIA+ and so much more. So why should we be using Indian slangs like hijra or chhakka for effeminate men or just anybody else for that matter? Be more mindful and avoid using it. Show some respect for their community and the struggles they go through.
Okay, maybe you don’t know the difference between Tamil and Malayalam, but are you seriously going to lump a diverse culture of South Indians and call them all Madrasi? Think again!
Mumbai and surrounding cities largely use this Indian slang to describe Christians. This comes from an ignorant belief that all Christians eat is just bread. While nobody may make a hue and cry about it, but would you still use it after knowing that it is racist in a way?
Historically, Indians have had a greater leaning towards the communist left. States like Kerala, West Bengal amongst others are still staunch believers of communism. Irrespective of whether you are a leftist, rightist or somewhere in between, you can still ditch ‘commie.’
Chamar, Maleechh, etc.
It is one of the most common Indian slangs used by teenagers and adults alike. Some people use it even without knowing what it stands for. India has had a terrible history of practicing untouchability and we still haven’t stepped out from the caste-system and caste-based oppression. The last thing we need is people using Dalit words to describe something degrading.
“may be you are among those who dont do consciously or may be just doing it for fun. But its a proven fact that the victim may not be accepting infront of you or may be trying to convey that she/he is feeling bad. But his/her subconscious mind starts registering and picking the inferiority tags. It starts hamper the personality at every aspect of life and they have to struggle and fight to themselves. So if not supportive good dont be a cause to anyone deterioration. I love when celebrities take a stand and deny endorsing fairness creams and brands. I request even the viral videos of social media platforms to understand the subtle difference and dont satisfy ego’s of few people who love degrading others. Don’t be a reference “.