This refers to the article, “Let's stop pretending there's no racism in India” (May 29). After spending 30 years working and travelling in Europe, Africa and the Far East, I feel the worst form of racism and discrimination exists in India. In the West and other countries, people are discriminated against only on the basis of skin colour. But in India, discrimination is based on the State, district, town, village to which one belongs, language, religion, caste, ideology, economic status, gender, marital status and, of course, the skin colour.
Prejudice against north-easterners is not the only form of racism in India. The article overlooks the age-old forms of prejudice, discrimination and oppression based on caste. The vertically graded system, in which each caste is considered superior and inferior, is indeed the most virulent, long-surviving and resistant form of racism the world has ever known. But the silent acquiescence of the intellectuals and the middle class in the regressive principles inherent in the practice of caste has prevented the emergence of a national fervour for ending the system.