Racism towards Indians in Canada

While living in Toronto, going to bars, going to shows, walking around the streets – I see a lot of Indians in my everyday life. A lot of them are recent immigrants and new Canadians. A lot of them contribute to our society, economic state, as well as just give us friendship. I know that this is all anecdotal to a degree but I for one, am very supporting of anyone trying to do their best and make their lives better – without harming others. ESPECIALLY when I also find satisfaction from being around them (them being a general term for people, not in an “othering” way). So it saddens me to hear when I’m going to bars, going to shows, walking around the streets how open people are to racism against Indians who are new to Canada.

By the way, this article is about the open conversations I see online and in public regarding people’s anti-Indian stances. If you’ve never put these opinions out in the world before and you get upset about this article, you’re telling on yourself.

The problem that many people are having with our new Canadian friends is that they believe that there are too many of them and that they’re going to eventually take over the country and take away Canadian culture by replacing it with their own. To that I say, so be it. Realistically speaking, if Indians move into Canada and make it like India, then they are the majority and as a democracy, isn’t that the appropriate thing to do. Or are you not a fan of democracy? Besides, the last time “Indians” and cultural assimilation were a hot button topic in Canada – the powers that be were pretty happy about it.

And what’s the point of hating on the Indians who are moving to Canada looking for new opportunities at life. If you had an opportunity to move somewhere else where you feel like your life could be improved, would you not take that chance? And I understand, maybe it’s too many people too soon and maybe you’re scared about that but whose fault is it that the system is sloppily put together? Are you really going to just blame Indians for a competitive job market, high rental prices, and a shift in culture – when in reality, they’re only taking advantage of a system built by your own Canadians? All I’m saying is that it’s not their fault that the socio-economic and literal infrastructure of our cities can’t handle this influx of new people. Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

How about you get upset at the universities and colleges who value the tuition of an international student, more than the tuition of a domestic student? Is that an immigrants fault for being able to spend more money on schooling than a Canadian? Is it their fault that money is the most important thing in our capitalist society? Do you also not want to make more money, have the right to vote through democracy, improve your life if given the chance? Are we not going to pretend that moving to a new country, is not hard, and this is a risk and this opportunity at a new life is something that is earned. I don’t blame new Canadians for anything. They’re doing what they can do, to get a better shot at life through taking the steps that are available to them. You would do it too for a check.

5 thoughts on “Racism towards Indians in Canada”

  1. Thank you for writing this blog post (and your others!), and I hope this opens up a meaningful and productive dialogue about this topic (more-so immigration policies really).

    I will preface this reply by saying if anyone discriminates against a particular race or ethnicity, without anything else, and without actually knowing the individuals…then they are a racist, plain and simple. Unfortunately, as a person of colour, I’ve experienced and heard about various examples of people being victims of racism.

    I wanted to add an element to this discourse that may sometimes be missed. With that said, I think the blog post may be misunderstanding some worries that Canadians might have (and even people who would want to be future Canadians). Also, I understand that there might be light jokes in your article, but I will assume everything is written with serious intent. You allude to this in your second-last paragraph, that the system of immigration might not exactly be perfect (or rather far from it, really). But has anyone wondered why our system of immigration currently – with large amounts of people coming into this country in a relatively short amount of time – essentially only selects from one country? Essentially this means that only one ethnicity/nationality (for simplicity, I will say ethnicity) is being favoured over others. The system of immigration that we are currently experiencing is being implemented through student visas – I.e. most of these individuals are students. I have read worries and articles from students of various other nationalities and ethnicities (from African countries to other Asian countries) noting that their student visas get denied, for seemingly no reasons. I’ve even heard from students who are recipients of scholarships from schools like UofT, that even their student visas get denied, and they suspect it is because they are not from the ‘correct’ country – that being India. I think this concern is worrying, and even ironically, might even be racist itself. How do we try to rectify this? Wouldn’t it be best if we truly and evenly ‘scouted’ (so to speak) people from countries all over the world? (and we would know, as immigrants ourselves, that there are many people that would love to call Canada home).

    Also, on the comment about democracy, I feel that might have been a short-sighted comment. Are you saying that hypothetically we can bring in any one ethnicity into a country, make them the majority, and then since they are now the majority, they get to overpower the votes and wishes of others because they have now become the majority? I have a feeling that comment would make people uncomfortable if, say, there was very large immigration happening from Russia, or China. At that point, even CBC would be publishing articles about stuff like spies and very few people would consider that racist (unfortunately). Or, if we consider the opposite scenario where, say, white Canadians or Americans immigrated en-masse to a country like Morocco and slowly started changing the culture to be more like American culture. In that case, you would absolutely see resistance from Moroccan people. (as a side note, white people already do this to some degree in other nations lol).

    There are other things that we can talk about on this topic, but for now I will leave it at that. Hopefully you found this fruitful. Looking forward to your future posts.

    1. Hi Meryl, HOW DARE YOU – nah, I’m playing. I appreciate the comment and I think everything you’re saying is super valid. The democracy comment I admit is more of a tongue and cheek remark. I’m aware that politically, that is not how democracy works and that it’s a lot more nuanced than how I put it. But if we’re being honest here, yes I am saying that. Hypothetically, if country A had sent all their citizens to Canada to become Canadian, and county A’s people all are Neo-Liberalists, there’s definitely a chance that they would vote for something that feels closer to home. Obviously, not a fact – people change. I’m sure your political leanings may differ from your parents or have changed as you’ve grown up, as mine do. And yes, it’s uncomfortable but that’s democracy right?

      However, how could you even fault a foreign country sending immigrants en-masse to culturally take over another country (Canada let’s say in this example. That other country saw an opportunity. At that point, I wouldn’t blame that country, I would blame Canada for allowing something to happen – to allow others to exploit a weakness. Don’t hate the player, hate the game. By the way, I hope you can tell that I’m actually quite pro immigration, I’m just more pro infrastructure to support said immigration haha.

      I think that if my article was less of a blog entry and more of an academic paper, the thesis would probably be way more objective and would be focused on how we literally can’t fault or blame Indian immigrants (or any immigrants), student or what have you, for problems that are plaguing our country regarding the job marketing, cultural paradigm shifts, and the housing market. The points you bring up regarding how we “select” immigrants is definitely true and I think that if I were to write about it, that would be probably 10x this article in length. The inspiration for writing this was simply because racism against Indians in Toronto specifically, where I live has become so accepted and it’s just not right cuz as you stated in your 2nd paragraph – racism is bad (lol). Thank you for reading and leaving a comment. Typically this blog is more lifestyle, comedy, media based – so it’s cool to have some discussion in the comment section!

  2. Thank you for this. I am a Canadian citizen of Indian origin, living in this country for nearly 20 years, and the amount of racism against Indians I encounter online from Canadians, is taking a toll on my mental health. I came as an international student, did my PhD and after graduation made a conscious choice to stay in Canada, as opposed to seeking better opportunities in the US because this seemed like a welcoming country.

    Today I regret accepting Canadian citizenship, if I only knew about the bitterness the majority ethnic group in this country harboured against people like me, I never would have chosen to settle here. I am having second thoughts about my and my family’s future in this country and considering relocating to India. The fact that my spouse is a Canadian makes it harder, but I am not sure I want to expose our mixed race child to this toxicity. It would be a compromise on my career and quality of life but at least I wouldn’t be surrounded by compatriots who would hate me for the colour of my skin, or for the language I speak.

    Don’t know what happened to this country! This doesn’t match at all with real life experience with white Canadians in Waterloo and Montreal. Like a disease this hatred has corrupted the hearts of people.

    Sure, bad behaviour should be condemned and called out — but criticizing bad behaviour should never amount to going after an entire race or nation. There could NEVER be any justification for racism. I am surprised and dismayed that this is not clear to many (most?) 21st century Canadians.

    Again, thank you for calling out RACISM. I mean it should be an obvious, normal thing to do, but this is Canada in 2023, so kudos to you for this.

    1. Hello! Thank your for the reply. It’s a shame that you have to give me kudos for simply not be racist. Whatever you decide with your life, I hope you nothing but the best – wherever it is.

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