White, West and Wild
Last week, Sushant Singh Rajput and Kriti Sanon’s film Raabta joined the long list of Hindi films that have an unapologetically sexist and racist representation of the white woman. The firang women in the film set in Budapest are either dumb blondes who are easy prey for our lady killer, or temperamental women who like to have desi guys wrapped around their little finger.
It is not the filmmaker’s fault really — he was merely articulating what millions of Indian men have believed in, and what their mothers have taught them to believe in. That a single white woman in the West, the archetypal gori is not to be trusted. They are good at seducing and distracting the maa ka laadla, who believes no woman other than his mother deserves to be treated with respect. So it is okay to take her out on a date, make out with her and then dump her because a desi girl is waiting for you somewhere or the firangi woman does not really care for laddoos and parathas.
So much so, Hindi films have routinely used the white woman as a trope to establish how the hero is waylaid by the West in all its …read more