Bombay HC has 'observed' that spitting is inherent in Indians. Not that we needed it to tell us that, but a lot has been said about us that's not always pretty. If you can swallow your pride and read it all at one go, here's a recap.
Spit-full Lending some legalese to what is perhaps the first thing people notice in our country (red-stained walls adorn many a traveller's online albums), the Bombay High Court said last week that "Spitting is an inherent character of our people", while hearing a petition about people being fined for spitting in Mumbai. A few days later, it was revealed that in just six months in 2011, Mumbaikars had paid around `2.24 crore in fines for spitting in the city.
For Katju, fool's gold Press Council of India chairman justice (retired) Markandey Katju said some days ago, "90% of people in India are fools. Their minds are full of superstitions, communalism and casteism." The 'fool' comment seems to be a favourite with Katju, who, in 2011, had expressed similar feelings towards his brainless brethren, "(people say) that the media must provide the customer what it wants. Unfortunately, most people in India are of a very low intellectual level, steeped in casteism, communalism, superstitions, and all kinds of feudal and backward ideas."
Mammas' boys In March, Greg Chappell elicited sniggers in private but collective outrage in public. "The Indian culture is very different. They lack leaders because they are not trained to be leaders. From an early age, their parents make all the decisions. They learn to not take responsibility," said the former Team India coach.
Bastards! In documents declassified in 2005, former US prez Richard Nixon was found to have said in a meeting, in the run-up to the Indo-Pak 1971 war, that Indians are 'a slippery, treacherous people'. His assistant for national security affairs, Henry Kissinger, was quick to add, "Indians are bastards anyway.
They're the most aggressive goddamn people around." Only if they had Wikileaks then to get hold of more such, err, 'gems'.
More TV, less sex A few years ago, then-union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad made an interesting connection, "If there is electricity in every village, people will watch TV till late night and then fall asleep. They won't get a chance to produce children." But what if there's Sunny Leone on TV, eh?
They have small... Hearts! What were you thinking? April last year, Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi said Indians "will never have hearts like Pakistanis. I don't think they have the large and clean hearts that Allah has given us. It is a very difficult thing for us to live with them." Who says cricket is just a game?
Dirty little #%@& Last August, US vice-consul, Maureen Chao, while talking to some students in Chennai could have made a great case for fairness creams, if the comments hadn't exploded in controversy. "I was on a 24-hour train trip from Delhi to Orissa. But, after 72 hours, the train still did not reach the destination... and my skin became dirty and dark like the Tamilians'," she 'joked'. The US Consulate later issued an apology.
Corruption status India's outgoing chief vigilance commissioner, Pratyush Sinha, gave an unenviable description of his job in 2010, when he said, "One-third of Indians are corrupt, half are borderline," and that his job had been a "thankless" one. "When we were growing up, there was at least social stigma attached to corruption," Sinha said, angering law minister Veerappa Moily because saying such things "hurt national pride." We can only wonder what Moily would have to say about Anna Hazare if he were still law minister.