On my flight to Bagdogra today, I sat next to Shubnum, a young Nepali-speaking Indian woman from Darjeeling, so, of course, we talked about the Flipkart ad. It’s an ad that breaks my heart and maddens me. It’s an ad that ensures I will never order anything from Flipkart again. It’s an ad that set me thinking.
Stereotyping of Nepalis by Flipkart
I speak Nepali. I am well educated. I am rich. My family is well off. My family is well educated: lawyers and doctors and PHDs. There are thousands and thousands of Nepali-speaking people like me. There are thousands and thousands of Nepali-speaking families like mine. I’d love to see one depiction of a Nepali-speaking person like me in the Indian media. I’d love to see one depiction of a Nepali-speaking family like mine in the Indian media. Just one. Just one where we aren’t doormen, guards and cooks, which are wonderful things to be no doubt but not all we are. We are so many other things. Just one depiction of these other things, of people like me, Indian media. Is that too much to ask?
PS Perhaps you, Flipkart, could take the lead and show everyone how it’s done?
PPS I think I am rocking my Nepali topi.
(Prajwal Parajuly is an award winning author hailing from Sikkim. He is known for his novel ‘Land Where I Flee’)