Monday, December 15, 2008
John Abraham voted Asia's sexiest man alive...really?
I have nothing against Bollywood star John Abraham being voted as Asia's sexiest man alive. I guess beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.
But upon closer scrutiny of the news article (read the original article here from SantaBanta.com), so many questions have arisen in my mind. I tried finding out more details of this weekly magazine called "Eastern Eye" without success so I am raising my objections based on the SantaBanta.com article.
The Eastern Eye is described as a leading "British Asian" weekly and the judges of the 'top ten' men were said to be "Brianna Ragel, editor of Asian Woman Magazine, Che Kurrien, editor of GQ India and the former editor of FHM India, Farhad Dadyburjor."
"The top ten sexiest male includes, John Abraham, Hrithik Roshan, Shah Rukh Khan, Ali Zafar, Upen Patel, Ranbir Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Imran Khan (actor), Jay Sean and boxer Amir Khan."
This list looks more like an "Indian" list than an assortment of Asian handsomeness.
One of my friends on Facebook was right to comment, not derogatorily, why doesn't Bangladeshis ever make such a list?
Yeah, why not?
There are so many countries to choose from Asia and this Eastern Eye despite being a "British Asian" weekly chose judges with so many India links "GQ India", "FHM India", and apparently extremely India-centric ones at that if their 'top ten' choices speak for itself.
This India-centric attitude is not uncommon among some high profile Indians as well. Bollywood star Madhuri Dixit once sparked protests in Kathmandu after she commented during a visit that "I thought that Nepal was once part of India."
And during my own travels to India, I have come across many Indians who ask me where I am from and when I reply that I am from Maldives, they tend to say something to the effect that Maldives is some islands under Indian dominion!
Apparently, everything revolves around India, and perhaps we may need some sort of consciousness-raising to change this view just like we needed modern scientific evidence to change the ancient view that the Sun and the Universe itself revolved around the Earth! Obviously, our human-centric-ness and ego-centric-ness may be proving to be contributing to our xenophobia, and the perception of "others" as being "foreign" -- with "us" only the ones who matter, who are the only thing beautiful in our eyes.
Of course, one can always hide behind the claim that beauty is subjective, and therefore, it lies in the eyes of the beholder. But it's sad when one's vision, appreciation and taste are limited to only one's favored ethnicity or races, not the rest of the humanity at large. Where did our humanity go?