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"China ka maal"- Jwala Gutta opens up on racial abuse during coronavirus pandemic

  • Born to an Indian father and Chinese mother, Jwala Gutta recalls her tryst with racial abuse and trolls on social media.
  • Jwala Gutta is regarded as one of India's best doubles badminton player.
Modified 06 Apr 2020, 12:40 IST
Jwala Gutta
Jwala Gutta

One of India's best badminton doubles specialists, Jwala Gutta has opened up on how she has been subject to racist abuse having been born to a Chinese mother, more so in these testing times of the coronavirus pandemic.

Jwala, who was born in the Wardha region of Maharashtra was brought up in Hyderabad. Her mother, Yelan Gutta is the granddaughter of Tseng, who Mahatma Gandhi named "Shantidoot" when Tseng came down to India in view of translating Gandhi's autobiography.

In a column for the Indian Express, Jwala expressed the hardships that she has had to face on social media due to her family heritage.

China ka maal”, “half Chinese” and “chinki”, of course. I get a lot of this on Twitter when I disagree with a majority view on something. There’s a new addition: I’m a “half Corona”. I also know these are the same people who will troll me, but if we meet in person, will ask for a selfie. Still, it’s not been easy growing up as the child of a Chinese mother, " Jwala said.

Jwala shed light on hard it was for her to grow up as a child of mixed heritage, and all of her faults were being misdirected to a result of her 'Chinese mother's' upbringing. She further explains that she never understood that she was being subjected to racism, and it was only in her twenties that she realised that something was wrong.

The 2011 World Championship bronze medallist also shared her sympathy for Indians originating from the NorthEast region, and urged them to approach the judiciary and complain if they are harassed for their appearance.

The Wardha-born shuttle also spoke about how it is not right to retaliate against a whole culture - case in point, China - and there is a way to raise concerns, even if any. She also stressed on how China's emphasis on being involved in physical activity, even at the corporate level has led to the country topping the medal charts at the Olympics.

"Because of my heritage, I’ll never generalise anything about Indians or the Chinese. I treat everyone equally and don’t see religious or caste distinctions. I have broader perspectives, " she said.

The 36-year-old, who won a gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi addressed the general public by stating that she's always treated everyone equally, and her patriotism is something that cannot be questioned.

"Because I am a public figure, you can question my game, but never my patriotism. I’ve stood up more than most of my trolls ever have for the national anthem and those of my opponents. I know the importance of respecting others and of humanity, something we need as we, Indians, battle COVID-19, " Jwala added.
Published 06 Apr 2020, 12:40 IST
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