Saturday, April 17

'Ossis Aren't Indians'

A fascinating comparison caught my eye. This East German lady was is complaining about being discriminated.

The case hinged on a woman identified as Gabriela S., who was born in the Communist former German Democratic Republic but has lived in Stuttgart for more than two decades. In 2009 the 48-year-old bookkeeper failed to get a job at a window manufacturer in the southwestern city and her application was returned to her with "Ossi" and a minus sign written on her resume.

"Ossi," based on the German word Ost, or East, is often used disparagingly, and Gabriela S. and her lawyer sued the window company for three months salary on grounds of discrimination based on ethnic background. The closely watched case ended on Thursday with the Stuttgart labor court rejecting her claim and arguing that East Germans could not be seen as a tribe-like group.

In determining an ethnic background, more must be considered than just a person's regional origin, the judge said, while at the same time conceding that the term "Ossi" could be taken as a negative label.

And then a news paper, trying to comment on it, says that Ossies (Ost Germany, or East Germans) are Indians. I quote:

"The white, er, wise man, has rule: 'Ossis' aren't Indians. ... But plaintiff Gaberiele S. and her attorney have already done a lot by drawing considerable public attention to this issue. She should be praised for taking this to court rather than just accepting it." "Too old, too fat, too costly, too sick, too female, too 'Ossi' -- in the daily fight for jobs many candidates face discriminatory judgments, either directly, or implied. Sometimes these are careless -- but rarely are they justifiable. It is fair enough, and even important, when the victims of such hurtful comments try to defend themselves and recover their self-esteem."

Presuming that the Indians in this case refers to India Indians and not Native Americans, I was laughing because there is a major industry in India which refuses to think of Indians as one group but is divided into zillions of ethnic groups. And here are the Germans, how horrible of them, they force all Indians into one ethnic group. The assorted motley Indian groups of groupist dalits, Muslims, Buddhists, Jains, Hindus, Christians will spontaneously self combust. Except for Bongs, but we are the superior group amongst all Humans anyway, so we dont count.

But found it quite piquant :)