A Riot Of Colors — Revisited

Photo by Debashis Biswas on Unsplash

Last Thursday 21st March 2019 was Holi — the festival of colors in India.

Nowadays, as we read the depressing news every morning, a consistent pattern emerges of that of increasing social discord due to intolerance. Last Thursday, my mind instinctively went to an article written by me on Holi day in 2004. A lot has changed in 15 years since then. Diversity and globalization are much better understood. If earlier, intolerance was due to race / skin / color / appearance, in today’s world; diversity has opened up on religion / culture / philosophy / identity / sexual orientation / language / food, etc.

I am once again sharing the article below as in today’s increasingly de-globalized world, it highlights an important aspect of Information Technology Work — The increasing global diversity of IT work force all over the world. This underscores the need for effective social and cultural integration between IT Professionals of different nationalities and geographies. Making the IT Community a truly global one. Here goes the original article :

Last Sunday (7th March 2004), besides a holiday ; was also HOLI Day in India. HOLI (pronounced as ‘Holy’) is a traditional National Indian Festival celebrated across all castes and communities.It is called as the Festival of Colors. An occasion when colored Powder and water is sprayed joyously on friends and relatives. People’s identities become indistinguishable, with their faces covered in assorted colors — Pink, Red, Green and many more.

Photo by Maxime Bhm on Unsplash

Our neighborhood community also celebrated Holi with great joy. Two American girl students, on a Rotary exchange program in India with a neighbor, were absolutely enjoying themselves. Their faces fully masked with a medley mix of colors. Their foreign identities were not visible, except perhaps for the Color of their Hair.

A friend remarked “ They look just like us.”

Many years ago, one of India’s most visible visionary tech CEO had once mentioned “ When you walk into a foreign customer’s office, the color of your skin is visible. You cannot hide that.”

Sometimes, skin color colors sensibilities (perhaps insensitively.) It’s (alas) true all over the world. It also causes us to perhaps push ahead in our minds, already active assumptions, prejudiced perceptions in our interactions with alien(??) foreigners faulting them with our (mis)fortunes and failures.

Fortunately, technology conceals color and it is blatantly bias blind,causing an osmosis across all shores. IP addresses too are nationality agnostic all over the globe.

PS : A Last Thought : If Heaven had an IP address, none of us would perhaps need to seek God to seek his saviors. Or would we ?