Priyanka Chopra might have thought of it as a cool idea – wearing a white tee with a message and flaunting her new-found identity as a globetrotter. However, her latest cover on a travel magazine has sent Twitterati into a frenzy. Three words – ‘refugee’, ‘immigrant’, ‘outsider’ are crossed with red lines, while the word ‘traveller’ is not. Misinterpretations of this message are currently wafting through social media.
Priyanka might have sent out this message in a certain context — that refugees, immigrants and outsiders should simply be considered travellers but many on Twitter have taken offence and have called Priyanka insensitive towards refugees and immigrants.
The actor in her interviews has said that she had faced racism while studying in high school in America. This could be her intention to stop people from compartmentalising foreigners in a new country . That please don’t label people as refugees, or immigrants or outsiders. Any person present in a foreign country could be simply a traveller. However, her intention to stem out this discrimination and practice of labelling people aren’t going down well with people.
People on Twitter are giving her advice on how there is a difference between a choice and compulsion This exacerbates in the face of the refugee crisis and ongoing discussion about immigrants during American President elections.
— Madeha Rai Zargar (@madeharai) October 9, 2016
— Anum R. Chagani (@Anumero_1) October 8, 2016
— Hanna (@HannanMust) October 8, 2016
— savita_pawnday (@savita_pawnday) October 9, 2016
The argument – being a refugee is not a matter of choice – is dominating the online furore over the issue. Which might come across as true. One Twitter User said – Priyanka is not a traveller, she is a worker and her job takes her to places.
No one is oblivion to the Syrian war and its consequences. Many Syrians fled their country to find refuge in Europe. Thousands have died while migrating from war-struck countries. A cursory glance at floating pictures of refugees and above all children will tell you that – being a refugee and an immigrant is not a matter of choice.
However, refugees also faced discrimination and prejudices while crossing borders. Priyanka might have attempted to alleviate that sense of bias. But it went awry.