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‘Which mask can hide virus in our minds?’: Lakshmipathy Balaji on racism, discrimination

"It's been 25-26 years but the scar hasn't healed," Lakshmipathy Balaji speaks about dealing with bullying, racism, and how forms of discrimination exist in all walks of life.

Balaji Lakshmipathy Balaji played 8 Tests and 30 ODIs. (File Photo/BCCI)

Former India cricketer Lakshimpathy Balaji said the tendency to discriminate against people on the basis of their perceived weakness is a deep-rooted practice and something that he has seen from close quarters. Asked to speak on racism, Balaji said it is part of a larger problem with mindsets which are ingrained in us from homes and schools.

“At all levels – be it school, college, or any industry – there is a tendency among some people to target someone’s perceived weakness,” Balaji said in a chat show Homerun with AV with sports commentator Arun Venugopal.

“This culture starts from our homes where elders use fat-shaming nicknames to address the child. If a kid is on the heavier side, it’s not the kid’s problem. I have seen many such instances even within my own circle. They think such nicknames are endearments, but they don’t understand how it affects the child,” said Balaji.

READ | Discrimination due to faith is racism as well: Irfan Pathan

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“Unless people of different classes, races, and nationalities recognise the seriousness of the problem – like they have in the case of Covid-19 pandemic – this can’t be solved. The fear for our lives has led to greater emphasis on social hygiene. However, which mask can hide the virus [of racism and discrimination] that is affecting our minds?

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