A baby is born. When it cries, Mother Nature makes sure that it is a guileless, sinless, sweet cry that has never been heard before. The baby is a bundle of innocence. Then,what do we as a society do to that innocence? We poison it, by instilling into its pure mind, the ideas of caste, creed, and racism.
Mother Nature never created religion or caste system. It was created by humans like you and me to achieve a near-perfect society. It did work for hundreds and thousands of years- I’m not denying that. But, will we cling to it forever?
“Hey! What’s your caste?” is a question nobody asks these days. They would rather question you indirectly and ask you “Are you a vegetarian?” If you said yes, they would say “Oho! Brahmin huh? No? Vaishya? Accha!” If you said no, they’d probably go “Oh! Cool! So, you are a….”
Why does it matter what I am? Why should it? Why can’t I be just another human being in a world where caste is immaterial? Not only caste, even religion. I will practise which ever religion I like or I will even be an atheist. Why should it be a concern for the society?
India is a country where diversity is celebrated. Every Indian rejoices the existence of a variety of festivals- mostly because of the holidays we get. But, India is also the country of religious riots, honour killings, discrimination and racism.
We say that our country finds unity in its diversity. But, did you know that India is a home to at least 8 religions and 46,000 castes? This means that we have found 3, 68,000 ways to divide ourselves. Now tell me, are we really united amidst diversity? If we truly were united, would there be riots and killings?
Let us take the case of religious riots. What do we gain from them? Why can’t we be sensitive to the various religions that our country is a home to and be more accommodating rather than eliminating?
Honour killings? Okay, this is way out of line. Killing a child that the parents have loved all their lives only to uphold the “family’s honour”? What kind of a world is this? Oh, I know! Its a world in which caste, a social evil, has us all wrapped around its little finger and we all dance to its tunes, thinking only of keeping it happy and, forgetting all about ourselves, our lives and our happiness.
Many of you must be wondering if we, as a nation are racist. Well, think no more, we are a very racist country. If you were to ask me how, I would say that we are distinguishing Indians of the North-East from the rest of India. And, trust me it counts as racism. Some people also call them “Chinese”, and there have also been attacks on them. Why are we doing this? Are they not our brothers and sisters?
Talking of racism, we see so many fairness product advertisements coming up. I don’t see the point of the entire “you-can-also-become-fair-and-glamorous-in-a-jiffy” ideal. It doesn’t settle well with me. Why does anybody need the so called “beautifying” creams when they are all beautiful in their very own way?
There are so many unanswered questions to which, the answers can only be guessed. Not one answer is fully correct. So, what can be done? What can we, as today’s youth and tomorrow’s citizens do to eradicate these evils? Well, there is only one answer to this and that is ‘Social Sensitisation’.
What does social sensitisation mean? I think that it is the process of making the minds of today immune to effects of evils like caste, racism, gender discrimination and to some point, religion.
It is all about everybody learning to let go of all their inhibitions and demolish all the taboos and come forth freely to express their views in all matters alike. It will take years, decades even, for people to understand that the only religion we have is human and our caste- Indian. But, we have to try until we succeed.